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A Winter Wonderland Central NH & VT

Blow Out The Candles! Lucy Mac Turns 100 Years Old Does Cat Poop Parasite Play A Role In Curing Cancer? Appeasing The Bearded Dragon Rare Breeds Of The Twin StatesMeet The Otterhound A Guide To Buying A Horse Blanket

4 LEGS & A TAIL FUN! What's Different?

Dog’s Leg Missing, Dog’s Tail Missing, Women’s Purse Missing, Dog’s Bandana Blue, Women’s Fingernail polish blue, Women’s shoes red

A pet shop owner had a parrot with a sign on its cage that said “Parrot repeats everything it hears.” A young man bought the parrot and for two weeks he spoke to it and it didn’t say a word. He returned the parrot, but the shopkeeper said he never lied about the parrot. How can this be? The parrot was deaf.

A cat and mouse die and go to heaven. One day St. Peter runs into the mouse and asks, “How do you like heaven so far?” “It’s great! But it’s so big I wish I had roller-skates,” replied the mouse. “No problem,” said St. Peter. A few days later, St. Peter sees the cat and asks how he likes heaven. “It’s fantastic,” said the cat, “It even has mealson-wheels.”

Some dogs are more graceful than others

Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail

3. Keeping a Century Old Promise, Alexys Wilbur

Happy 100th Birthday Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society!

7. New England Foundation for Animal Health

Helping those in need pay the vet bill

8. Does Cat Poop Parasite Play a Role in Curing Cancer?

How a tiny “bug” can stop cancer in its tracks as a vaccine

10. Alternatively Speaking - A Holistic Approach to Treating Cancer, Anne M. Carroll, DVM 12. A Little Piece of Heaven, Paul and Sally Zeller

For more than a decade the Hooved Animal Sanctuary has cared for abused and abandoned animals

15. Vermont Prison Pups

Springfield, VT will soon be home to service dogs in training for Vermont veterans

16. Helping Your Pets Enjoy the Holidays, Debra Monroe

A few tips to make holidays fun for everyone

18. Winter Tips for Our Feline Friends, Jennifer Lesser, DVM 20. Teaching Kids about Cats

The importance of “playing nice” with our furry friends

21. Sweet Potato Pie, Samantha Bubar

A little love turns a Bearded Dragon into a couch potato

24. Rare Breeds of the Upper Valley: Otterhounds, Karyn Swett

These rare and interesting dogs can be traced from the 11th century to Hartland VT, and even to Canaan, NH!

26. Taking a Bite out of Obesity, Millie Armstrong, DVM

$34 million in vet bills for overweight pets, want to save some money this year?

28. Silly Millie the Mastiff, Talaia Thomas, LCMHC

A therapy dog makes a difference for this autistic child

32. “Treat” Your Dog Right

Edelweiss Bakery in Johnson, VT develops a healthier biscuit

34. Training Vs Creating a Well Balanced Dog, Paula Bergeron

Creating life-long good behavior

37. The Skunk Guy, Scott Borthwick

When wildlife invades your space, who yagonna call? Continued NEXT PAGE

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38. Parasite Prevention in the Winter: Why Should We? Colrain Balch, DVM

The battle against fleas, ticks, intestinal parasites and mosquitoes is now year-round

40. Your Horse is Your Greatest Healer, Kat Barrell

When a horse comes into their own joy, there is nothing that can stand in their way

42. A Guide to Buying a Horse Blanket

How to look for warmth, size & durability

45. Compounding for Veterinarians & Animal Owners

Next time the pill won’t go down, consider compounded medications

46. What are Bladder Stones and How Can They Affect My Cat? Elisa Speckert

Don’t assume your cat is “spraying” or “marking”, it may be something else

48. My Dog, My Teacher, Amos L. Johnson

If Lestat was a cat, and not a dog, he would have clearly used up his nine lives

50. Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful… For Pets, Too! M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM

Cold weather dangers for pets

52. Chinchillas, Susan Dyer, DVM

Looking for a wonderful pet? Consider a chinchilla!

53. Canine Point of View, Michelle Grimes

Help your pet deal with Cabin Fever this winter

55. Paddock Partners, Heidi Jo Hauri-Gill Signs and solutions for a horse with Colic 57. Small Dogs with “Pushed-in” Faces Have Even More Dental Problems, Sandra Waugh, VMD 59. Abraham Lincoln’s Dog, Fido, Kate Kelly

With Presidents Day on February 16, we take a look at the Great Emancipator’s dog

4 Legs & a Tail Volume L.414 P.O. Box 841 Lebanon, NH 03766 603-727-9214

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Publishers: Tim Goodwin, Tim Hoehn Senior Editor: Scott Palzer Office Manager: Beth Hoehn Graphic Design: Monica Reinfeld, Travis Ness, Lacey Dardis Sales: Karyn Swett, Scott Palzer, Barry deSousa

If you have a tale about a tail or a photo that will make us smile, we’d like to hear from you. 4 Legs & a Tail is published quarterly and distributed free of charge throughout Central VT & NH. 4 Legs & a Tail, LLC 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.

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Keeping a Century Old Promise S

Alexys Wilbur, Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society

afely tucked away in the green rolling hills of West Windsor, Vermont, there lies a sort of heaven-on-earth for cats, dogs, horses, and the occasional rabbit. An idyllic haven complete with a pond, trails, and fenced meadows, Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society is a joyful place where surrendered animals live contentedly until they find a final home. Animals have been calling Lucy Mackenzie “home” for 100 years, but it wasn’t always what it is today. The world was a different place in 1915, the time of Lucy Mackenzie’s founding. The world was still feeling the echoes of the Industrial Revolution. The United States had become more industrialized, factory owners hired children for many tasks. Horses were regularly used as work animals, and life could be harsh. Humanity needed a champion. For the U.S., in 1916, it was the KeatingOwen Act prohibiting “the sale in interstate commerce of goods manufactured by children in the United States.” For the

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valleys of Vermont, it was Lucy Collamer Mackenzie. Wife of a prominent Woodstock, Vermont businessman, Lucy was a caring woman with a “practical interest in humane work and in the various social and religious activities, …(and a) readiness to do helpful things at every opportunity.” Mackenzie quietly worked to support those who needed help. Upon her death, Mackenzie’s husband established the Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society to care for “abused (and neglected) children as well as animals including horses.” In a large Victorian building at the center of Woodstock Vermont, dogs, cats, horses, and children found a refuge where they lived well-cared for, when the world let them down. Half a century later, the building moved elsewhere in Woodstock, and the need to serve children was no longer necessary. After almost 100 years, now located on 14 semiwooded acres in West Windsor, the heart

of Lucy Mackenzie remains the same. Abandoned animals of Vermont and New Hampshire still receive the medical care, socialization, and affection they need. Hundreds of cats and dogs come through the doors, but many hundreds have been adopted. The society mainContinued NEXT PAGE 3

tains a “no kill” policy “to insure that every adoptable animal in (their) care is given an opportunity to find a safe and happy home.” Lucy’s spirit is alive today. Each year multiple sessions of Kids Camp, teach humane care of animals to children 6-10 years of age, and influence positive behavior toward animals for generations. Dog training classes occur throughout the year. Dogs at the shelter are often trained, providing them with tools and preparation for life in their forever home. The happenings at Lucy Mackenzie are many, and they grow each year. A Few years ago, a routine renovation project to turn horse barn space into a new educational and multi-use facility, turned out to be much more. A powerful force took hold and reminded all involved with Lucy Mackenzie, of its greater original mission. When work on the barn was needed, Trustee Dow Davis suggested Lucy Mackenzie consider using a work crew of inmates from Vermont’s Southeast State Correctional Facility. After interviews with the head of the program, and positive recommendations from towns that have used the crew for other projects, work on the barn began. Trustees provided home-cooked lunchtime meals for the work crew and shelter staff. These meals together, generated a series of conversations that left all at Lucy Mackenzie inspired by humanity, and filled with hope for the future. A few of the work crew visiting animals at the shelter while on breaks, saw something in the animals that struck a chord. Each person in some way felt a connection with the animals, that someone not having the experience of being behind bars would not feel. Some described the kinship of waiting; waiting to go home one day to be free; waiting to go home to a loving family they missed so badly it hurt. One crew member said he could see it in the dogs’ eyes. Perhaps it was something only they could see; they also shared the knowledge of what it was like to be unwanted by society. The cats and dogs here share similar histories of once being loved and wanted, then set aside when divorce came, when it was time to move, or a new child came home. Seeing visitors eventually followthrough and adopt a dog or cat, gave the work crew hope as days passed. Knowing the work they did each day would help shorten their sentences, gave them hope that they too, would soon go home. They were better off having been through the experience. So too, are the animals at Lucy Mackenzie. Sometimes receiving extensive emergency medical care, sometimes receiving one-on-one rehabilitation, they serve their time at the Continued NEXT PAGE

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Lucy & Frank with driver Will Bradley

shelter, in a place where perceived flaws, are worked into positive attributes. As Lucy Mackenzie celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2015, and reflects upon its history, so much has changed in the world. We can say that Lucy Mackenzie has been successful- and are reminded of that each time an animal is adopted, and we realize we are making a difference in helping animals to

Winter 2014

achieve their freedom. But, at the same time, so much remains the same. We won’t be able to say we have done our job until the need for humane societies no longer exists. Until then, we will keep the promise made to those in the care of Lucy Mackenzie from its very beginning; we’ll remain committed to our mission of “enhancing the bond between animals and people by providing shelter and care

for homeless pets.” We will treat the animals in our care as if they have found their own personal slice of heaven until they finally do reach it. Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society is one of the country’s oldest continually operating humane societies, and is dedicated to enhancing the bond between animals and people by providing shelter and care for homeless pets, and educating people about the care and training of animals in a humane community. It is located ¼ mile from the intersection of Routes 106 and 44 at 4832 Route 44 in West Windsor (Brownsville), Vermont, and can be reached at 802-484-5829 or on the web, 5

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he New England Foundation for Animals, Inc. was established in 1998 by Brad Burrington, D.V.M. and Mr. Ted Keith. Initially, they intended to solve nearly all of the wrongs that occurred to pets in our society. The goal was to create a win-win arrangement whereby the pet owners of that region would receive superior emergency care (there were no emergency hospitals at the time) and the proceeds from the new hospital would, eventually, be used to help stomp out pet problems. Over the last decade, The Bonnie and Button’s fund has donated over $30,000 to pay for much needed veterinary care, for critically ill pets whose owners have suffered a financial setback. In addition, during the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, NEFAH, in partnership with the Veremedy Pet Hospital, provided $9,000 worth of additional financial support to the pets whose owners suffered terrible loss in that devastating event. With one fund, and a couple of veterinary hospitals, NEFAH has been able to provide much needed relief to pets in the Upper Valley. Going forward, NEFAH plans to scale the concept by increasing the number of funds, and expanding the geographical reach of our influence for good.

The Annual NEFAH Fundraiser raised over $2500 to the delight of golfers & dogs alike.

The New England Foundation for Animal Health never pays an entire veterinary care bill. Instead, since NEFAH always seeks to create a win-win-win outcome for the pet, the pet owner, and the veterinarian, NEFAH asks that all parties contribute. The pet owner has to make some financial contribution. The veterinarian is asked to discount the cost of the needed service or procedure, and then NEFAH covers the difference. An example from one of our recent cases helps illustrate. A dog owned by a veteran on disability is run over by a car and has a broken leg. The surgery to repair the fracture requires expertise and stainless steel implants and usually costs $1500. The owner cannot afford this fee, but with the help of friends and family, the owner can find $200. The veterinarian who normally charges $1500 for the How it Works Dedicated veterinarians identify pets surgery agrees to perform the procedure and pet owners who need our help. The for $900, and NEFAH pays the $700 differtruth is that most veterinarians give free ence. The pet wins with a much needed care or discounted care to those in need medical procedure, the owner receives all the time. Still, the need is often far greater than what good, caring, compassionate veterinarians can reasonably be expected to give. The demand on a veterinarian’s time, staff and budgets is great. NEFAH’s unique approach allows veterinarians to stretch their financial capacity to give back to the community. Local humane societies and rescue groups often come to the rescue of a pet with significant medical needs, significant enough to create substantial medical care bills. Here again, NEFAH partners with the humane society, and then partners again with the attending veterinarian, and NEFAH facilitates a financial plan to ensure that the necessary pet care can be completed. Winter 2014

$1500 worth of care for $200, and the veterinarian has part of his or her costs covered, so they can do more good for the next patient who is in a similar situation. To make a tax deductible contribution or if you’re interested in being a strategic partner, visit 7

Does Cat Poop Parasite Play a Role in Curing Cancer? How a Tiny “Bug” Can Stop Cancer in its Tracks as a Vaccine


Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

oxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is a single-celled parasite that is happiest in a cat’s intestines, but it can live in any warm blooded animal. Found worldwide, T. gondii affects about one-third of the world’s population, 60 million of which are Americans. Most people have no symptoms, but some experience a flu-like illness. Those with suppressed immune systems, however, can develop a serious infection if they are unable to fend off T. gondii.

An Anti-Cancer Agent in Nature? A healthy immune system responds vigorously to T. gondii in a manner that parallels how the immune system attacks a tumor. “We know biologically this parasite has figured out how to stimulate the exact immune responses you want to fight cancer,” said David J. Bzik, PhD, profes-

sor of Microbiology and Immunology, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. In response to T. gondii, the body produces natural killer cells and cytotoxic T cells. These cell types wage war against cancer cells. Cancer can shut down the body’s defensive mechanisms, but introducing T. gondii into a tumor environment can jump start the immune system. “The biology of this organism is inherently different from other microbe-based immunotherapeutic strategies that typically just tickle immune cells from the outside,” said Barbara Fox, senior research associate of Microbiology and Immunology. “By gaining preferential access to the inside of powerful innate immune cell types, our mutated strain of T. gondii reprograms the natural power of the immune system to clear tumor cells and cancer.”

Engineering T. gondii as a Cancer Vaccine Since it isn’t safe to inject a cancer

patient with live replicating strains of T. gondii, Bzik and Fox created “cps,” an immunotherapeutic vaccine. Based on the parasite’s biochemical pathways, they delete a Toxoplasma gene needed to make a building block of its genome and create a mutant parasite that can be grown in the laboratory but is unable to reproduce in animals or people. Cps is both nonreplicating and safe. Even when the host is immune deficient, cps still retains that unique biology that stimulates the ideal vaccine responses. “Aggressive cancers too often seem like fast moving train wrecks. Cps is the microscopic, but super strong, hero that catches the wayward trains, halts their progression, and shrinks them until they disappear,” said Bzik.

Laboratory Success in Melanoma and Ovarian Cancers P u b l i s h e d l a b o ra to r y s t u d i e s from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth labs have tested the cps vaccine in extremely aggressive lethal mouse models of melanoma or ovarian cancer and found unprecedented high rates of cancer survival. Continued NEXT PAGE

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Trojan Horse cells harboring cps will be given back to the patient as an immunotherapeutic cancer vaccine to generate the ideal immune responses necessary to eradicate their cancer cells and to also provide life-long immunity against any Toxoplasma gondii, the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, is being used by Geisel future recurrence of that cancer,” said researchers as a possible way to stimulate the immune system against tumors. Bzik. Fox and Bzik say a lot more study is “Cps stimulates amazingly effective A Promising Future for a Personalized needed before cps leaves the laboratory. They are trying to understand how and immunotherapy against cancers, supe- Cancer Vaccine why it works so well by examining its rior to anything seen before,” said Bzik. “The ability of cps to communicate in This new weapon against cancer molecular targets and mechanisms. different and unique ways with the can- could even be tailored to the individual “Cancer immunotherapy using cps cer and special cells of the immune sys- patient. “In translating cps therapy to the holds incredible promise for creating tem breaks the control that cancer has clinic, we imagine cps will be introduced beneficial new cancer treatments and leveraged over the immune system.” into cells isolated from the patient. Then cancer vaccines,” said Bzik.

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Alternatively Speaking:

A Holistic Approach to Treating Cancer Anne M. Carroll, DVM- Chelsea, VT


our pet has not been feeling well and after an extensive workup your veterinarian comes back with a diagnosis of cancer. Your heart just sinks into your chest and this confusing flood of emotions overtakes you. It is probably the one thing you weren’t prepared to hear. Cancer is not a new problem in pets, but just like in people, it feels like we see more of it now than in the past. Modern research helps us understand that cancer occurs when a body is damaged on a cellular level. Cancer cells ignore their original programming and grow unchecked, multiplying more than intended, living longer than they should, and spreading to tissues where they don’t belong. They are no longer playing a positive role in support of the body. Instead, they now function to support themselves, ultimately causing the death of their host.

Western medicine utilizes chemotherapy and radiation to try to kill cancer cells, often with good results. But, it is hard to poison the cancer, without poisoning the patient. So modern medicine still struggles to win against this disease. More recent breakthroughs have developed “vaccines” that prime a dog’s immune system, to fight a cancer directly. What is exciting about this line of thinking, is that it taps into the idea that our bodies themselves can defeat cancers, given the proper tools and direction. This notion fits very well with many of the alternative approaches to dealing with cancer. Cancer cells require a lot of support to take hold and spread. This support can come in the form of increased blood supply to provide nutrients and oxygen. Instead of highly toxic therapies, alternative practitioners use relatively weak and safe substances that interfere with cancer’s ability to obtain those resources. To borrow an analogy from one of my colleagues, you can think of alternative therapies working against cancer like the American militia did against the enemy in the Revolutionary war. Not strong enough to meet the superiorly armed and trained British troops head on, these rebels eroded their flanks, blocked roads and bridges impairing their ability to move, and deprived them of resources by cutting off supply lines. This approach effectively paralyzed them into a ‘stasis’ where all they could do was hunker down and wait for help. In alternative medicine there are a wealth of compounds and nutritional supplements that work exactly like this. Any one of them is too weak to impact a cancer’s growth alone but when prescribed in the right combination to target a specific cancer’s needs, we can make it far harder for the cancer to thrive and without toxic effects to the body in the process. Taking a holistic approach, we can simultaneously strengthen the immune system to fight more effectively so our efforts may be even more successful. Alternative veterinarians have many cancer fighting tools to choose from. Using Chinese acupuncture and herbal medicine, we can look at patterns of circulation and try to direct blood flow Continued NEXT PAGE

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towards some cancers that would prefer to stay hidden from the immune system, or deprive blood from other aggressive cancers that need that support to grow fast and invade surrounding tissues. Nutrition can be used to feed the body while starving the cancer as well as to reduce inflammation that can fuel a cancer. Homeopathy can help direct the body to move against a cancer or find balance and allow a body’s normal defenses to once again work effectively. All of these approaches can be used in conjunction with Western care, such as radiation and chemotherapy, to help minimize side effects and improve their effectiveness. Certainly cancers can move fast and not all cases will have the time to respond to either traditional or alternative therapy. As with any illness, it is most helpful to start treatment early. Consult with an alternative practitioner and consider having them work in conjunction with your traditional veterinarian or oncologist to provide the best possible care for your pet. A foundation to this approach may include specific nutrition, promoting a healthy balanced blood circulation, and removing sources of chronic inflammation. In my practice this foundational work begins early when the patient is healthy and young so their body is armed with the protection it needs as it moves through middle

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and senior years. So, while it is wonderful to incorporate alternative supports early in a fight against cancer, it is even better to start early enough that perhaps the cancer won’t occur at all. 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 there website at 11

A Little Piece of Heaven Paul and Sally Zeller

Life is good at the Hooved Animal Sanctuary


igh atop Beacon Hill in Chelsea, VT, is a place where horses that have been neglected, abused or are unwanted can find a little piece of heaven,a place where they have a warm, dry, comfortable home and a wonderful life. This scenic 125-acre farm on Weswind Road owned by Deborah “Deb” Baker, is the home of the Hooved Animal Sanctuary (HAS) that she founded in 2003.

The HAS mission is: (1) To provide a safe, caring sanctuary for abused and abandoned hooved animals; (2) To provide for the protection and rehabilitation of neglected animals with the goal of placing them in loving, safe homes and (3) To provide ongoing youth programs and community education that will help achieve these goals. During the year HAS hosts educational workshops, clinics and programs for the public to learn about proper horse care. While a number of horses relinquished to HAS come from owners who can no longer take care of them, some, tragically, have to be seized. Most of these cases are reported anonymously through Vermont’s Animal Cruelty Reporting System ( or at 1-877-9HUMANE). This information is then passed to the nearest humane agent. For Vermont’s Orange County, that is the HAS. After the notification HAS dispatches members that are specially trained to evaluate neglected and abused horses, to investigate the complaint. In dealing with horses that have been neglected or abused, education is always the first course of action. Every attempt is made to work with the horse owners on the proper care and feeding of their horses. Assistance with re-homing the horses and other options are also explored. Only after all attempts fail to correct the situation will HAS request law enforcement to step in and seize the animal. Since its beginning the HAS has had over 150 horses come through its pasture gates with an adoption rate of about 80%. The other 20% lived out their lives on the farm. The sanctuary has the capacity to accommodate 20 horses in the summer and 10 in the winter. Continued PAGE 14

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Willow near death when rescued on March 1, 2014

Willow recovering at the Hooved Animal Sanctuary in late June 2014.

Rehabilitating a rescue horse at the sanctuary is not an inexpensive proposition. All horses coming to HAS go into quarantine for three weeks during which time a veterinarian and a farrier evaluate them and treat them as needed. All of this may cost over $300.00 per horse, not including special feed and hay. On March 1, 2014, HAS assisted the Elizabeth Brown Humane Society of St. Johnsbury in the seizure of 21 horses. Although this was not in HAS’s area of responsibility HAS accepted two of these horses. One of the horses that HAS brought home, a mare who was later named Willow, was near death from starvation. Deb fed her a specially designed diet every four hours around the clock for over two weeks until she was able to resume normal feeding. Willow’s hooves were in terrible condition, but she was so weak a farrier could not pick up her feet for fear she would fall over and not be able to get up. Now Willow has regained her weight, her hooves are coming along well, her buckskin coat is beautiful and Deb has started riding her. Willow is now available for adoption by the right person. Because HAS’s goal is to find a loving life-long home for its adoptive horses, it does have a comprehensive adoption process that includes a home visit and a contract to sign. Horses are paired with people based on the horses’ personality and level of training. Since only 80% of the horses at HAS are adopted, the adoption fees do not cover the operating cost for the sanctuary. The HAS holds several fund raising events each year, including its annual open house, but any additional financial help or assistance from people with fund-raising skills would be greatly appreciated. More information on the HAS can be found on its web-site at or find us on Facebook. Paul and Sally Zeller live in Williamstown, Vermont, and are members of the Hooved Animal Sanctuary’s Board of Directors. 14 4 Legs & a Tail

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Vermont Prison Pups

In a recent issue of “4 Legs & a Tail”, we shared the story of Lt. Melissa Stockwell. She was the first officer wounded in Afghanistan. Upon her return stateside, she was teamed up with a service dog, trained by an inmate in one of the many prison-based “puppy raiser” programs here in the US, to help with the new challenges she faces as a civilian. “A veteran is someone who, at one point, wrote a blank check, made payable to ‘The United States of America’ for an amount ‘up to and including their life’.” ~ Author Unknown


ith many of our family and friends returning from a long war, the Vermont Department of Corrections will be addressing the needs of our veterans, thanks to the efforts of the Blue Star Mothers of Vermont. According to program coordinator Terri Sabens, inmates at the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield, VT will begin training service dogs this winter, to assist returning military personnel. As a former volunteer with Soldiers Angels, Sabens spent more than a year reaching out to the Vermont Dept. of Corrections. “PTSD is a widespread issue that many of our veterans face. There were just too many related suicides that can’t be ignored.” Mazie

This fall, Mazie (the first of two dogs to be trained at the facility) visited the facility for the first time. A second dog, Beetle Bailey, will join the team in February to begin a 12 month training program specifically designed for assisting a vet with special needs, including turning lights on and off and waking them up during a nightmare. Dog trainers, including Sabens, Wanda Chapman and Jim Daignault will teach inmates the proper techniques, and supervise the on-going training at the prison. Tara Clarke, Living Unit Supervisor Winter 2014

at SSCF and a dog lover, is thrilled to see the program implemented at the Vermont f a c i l i t y. “ I have a stack of applic ations from inmates so far, and as Beatle Bailey word spreads I’m sure there will be more,” said Clarke. Each inmate will be screened extensively by both corrections officials and trainers, with each dog spending Monday through Friday with the inmate/trainer. “I think we’re the perfect facility for this program. We even have a large, open yard that the dogs will love.” As a detailed training program begins to take shape before Mazie and Beetle Bailey arrive, it is important to note that this program is funded privately. Each dog can cost up to $5,000 which includes vet bills, food, training and the purchase of the dog itself. So far, the Blue Star Mothers of VT has raised a few thousand dollars for this specific program, with a goal of another $6,000. In addition to financial contributions, the Vermont based non-profit group is also looking for volunteers/donations, including: a veterinarian, Lamb Kibble dog food, weekend fosters for Mazie and Beetle Bailey, trainers and a grant writer.Terri Sabens says it best, “It’s Paw-some!” For more information or to help, visit 15

Helping Your Pets Enjoy the Holidays A

Debra Monroe- Charlestown, NH

s we prepare for the upcoming holidays, a little training will lessen the stress and make the season fun for everyone. I’ve put together a few pointers to help your pets have fun too. Around the Tree: -  Whether the tree is live or artificial, secure the tree. Pets can be drawn to the fragrances that a live tree brings inside, or the glitter of an artificial tree. Make sure the tree is securely fastened in the stand and to the ceiling or wall, so the tree cannot be tipped over. - Choose your ornaments with care. Keep the ornaments that are breakable up higher on the tree out of the way of your pet’s tail. Keep small stuffed or blinking ornaments higher on the tree. Your pets may think this is a dog/cat toy and they may chew it. Keep all wires and lights hidden so your pets cannot chew them and cause an electrical shock. - Avoid giving your pets fragile gifts that can break and cause choking, if swallowed. When you choose gifts for your pets, make sure they are big enough to so they cannot slip down their throats. If your dog or puppy loves to chew, avoid toys that have bead eyes, can be broken into small pieces, or have a squeaker that can be pulled out and swallowed. Discard damaged toys. - If you see your pet trying to play with the gifts or decorations on the tree, you can lure them away with treats. If a puppy is trying to chew a gift, take it away and tell him to leave it. Tell him to come using a treat, and he will follow you out of the room. If you see your cat climbing the tree or ripping the gifts open, use a squirt bottle and spray them, and they will leave. You may also lure the cat out with a treat. - Make sure your pet does not drink the water in the stand under the tree. Continued NEXT PAGE

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Around the House: - Keep harmful foods away from your pet. Pets should not eat fatty or spicy foods as they can cause an upset stomach or a life threatening illness.  Make sure all foods are safely out of reach to avoid any deadly emergencies. - Keep pets away from dangerous holiday plants. There are several plants that can cause illness in dogs and cats. Beware of your Holly, Mistletoe, and the beautiful Poinsettia.  Holiday Party Hints: - If you plan to have a party, make sure your guests pick up the food on the table and make sure they do not share their holiday treats with your pets. Drinking cups (especially the cups filled with alcohol) should be placed out of reach. - Try to create a safe environment for your pets during parties. Make sure your pet can go to a safe, quiet place with a bowl of fresh water during a party. Not all pets are “Party” animals. - Most important of all – make sure your pet does not get outside. Your pet should be put in a crate or in a room with a gate, to prevent him from slipping outside when your company leaves to go home.  - Remember to always keep your pet collared with tags, so your pet can be easily identified. Notify your neighbors you are having a party so they can call if they see your pet unattended. Just a little training and treats makes a holiday special, fun and enjoyable for everyone.  Monroe’s K9 Academy is proud to offer Maintenance Care to all senior citizens, Veterans, and disabled clients on their canine friends. Winter 2014 17

Winter Tips for Our Feline Friends Jennifer Lesser, DVM- Norwich, VT


s you get home from work, a swirl of cold winter air announces your arrival, waking your feline housemate. She does not share your motivation to leave the warm indoor comforts. Being a cat, she almost imperceptibly acknowledges your return, takes a deep breath and resumes her nap snuggled deeply in your favorite sweater. Even for cats who normally savor the adventure of being outdoors, icy ground and single digit temperatures generally dissuade all but the most avid feline hunters. Being indoors is warm and cozy. Cats adapt to winter. They create pastimes, such as puppeteering you the owner (who owns whom?) to present the “right” food. “Hm, tuna, chicken, salmon, rabbit or liver? Shredded pate on dry kibble, please.” Working up an appetite climbing screens, mauling a pillow, cruising the kitchen counter for crumbs, and attacking your slippers as you wander the kitchen: it’s all in the hunt. Cats are playful, intelligent, social creatures who thrive on mental and physical stimulation. These needs require attention, whether the Winter finds kitty temporarily or permanently inside. Food dispensing toys are great, either do-it-yourself, like a plastic container inside plastic container, each with holes, or purchased from West Lebanon Supply. Kibble designed to minimize dental plaque is a great filler for these games. Look for Tartar Shield treats, Purina DM, Hills T/D or Royal Canin dental prescription kibble. Another favorite toy is the Panic Mouse, a battery operated chase/hunt game. Or, place a ping-pong ball in an empty bathtub -more entertaining for you or the cat, who knows? Cats love to hunt: feed this desire by allowing her to hunt for food hidden in random nooks of your house. If your cat is enjoying outdoor time Continued NEXT PAGE

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during the winter days (and why not?), you should bring her inside by nightfall. Great Horned Owls, coyotes, foxes, fishers, and even malicious people and automobiles pose nighttime threats. Given a choice, foxes are less likely to chase a nimble rabbit than to nab a docile and well-fed house cat, more calories for less energy. Beyond being odoriferous, skunks, along with raccoons, bats and foxes may also carry the rabies virus. These potential traumas, plus poisons such as antifreeze, frostbite, and infectious diseases, are very real concerns for cats who spend the night outside. In addition to fun activities and shelter from the cold and predators, please feed your kitty well. Cats thrive on canned food, though (being cats!) some felines insist on only eating crunchy kibble. Cats are true carnivores; the optimal diet is a commercial cat food high in protein and moisture. Lower on the scale are colorful food and treats made from corn meal and red dye number 30. . . Though if you add green 55 and yellow 28, you may have Fruit Loops, which my kids think are yummy! Winter is a less active time, so be vigilant about overfeeding. Your veterinarian and local feed store are both happy to help, and would gladly provide advice. Whether your cat found you on a walk, at the Humane Society, through a friend, or was flown in from Russia --yes, this happens-- he needs a bit of special care during these winter months. Even in winter, watch for fleas; ours is on preventative year-round. Test annually for intestinal parasites, consult your vet to establish the best vaccination schedule, and examine kitty’s mouth for inflammation and bad breath: cats are prone to dental disease. Oh yes, and give them lots of love! Cats return it in spades.

Caring Tips:

• Keep kitty active during indoor Winter months • Moderate feeding if your cat is less active • Keep cats indoors at night • Fleas are a problem year-round, use a good preventative • Canned foods and tartar-preventing treats are great for nutrition, kidney health, and dental health, areas for vigilance in all cats Dr. Lesser is happily settled in Norwich with her three children who attend the wonderful Marion Cross Elementary. Following her work with the Human Genome Project, she earned her veterinary doctoral degree in May 2000. Norwich Regional Animal Hospital is owned by Dr. Lesser and further supported by Dr. David Sobel, DVM, MRCVS and surgical specialist Dr. Paul Howard, DVM, DACVS whose work is made possible by a highly valued staff. Winter 2014 19

Teaching Kids About Cats

A family cat can bring endless joy to a household, but it is important to teach children of all ages how to appropriately interact with their furry friend.

Whereas with older children you can have a simple conversation, younger children often have a harder time grasping how to properly handle and play with a cat. Younger children are more likely to unintentionally play rough and take their frustrations out on people or pets. If your children are too young to understand spoken instructions on “playing nice” then your best bet is to lead by example.

Teach Your Child Respect Teaching your child to respect all creatures is a gift for both child and cat.  You know when your cat is scared or overwhelmed. Let your child know the cat wishes to be left alone, not touched when sleeping, and to respect the kitty’s feelings.

Play Modeling the behavior you want will show your child how to “play nice.” Have your child watch you play and speak gently to the cat. Then have them do it as you supervise.

Safety Showing your child how to handle the cat will keep them both safe. Explain that cats do not feel secure when ‘big people’ suddenly pick them up. If age appropriate, show them the proper way to pick up and hold your cat with their arm under the cat’s bottom. Explain that this should only be done when you are there to supervise.

Care Letting your child help care for your cat by giving her/him age appropriate tasks will allow the two to form a bond. Even a very young child can help with feeding when supervised. Make sure to let your child know what you are doing and why it is important. For more information visit

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Sweet Potato Pie Samantha Bubar

W hen I first saw her, I had no idea what to expect. She was much big-

Found naturally in the Australian Desert, Bearded Dragons came to the U.S. in the 1990's

ger than any reptile I had ever held, and her previous owner informed me that he couldn’t handle her, because she was aggressive. Nevertheless, she was coming home with me. As soon as she was in my hands, she wrapped her arms around my fingers, and that was it. She had found her forever home. I had no idea what the next few weeks had in store, and I’m sure, neither did she.  She had been relinquished due to lack of funds for proper care, and aggressive behavior. From her original owner she went to a temporary home, where she was housed with other similarly sized female bearded dragons. While there, she wasn’t aggressive and was handled with no issues. After a short time living in her temporary home, she was relocated to my house. The first night “Spaz” came home went off without a hitch. She was dirty, skinny and cautious of her new home and new tank. She was content being tucked in my sweatshirt or wrapped in a blanket on the couch. I was smitten. Whatever obstacles I had to face with this sweet girl would be worth it. It couldn’t be that bad, right? Throughout the next week, she got progressively feistier, as she began to settle into her new home. Feeling more comfortable and secure with her surroundings, she would puff up her beard and turn black any time I would reach in to feed or hold her. What I noticed was not aggression, but complete and utter fear. She backed herself into a corner, puffed up and hissing, black beard and eyes wide, daring me to touch her. I did just that. Every time she’d respond in fear, I’d pet her beard and the top of her head while talking to her calmly as she carried on. I made sure my hands were always in front of her, and never directly above her, and within minutes she would calm down. Once she was out of fight or flight mode, she would let me gently lift her out of her tank and onto my chest, where she would burrow into my shoulder. Patience and determination helped us over that first hurdle.  Continued PAGE 23

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I spent hours those first few weeks sitting by her tank, talking to her and petting her. When I wasn’t sitting next to her tank talking to her, I was going about my daily routines with her tucked in my sweatshirt. After a month with proper lights, and well rounded meals, she had put on weight, and lightened up considerably in color (a sign of a healthy stressfree dragon). I had given up her old name, and started lovingly calling her Potato, as a joke at first. But Potato stuck, and as she started to come into her own, the name fit her exceedingly well. When she wasn’t tucked away in my sweatshirt observing her new world from a safe place, she was lounging in her tank or in the window; much like a “couch potato”. Now she enjoys her days in a spacious tank in my living room. She will cause a scene if I sit on the couch without her, scratching at the glass and staring at me, until I take her out. At which point she instantly falls asleep in my lap for as long as I will let her. On sunny days, she ventures from her spot on my lap, over to the window to nap in the sun and periodically watch

Winter 2014

the neighborhood. On some Saturdays she runs errands with me, and gladly lets any curious onlooker hold or pet her. That alone is a huge milestone for her. Children and adults alike are fascinated, and sometimes grossed out, by her. It is such a joy seeing the reactions she gets. My favorite reaction was an elderly woman, who told me she didn’t even know “things like this” existed. Every day I am astounded with the progress Potato has made, and continues to make on a daily basis. She has the most loving and gentle soul and I am so thankful every day for the lessons she has taught me. Most prominently, the value of perspective. Those hours on end I spent sitting next to her tank, trying to see life from her perspective, not only gave me the tools I needed to see what her fears were, but also the clarity to see how I could best help her through them.  How such clarity and joy can be given through one small creature continues to amaze me. There is an abundance to learn from our animal companions, if only we take the time to see things from their perspective. 

Samantha Bubar, 24, of Barre, Vermont lives at home with two leopard geckos, three bearded dragons and a rat. With a degree in English and a passion for animals, she spends most of her free time writing, reading and caring for animals. She writes a weekly blog, Training Dragons, that can be found at 23

Rare Breeds of the Upper Valley A Man And His Otterhounds Karyn Swett- Plainfield, NH


Dedicated to Miss Sassy Sue

ast May, at the Upper Valley Humane Society Walk Pet event, 4 Legs & a Tail had a booth set up. Part way through the day, a man approached with two large, coarse-coated, handsome dogs that I had never seen before. When I asked about his dogs named Sassy Sue and Blaze, Russell told me about the rare status assigned to this breed of dog, known as the Otterhound. After giving me the historical background of the Otterhound, he suggested that our magazine could create a new column dedicated to the rare breeds of the Upper Valley - so here it is! First, a little history about the Otterhound. The breed origins date back to the 11th century, therefore the Otterhound is recognized as an old British breed, developed to hunt otters. Essentially, the modern day Otterhound found its origin and image within its 19th century cousin, so that is the Otterhound seen today in the 21st century. There are only about 600 - 800 of this vulnerable breed worldwide. This is a serious

situation, which the Otterhound Club of America and the Otterhound Club of Britain are striving to avoid, the reality that the Otterhound could cease to exist. In talking with Russell in his cozy cabin located in Canaan, NH, he informed me of some local history involving the Otterhound. Originally, the Otterhound found its way from Scotland to America via steam ship in 1903 as arranged by Henry Steele Wardner, who had visited Scotland in the early 1900’s and first brought this breed to North America. H.S. Wardner, was a Harvard alumnus and a lawyer for both a NYC based company and his family’s business, which happened to be based in Windsor, VT, where the Wardner’s had a summer home. His Otterhound kennel was created circa 1903, and existed till circa 1914 in Hartland, VT. He was one of the first Otterhound breeders, and had the first two AKC registered Otterhounds in the US. Those Otterhounds acquired the town name, to become known as The Hartland Otterhounds! 75 years later, in February of 1988, while Russell was viewing the Hound Group of the Westminster Dog Show, he saw Amanda in the show ring representing the Otterhound breed. Immediately, Russell knew this was the breed for him and couldn’t imagine his life without this rare breed in it! Shortly after Westminster Russell contacted the AKC (via phone), about Otterhound breeders that currently had Otterhound puppies. The Greyfield Kennel of Mt. Gretna, PA. had two pups remaining from the March litter of 1988, and Russsell became the proud owner of Shane. Eventually, one Otterhound was not enough for this man! 10 years later, the rescue aspect of the Otterhound Club became aware of seven Otterhounds that were in dire need of rescue and adopting to new homes, due to neglect. Two Otterhound Club members had a large role in this Otterhound rescue. All seven Otterhounds were driven to New Jersey. Russell drove to New Jersey in February of 1998 to adopt Ramona. He loved the sound of her name as it rolled off his tongue. A spot in Russell’s heart was filled with warmth and affection for Ramona - a sweet Otterhound gal that he came to cherish for the next 7 years. Since Shane and Ramona, Russell’s Otterhound family had grown to include a comical big boy named Duncan, and currently, his two loves, Sassy Sue and Blaze. Continued NEXT PAGE

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Russell on a hike with Duncan and Ramona in Canaan, NH

Otterhounds are even tempered and amiable and have a boisterous Johnny Depp howling bark. With their rough, oily double coat and webbed feet, they love the water. It’s not uncommon to find an Otterhound with its head submerged in a bucket of water. Russell points out that this is not a breed for clean, neat people. Messy faces and flying saliva is something only a true Otterhound fan will love! Otterhounds are loving and comedic, sure to bring joy and humor to your daily life!   If you have a rare breed please contact us at 4 Legs & a Tail. Russell lives in Canaan, NH with Sassy Sue and Blaze. If you would like more information on the Otterhound, please visit  If you are interested in getting to know an Otterhound, Russell can be reached at

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TAKING A BITE OUT OF OBESITY Millie Armstrong, DVM- Colchester, VT

A s a veterinarian, I see a lot of obese patients. One of my most recent

patients gained 12 pounds this past year. He could hardly get on the exam table, his belly was drooping to the floor. If he didn’t go on a diet soon, he was on the verge of developing very serious health risks, some of which might be life shortening. The patient, a beagle named Snoopy, should ideally weigh 25 pounds, but tipped the scales at 48. Fortunately, his human friends were willing to listen to my advice and we planned a course of action to regain Snoopy’s waistline. By his first weigh-in one month later, he had lost 2 pounds! As he continued to shed weight, he became

more active, more eager to be involved in family outings, and was a much happier member of the family. With animals, a common axiom is “Food is Love.” Unfortunately, people take this to the extreme and really pile on the love when it comes to the dinner bowl. Well-wishing friends add to the problem by saying, “One cookie won’t hurt him.” How accurate the phrase “killing them with kindness” can be. A recent survey of veterinarians indicates that between 25 to 44% of dogs are obese. The Body Condition Scoring Chart designed by Nestle-Purina makes it relatively simple to determine where pets fit into the scale of body condition. Looking at pets from above reveals a definite shape to the body. Ideally, this should be an hour glass, where the waistline indents nicely in front of the hips. Some pets are more tube-like, forming a long continuous shape from neck to hips. Others appear more round, bulging outwardly at the midsection. When petting these rotund animals, it is not possible to feel any features, like ribs, along the outside of the body. Some dogs will even develop proverbial “love handles!”

REASONS FOR PET OBESITY People feed their pets too much, and supplement their food with table scraps or fatty snacks. Many brands of lower cost pet food are full of fillers, animals can be overweight but nutritionally imbalanced. Some dogs and cats are driven to eat non-stop until they find the bottom of the food dish. Certain medical conditions can cause obesity in pets, such as hypothyroidism and Cushing’s disease. Health risks associated with obesity in pets are a major concern. Obese animals pose greater anesthetic risks during surgery. Fat buildup around the heart makes it harder for the heart to pump efficiently, potentially leading to cardiac arrest. Managing the health effects of obesity increases the costs of veterinary care. Painful back, hip, and joint problems are often treated with pain medications that carry risks of kidney and liver impairment. If pain cannot be controlled, euthanasia may have to be considered. As in people, obesity predisposes animals to diabetes, another disease that is potentially challenging to manage and increases the cost of care. Obese cats that stop eating for a few days, for whatever reason, risk developing fatty liver disease. This life threatening form of liver failure is often much more serious than the original problem that caused the cat to stop eating. An annual health exam performed by a veterinarian will identify areas of concern and determine if additional testing is necessary. Continued NEXT PAGE

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Use treats such as low-calorie biscuits, low fat rice cakes, hard vegetables or fruit. Do not feed grapes, raisins, onions or chocolate, as these can be toxic to pets. Exercise to burn off calories and increase “quality time” with your pet. Playing fetch, swimming, walking - all burn calories and keep the bones and joints in good working order. Cats can be more challenging to stimulate; feathers, ping-pong balls, catnip toys and laser lights will trigger outbursts of energy. (Do not play with strings, yarn or rubber bands, as these may be swallowed and lead to an obstruction in need of surgery.) Involving children in pet exercise and games adds to the enjoyment and instills a sense of responsibility. Do not expect great changes in 1-2 months. It is best to lose weight gradually over the course of 6-12 months to avoid drastic changes in metabolism. Regular weight checks will follow the course of success. If the weight is not coming off, adjustments can be discussed with the veterinarian. Once the weight is off, a maintenance-feeding program can be developed. Dr. Millie Armstrong is a small animal veterinarian at Petit Brook Veterinary Clinic in Colchester, VT. She is a member of the Vermont Veterinary Medical Association. For more information visit

HOW TO HELP YOUR PET LOSE WEIGHT Speak to your veterinarian about an appropriate course of action for your pet’s unique situation. Often, simply reducing the amount fed and replacing table snacks with appropriate low calorie treats will reduce the weight. Other tips include: Changing to a lower calorie weight loss diet. Mix the new food with the old food slowly to allow time for the pet to adjust to the new diet. Feed the amount of food specified for the animal’s ideal or target weight, not its current weight. Winter 2014 27

Silly Millie the Mastiff Talaia Thomas, LCMHC- Hardwick, VT


welve-year-old Ryan arrives at my door. Silly Millie stretched out on the floor, opens one eye and thumps her tail against the floor. Ryan looks at his watch, the wall clock, and then reaches in and closes the door between us. We wait. At 10:15 exactly he knocks on the door and I answer, “Come in.” The door swings open. “I want could I.” He stumbles on his words, closes the door and we start again. “Could I, I’d like…” A fumbling pause, and then he blurts out,“Walking the tiger is a fabulous idea, to walk the tiger.” I wait. “Please.” “Yes! Walking the tiger IS a fabulous idea. Will you take the stairs or the elevator today?” He looks at the calendar and counts the Mondays. “Third Mondays are stair days. Thank you.” “Rules?” I prompt. “Rules: no running. The tiger sits at top steps and bottom steps and doors and

crosswalk. Look both ways. Quiet voice.” “Perfect! Have a good walk.” He clips a leash to Silly Millie’s collar and they stroll down the hall. Mondays are Silly Millie days. Silly Millie the Mastiff. She’s one of those beauty is in the eye of the beholder - type dogs, safely out of the running for any canine MENSA award. She’s a slow moving brindle with floppy jowls and droopy eyes that make kids ask why she’s been crying. Silly Millie is the therapy office dog, still studying to be a genuine therapy dog, complete with certificate, vest, and scarf. For now she’s whatever people need her to be. Countless child-propelled Lego vehicles have climbed Dog Mountain and parked on Lookout Snout. Passengers have camped under ear-tents and solders have hidden in Armpit Cave. She’s been a pillow, a tear collector, and with her snoring and farting, a comic relief. When Alisa Smith called for counseling she cited depression and marital problems, a ten-year-old son with autism, and financial difficulties. I asked my usual intake questions: History of the problem? Treatment? Health insurance? Any pet fears or allergies? We scheduled for 10:00 AM Monday. Son Ryan would be in school. I heard the commotion before I saw them; Ryan’s high-pitched screeching and his mother’s pleads for him to stop hurting her. Silly Millie stretched a bit at the noise and thumped her tail against the floor. I met them in the hall, a crazed child flapping and clawing at his mother’s arms, and her in tears repeating, “I’m so sorry. I didn’t know what else to do.” Silly Millie pulled herself up and stood wagging her entire back end. There’s probably a right thing to do in this kind of situation, but instead I hollered Ryan’s name and when he didn’t respond, pried him off his mother. He darted by me, around Silly Millie, and into my office where he began dumping out Legos, toys, and art supplies. A colleague came and escorted Ryan’s mom to the bathroom while I attempted to help Ryan regain control. Instead, he dropped to the floor Continued PAGE 30

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shrieking and burrowing himself into the toys. Silly Millie, whose only speed is slow, moseyed toward Ryan and plopped down beside him. He continued to flail, though not at her. She began to crawl towards him and then flopped one giant paw across his hips. I reached to drag her away, but Ryan’s squawking stopped and his thrashing quieted. She nuzzled closer, her big brindle head resting just below his chin. Ryan began to giggle. “Grrrrr,” he growled. Laughter. “Tiger. Grrrr. Tiger. Grrr. Grrr. Grrr.” With autism experts financially out of reach we’ve fumbled along, developed a team, and learned through repetitions and mistakes. Ryan set a goal from himself: “To walk the tiger… Alone.” Two years and hundreds of dress rehearsals later Ryan and Silly Millie took their first solo walk. That was three months ago. Each Monday when Ryan comes for my dog I have to quiet the “what ifs” in my mind and allow the same trust that led us here, to prevail. They stroll down the hallway and I wait by the window to see them emerge from the building. Ryan’s usual arm flapping and rocking are gone with Silly Millie, and I’m reminded again that purely by existence, animals can solve what people cannot. Passersby have always gaped at Ryan and they continue to do so, but for a few minutes each Monday morning they are not staring at the autistic kid. Rather they are watching a boy with his dog. *Names and identifying information have been altered for reasons of confidentiality. Talaia Thomas is a licensed mental health counselor operating a private practice in Hardwick, VT and a crisis clinician in Washington County. For more information, Google her or call 802-279-8575.

Almost one of a kind. Kiva is a New Guniea Singing Dog living the good life in Bellows Falls. In 1995 only 300 of the breed remained. Photo by Amber Thomas, Bellows Falls

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“Treat” Your Dog Right


delweiss Bakery is also the home of House Woof Dog Biscuits. This small local business sits in a valley surrounded by the beautiful Green Mountains, in the quaint little village of Johnson, VT. For 20 plus years, Ralf and Ken, owners of Edelweiss Bakery, have provided the public with healthy baked goods. In 2010 they began making biscuit treats for their three Siberian Huskies. Sasha, Dakota, and Kayak were the inspirations that led them to create their healthy dog biscuit treats. Sasha came to them at 8 weeks old as a bundle of energy and high spirits. A year later they rescued Dakota, in his first year of life he had been placed in five different homes. A few months after Dakota they received a phone call about another pup needing rescue. This was Kayak, abandoned in the back yard of a home at four months old. Kayak was the Jester, free spirited with eyes that could capture the heart. Throughout their lives the huskies developed health conditions such as Liver cancer, Diabetes, Hypothyroidism, Onset Cushing’s Disease and Degenerative Myelitis. These health issues directed their quest to find a healthier diet and treats. Researching alternative diets, they began cooking the huskies’ meals and making their own treats. They feel that this change in diet allowed their three Fur Kids to live longer. The knowledge they gained trying to help them, has led to healthy and nutritious biscuit treats for all dogs, including Keysha & Struga. Keysha & Struga are their newest adopted Fur Kids. Keysha is an alumnus of Patriot Siberian Husky Rescue, and Struga was rehomed to them for not receiving the attention he deserved. Both now enjoy a fur-ever-home with all the love and care they need and deserve. The best compliments House Woof receives come from Keysha, Struga and all the dogs whose photos have been sent in. (Check out their Facebook page and website’s Photo Gallery) Not only do dogs love the taste of House Woof Biscuit treats, Guardians have even commented that they have been “human tested and approved.” Passion is in their Biscuit Treats. At House Woof Dog Biscuits, many ingredients are sourced from local Continued NEXT PAGE

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Keysha & Struga helping in the battle against canine epilepsy

organic farms, stores and orchards. This way they can see firsthand, the quality and freshness they are putting into their biscuit treats. This ensures that dogs will receive a treat full of quality and healthfulness from creation to consumption. They prepare each biscuit dough by hand in a small kettle adding ingredients such as hand shredded carrots, fresh sliced cranberries, blackstrap molasses, homemade organic applesauce, all natural and organic peanut butter, Clover honey and spring water. They use just enough high quality steel cut oats to bind everything together creating the perfect balance of flavor for your dog. In their line of biscuit treats, House Woof has the “Gibbie Snack,” a treat especially formulated for dogs living with epilepsy. Gibson, a dog who lives with epilepsy is the namesake of this treat made from oatmeal, cooked green beans, carrots, sweet potato, zucchini, fresh parsley and a lean beef puree’. Epileptic dogs have to watch their salt intake due to the sodium bromide they need to take for epilepsy. There is no added salt in the Gibbie Snack or in any of their biscuit treats. House Woof never uses Rosemary, which is found in many biscuit treats. Rosemary acts as a neurotoxin, triggering seizures, neurological problems and anemia. House Woof donates $1.00 for every bag of Gibbie Snacks sold from their Web Store, to The Wally Foundation (for canine epilepsy). Keysha’s alma mater, Patriot Siberian Husky Rescue, has a biscuit assortment named after them called “The Patriot Blend,” it includes Growlnola Bark Bars, Vermont Apple K-9 Crisp Stix, and Paw-Nut Butter Biscuit treats. For every Patriot Blend sold from the Web Store, Winter 2014

House Woof donates $1.00 to Patriot Siberian Husky Rescue. They are also developing a grain free biscuit treat. They have created a few different personal batches for Keysha & Struga to see how their sniffers and taste buds react. They are getting close. One favorite ingredient is oven roasted sweet potato. House Woof biscuit treats are made in small batches, and baked at low temperatures to maintain nutritional integrity. This assures every Guardian that their Dog will be receiving a biscuit treat essentially made just for them. House Woof Dog Biscuits wants to provide a biscuit treat that is healthy, nutritious and gives value to your Dog for better healthy living. They ship to all 50 States and all APO addresses. Should you be visiting the Johnson area, stop by Edelweiss Bakery, Home of House Woof Dog Biscuits at 325 Lower Main Street West. Visit them on Facebook, or at 33

Training Vs Creating a Well Balanced Dog Paula Bergeron- Grafton, NH


very dog owner would like a well behaved dog. Many go the extra mile attending dog training classes to help achieve good behavior. Although your dog can sit, lay down, and come when called, they continue to struggle with their dog’s unwanted antics. Why does this happen? Often it is because your dog has an upset in the balance of their physical body, instinctual body, intellectual body, or emotional body. It is up to us to help them create a better balance. Creating a well balanced dog means providing our dogs adequate opportunities to fulfill their physical, instinctual, mental and emotional needs. I wish I could provide a handy checklist of what these needs are. Owners could carefully go down the list, confident that they are now giving their dogs everything they need to be happy, confident, and capable of living peacefully in a human environment. However, dealing with any living creature means embracing individuality, as well as change. Breed, puppy socialization, previous history, and basic temperament create individual needs. As a dog grows and ages, what they need for a healthy well balanced life also changes, requiring owners to remain mindful throughout their lifespan. The challenge in moving our mindset from training our dogs, to creating a well balanced dog, is the amount of energy, patience, time, and attention required. Training is an event. There is a clear beginning, a clear goal, and a clear end; my dog learned to sit‌.done. Creating balance is a lifelong process that challenges us as owners to continually observe how our dogs move in the world. Most of us have a good understanding of the physical needs of our dogs: nutriContinued PAGE 36

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tious food, clean water, exercise, good rest and relaxation, responsible veterinary care, and end of life decisions are monitored and supplied. Instinctual needs are more difficult for us as humans. Dogs are animals living in a human environment. Therefore, we need to provide our dogs with healthy ways to fulfill their instincts, whether it be to herd, track, pull, run, climb or swim; the list goes on. Research your dogs breed and see what routines you can develop to help fulfill your dogs genetic purpose. Most humans ignore a dog’s intellectual needs. Canines are much smarter than we give them credit for. When they spend 8 hours indoors sleeping while we are at work, they either shutdown their brain for the duration, or act on their instinctual natures and chew, run, dig, or otherwise destroy our home and yards. It is important to engage our dogs’ minds to alleviate some of these frustration behaviors. This is where training can be incredibly useful. Challenge your dog and yourself with traditional training and beyond, with activities such as agility, nose work, therapy, or doing simple helpful tasks around the yard, such as placing branches on your wood or dump pile. For our dogs to have stable and well balanced emotional health they need more than just our love. Dogs need a strong leader, structure, boundaries, socialization, fun, companionship; And love. Incorporate leadership exercises in your everyday living, such as requiring your dog to walk beside you on the leash, or standing behind you when waiting to go out, eating after you have eaten, or requiring them to get permission to get on the couch. These activities provide some of the structure your dog needs, to feel secure enough to bond with you, and then be able to share in your love. When you rescue, purchase, or adopt a dog you are making a lifelong commitment to provide for them, and in turn they bring you unlimited companionship and pleasure. Training your dog is one step in assuring that you and your dog will have a strong bond, but to help establish life-long good behavior, we need to let training be a launching point in creating a healthy, happy, well balanced dog! Good luck and have fun.

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Paula Bergeron and the gang at Good Dogma embrace a holistic approach to bringing balance to your dog’s behavioral issues. Exercise, training, relaxation, grooming, play, socialization and energy healing are incorporated into your dog’s routine. Winter 2014

The Skunk Guy

in a nearby stream. To commemorate this wonderful time they had planted two birch trees. Well those @#$% beavers chewed down the birches and were flooding their yard. He wanted them dead and gone. “Oh, and by the way, we think there is a fisher cat eyeing our housecat. We want him gone too!” Wildlife are opportunists. They will go where there is a food supply and safety. Remember this when planning your garden or feeding the birds. Scott Borthwick owns Estate Wildlife Control. He lives in Canaan, N.H. with his wife Donna, two dogs, two horses, and one tough old chicken named Henrietta.

Scott Borthwick

A few years ago my wife and I attended a “Robbie Burns Dinner” at the

Hotel Coolidge in White River Junction, VT. We were seated at table with four other couples who we did not know. To break the ice, we went around the table and introduced ourselves. There was a Doctor, a Lawyer, a Professor, and a Teacher. When it was my turn I announced that I was the “Skunk Guy,” much to my wife’s dismay. There was an uncomfortable silence for a moment when someone asked what I meant. I explained my profession as a Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator, the guy who removes unwanted skunks, woodchucks, squirrels, bats, etc. There was another uncomfortable silence when someone said, “I have something digging under my deck,” and so it went. With more and more people moving into rural areas, and less and less people hunting or trapping, this has become a fulltime job. Everyone wants to feed the birds which attracts skunks, raccoons, squirrels, opossums, chipmunks, mice, and of course bears. Most people want a nice garden which attracts woodchucks, skunks, and deer or they want livestock which attract coyotes, foxes, mink, raccoons, weasels, bears, and fisher. Some want a pond or brook which attracts beavers, some fill the pond with trout which attracts otters and mink. But still, everyone says wildlife is great, just not in my yard, my pond, my garden, my house, etc. So you see, it is a full time job. Not everyone likes what I do, so I ask them all the same question. What mammal moves into an area, changes it for their own use, and then leaves when all they want is depleted? Most shout, “mankind” but the answer is the beaver. Fall is when I get the most calls for beaver problems. This is when they are fixing their lodges, dams and building their winter feed piles. A customer called one year to tell me how wonderful the summer had been. While they were building their dream home, the beavers were building theirs Winter 2014 37

Parasite Prevention in the Winter: Why should we? Colrain Balch, DVM- Pleasant Lake Veterinary Hospital, Elkins, NH


s the leaves fell from the trees and we prepared for the inevitable frozen winter months, it is difficult to imagine that tiny little creatures such as fleas, ticks and other parasites could possibly be an active threat to our pets and ourselves. They are nevertheless, sources of disease, which we should remain aware of


Ixodes scapularis, also known as the black legged tick or the deer tick is well established throughout the Northeast. These ticks are responsible for the transmission of both Lyme and Anaplasma diseases to dogs and humans alike. These ticks are astoundingly hardy creatures. Adult deer ticks are able to stay actively feeding throughout the winter months, so long as it remains above or at least near freezing temperatures. Ticks are cold-blooded creatures which means that the ambient temperature greatly influences their activity. At below freezing temperatures, they do not look for food sources, but this does not mean they are dead. It does not take much of a thaw to make these creatures wake up and think about feeding.


Likewise, fleas are a persistent parasite. They have multiple lifecycles which makes them very resistant to a variety of environments. These lifecycles can be hiding in a multitude of places, most commonly where animals sleep. For animals that go outdoors, this could be anywhere that they have found to stay warm and safe against the cold, such as a cozy corner in the barn or a quiet spot under the porch. They can then get reinfected and bring fleas back into the house, where they are more than happy to move in! Continued NEXT PAGE

Dog is God Spelled Backwards By Hunter Dan

Rug Depot

Dog is God when you turn it around. One is worshipped in heaven, the other on the ground. One you can see, the other you can’t. One speaks silently, the other just pants. They both unconditionally love and they do not judge. You can cross either one and they won’t hold a grudge. One can always see you, the other may just stare. Be kind to both and they will always be there. God is his name, it will never change. A dog you can call anything no matter how strange. One watches over you, the other will follow you. There’s no greater loyalty than what you will receive from these two. They are both very different, yet very much the same. One can punish you, the other takes the blame. God you can’t see, you know he’s always there. A dog will nap next to you while you’re sitting in the chair. A dog you can teach tricks. They can do so many things. God teaches you when you pass how to use your wings. Dan Hamel lives in Hartland, VT. Framed copies of Dog is God Spelled Backwards can be purchased at Mike Mobil in Hartland, VT.

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The battle against parasites has become a year round fight

Intestinal parasites

Fleas can also transmit tapeworms to your pets thus giving your dog or cat an internal parasite infection, on top of getting chewed on by the fleas. With the ground frozen and likely covered in snow, there are certainly less opportunities for your animals to contract most intestinal worms. It is not, however, impossible. All it takes is exposure to fecal matter from an infected animal. If your animal is in contact with other dogs, cats or wild animals, that is always a possibility.


Mosquitoes are likely the parasite most susceptible to the cold. True, one may see the occasional one in the house or outside during a January thaw, but in general we can count on a break from these little blood suckers while the snow is on the ground. So why worry about giving heartworm prevention at this time? There are two good reasons to do so. The first is that there is growing evidence of resistance to some heartworm preventive medications. It is currently recommended by the American Heartworm Society to keep pets on preventives year-round to help prevent further resistances from developing. The second reason is that most heartworm preventives also contain a dewormer for intestinal parasites. As previously mentioned, there is still a small risk in winter of an animal contracting these parasites, so administering the heartworm medication can address both of these concerns.


Thinking about these nasty little creatures is never a fun activity, especially when we all have a long list of winter preparation steps to accomplish before the temperature drops. To keep us all healthy, however, it is important not to neglect these health measures for our animals. It will make cozying up with them by the fire all the more enjoyable. Dr. Balch is a graduate of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and is an associate veterinarian at Pleasant Lake Veterinary Hospital. Pleasant Lake Veterinary Hospital is owned by Dr. Mona Stedman who is certified in Veterinary Acupuncture. Winter 2014 39

Your Horse is Your Greatest Healer By Kat Barrell, Call of the Wild Energy Therapy


hat I have come to know in my work is that horses are extraordinary healers. There is no other land animal that can work as effectively with the complexity of the human species like an equine. They have the strongest intuitive sense and are acutely aware of energies in their environment and with other beings, whether an animal or a human. I heard a statistic from one of my mentors that has stuck with me: there are more horses on the planet now than there were in the days when humans relied on horses for transportation and work. This is not surprising when you think about their role as healer. They are here to help us wake up from our traumas and distractions. When I take dowsing readings for my clients, nine times out of ten the reason why a horse is in their owner’s life is to help that person with their life

purpose. We all have a mission we came here to accomplish – a goal that helps to further the evolution of our planet. The horse knows what that mission is and has arrived purposefully to help you achieve it. Some come only for a short time and others are part of your story for a longer period. What I know deeply though, is that they understand you better than you understand yourself. I’d like to take this one concept of horse as healer one step further. Consider that the horse acts as a mirror for what is going on within you, bringing forth what most needs to be healed and cleared. An example of this, was a rider who was quite nervous and anxious around her horse. She believed that the problems were with the horse because of his background. After working with the equine Continued NEXT PAGE

When a horse comes into their own joy, there is nothing that can stand in their way.

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Spirit Sioux is the most powerful equine healer I have worked with to-date. I watched her put her hind end directly up to her rider’s heart to help her release whatever most needed to be cleared. You can tell when release is happening because the horse yawns repeatedly, shakes the body or head, or sometimes rolls on the ground.

and then subsequently working with her, we came to understand together that her beloved equine partner was simply trying to help her overcome her fears. He kept putting up roadblock after roadblock until she had nowhere else to look but inward. As soon as she began to see herself diffeently and face her challenges head-on, he felt more confident to take risks that had once seemed impossible. Suddenly training in new disciplines and taking on obstacles in a cross-country course became effortless. I’ve seen another beautiful example of this concept with a horse that was extremely anxious and high-strung. Once his human partner discovered what her role was in the relationship and that her horse was feeding off of her anxiety around a certain issue, then the whole cycle stopped. They have come into deep harmony with one another and she can literally feel the healing that he provides to her. He has also been attuned to Reiki so she receives the benefits of Reiki while riding, which causes her anxiety to lessen, causing him to feel more relaxed…round and round it goes in a most perfect cycle. Once we begin to understand that the horse is part of our healing, we start to see that there is no “problem” with them that needs to be fixed. Instead, we can look inward to find what is broken within us, allow the healing to happen and the rest flows easily. I have seen this happen with many of my clients – whether in a human/ equine partnership or in a human/ human relationship. We all act as mirWinter 2014

rors for one another. I bow deeply to my equine friends in respect of the great gifts they can teach us if we listen. There is no need to fear what is holding you back – your horse doesn’t judge you. They want to help you. If an issue keeps coming up again and again, you can bet that they are trying to show you something within yourself that is blocking forward momentum. Once you allow them the opportunity to work with you to release your blocks they will know their work is complete. Then, you will be gifted with seeing them shine like never before. Kat Barrell is the owner of Call of the Wild Energy Therapy based out of Newport, NH. Kat works with animals and humans to bring natural healing through hands-on energy work, dowsing and tools such as crystals, essential oils and flower essences.To find out more, visit 41


A Guide to Buying a Horse Blanket

lanket season is here again and choosing the right one can be a bit overwhelming. Let’s make the process less complicated by answering some of the more common questions about horse blankets.


Deciding on whether you should purchase a stable blanket or a turnout sheet would depend on whether or not you need a waterproof blanket. Stable blankets are NOT waterproof, and are typically used when your horse is kept in the barn. They feature a center seam and rump darts that give it a contoured design. Full hoods are also available. Sold separately from the blanket purchase, they help provide complete coverage for horses that are usually body clipped. Turnout blankets and sheets are waterproof and can be found in two types available: Standard and Combo. Standard turnout blankets provide coverage from the withers to the tail. Combo or Detach-A-Neck blankets provide coverage from just behind the ears to the tail. The designs of a turnout blanket or sheet are more “drape” like and roomier, allowing for better coverage protection against the weather.

2. “HOW DO I KNOW IF THE BLANKET WILL HELP KEEP MY HORSE WARM ENOUGH?” The answer to this question is dependent on how much fill is in the blanket. This determines how warm the blanket should be. The fill can be either Polyfill or Fiberfill and is measured in grams. The higher the weight number, the warmer the blanket will be. Determining a desirable weight depends on your horse’s environment and the condition of your horse’s coat. Besides the climate, also keep in mind whether your horse grows a light or heavy coat, is body clipped mid-winter, is turned out with or without shelter, or kept in a barn. These are all factors in determining which blanket fill to choose. We’ve provided two charts for you to reference to help you determine what would fit your needs best.



Sheet - No fill 100 Gram Fill 150 Gram Fill 200 Gram Fill 250 Gram Fill 300 Gram Fill 400 Gram Fill

Provides protection from the wind and rain Light Warmth Light/Medium Warmth Medium Warmth Medium/Heavy Warmth Heavy Warmth Extra Heavy Warmth




50-60 Degrees


Light Blanket (100g)

40-50 Degrees

Light Blanket (100g)

Light/Medium Blanket (150g-250g)

30-40 Degrees

Light/Medium Blanket (150g-250g)

Medium/Heavy Blanket (200-300g)

20-30 Degrees

Medium/Heavy Blanket (200-300g)

Heavy(300-400g) or Medium (200-300g) with Blanket Liner

Below 20 Degrees

Heavy (300-400g)

Heavy (300-400g) with Blanket Liner


Well, we can’t always guarantee that your horse’s blanket won’t get caught on a board, or that one of its pasture friends won’t think of his new blanket as a chew toy. One thing to consider is the turnout blanket’s outer shell. Also known as “denier”, this strength is determined by the thread’s thickness; the higher the denier number is, the stronger the material strength will be.

DENIER 210 420 600 1200 1680 2100

STRENGTH Very Light Strength Light Strength Medium Strength Heavy Strength Extra Heavy Strength Super Heavy Strength


To answer this question, you will need to measure your horse; this task is much easier when done with the help of a second person. You will also need a flexible tape measure, which helps you get the most accurate measurement possible. Continued PAGE 44

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Winter 2014 43

First, start by standing your horse as square as possible on a flat, even surface. Next, place the Start Take Final tape measure at the Measuring Measurment center of the horse’s Here Here chest, over the high point of the shoulder. With the tape measure held in place on the chest, run it alongside the horse’s body until you reach the rear of the hind leg. For the most accurate measurement, keep the tape as straight as possible along the side of the body without following the contours of the horse’s body. If the length falls on a size not offered by the blanket company, then simply round up to the next available size being offered.

5. “I RECEIVED MY BLANKET, BUT HOW CAN I TELL IF IT FITS MY HORSE PROPERLY?” We recommend placing a thin, clean stable sheet on your horse to keep the blanket in new condition, just in case the fit isn’t just right. Now you’ll want to check if the blanket fits properly. • First, place the blanket on the horse and fasten the chest straps so the fabric overlaps at the chest. It should be snug here, but not tight. • Next, fasten the surcingles and adjust to fit loosely on the horse’s stomach with about four fingers width between belly and straps. • Finally, fasten and adjust the leg straps so you can only fit a hand’s width between each leg strap on your horse’s thighs.


Once the blanket is on your horse, check the length and the fit on the front.

LENGTH - To check the length, stand behind the horse and gently bring the two ends toward one another against the horse’s rump. Try not to pull the blanket out of place as you are doing this. If the ends meet on the horse’s tail, the blanket is too large. If you cannot bring them together at all or if you can see more than 2-3 inches of the horse’s rump on either side of the tail, then the blanket is too small. The end of the blanket should stop just above where the tail starts. WIDTH - The best way to check the fit of the blanket is to watch your horse walk while wearing it. As your horse is moving forward, observe the shoulders. If the blanket fabric pulls tightly against the shoulder to the point of possibly impeding movement, then the blanket is too snug. If the blanket drops very low at the shoulder or chest, then the neck opening and/or the blanket is too large.

7. “HOW DO I CLEAN MY HORSE’S BLANKET?” The best way to clean your horse’s blanket is to wash it with a mild detergent and then hang to dry.

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Submitted by Bill Healey from Winter 2014

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

A s a pet owner, you want your pet to receive the highest-quality veteri-

nary care. You want them to have treatment as sophisticated and compassionate as you might receive yourself. You’re not alone. Today’s veterinarians realize that pet owners are very knowledgeable, and expect a more advanced level of care. Why should you consider compounding as a solution for your pet’s medical problems? That can be answered with another question: how hard is it to get your cat to swallow a pill?

fruit-flavored, concentrated solution. By working closely with your veterinarian, a compounding pharmacist can prepare medicines in easy-to-give flavored dosage forms that animals happily devour, whether your pet is a cat, dog, bird, ferret, or snake.

Solving Dosage Problems

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

is exactly right for your pet’s size and condition.

Commercially Unavailable Medicine

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

Veterinary compounding – making medication a treat for your pet.

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

The Compounding Solution

As any pet owner is well aware, animals can be extremely difficult to treat with medications. Cats are notorious for refusing to swallow pills, and usually will eat right around one disguised in food. Dosages can be very tricky with dogs – a dose of medication that works for an 80-pound Golden Retriever may be far too much for a six-pound Yorkie to handle. Large and exotic pets pose many unique medication challenges. A compounding pharmacist is equipped to help them all! Cats, Dogs, Horses, Rabbits, Birds, Ferrets and Reptiles. Even animals in zoos and aquariums!

Flavored Medicine

The pet who refuses to take medication because of the taste is a prime opportunity for compounding. Cats don’t like pills, but they do like tuna. Dogs don’t appreciate a traditional solution of medication being squirted into their mouth, but they’ll take it gladly when it’s flavored with meat or part of a tasty biscuit or treat. Birds cannot take large volumes of liquid medication, but they will accept a small dose of a tasty, Winter 2014 45

What are Bladder Stones and How Can They Affect My Cat? Elisa Speckert

O ne of the most common complaints we receive is about inappropriate

feline urination. Many pet owners who do not have personal experience with this issue assume that most inappropriate feline urinating is done by unneutered males who are “spraying” or “marking” their territory inside the house. Although this does occur, there are several other causes for inappropriate urination. One cause of this difficult behavior is bladder stones. Bladder stones are also called uroliths, and are essentially minerals that have collected together inside the bladder. Bladder stones can combine to form a single, large, rock-like structure or can appear like grains of sand or any size inbetween. In addition to inappropriate urinations, owners may also observe straining, frequent trips to the litter box, vocalization while urinating or blood in the urine. In some cases stones may pass from the bladder into the urethra and cause a partial or complete obstruction. In this situation urine is unable to leave the bladder - this is an emergency situation that requires immediate veterinary treatment! Although all cats can develop bladder stones, young, neutered, overweight male cats are at the highest risk for becoming blocked. It is not clear exactly how these stones form, but the most favored theory involves possible abnormalities in the diet, previous bladder disease or bacterial infection. All cats who are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with possible bladder stones should have a urine sample analyzed by their veterinarian. This can help to identify the possible presence of urinary crystals (which can sometimes lead to bladder stones) as well as the presence of a urinary tract infection. However, the definitive diagnosis of bladder stones is typically done with a radiograph (x-ray). Since the majority of stones are visible on an x-ray this is the Continued NEXT PAGE

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most common means for diagnosis. In rare cases, bladder stones composed of certain materials cannot be seen on a radiograph and require an ultrasound for diagnosis. The only way to remove the symptoms associated with bladder stones is by removing them completely. The best way to do this is through surgery. Surgery consists of an abdominal incision as well as an incision into the bladder where the stones are removed and the bladder is flushed clean. For some animals, however, surgery is not an option. In these cases owners may choose to feed their cat a special prescription diet that may be effective in dissolving the stones. The diet works very slowly, and does not work on all types of stones. Additionally, not all cats will eat this prescription diet. In some cases prevention of bladder stones may be possible by feeding your cat a prescription diet prophylactically, especially if your cat is prone to urinary problems. Some of the most common types of urinary prescription diets are Royal Canin Urinary SO, and Hills Prescription Diet c/d. If you suspect that your cat may have bladder stones or any other type of urinary problem or disease, please contact your veterinarian.

Dempsey lovin' the winter! He's 15 and has hiked most of the mountains in Vermont. Photo by Tim Gould of Woodstock

Elisa has been working as a veterinary technician for the last six years. She lives in White River Junction with her son, three dogs, cat and hedgehog. She works at River Road Veterinary Clinic in Norwich, VT, a full-service veterinary clinic providing quality care for your dog, cat, rabbit, reptile, bird, horse, cow, goat and more!

Winter 2014 47

My Dog, My Teacher I

By Amos L. Johnson

’m losing patience. Traffic used to be daydreaming time. Now it’s one more thing in my way. Is it today’s world? Is it me? Whatever the reason, I’m becoming one more grump on the roadways. But not my dog! His name is Lestat. He’s 1/4 Poodle, 1/4 Maltese and 1/2 Schipperke; I call him my Multipooski. He’s black with a gorgeous unclipped tail and the patience of a redwood. His muzzle is turning gray, but he has not developed the grumps. No one would blame him if he did, he’s got cause. When Lestat was two, we were in a car accident, hitting black ice on I-89. My partner and I were unhurt. Lestat, however, needed surgery to his dislocated right rear leg. The surgery involved cutting off the ball of his femur, allowing the bone to return to the hip socket. Over time, the bone would wear a “new ball”. We were relieved. Lestat would be Ok. Lestat always had two speeds - stop and full bore. A slower back leg didn’t suit him. He healed well, but he didn’t want to use the injured leg. We did daily stretching exercises, and learned a new command, “leg down.” He would walk on it, but I had to make him. If he wanted to run, he’d pick up the bad leg and race away on the other three. For him three legs were better than four. For years he’d use his fourth leg a little and I’d try to make him use it more. Finally, when he stopped, he put the bad leg down. He discovered his fourth leg for balance. He’d figured it out. No complaint. No fuss. He’s all heart - determined, focused, and happy. If he could talk, would he express deep frustration? I don’t think so. Last year’s physical uncovered a “significant heart murmur.” After an Echocardiogram, he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and put on heart medicine. Weeks later, gasping for his breath, we rushed him to SAVES, the 24hr animal hospital. SAVES put him in a special kennel with oxygen. It helped. He stabilized. Medicine was increased and another added. He seemed OK, but we were worried. A couple of weeks later, he collapsed. He dropped onto his side, his legs jerking out straight, seizing for a moment, it was horrible. Back at the hospital they put him back in the special kennel. He’d suffered a syncope, a seizure caused because Continued Next Page

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relaxed and the better he seemed. He didn’t go back to the vet, we stayed at home. He became our dog again. The vet increased his medicine one more time and since then he’s been good. He’s an old man, but when the mood strikes he runs, rolls, begs or barks. He’s our spoiled, happy dog. Pill time is his favorite time of day. I can’t imagine he understands that his medicine is keeping him alive. What he knows is that twice a day, he sits in my lap and watches me wrap 4 pills in a minimal amount of liverwurst - all for him! He gets treats twice a day. I stopped in to refill Lestat’s prescriptions. Statia, she’s a vet assistant at Stonecliff Animal Clinic, asked how he was doing. Statia’s wit and kindness were an island of calm during Lestat’s health crisis. I told her he was doing great. She said, “He’s a trooper. He has 3 legs and half a heart, and he just keeps going.” So you see, it’s not just me. He’s a little Buddha. Lestat, counting his blessings in White River Jct. I hope someday I can apply his lessons to his heart wasn’t pumping enough blood He was worried, I was worried. He my traffic issues. Meanwhile, I’m just glad to his brain. The vet increased and added wasn’t bad enough to go back to the vet, he’s my dog - that he’s still my dog. but he wasn’t good. He’d had his media third medicine. His illness phased even this unflap- cine and wasn’t due any more for hours. Amos Johnson lives in White River pable dog. Nervous and tired, his breath- I did the only thing I could do. I put him Junction, VT. He has also written for ing could become labored at any time. on the couch and sat down next to him. If Images of the Lake Sunapee Region, One afternoon, his breath seemed like this was it, I could at least spend a few last SooNipi Magazine, and it might fail him again. I was afraid this moments with him. He is also a contributing writer to Born This Way: would be it. He was on a lot of medicine. If The longer I sat there the calmer he Real Stories of Growing Up Gay. became. The calmer he was, the more I he didn’t stabilize...

Winter 2014 49

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful… For Pets, Too! Cold Weather Dangers for Pets


emperatures are dropping, and with the colder weather, it’s time to think about the dangers this presents for our pets, both indoors and outdoors only ones. By taking a few common sense precautions, you can help reduce the cold weather dangers to your pets. Although some pets are conditioned to cold weather, veterinary experts agree that you should bring outdoor pets indoors if the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Puppies, kittens, and short haired pets should not be left outside for extended periods anytime the temperature goes below 40 degrees. For pets with long hair, proper grooming is essential to help them maintain a layer of warming air within their coat. Pets who are heavily matted cannot keep themselves warm. If your pet must stay outdoors, be sure to provide shelter for them, they can suffer from frostbite and hypothermia just like we do. A pet’s outdoor house must have at least three enclosed sides, be elevated off the ground, and contain generous amounts of bedding, such as straw or hay. In cold weather, bigger is not always

50 4 Legs & a Tail

M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM- North Bennington, VT

better. A house just big enough for your pet will warm up faster and retain heat better than something that is too big. Your outdoor pet will need access to fresh water that isn’t frozen. Use heated water bowls and replenish them frequently. Cats love to warm up underneath car hoods. If cats have access to your car outdoors or in your garage, be sure to pound on the hood of the car prior to starting it. Many cats are killed or grievously injured by fan belts and moving engine parts. Another danger that cars present to pets in cold weather is antifreeze poisoning. If you suspect your pet has consumed any antifreeze at all, call your veterinarian immediately. Consider keeping dogs on a leash when they go outside. Each winter we see cases of dogs that have gone off exploring “frozen” lakes or streams and fall through the ice into the frigid water. Inside the house, monitor all pets around wood-burning stoves, fireplaces, and space heaters. These can cause severe burns. Younger pets romping through the house can knock objects into these heat

sources and cause a fire, so make sure to “pet-proof” the areas around them. With the colder darker months, many people like to use candles in the home. Make sure to place them where pets (especially cats) do not have access. They can not only tip over the candle, they can set their fur on fire leading to serious burns. Our pets can suffer from arthritis in cold weather, just like humans do, and it is just as painful for them. If you are unsure if your pet has arthritis, want to know ways to keep your older pets comfortable during the cold weather, or if you have questions about cold weather issues with your pets, talk to your veterinarian. The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA), founded in 1898, is a professional organization of 340 veterinarians dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality medicine.

SAFER ANTIFREEZE Not Only Is Regular Automotive Antifreeze Poisonous To Pets, Causing Kidney Failure And Death, But It Tastes Sweet And Attractive To Them. What A Terrible Combination! But There Is A New, Less Hazardous Antifreeze Option. Find Out What Kind Of Antifreeze To Buy To Help Keep Your Pets Safe. The Toxic Element In Traditional Antifreeze Is Ethylene Glycol. The New Kind Of Antifreeze Contains Not Ethylene Glycol, But Propylene Glycol, Which Is Somewhat Safer. In Fact, Propylene Glycol Is Found In Pet Foods, Cosmetics, And Over-The-Counter Preparations. One Brand Of This Newer Type Of Antifreeze Is Sierra, Made By Safe Brands. A 50/50 Mixture Of Sierra And Water Will Protect A Car’s Engine To -26F; Greater Protection Can Be Obtained By Increasing The Ratio Of Antifreeze To Water, According To The Company. Sierra Is Available Nationwide For About A Dollar More Per Gallon Than Traditional Antifreeze. Many Of Us Feel The Price Is Little To Pay If It Eliminates A Serious Threat To Our Pets. To Be On The Safest Side, However, Keep Any Antifreeze Well Away From Your Companion Animals! Winter 2014

Pets and Ice Melting Products D

uring cold winter months, our pets can come into close contact with a variety of ice melting compounds during walks, some of which can cause serious illness. These products include calcium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, rock salt, and urea. The chloride salts are used for melting ice in colder temperatures (down to -25 F), and these tend to cause problems when coming in prolonged contact with the skin. When we walk our dogs on the pavement or even some driveways, the salts can get in the space between the toes and pads and cause irritation. The most commons signs are redness and swelling. Your pet may lick at the irritated paws. If the dogs ingest a large amount of these salts, they can become ill. Rock salt is simply sodium chloride, which is the same as table salt. It can be harmful to metal, concrete, and plants and is generally only helpful in temperatures above 10 F. It can cause some redness and irritation to the paws but is unlikely to harm pets unless large amounts are eaten: a toxic amount for a ten pound dog is 1/2 cup. Urea, a common fertilizer, is used in some areas to melt ice. It is useful in temperatures down to - 21 F. It can pose an environmental hazard as it adds nitrates to run off water. Safe Paw Ice Melter is an ice melting product that combines the best of all of these products. It contains an amide/glycol mixture that is not corrosive to metal, nor does it contaminate the water with nitrates. It is used down to -2 F and doesn’t cause skin irritation like other ice melting products. (The company does mention that it could cause stomach irritation if ingested.) Because outside of your own drive, you can’t be sure which salt was used to melt the ice, it’s a good idea to wipe down your pet’s feet after returning inside. If your pet has a large amount of any ice-melting product on his fur (from rolling or walking through it), bathe the pet and monitor the contacted areas for redness, swelling, or irritation. A safe alternate for your drive may be to simply use cat litter or sand for traction combined with the ice melting products for the best of both worlds.

Winter 2014 51

Chinchillas By Susan Dyer, DVM


hinchillas make wonderful pets and are one of the more longlived small pets at up to 20 years! They are native to South America and nearly extinct in the wild due to overhunting. Most captive chinchillas are descended from a group of animals imported in the 1920s. Chinchillas should be housed in a large cage with multiple levels to satisfy their need for exercise. Cages need to be constructed of chew-proof materials, so wire is often the preferred housing, with a solid bottom. Bedding should be made up of inert materials like recycled paper products (CareFresh), shredded newspaper or aspen bedding. Avoid cedar, pine or other aromatic bedding. The enclosures should be cleaned at least twice per week since chinchillas are prone to skin infections in their feet. Chinchillas are not tolerant of temperatures over 80 degrees due to their thick hair coat, so air conditioning in the summer may be necessary. They are great fun to touch due to their specialized hair coat. While the average dog or cat may have 3-20 hairs per follicle, a chinchilla can have up to 100, leading to the soft texture you can feel. They should have a hide box or two in their enclosures, to give them privacy. Chinchillas should be offered a dust bath 2-3 times per week for 10-20 minutes to maintain proper coat health. If the dust isn’t removed, prolonged exposure can cause eye and breathing problems. Chinchillas should be fed a diet of high quality timothy, oat or orchard grass hay, chinchilla pellets and a small variety of dark green leafy vegetables like romaine, collard and mustard greens. Fruits and raisins should be used in moderation since the sugars in these foods can lead to dental and gastrointestinal disease. Moderation means less than one of these “treats� per day! Chinchillas make great pets and should live a long, healthy life with proper diet, exercise and housing. Dr. Susan Dyer sees dogs, cats, birds, Chinchillas and other exotic pets at Bradford Veterinary Clinic (formerly Stoneciff Animal Clinic of VT) in Bradford, VT. 802-222-4903 or 52 4 Legs & a Tail

Winter 2014

Canine Point of ViewCabin Fever? Michelle Grimes


his is the time of year many of us have come to dread; particularly if you have an active lifestyle involving a 4-legged friend. For many breeds exercise is extremely important, and getting outside may be the only outlet for their energy. Sometimes cold weather makes it tough for dogs and humans alike to go out for park romps, walks or playtime with other dogs. I tend to call it Cabin Fever. It’s not unheard of for normally well-behaved dogs to start feeling the effects of Cabin Fever. Fights may develop between family pets and inappropriate behaviors such as chewing may begin. Sometimes it may feel like the Indy 500 at your house as your ordinarily quiet and calm pup starts racing around the house like a racecar. Because of the overwhelming feeling of staying inside curled up in a warm blanket, it may be time to get a bit more creative than your normal daily walk(s). Here are some fun, easy exercise options for most anyone – those who prefer the thought of hibernation and those eager enough to face the elements head-on. If you’re not familiar with “brain toys”, now’s the perfect time to learn and incorporate them into your dog’s daily routine. “Brain Toys”, are very popular interactive toys. What started as something as simple as the KONG we all love, has expanded to hundreds of options. An interactive toy is different than that of a squeaky toy or a hard bone many dogs love to chew. Interactive toys require the dog to truly think about what they are doing in order to be rewarded. They need to use their mouth, nose and or paws to get the reward. My favorites require the dog to nose the toy around on the floor, as it rolls around it releases random food pieces. This is how I tend to feed my dogs on a daily basis. Instead of a minute to eat, it takes more like 10 minutes of true interaction between dog and toy for them to retrieve their entire meal. Once your dog starts to understand interactive toys, the possibilities are endless. Mental stimulation can come from playing hide-and-seek inside. It keeps your dog moving and thinking. It’s a game quickly learned by most. Ask your dog to stay, or have someone hold them and then go “hide.” Choose a hiding spot and call your dog, who will then use their nose to find you! Hide bits and pieces of Continued Next Page

Winter 2014 53

your pup’s favorite treats and teach them to “find it.” They never know where the treats will be hidden and finding random treats is a great incentive to keep them working. Other indoor activities include setting up a small agility type course in your living room. Objects such as foot stools and low chairs with a broomstick placed over the chairs can be part of the course. Indoor tug-of-war sessions are a fun way to burn off excess canine energy and teaching a few new tricks is a great way for them to use their brains as well. Invest in a good trick training book and teach away! For those us of you who enjoy the being outside, I’ve got a few ideas as well. Outdoor activities can be exciting and offer amazing mental stimulation. If you can walk, you can snowshoe. Find snow shoes for reasonable prices online and via classified ads. A fun new sport if your pup has some basic obedience training already. Cross-country skiing can give your pup a work out (and yourself!) Good off-leash control is required to ensure safety for him and others you are bound to come across. Take him with you next time you hit the trails. Looking for a little more excitement and have an energetic dog that weighs 30 pounds or more? Look into Skijoring. An adaptation of cross-country skiing, Skijoring allows your dog to do the heavy pulling. Besides your regular cross-county gear, you’ll need a skijoring belt, sleddog racing harness and a tow line (all available online or at local sports-supply stores). Decent obedience skills, (and a good ski skill level from yourself) will ensure you both have a great time. There are a few good books about Skijoring out there. Remember that activities in the snow can be very taxing and can lead to dehydration. Prepare yourself as you would, when taking your dog on a summer hike. Fresh water is important as is weather protection, such as coats and booties for your pup. Even with their own coats they may need extra protection and warmth from the elements. Overall, winter exercise is a key component to living with a healthy, easygoing, well-behaved dog. As I always say, a tired dog is a good dog.

Michelle Grimes CPDT-KA, of K9 Insights is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer & Behavior Consultant specializing in Positive Reinforcement Training for all breeds. Co-founder of Long Trail Canine Rescue, works locally at SAVES and Stonecliff Animal Clinic, and is proudly owned by 3 rescue “Bully Breeds”.   Michelle@k9insights. com or  54 4 Legs & a Tail

Winter 2014

Paddock Partners Heidi Jo Hauri-Gill

Dear Heidi My friend just told me that she is worried about Colic with the changing seasons. Should I be worried? What can I do, how do I know if there is a problem? Chloe, Canaan, NH Dear Chloe, Colic is a word for abdominal distress and can occur at any time of the year with horses. Colic is a broad term that indicates a problem with your horse. Most often it is an impaction colic, a spasmodic colic, or a flatulent colic. There are many other types, and this can be a life threatening disorder, so my biggest advice is to be aware of your horse at all times and call your vet at the first onset of any symptoms of colic. Notice first if your horse is either lethargic, hanging its head or looking back at its sides, laying down more than usual, often that would be together with going down and getting up often in short periods of time. OR, your horse could be a bit more frantic, walking in circles, pawing the ground or things like that. My best advice is know what your horse’s normal behaviors are, if it is doing something different take time to watch it for five or ten minutes to gather information about what it is doing and see if it settles. Don’t be alarmed if your horse is just laying down, but if it’s feeding time, that would be strange and a reason to watch. Be concerned if your horse has sweat on its neck or flanks, and hasn’t done anything to warrant that, or if it is kicking as if there are flies on its belly, or biting at its belly. Watch your horse, gather information to give your vet, check your horse’s TPR (temperature, pulse, and respiration), call your vet and report everything you see. Your vet can give you advice about how to proceed. That puts you on their radar, if they know they may need to come see your horse, they can work with you to help decide when and if they need to come out, to prevent things taking a turn for the worse.  A horse with an impaction, for example, has a treatable case of colic, BUT if the horse rolls and the impaction is heavy, it can cause a twist of the intestines and now your horse needs surgery. Don’t leave while they have colic, you need to be able to tell your vet what it is doing and answer any questions that they will have.   Continued Next Page

Winter 2014 55

There are reasons to keep colic on your mind in the fall. First and most important is that horses are more likely to colic when they are not drinking enough. Lack of fluids in their system can cause a blockage of fiber in their gut and the muscles of the intestine cannot push it through. A good reason to keep fresh and clean water available at all times. If a trough collects leaves or pine needles, they may be less likely to drink. They may not be exercising as much as usual, so they may not drink as much. Be sure that salt is available in their diet or in block/lick style, so they are encouraged to drink. Ask your vet what is reasonable, some horses are addicts and will actually ingest too much salt with a free choice lick, some may be prone to bladder stones with a trace mineral supplement. Check with your vet to be safe, they will have advice for you.  Another reason for colic is the changing seasons. In the fall there are big weather swings. Horses tend to be affected by the barometer and tend to colic a bit more when it has big swings. Grasses are making changes for the winter, their makeup can vary, they grow slower, and the horse may not be getting enough grass to keep a healthy gut, but we are not thinking about hay supplementation enough because we can still see grass. They need to have fiber going

through their systems at all times to keep it healthy and moving, so the lack of enough fiber can cause colic. Another thing that can cause colic symptoms, but may be a bigger problem, is the degree of “wilt” in oak leaves. Oak leaves put off a toxin if eaten at just the wrong time. This is a big problem, if you have oak trees in or around your pasture area..   As already stated, if your horse is presenting colic symptoms you need to call the vet. Be sure you know how to find and report TPR, have an idea of the four “quadrants” of the horses intestine and how to listen for sounds. A stethoscope is handy for this. Be sure to have a conversation about this with your vet. Ask how they hope to have you handle a situation. Some vets like to know that a horse owner has Banamine on hand to give a dose to their horse if needed. A simple conversation with them will let you know how you can help them help your horse. Have a location that you can stay with your horse, even in the worst weather. Know who you will call if you will need to transport your horse to the doctor, or to a location where you can hand walk your horse like an indoor arena. Have all of these phone numbers in a location that you can get to easily.  You need to consider, when you are not in the heat of the moment, what you

can financially afford to do to help your horse. One of the first things your vet will ask is, will you want to provide surgery if it looks like that is necessary. You need to have a clear mind to consider this. Surgery typically costs around $4,000 to the more likely $6,500 when all is said and done, AND the hospitals want payment when you come in. How will you handle that? Is it even possible? You will need to let your vet know what your ability will be, with that in mind.   There is a lot to consider when this situation arises, your best bet is to know what you are dealing with, have a few items on hand; thermometer, stethoscope, and possibly Banamine; know where you can go to get more help. Hopefully you will never need it! Heidi Heidi Jo Hauri-Gill is co-owner, along with her husband Bob, of First Choice Riding Academy in Enfield, NH. A graduate from Morven Park and a UNH “L” graduate with distinction, Heidi spends her days teaching and training at the farm. 56 4 Legs & a Tail

Winter 2014

Small Dogs with “Pushed-in” Faces Have Even More Dental Problems I

Sandra L Waugh VMD, MS Windsor Veterinary & Dental Services-Windsor,VT

n the last issue of 4 Legs & A Tail I wrote an article about why small dogs have more dental problems than larger dogs. The original dogs were related to Eurasian wolves, and were large dogs with matching large teeth. As breeds of dogs have been created through selective breeding, we now have dogs that are tiny. Unfortunately, there is a mismatch between the smaller body size and the size of the teeth, with the teeth being proportionately too big for the size of the skull. The problem becomes compounded when the shape of the skull is abnormal, such as occurs when the muzzle is pushed-in or flattened. An example of this is an 18.5 lb Shih Tzu. This dog is neither a really small dog nor is the muzzle as pushed-in as other breeds, so he is not an extreme example. In the normal muzzle, the teeth line up along the outer edge. When the muzzle is not as long as normal, the teeth must accommodate the smaller space. One accommodation is that the teeth are rotated up to 90º to the edge of the jaw. A second common strategy is for the teeth to overlap each other, or to be displaced away from the edge of the jaw. A third variation is that the teeeth are tipped over to some degree. First, let’s look at a fairly normal occlusion. These are photographs of the mouth of my 20lb Schipperke, “Sammy”. 108









Right side, upper and lower jaws




305 306 307 308

Left side, upper and lower jaws

Notice that there is gum tissue between each tooth.This space is normal and required for the teeth to maintain their health. 105, 205, 305, and 405 are single rooted teeth. 106-107, 206-207, 306-307-308, 406-407-408 are all double rooted teeth. 108 and 208 are triple rooted teeth. These teeth are lined up in a row on the edge of each jaw, with the roots of the double rooted teeth lined up also as shown in the radiograph of the lower right jaw (of a larger dog).





Now, let’s take a look at what happens when the jaw length is shorter than normal in both the upper and lower jaws. When the right and left sides of the Shih Tzu’s jaws are compared to the Schipperke’s, it is obvious that the teeth are no longer lined up. On all four jaws, the smaller double rooted teeth (106-107, 206-207, 306-307-308, and 406-407-408) are rotated to varying degrees. On the upper right side, tooth 107 is displaced entirely to the inside of the mouth, as well as being rotated and tipped. On both lower jaws, 308 and 408 are rotated, overlap 309 and 409 respectively, and the entire tooth is tipped toward the back of the mouth. Continued Next Page


408 407 406 405

Right side, upper and lower jaws Winter 2014

Right side lower jaw

305 306 307 308 309

Left side, upper and lower jaws 57

Looking down on the top of the teeth in each lower jaw makes it very clear how little space remains between many of the teeth. Plaque, the cause of periodontal disease, is much more easily trapped in the close spaces. If the owners are willing to brush the teeth, then they would need to rotate the toothbrush on each tooth. It is possible to extract some of these teeth to relieve the crowding and make brushing easier. 108








Left side, upper and lower jaws

Right side, upper and lower jaws Looking down on the upper jaw.

Compare the right to the left side. Every dog has four jaws, and each one grows independently from the others. When the shape of the jaw is not normal, the symmetry between the upper jaws and between the lower jaws can be lost. The displacement of 107 toward the inside of the mouth becomes clear in the photograph to the left. 108




205 206



205 105 106 107

Even in big dogs with short muzzles, this same rotation, displacement, crowding and tilting occur. The problem is magnified in small dogs, and the smaller the dog the worse it becomes, because the comparatively large size of the tooth means there is less bone to hold in the teeth. Keeping small dogs healthy means keeping the mouth free of periodontal disease, which takes more dedication as the dog becomes smaller and the jaws become less normal in shape.


206 207 208

Upper jaw. The folds in the hard palate are normal

Dr. Waugh is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. She also has a Masters Degree from Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. All photographs and radiographs are original to Windosr Veterinary & Dental Services 58 4 Legs & a Tail

Winter 2014

Abraham Lincoln’s Dog, Fido By Kate Kelly

W hile living in Springfield, Illinois, the Lincoln family had sev-

eral animals including a dog named Fido (ca. 1855-1865). Fido was a yellow, mixed-breed dog who was said to accompany Lincoln when he went into town, sometimes carrying a parcel home from the market for Lincoln, or Fido would wait outside the barbershop while Lincoln went in for a trim. When Lincoln was elected president, the occasion was acknowledged locally with great celebration. Fido was quit terrified by the booming cannons, the fireworks, the ringing of the local church bells and the sounds of the excited community.  This gave Lincoln pause when he considered taking Fido with the family to Washington.

It is unclear when the photo of Fido was taken. It may have been taken before the Lincolns departed for the White House. Perhaps they wanted a memento of their beloved dog. However recently, it has been speculated that Fido’s photo was taken after the assassination. The town was overrun by people who arrived for the funeral, and visitors wanted to buy items related to Lincoln. A townsperson may have decided that that a photo of Fido would sell well. Either explanation leaves us with the undeniable fact that we have the first photo ever taken of a Presidential dog. A couple of years after Lincoln had assumed the presidency, the barber wrote a letter to the president, filling him in on local happenings. He added: “Tell Taddy that his (and Willy’s) Dog is alive and Kicking, doing well, he stays mostly at John E. Roll’s with his Boys who are about the size now that Tad and Willy were when they left for Washington.” Fido at the Funeral Fido was still living with the Rolls family when Lincoln was assassinated. When the funeral was held, mourners stopped in at the Lincoln family home in Springfield to pay their respects. The Roll family brought Fido there to say good-bye to his master, too. At the time, photographs were sometimes copied and made into carte-deContinued Next Page

The family ultimately decided to make an arrangement to leave Fido in the care of another family. A carpenter, John Roll, who had done some work for the Lincolns, had two sons who were a little younger than Tad and Willy. The Roll family agreed to take responsibility for Fido. They also promised the Lincolns that the dog would be returned to them when the Lincolns came home from Washington. Fido Was Accustomed to the Run of the House Fido was very much a “house dog” and the President specified that Fido was to be allowed to come into the Roll family home; if his paws were muddy, Fido should not be scolded for it.  The Lincolns had always shared table scraps with Fido at mealtime, so the Lincolns also asked that Fido be permitted to join the Roll family at mealtimes as well. Fido slept on a favorite sofa. Arrangements were made to leave this horsehair sofa with the Roll family so that Fido would have every reason to feel at home. Winter 2014 59

visite (calling cards of a sort which were very popular during the Civil War when family members wanted to be remembered). Shortly after Lincoln’s death, the photo of Fido was reproduced as a cartede-visite and sold to souvenir collectors. Fido is Killed Within the year of Lincoln’s death, Fido himself was killed. John Roll wrote of Fido’s sad fate: “We possessed the dog for a number of years when one day the dog, in a playful manner, put his dirty paws upon a drunken man sitting on the street curbing [who] in his drunken rage, thrust a knife into the body of poor old Fido. He was buried by loving hands. So Fido, just a poor yellow dog met the fate of his illustrious master- Assassination.”  Other Animals in the Lincoln White House Nanny and Nanko were two goats kept at the Lincoln White House.  The boys liked hitching the goats to carts—or even kitchen chairs—and being pulled around.  The goats were not always popular with the White House staff as they tended to chew up things that they weren’t supposed to. The boys also had ponies and some white rabbits, and Tad became very attached to a turkey that was being raised for Christmas dinner.  At Tad’s behest, Lincoln had little choice but to spare the turkey. The turkey lived on with the Lincolns as a pet, and Tad gave him full run of the White House.  (Lincoln’s own

childhood was filled with fear and disappointment, so he chose to raise his boys with much more leniency.) Lincoln himself was particularly fond of cats. According to the staff at Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace, if Mary Lincoln was asked about whether her husband had a hobby, she was very likely to answer “cats.” In March of 1865 as the Civil War was winding down and all the requirements of rebuilding the country were being presented to the President. He would frequently sit at the telegraph office in Washington so he could send and receive messages easily. While there one day, Lincoln became distracted by three stray kittens. When he was informed that the kittens’ mother had died, he sat with them on his lap for a few minutes and then before he left, he made certain someone there committed to taking care of them. Lincoln called his horse, Old Bob.  In the funeral procession, Old Bob, wearing a mourning blanket with silver fringe, walked immediately after the hearse carrying the President’s body. For more stories like this one, please visit where many other dog stories have been published. On the website, you may also sign up for regular mailings of upcoming dog stories.

Rocky takes it easy before diabetic service dog training. Photo by Mariann Hayes, Sunapee, NH

60 4 Legs & a Tail

Winter 2014

4 LEGS & A TAIL FUN! What's Different?

Dog’s Leg Missing, Dog’s Tail Missing, Women’s Purse Missing, Dog’s Bandana Blue, Women’s Fingernail polish blue, Women’s shoes red

A pet shop owner had a parrot with a sign on its cage that said “Parrot repeats everything it hears.” A young man bought the parrot and for two weeks he spoke to it and it didn’t say a word. He returned the parrot, but the shopkeeper said he never lied about the parrot. How can this be? The parrot was deaf.

A cat and mouse die and go to heaven. One day St. Peter runs into the mouse and asks, “How do you like heaven so far?” “It’s great! But it’s so big I wish I had roller-skates,” replied the mouse. “No problem,” said St. Peter. A few days later, St. Peter sees the cat and asks how he likes heaven. “It’s fantastic,” said the cat, “It even has mealson-wheels.”

Some dogs are more graceful than others



A Winter Wonderland Central NH & VT

Blow Out The Candles! Lucy Mac Turns 100 Years Old Does Cat Poop Parasite Play A Role In Curing Cancer? Appeasing The Bearded Dragon Rare Breeds Of The Twin StatesMeet The Otterhound A Guide To Buying A Horse Blanket

4 Legs and a Tail-Lebanon, NH  

A magazine for pet and animal lovers.