Winter Wonderland 2016 Central NH & VT
What is Your Pet IQ? The Alternative Solution to Your Petâ€™s Pain The Reason Your Dog Growls Winter Issues With Cats Taking Dog Off the Menu
Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail
3. Rare Breeds of the Twin States, June & Jim Sweeney
Meet the Chinese Crested dog from Tunbridge, VT
4. Don’t Eat Me, John Peaveler
How one local resident traveled to South Korea to rescue dogs from that country’s dog meat farms
7. Seizures, Catherine MacLean, DVM
The signs, causes and solutions for pet seizures
9. The History of the Vermont Farm Show
A look at one of the state’s most popular events
Pg. 4 12. Traditional Chinese Veterinary Herbal Medicine,
Mona Rooney, DVM/CVA/CVFT
An ancient practice for the treatment and prevention of a variety of diseases
14. Alternatively Speaking, Anne Carroll, DVM/CVA
Managing winter urinary issues in cats
16. What is Your Pet IQ? 18. Grand View Farm, Lauren Anikis
From llamas to Gotland sheep, meet the animals of Grand View!
19. The Vermont Farm Bureau Turns 100 20. The Secret Lives of Dogs, Michael Walsh
A new gadget to help us decode and understand our dog’s emotional lives
23. Winter Ice Melter Safety, Cory Balch Pg. 18
What is and isn’t safe for your pet
24. Paws 2 Play, Cathy White
Keene State College goes to the dogs!
26. A Canine Approach to Literacy, Steve Reiman
Helping children learn to R.E.A.D.
29. A Drug Free Option for Treating Pain in Your Pet,
Kim Jones, DVM and Meg Falcone, DVM
From arthritis and hip pain to skin conditions, laser treatment has proven to be an effective solution
31. We Are What We Eat, DJ Nelson
A happy balanced aquarium begins with good nutrition
34. Cold Blooded Winter Emergency Kits, Samantha Bubar
Assembling a cold weather emergency kit for your cold-blooded pets
36. Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions For Both You and Your Dog, Paula Bergeron
Kick off 2016 with some goals that will make everyone happier for years to come
40. Canine Point of View, Michelle Grimes
Communication? Why does your dog growl
42. When Missing Teeth Really are Not Missing, Just Hiding,
Sandra Waugh, VDM/MS
Early discovery of impacted teeth can eliminate problems for you and your dog
Inside this issue of 4 Legs & a Tail
44. A Lucky Duck - Paralysis is not an obstacle for this lucky duck 45. Bird Nutrition Part 2: Converting Birds to Pelleted Diets,
Susan Dyer, DVM
Common and safe ways to make the transition to a healthier diet
48. “But What About the Dog?” or Cat, Cow, or Horse… Domestic Violence and Our Furry Family Members, Abby Tassel
Domestic Violence, sometimes victim’s pets are at risk also
50. Love at the Hairdresser’s, Sonya Sousa
A green-eyed Romeo meets his love at the hairdresser’s
Pg. 44 51. If You Love Something Set It Free, Mark Carlson
A little furry miracle comes home
52. Acute Moist Dermatitis and Your Dog, Elisa Speckert
Repeated irritation of your dog’s skin can cause hot spots
53. Dog Toxicant Xylitol Appearing in Peanut Butter, M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM
Why it’s vital you read the label!
4 Legs & a Tail is a proud member of the VT Farm Bureau
54. Green Mountain Animal Defenders: Advocates for All Animals, Jenny Joczik - Improving the well being of all species of animals 55. Paddock Partners, Heidi Jo Hauri-Gill - Bran mash. Is it right for your horse? 58. Ruff! Ruff! Ruff!... My Knees Hurt, Garrett Levin, DVM
Diplomate ACVS - One common orthopedic injury known as an “ACL” or cranial cruciate ligament tear
59. Of Mice and Squirrels, Scott Borthwick
When uninvited critters come to “visit”
60. 4 Legs & a Tail Fun Page
4 Legs & a Tail Volume L.415 P.O. Box 841 Lebanon, NH 03766 603-727-9214 TimH.4LT@gmail.com
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Pg. 55 Publishers: Tim Goodwin, Tim Hoehn Senior Editor: Scott Palzer Accounting/Editor: Elisa Speckert Office Manager: Beth Hoehn Graphic Design: Monica Reinfeld, Lacey Dardis, Kate Haas Sales: Karyn Swett, Scott Palzer, Barry deSousa, Pat Pockette
If you have a tale about a tail or a photo that will make us smile, we’d like to hear from you. 4 Legs & a Tail is published quarterly and distributed free of charge throughout Central VT & NH. 4 Legs & a Tail, Inc. is locally owned and operated and acts as a moderator without approving, disapproving or guaranteeing the validity or accuracy of any data or claim. Any reproduction in whole or part is prohibited.
Rare Breeds of the Twin States The Chinese Crested Dog from Tunbridge, VT June and Jim Sweeney
y husband and I have been owned by Chinese Crested dogs for 25 years. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. Our current little one is a rescue named Rosie, who came to live with us when she was four, and is now thirteen. She is our first hairless, all the others were Powderpuffs, who have lots of soft silky hair and do not shed. With lots of hair or no hair, all exhibit the same loving temperament.
Officially recognized by the AKC in 1991, it is unlikely the origins of the Chinese Crested are in China.
As a breed we have found them to be quietly playful and extremely companionable. They bond very closely with their families. They are a little aloof with strangers, but never unfriendly or aggressive. Cresteds are slender, fine-boned, alert and graceful little dogs, with beautiful dark almond-shaped eyes. They do not like to be dirty and spend a lot of time cleaning their feet when they come in. This is the first time we have had only one dog in the house. Given her hard start in life, our animal communicator says she would rather be an only dog after we lost Tiki, who was her companion when we brought her home. I must say that the role of princess of the house fits her like a glove. She loves herding us where she wants us to go, and will wait patiently until we get the message. We have gotten really good at that. Over the years we have had seven Cresteds, four of which we bred. Without exception, they have all been very easy to train. They are very food oriented, so treats coupled with a soft voice and quiet hand get your point across very quickly. We had other breeds of dogs before Cresteds came into our lives so long ago, and we have loved them all. Since the day we went to Logan Airport to pick up our first Crested sent from a breeder friend in Florida, we have been hooked. For us they are the perfect ones to share our lives with. Winter 2015
A row of Mastiffs wait to be rescued from a dog meat farm in Chungcheongnamdo, South Korea. Humane Society International came to an agreement with the farmer to shut down his business and transported all 103 dogs to the United States. The operation is part of HSI’s efforts to fight the dog meat trade throughout Asia. In South Korea, the campaign includes working to raise awareness among Koreans about the plight of “meat dogs,”—no different from the animals more and more of them are keeping as pets. South Korea Dog Meat Farm Rescue-Manchul Kim
Don’t Eat Me John Peaveler - W. Fairlee,VT
I have been working with animals pretty consistently since the end of 2004,
ery. There have been times of great success and of great failings. This is a story of when some dogs stumbled into my previ- triumph, brought about through the hard ous job site in Kuwait. Those dogs taught work and generosity of many. me more about empathy, compassion, In August of 2015, I was asked by and kindness than I ever could have imag- Humane Society International (HSI) to ined. In short, they changed my life. The help prepare dogs from a South Korean experience of rescuing them from a ter- meat farm for transport to the United rible death in the desert helped me find States. The meat industry in South Korea a long sought for application of the deep can be distilled down to a few key facts: seated sense of justice and values that my the farming of dogs is in decline and out parents had taught me. The ensuing jour- of favor with the younger population, ney has kept me on a path working with many farmers would prefer to be doing thousands of animals on several conti- something else because of this decline, nents. The journey has been an incredi- and the Korean animal welfare system ble one, a veritable mosaic of joy and pain, is not equipped to address the problem. happiness and sorrow, salvation and mis- This creates a situation in which the right effort applied in just the right way could end this trade forever. HSI has a plan to engage farmers with creative and binding incentives to leave the trade permanently, relocate the dogs to high-adoption shelters in the US, and to use success and media to pressure the South Korean government into taking clear, humane, and assertive action to put an end to the trade once and for all. I have seen a lot of cruelty in my career, but nothing compares to the harsh misery and cold efficiency of a dog meat farm. The experience was a true bombardment of the senses. The first thing I noticed was how bare everything was. Not one single thing was designed to make the Continued PAGE 6
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Humane Society of the United States’ Jenn Kulina- Lanese greets dogs rescued from a South Korean dog meat farm upon their arrival in San Francisco. South Korea Dogs Transport-Sammy Dallal
lives of the dogs better. The only function of every object was to keep them contained and alive until slaughter. The noise was endless. Dogs bark out of frustration above all, and these animals were beyond frustrated. Humans spent thousands of years domesticating dogs, and these animals were being forced to exist like that had never happened. There were no signs of food or water, just empty bowls and troughs. Some dogs licked at them, hoping to get some relief from the beating sun by soaking up any minute droplet of moisture. Many of the dogs had scars on their bodies from fighting. Some had been forced to fight, others just forced to live with dogs that wanted to be alone. The smell was pervasive. It clung to the air as effectively as it clung to our clothes. It would be weeks before I would finally catch the last waft of confined suffering. But this story does get better. The dogs were so submissive, timid, and scared that they flinched at any movement. Many wagged their tails but most didn’t move. Some tried to supplicate
Humane Society International’s Dr. Rey del Napoles removes a small dog from a dog meat farm in Chungcheongnamdo, South Korea. South Korea Dog Meat Farm Rescue-Manchul Kim
us by voraciously licking our faces. I had come ready to handle dangerous and vicious dogs, but after the first few, I could only wonder what sad twist of fate had landed these amazing creatures in such awful conditions. I had looked in their eyes expecting to see anger and desperation. Instead I found the same boundless love and affection I have known from every dog I have ever adopted and called my own. These animals weren’t vicious, and they certainly weren’t meat. They were the dirtiest, smelliest, most deserving group of dogs I had ever met. Though I had checked my emotions at the gate for my own protection, I began to see how the medical treatments we were giving these dogs would enable incredibly deserving animals to begin a journey that would lead them to the United States. There their unending love would finally be matched with that of forever human homes, and so I began to feel a glimmer of happiness in the midst of so much suffering. In all, 103 former meat dogs were transported to the United States in September of 2015. Their survival is nothing short of a miracle - the combined result of generous donors and hardworking, passionate staff and volunteers. I was privileged to be part of this mission. Find out more by visiting www. hsi.org John Peaveler is an Animal Welfare Consultant with over ten years experience working with all types of animals on three continents. He lives with his wife and two children in West Fairlee, Vermont and continues to work and write at home and abroad.
Humane Society International’s Adam Parascandola comforts a dog being removed from a dog meat farm in Chungcheongnamdo, South Korea. South Korea Dog Meat Farm Rescue-Manchul Kim
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Seizures Catherine MacLean, DVM Grantham, NH
eizures are not something that every pet owner will see, but for those that have seen their pet have a seizure it can be a very scary experience. I’m going to discuss the type of seizures cats and dogs can have, what to do if your pet is having a seizure, and possible treatment options. When most people think of seizures, they think of a Grand Mal seizure, where the animal is convulsing on the ground with stiffness/contraction cycles (tonic/ clonic action), paddling, defecating, urinating, etc. These seizures are scary, but not the only type your pet can have. There are two other classifications of seizures owners don’t always recognize. These are partial seizures and psychomotor seizures. Partial seizure activity originates from one specific part of the brain and therefore only affects a certain area of the body. This type of seizure may present itself as twitching, excessive blinking, etc. Partial seizures can progress to Grand Mal seizures. Psychomotor seizures often appear as behavioral abnormalities. They can present as involuntary circling, howling, snapping, etc. This may be followed by a Grand Mal seizure. When speaking to your veterinarian about seizure like behavior, they may ask what happened after the seizure, the postictal phase. This phase helps veterinarians distinguish between a true seizure or some type of cardiovascular event or fainting. It can last from a few minutes to several hours, and your pet will be experiencing disorientation and sometimes appear to be blind. The post-ictal phase can be even more disturbing then the seizure itself. During this time owners need to be very careful. Our first thought is to comfort them, but as animals come out of seizures and are disorientated, they will not recognize people they love. This is when owners get bitten or scratched. Why do seizures happen? Sometimes they occur due to an infection in the animal’s brain (more common in animals less than a year old), sometimes the cause is not known and they are labeled as epileptics (usually animals between 1-5 years of age), and other times it’s due to a tumor(common in animals over five years of age). Other causes can be toxins, trauma, hypothyroidism, etc. In animals over five, the most common causes are meningiomas which grow off the inside Continued NEXT PAGE
Sadie Mae controlling seizures with acupuncture.
of the skull and press on the brain. These types of tumors are diagnosed with either a MRI or CT scan. Surgical removal may be an option. What should you do if your pet has a seizure? If it is a Grand Mal seizure, I tell owners to make sure their pet is in a safe place (not at the top of the stairs or on a piece of furniture they could fall off of), remove other animals and children, and
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time the seizure. If it lasts more than three minutes, you need to start cooling your pet with ice packs or cold cloths on the ears and paw pads, seek immediate veterinary attention. If your pet has more than two seizures in 24 hours (even if they are less than three minutes), seek veterinary attention. If the seizure lasts less than three minutes, after the seizure is done record the date and time, note any abnor-
mal behavior beforehand, such as twitching. Next, the post-ictal stage will occur. Again be careful, you can get bitten during this phase no matter how sweet your pet normally is. If your pet has a seizure, notify your veterinarian so a note can be made in your pet’s medical history. They may advise you to bring your pet in for a workup. I tell my clients to record date, time, and length of each seizure no matter how long between seizures, sometimes we can find patterns. Treatment varies with the patient. Many veterinarians will start with blood work to rule out underlying causes. If blood work is normal, depending on the age of the pet and the owner’s willingness, further diagnostics may be recommended. Based on the seizure history, medication may be started. The most common medications used are phenobarbital and potassium bromide. After your pet is on medication, monitoring is involved to make sure your pet is on the appropriate dose and not having any side effects. Up to 30% of cats and dogs will not respond to traditional medications. Other seizure medications available from the human side can be used, but are not commonly used due to cost and inconvenient dosing schedules. One alternative, acupuncture, has worked for one of my patients. Sadie Mae first had Grand Mal seizures back in 2012 at two years old. Blood work ruled out underlying abnormalities. The owners didn’t want medication, so they sought out acupuncture to treat Sadie Mae’s seizures. Sadie Mae has seen me since 2013 and we’ve managed her seizures with acupuncture alone. She goes 7-9 months between seizures. When one occurs, we treat her with acupuncture several times and she is good for another 7-9 months. The owners are happy to not treat Sadie Mae with medication and she seems to enjoy her sessions. There is nothing fun about a seizure. Remember to keep your pet in a safe place, be careful you don’t get hurt, write down the seizure, and contact your veterinarian. Many animals that have seizures can be managed and live normal happy lives. Dr. MacLean completed her Bachelor of Science from Penn State University, her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from Atlantic Veterinary College, and her pet acupuncture certification from Chi Institute. Her areas of special interest include general practice and acupuncture. She opened Sugar River Animal Hospital in 2013, and she has been practicing veterinary medicine since 2010. Dr. MacLean’s family consists of her husband Matt, her daughter Katarina, and their three pets: Jack and Misty, two cats, and Arrow, a dog Winter 2015
History Of The Vermont Farm Show T
he Vermont Farm Show was formed by the old Vermont Dairymen’s Association and Maple Sugar Makers’ Association meeting. In 1930, Memorial Auditorium in Burlington was a few years old, and the Dairymen’s and Maple Sugar Makers’ winter meetings were held there. Orlando Martin was Secretary of the Dairymen’s Association. He published a program containing a few advertisements and sold exhibit space to a half dozen dairy and farm equipment people in the basement of the Auditorium. Income from advertising and exhibit space covered program speaker expenses, printing expenses of the booklet and shared in program expenses for the Wives and Daughters of Vermont Dairymen. In late 1930, Orlando Martin asked Harold Dwinell, Director of the Department of Agriculture, Division of Markets, to exhibit in the basement of the Auditorium. Commissioner of Agriculture, Edward H. Jones, considered it an opportunity for the new Division of Markets. 1930 sugar makers were just beginning to use glass for packing syrup; potato growers experimented packing potatoes in 15 pound bags;and poultry farmers were beginning to use egg cartons. Mr. Dwinell displayed special glass syrup bottles; potatoes in special burlap peck bags; eggs in 3x4 and 2x6 cartons colored and marked; and Macintosh apples in baskets of peck size. . Mr. Dwinell discussed a products competition with Commissioner Jones and prominent Vermont agriculturists. The consensus: “Let’s go!” Soliciting active farm organizations soon had $100 from Farm Bureau, Grange, Horticulture, Society, Potato Growers Association, the Maple Sugar Makers’, Dairymen’s Associations, and a few individuals. The Vermont Farm Products Contest was launched in 1932, three years before the first Vermont Farm Show. About 50 entries were displayed outside the ropes of the fighting ring in the Burlington Memorial Auditorium basement. Extension Service, Experiment Station and Department of Agriculture personnel were judges. Family members of exhibitors, relatives and friends, came to see how their entries made out. Meetings of the dairyContinued NEXT PAGE
man and sugar makers were the largest ever. Potato growers, then Poultry and apple growers asked “Why can’t we have a program?” Discussions led to the belief that there should be a new overall organization to operate the whole affair, all Vermont farm enterprise organizations could participate. UVM Agricultural College Dean, Joseph Carrigan and Commissioner Jones pulled the agricultural enterprise organizations in Vermont into a council to hold a large mid-winter show, Ed Jones was the moving spirit in bringing it about. Mr. Carrigan, Commissioner Jones and Harold Dwinell can rightfully be called the founders of the Vermont Farm Show. Their efforts led to the formation of the Vermont Union Agricultural Council, organized to unify agricultural organizations in conducting a winter agricultural meeting, in which member organizations could participate. Its chief objective was the Farm Products Show and a commercial and educational exhibit of farm and home equipment and supplies. The first Union Agricultural Program was held in Burlington January 1935. Council members were the Vermont Dairymen’s Association, Vermont Maple Sugar Makers’ Association, Vermont Poultry and Egg Producers’ Association, Continued NEXT PAGE
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Vermont Certified Seed Potato Growers’ Association and Vermont Horticultural Society. Executive delegates were the President and Secretary of each organization, the Commissioner of Agriculture and the Director of the Extension Service, with Director of the Bureau of Markets as general manager. The 1935 meetings were a success, member organizations participated in the program and with an educational exhibit. All exhibit space was used by commercial concerns. In 1938, The Vermont Agricultural Extension Service noted that the Vermont Farm Products Show was having a pronounced effect throughout the state in stimulating the production of quality hay. During 1937, hay instruction had been added to the agricultural curriculum statewide. 65 samples of hay were judged at the show in 4 classes, Timothy, Timothy-Clover, Alfalfa and mixed hay. In conjunction with the show, the 5th Annual Rural Electrification Institute was held nearby, the theme, “Electric Power as a Farm Business Proposition.” The Union Agricultural Meetings and Farm Products Show grew through 1946, except in 1943 and 1944, when wartime restrictions prevented the event from being held. Gas rationing started in October, 1942, severely limiting travel. The agricultural fairs were back in 1945. Sugar was rationed until June of 1947, spurring maple production for home use. By 1947, there were 11,206 dairy farms in Vermont. Memorial Auditorium in Burlington had been leased to the Veterans Administration. So, the Union Agricultural Meetings and Farm Products Contest were moved to Barre Municipal Auditorium, and held there until 2012. Even before Thunder Road, the Barre “Aud” was exciting as the home of the state basketball championships and The Vermont Farm Show. Downtown merchants planned sales, local churches held special dinners and suppers, and provided meeting spaces. Parking was at a premium in Barre during the snowy 1950›s. In 1957, the Vermont Farm Show, Inc. was officially incorporated. Official bylaws were revised and adopted May 15, 1979. Barre’s central location near the newly created interstate highway brought visitors from south and north to the midwinter show. In Barre, the show and meetings were held in February, but since the early 80’s the show has been on the last Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of January. The 75th Farm Show had over 10,000 visitors per day. The Political Pull, a milking contest, pitted state legislators against each other. In 2011, the Political Pull became the Capital Cook-Off and moved from the milking parlor to the kitchen. Three teams from the Vermont House and Senate agriculture committees and VAAFM, compete in an “Iron Chef”-style challenge and create a dish from a bag of VermontWinter 2015
Keewaydin Farm in Stowe was named the 2015 Vermont Dairy Farm of the Year. Family members, Les, Claire, Suzi and Dan Pike , operate a 141-head registered Jersey Farm which has been in the family since 1921. (photo credit: Peggy Manahan/UVM Extension) Since 1961 this coveted award has been presented annually to an outstanding dairy farm by University of Vermont (UVM) Extension and the Vermont Dairy Industry Association in cooperation with the New England Green Pastures Program. Nominated farms, all exemplary dairy operations, are evaluated on herd, pasture and crop management; production records; pasture quality; conservation practices and contributions to the dairy industry and the local community.
based ingredients. This coincided with Consumer Night. Vendors with Vermont made products, offered free samples and made sales to hundreds of visitors. Due to space and parking constraints, the Show moved to the Champlain Valley Exposition grounds in Essex Junction, in 2012. Over 150 exhibitors participated in 2015, with more requests for space than
is available inside. We credit that boom to the growth in Vermont’s diversified agricultural sector, which has generated new products from farmers in large and small markets and new markets for those products. Don’t miss this year’s Vermont Farm Show January 26-28. For more information on the web www.vtfarmshow.com
The Vermont Farm Show is again proud to partner with the Vermont Foodbank- so even though parking and admission to the Farm Show is free, we are asking all those attending to donate a canned or boxed good to the greeters as you walk in the front door of the Miller Building. The response was wonderful last year, and we hope to again fill the shelves at the Foodbank. www.4LegsAndATail.com 11
Traditional Chinese Veterinary Herbal Medicine Mona Rooney, DVM/CVA/CVFT Georges Mills, NH
H erbal medicine has been practiced for thousands of years for the treat-
ment and prevention of disease in both human and veterinary medicine. Herbal medicines are primarily derived from plants, but may also be mineral based. The aim of herbal medicine is to restore the balance between yin and yang, the two opposing but integrated forms of energy. An imbalance in yin and yang energy constitutes disease. Traditional Chinese veterinary medicine can identify patterns of imbalance that are not identified by traditional western medical exams. Herbal medicine addresses both the symptoms and root causes of disease. Herbs are selected to rebalance the system as a whole, so that organ systems can function harmoniously and health is restored. Herbal medicines can treat both acute and chronic conditions and are also used to boost the immune system to prevent illness. Herbs affect the immune system by increasing the flow of the lymphatic system and activating T-lymphocytes to fight infection. Many herbs have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Herbs are classified based on their flavor, the organ system or meridian they influence, their thermal qualities, or directional energy and action. Flavors include sweet, sour, pungent, bitter, and salty. Sweet herbs affect the spleen and stomach meridians and help to regulate internal organ function. Sour herbs are associated with the liver and have an astringent effect that helps stop abnormal secretions of discharges, promotes digestion, and enhances liver function. Pungent herbs stimulate blood circulation and distribute energy from the interior of the body to the surface, or exterior. They are also associated with the lung meridian. Bitter herbs affect the heart meridian and have anti inflammatory, detoxifying, antiviral, and antiparasitic effects. Finally, salty herbs Continued NEXT PAGE
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affect the kidney meridian and have a diuretic effect which helps to maintain fluid balance. Thermal properties of herbs include hot, warm, cold, cool, and neutral. Herbal energies are based in yin/yang theory. Hot and warm herbs are yang and are used to treat cold (yin) conditions. Cold and cool herbs are yin and are used to treat hot (yang) conditions. In cases where a disease is neither hot nor cold, herbs with a neutral energy are selected. The energetics of individual herbs can be combined in herbal formulas to produce a more balanced or neutral formula in order to avoid the over-warming or over-cooling of the patient. Directional energy encompasses upward (ascending) and downward (descending or sinking) energy. Upward acting herbs are yang in nature and are warming by increase circulation to the head and chest. Herbs with a downward energy are yin and help the body to cool and calm itself. They have an astringent effect and eliminate heat and dampness. Herbal medicine can be used to address a variety of disease and conditions, including but not limited to the following: • Behavioral disorders (fearfulness, anxiety, noise sensitivity) • Cardiac disease (congestive heart failure, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) • Endocrine disorders (Cushing’s disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism) • Gastrointestinal diseases and disorders (anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, megacolon and constipation, inflammatory bowel disease, feline gingivitis/stomatitis, maldigestion/malabsorption, fecal incontinence) • Geriatric medicine (support of aging organ systems and stimulation of the immune system) • Liver conditions (hepatitis, cholangiohepatitis, and hepatic lipidosis) • Immune mediated diseases (discoid lupus, immune mediated polyarthritis) • Dermatologic conditions (allergic dermatitis, hot spots, lick granulomas, military dermatitis, chronic ear infections) • Musculoskeletal conditions (osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease) • Neurologic disease (paralysis, intervertebral disc disease, geriatric vestibular syndrome, degenerative myelopathy, epilepsy) • Cancer (primary of adjunctive treatment to minimize side effects of chemotherapy) • Respiratory conditions (asthma, chronic cough, chronic sinusitis • Renal disease (chronic kidney failure, urinary and kidney stones, urinary incontinence) Chinese herbs have a high margin of safety and are well tolerated. They may be used in combination with most western medications but it is important to address this with your veterinarian so that any potential interactions can be addressed. Typically, the dosage of western medications can be gradually reduced if used in conjunction with herbal formulas. In summary, with the exception of acute, life threatening, traumatic or surgical conditions, herbal medicine can be used primarily or adjunctively with western medicine to address a wide range of medical conditions. Dr. Rooney received her undergraduate degree from UNH.With a BS in Animal Science/ Preveterinary Medicine, she attended Cornell and completed her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1984. For more information visit www.AnimalAcupunctureAndHerbs.com Winter 2015
Managing Winter Urinary Issues In Cats A
Dr. Anne Carroll, DVM, CVA
s the wind blows, you slosh thru the wet snow and it feels like the cold is getting into your very bones. Yes, its winter in Vermont! As a kid your mother may have warned you to wear a hat and scarf so you don’t “catch a cold”. In modern times we think we know better, that germs cause illness, not the weather, right? But Chinese medicine put large stock in the effect of environment on our bodies. They mapped out daily and seasonal shifts that occur biologically and used those rhythms to identify areas of imbalance and treat disease. They also described how weather could be the trigger that brings forth an illness in a patient. The type of weather involved gave clues to the nature of the weakness, which helped treat the disease and allowed strengthening to avoid future problems. While outdoor exposure could have the most impact, humidity, temperature, and atmospheric changes affect us and our pets whether inside or out. Cats with urinary issues are a perfect example of this phenomenon. Veterinarians are fully aware that as the daylight gets shorter in the Fall and Winter, we see more cats with bladder infections and male cats that “block” and can’t urinate at all. But why would this be? We know that too little water intake, bladder stones, infections and stress are associated with bladder problems, but these have no seasonal links. Some outdoor cats could suffer more stress cooped up in the winter, but this issue affects cats that never go outside just as often as those that do. There simply is no Western explanation, but alternative approaches that address seasonal impacts on the body can provide a different perspective and more treatment options for what can be a very frustrating, reoccurring issue for cats and their owners. Why are urinary issues so common, and so difficult to treat in cats? Western medicine can identify and treat bladder stones or infections, but stops there. The root issue, often diet related, creates the opportunity for excess bacteria or stones. Throw in a stress, especially in the winter and viola, you have inflammation and urinary symptoms and are at the vet’s office. With all the pharmaceuticals and prescription diets used for these cats, Western medicine ignores the root issues, and therefore sees a tendency for repeat14 4 Legs & a Tail
ed urinary flare-ups. The discomfort implies a urinary infection, yet antibiotics are not effective long-term. Providing a meat-rich, moist diet and addressing any stress is where the focus needs to be. Emma’s case is a good example of how important hydration is for urinary issues. A few winters ago she began going in and out of her litter box more than usual, passing little urine despite repeated attempts. A urine test showed blood, bacteria and despite eating a wet diet she had an extremely high urine concentration. Normally the kidneys let any extra water leave the body via the urine. Without enough ‘extra’ water, the urine is more concentrated, and that is a problem since salts that stay dissolved in watery urine will turn into solid crystals in concentrated urine. These can cause irritation, allow bacteria to thrive, and bladder stones may form. What a cat eats can also promote crystals in concentrated urine. Emma did not like to drink water, and with the season change her bladder flared up. She was started on antibiotics along with two herbal formulas. We also began to try to get her to drink more with a kitty water fountain. After a few days she was feeling back to normal. Her follow up urinalysis showed no more blood, but still a good amount of bacteria, white blood cells, crystals and her urine was only a little less concentrated. Because she was back to her happy self after finishing antibiotics, we tried to stop the herbs. Within a day, all her symptoms were back. We resumed her herbs with a cranberry support and no antibiotic and she was fine within a day. Two weeks later we tried to stop again with the same results. By February her urine test showed no change, so we added a Chinese herb that addresses crystal formation. This did resolve all the crystals and white blood cells in her urine even with the concentrated level. With more water in her food, her urine was a normal dilution and by April she was off all the herbs and supplements. She has had water added to her wet food ever since, without any return of issues. Why did we not simply continue antibiotics for Emma, after her initial prescription, even though she had ongoing bacteria elevations in her urine? The main reason was that it was not needed. The bacteria were not causing her probContinued NEXT PAGE
lem, their presence was simply evidence that her bladder was not healthy. From a Chinese perspective, antibiotics used repeatedly as a sole therapy can perpetuate the root cause of bladder problems. Herbal formulas address these root issues, and are very effective treatments for bladder disease. With Emma, the herbs made her comfortable and we had the time to adjust her diet for long term success. But sometimes the situation is more immediately urgent. This is most often true when a male cat has a bladder problem. Boy cats have a narrower passageway for urine compared to girls, which can spasm shut from pain or clog with crystals and infection matter. Being unable to urinate is a medical emergency and can be fatal within a day or two. Because of this, male cats have to be monitored more closely for proper urine habits. Their treatment is the same as for girls if caught early, but once they can’t urinate, then resolving the immediate crisis is the focus. Often this involves placing a urinary catheter under anesthesia to allow urine flow until inflammation and infection can be resolved. However, if the problem is just a spasm and not a physical plug of debris, sometimes they can be treated medically. This was the case for Wes, a kitty very sensitive to stress. He was eating a dry diet, and several years ago in the Fall he began staying in the litter box longer than usual. His owner noticed that he was passing very little urine, and then would bolt out of the box and lick himself. We examined him and found his bladder was very full despite all his attempts to go to the bathroom. We treated him with acupuncture and a relaxing aromatherapy, and within minutes we were able to empty his bladder with some gentle pressure. He was hospitalized and treated with herbs, homeopathics, antibiotics and acupuncture and showed no signs of needing to urinate frequently. He went home on the same and was slowly changed over to a canned food diet. He blocked again once in October off his herbs, but responded again to the same treatment. Wes’ owner is diligent in monitoring is urinary habits and in times of stress gives him herbs, homeopathics, and increases water in his diet. He made a full recovery and other than one mild flare up that was managed at home, he has been free of any bladder issues. He is currently not on any therapy other than his moist diet. For both Wes and Emma, their success was due to close monitoring. Cats do not show symptoms as clearly as dogs when they do not feel well. Small changes in their normal routines are important signs of trouble. Certainly if they are visiting their litter box more often, or urinating in odd places, see your veterinarian immediately. A complete physical and Winter 2015
history will check for any cause of stress that may have triggered the issue. A urine test can evaluate for crystals, concentration, white blood cells and blood. Xrays can check for bladder stones. Antibiotics may be part of the therapy, but in our experience they are not always needed and certainly most cats do best if the other root issues are addressed. A natural wet diet is a great management tool for urinary issues, but not fast enough to deal with a cat in the middle of a crisis. Acupuncture, herbs and homeopathy address inflammatory issues quickly, soothing discomfort and sometimes can ‘unblock’ cats without surgery. Since we would all prefer to keep our feline friends from suffering from bladder issues in the first place, prevention is the best approach. Cats on all dry food typically have urines so concentrated they are classified as borderline dehydrated, mainly because the water they drink goes to the digestive tract to hydrate the food instead of their tissues. So for a species prone to bladder and kidney issues, providing a fluid rich diet is a great place to start with prevention. Next is to identify sources of emotional stress. These may seem small, such as schedule changes, vacations, new pets or guests, and even outdoor cats that may indirectly stress an indoor cat. Changing foods quickly, especially from wet to dry, can cause a bladder issue in a matter of days in a cat already
primed for that issue. Be aware of these possible pitfalls especially in the winter months and talk to your veterinarian about ways to help keep your cat feeling safe and secure so his or her bladder does not get inflamed as a result of stress. A little prevention and vigilance for how your kitty is acting can go a long way to keep this winter filled with happy days purring by the fire, not in the hospital. Dr.Anne Carroll is owner of the Chelsea Animal Hospital where she practices both conventional medicine and surgery as well as several alternative modalities including traditional Chinese acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Her associate Dr. Betty Jo Black brings classical homeopathy to the practice. For more information on alternative veterinary medicine visit their website at www.chelseaanimalhospital.com
What is Your Pet IQ
1. What is the most popular pedigreed cat breed? Persian Russian blue
Siamese Maine coon
2. Which of these pets communicate by chirping? Hermit crab Corn snake
3. If an animal’s coat is “Piebald” or “Pied” what does that mean? Spotted Tabby
All white Solid color
4. Which of these birds are a popular parrot? Canary Finch
Parakeet All of the above
5. What percentage of U.S. households has a pet? 16 34
6. What are Sea Monkeys? Brine shrimp Fish lice Tongue worms Spider crabs Continued NEXT PAGE
16 4 Legs & a Tail
7. Which of these dog breeds is considered “hypoallergenic?” Havanese Portuguese Water Dog
Poodle All of the above
8. Which of these pets has become an invasive species in the Unites States? European rabbit Burmese python
Cockatiel Sugar glider
9. Where do golden hamsters live in the wild? Central America Wilder, VT
African savanna Middle East
10. What is another name for a Siamese fighting fish? Goldfish Tetra
11. Which of these senses is the most acute for a dog? Sight Hearing
12. What historical figure was the first to introduce Japanese Akitas to the U.S.? Ben Franklin Marilyn Monroe
13. When does a cat purr? When it’s scared Content
Helen Keller Bernie Sanders In pain All of the above
14. What is unique about the many cats that live at writer Ernest Hemingway’s Key West home? They are deaf They have no tail
They go swimming They have extra toes
15. Calico cats are almost always __________. Male Female
16. It’s okay to give your pet acetaminophen (i.e. Tylenol)? True False
Answers On Page 52
Grand View Farm T
ake a turn off the beaten path and just keep driving. Soon youâ€™ll come to Grand View Farm. Tucked away far off the dirt roads of rural Vermont, this city born family decided to come and make a country kind of life. Being the first family in 50 years to get the farm functioning fully, the Goodlings experienced some difficulties reopening it. The barns were not capable of holding animals, the fields had not been hayed in years, and the gardens, apple trees and fencing had all been neglected. But with a lot of hard work and the support of their neighbors, they managed to get the farm into working condition.
One of the biggest helpers with the fields are the sheep. These sheep keep the pastures mown and are an excellent source of wool. Most of the herd are Gotland sheep. These sheep come from Gotland Island in Sweden. However, importing sheep is illegal, so they must import semen and breed the goats through artificial insemination. The ewes range from 81%-93.75% Gotland Sheep and the two rams are 95.3% and 94.5%. Their wool is naturally curly and coarse, and used mostly for scarves and shawls. The Goodlings also keep Romney sheep, which originate from Kent, England. Their wool is springy and crimped, making it softer and better for making articles such as socks. Their flock is kept safe by a llama named Alaska. Llamas are naturally curious and bond well with a flock of sheep. If they see something amiss near the flock they will go investigate it. If it turns out to be a threat, they will let out a warning call and herd the flock to one area. Once the flock is all there, the llama will make sure they stay safe until the threat has been taken care of. This farm is also home to 3 pigs for clearing woods and pastures, chickens for eggs, a border collie for herding and a cat. While the farm has had its share of difficulties, the family, animals, and neighbors are all happy with the outcome. Visit www.grandviewfarmvt.net to learn about their fiber art classes or private retreats. Lauren Anikis is a Junior at Lebanon High School and lives in Plainfield, NH. She interned this summer as a writer & photographer at 4 Legs & a Tail.
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u a e r u B m r a F t n o m r e V Turns 100
“It’s your birthday We gon’ party like it’s yo birthday We gon’ sip Bacardi like it’s your birthday” - lyrics by 50 cent
T he Vermont Farm Bureau is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year, serving and advancing Vermont agricul-
ture. Unlike the 50 Cent song, they have taken their 100 birthdays, and every day in between very seriously. It was established in 1915 as a grassroots organization for its individual members. A group of County Farm Bureaus had formed in Vermont previously, and bringing them together as one group helped to solidify its emergence. The Vermont Farm Bureau is the state’s largest non-profit trade association of agricultural producers. More than 4,000 member families in all fourteen counties have joined together to solve problems common to the agricultural community. While members join at the county level, a membership gives you access to all the benefits of the County Farm Bureau, the Vermont Farm Bureau and the American Farm Bureau Federation; the world’s largest agricultural advocacy organization with over 6 million family members nationwide. Their 100 years of experience on issues relating to agriculture here in Vermont has made them widely considered the “Voice of Agriculture” in the Green Mountain state. This respect for the grassroots policy development process, and emphasis on every member’s input, has propelled the Vermont Farm Bureau into playing a critical role in shaping public policy locally and at the state and national levels. You don’t have to be a farmer or forester to join Farm Bureau. If you want to help save family farms and preserve Vermont’s rural character, the Farm Bureau is one way to help. They encourWinter 2015
age all friends of farmers, foresters, horticulturalists, private property owners and agribusiness to support the organization that speaks for agriculture in Vermont. But most importantly, if you are interested in helping preserve and strengthen an integral part of Vermont’s working landscape, Farm Bureau is the place for you. Their mission is to serve and advance Vermont agriculture. The Bureau works around the clock to spread awareness of Vermont’s food production, consumption and the entire chain of control of what we feed our families and resident of Vermont, including Waste Management. They offer a scholarship to a Vermont Student at the University of Vermont each year. as well as produce an Agricultural magazine each quarter for its members, or by subscription. Please join 4 Legs and a Tail in congratulating The Vermont Farm Bureau for 100 great years (that is 700 in dog years), of hard work.
The Secret Lives Of Dogs: Emotional Sensor Helps Owners Understand Their Pups’ Feelings Michael Walsh-Yahoo News
A dog’s tail wagging could be worth a thousand words, and with the
help of a new gadget, we’re a little closer to translating its message. Believing a dog’s tail is a window to the canine soul, founders of New Yorkbased tech company DogStar Life, created a smart device to help owners decode the messages transmitted when pups wag their tails to better understand the emotional lives of their furry friends. TailTalk is a lightweight sensor that sits on a dog’s tail and documents the peaks and valleys of the pup’s feelings throughout the day, according to the creators. “It basically combines an accelerometer and a gyroscope, much like the Fitbit, but it’s picking up on the way the tail is moving,” DogStar Life COO and co-founder Mike Karp said, in an interview with Yahoo News. “The idea is to capitalize on all the research that’s been done in the last two to three years on what tail movement means, and translate that into emotion.” DogStar Life launched an Indiegogo campaign recently to raise $100,000 to further develop the technology and prepare the hardware for production.
TailTalk will connect to the company’s DogStar app to update owners on their pets feelings
TailTalk transmits the emotional data to a companion app for iOS and Android via Bluetooth. Ideally, the information will enable owners to emphasize the environments, people, toys and so forth that bring their pets the most happiness, while avoiding stress inducers. Left wagging, Karp said, usually indicates negative feelings like anger or Continued PAGE 22
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wonderful, but if they had more data, they can probably make better decisions and create a stronger bond between them and their dog.” Tsampalis, who previously worked in smart accessories for Verizon Wireless, and Karp, who worked in data for several organizations, decided to join forces shortly after meeting in September 2014 while pursuing MBAs at Cornell Tech in New York. They started DogStar Life by combining Tsampalis’ passion for the rapidly growing field of wearable technology and Karp’s love of dogs. “It was extremely exciting for both of us,” Tsampalis said. “Mike had grown up aggression, while right wagging typically with dogs in his life. ... I consider wearindicates positive feelings like happiness ables to be the new wave of computing — or excitement. But their tails convey even more subtle cues to other dogs. Yannis Tsampalis, CEO and co-founder of DogStar Life, told Yahoo News that the product should not make anyone feel guilty; rather, it should empower an owner to improve his or her pet’s quality of life. “If you know that your dog is really unhappy during the day, it’s probably in the best interest of both of you to have a dog walker or dog sitter come over,” he TailTalk is a small smart device that is placed on a dog’s tail. suggested. “We feel that pet parents are
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there’s a tremendous amount of opportunity and a lot of untapped territory.” Early on in the project, Tsampalis and Karp spent a lot of time talking to dog owners and veterinarians to understand what was most important to them, because they did not want to be swayed by their own biases. “And one of the things that always came up was the health and happiness of their dogs,” Tsampalis said. The key to understanding a dog’s happiness, they said, is its tail. Pamela Perry, a veterinary behavior resident at Cornell University, said tail wagging does not automatically indicate happiness. It signals behavioral nuances that dogs understand but humans do not always recognize. “Fortunately, there are ways to monitor and record dogs’ body language, and ongoing research offers a more detailed understanding of how our pets express themselves,” she said in a press release. Karp explained that most of the research done so far involves still photography, but he hopes the release of the product will enable further research, which will be reinvested in the hardware. The team at DogStar plans to prepare TailTalk for delivery in mid-2016 for Indiegogo backers.
Winter Ice Melter Safety What is safe to use in my driveway? Cory Balch - Elkins, NH
f this winter is going to be a repeat of last year, we are in for a whole lot of snow again, which means a whole lot of driveway maintenance. A common question asked at the veterinarian’s is, “What types of ice melters are safe for dogs?” Traditional rock salt is primarily composed of sodium chloride with some impurities. It is not suitable for human or animal consumption. Sodium chloride is very irritating to the stomach and intestines. Additionally, ingestion of large amounts can dangerously increase sodium levels in the bloodstream which can result in neurologic damage. Common signs of sodium toxicity are vomiting, increased thirst, tremors, and even seizures. Other salts commonly found in ice melting products are calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, and potassium chloride. These are also very irritating to the gastrointestinal tract, and can also cause vomiting and diarrhea as well as interfere with the cardiovascular system. All of the salt based ice-melting products are especially dangerous to animals with underlying kidney or heart conditions. If you suspect your pet has ingested any of these, please contact your local veterinarian’s office. Salt-free de-icers do exist. They are based on urea compounds. They are generally less harmful than the salt based ones. These chemicals can still cause gastrointestinal upset so it is important to limit your pets’ exposure to them. For those of you with large animals at home, it is important to know that the urea based products can cause health issues in ruminant species such as cows, sheep, and goats. De-icing products, especially the salt based ones can be very irritating to skin and pads. Sharp ice and snow balls collecting between toes can also cause your dog discomfort during the winter months. To help reduce irritation, there are several steps which can be taken. The use of booties or applying a thin layer of either petroleum jelly or a special pad conditioning ointment can help reduce exposure. Trimming long haired dog’s foot hair can prevent those little snow balls from forming. Finally, making sure to wipe off your dogs’ feet when you return home can be part of the winter walk routine. If you are going for a long walk, it may help to bring along a rag for some mid-walk maintenance. The main way that dogs can be exposed to the chemicals in ice melters is from licking their feet after being outside. Some dogs, however, may also become exposed by drinking from puddles of melted snow mixed with the chemicals. Regardless of the product you choose to de-ice your driveway, it is important to monitor your dog for these behaviors to help avoid harmful exposures. The most important thing is to store these products securely to prevent any curious animal from getting into them and ingesting large concentrated amounts. 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 2015
Paws 2 Play Cathy White - Walpole, NH
he lobby at Keene State College’s Holloway dorm is dim and crowded with students awaiting our arrival. As we file down the corridor we’re greeted by a chorus of “OMG’s” and, “They’re here, they’re here!” Rock stars on campus? Hardly. Despite the exuberant welcome, we are simply five therapy dog teams here for “Paws 2 Play”; a nine week program sponsored by the school’s counseling center, and hosted at rotating freshman dormitories. We come here with the idea of helping these new students adjust to college. An hour of doggy face time and petting does wonders for those who are missing their own pets, and coping with being away from home and family for the first time. We are Monadnock Therapy Pets (MTP), and we operate through the Monadnock Humane Society (MHS). We and our canine teammates are all registered with national parent organizations. Like the students we are interacting with, we too must go through a lot of learning and testing - though our dogs obviously get a pass on the written exams! We don’t. This night, our dogs run the gamut from a tiny spaniel to a massive gentle giant of a Newfie. We set up blankets and quilts to keep shedding to a minimum, and are ready to welcome the first wave of students. My own team partner is my yellow Lab, Harry, whose undeniable favorite demographic is in fact, these very freshmen. They cluster in groups around each dog; soaking up the love and giving it back in return. The students eagerly show off cell phone photos of their own dogs, and share stories about them. We talk with them about what college is like so far, their majors, how they’re enjoying dorm life, or anything else they feel like opening up about. Additionally, and importantly, KSC counseling staff and faculty are well represented to ensure that these students feel like part of the community from the beginning. According to the Counseling Center, freshmen are, “at risk for struggles in the first 6-8 weeks around homesickness,” which is “….a complex experience... resulting from the stress that comes from adjusting to highly unfamiliar environments.” Paws 2 Play helps students relax and form new connections during this critical period. Canine therapy programs at campuses have even been shown to help in student retention. Dr. Joe Yazvac, Continued NEXT PAGE
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Phyllis with her handler, Tim Coronis
KSC’s Counseling Center interim director, estimates that 800-900 students will take part in the program this semester. This is the third year that KSC has offered Paws 2 Play. The hour passes by in a blur of fun and fur for dogs and people alike. Many of the students who participate in Paws 2 Play eventually come to know the dogs, and greet them by name. Some have their favorites; though the dogs seem to love everyone unilaterally. The students’ faces become familiar to us as well. While this night’s event is a fullhouse, we notice with time that the last weeks of the program don’t seem to be as crowded. It is our hope that this is because we are all doing our job, and doing it well; and that another happy, well-adjusted freshman class is becoming part of the KSC family. Cathy White lives in Walpole with her husband, Jeff. They have been owned by Labradors of every color for almost 30 years. Cathy is a Boston University alum, with a degree in print communications. She also participates in the Paws to Read program.
Willow & Alex, driving Kristin Martin crazy in Newport, NH
A Canine Approach to Literacy Steve Reiman
Pepper enjoying a good book. 101 Dalmations?
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umerous members of Therapy Dogs of Vermont have been involved with the R.E.A.D. program over many years bringing their certified therapy dogs to schools and libraries to improve the literacy skills of children. The dogs snuggle up to the kids and listen carefully while never correcting them as they read. They call no specific attention to themselves but quietly express love and consolation. It has been obvious that many youngsters have loved reading to the dogs while their reading skills have been greatly improved. When children meet R.E.A.D. dogs, it is sometimes their first encounter with unconditional acceptance. One librarian wrote “For the past ten years your READ program has greatly enriched the reading experience of hundreds of children at our Library. Families have told us what a difference this program has made, encouraging children to practice their reading in a quiet, soothing environment. The dogs and their handlers bring such compassion and warmth to their interactions with kids. Our community is fortunate to be part of this amazing program.” The TDV Members that started the early reading programs are Karen Odato who started the reading program in the Randolph area. Brenda Altman started the reading program in the Manchester area and Cathy Messina who started the reading program in the Williston area. Some of the many dogs in this program include Frosty and Friends, Sophie, Micro the Maltutor, Gypsy Rose, Tiger Lily, and Pepper. What a joy it is to know that TDV dogs are helping students in our communities while also unleashing smiles. Steve Reiman is the Founder of Therapy Dogs of Vermont. Therapy Dogs of Vermont (TDV) is a non-profit organization of highly-trained dogs and their volunteer handlers. Our handler/canine teams work on the emotional health of hospital patients, students in educational settings, residents of nursing/retirement homes, and correctional facilities. www.TherapyDogs.org Winter 2015
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A Drug Free Option for Treating Pain in your Pet Kim Jones DVM and Meg Falcone DVM
toney Brook Veterinary Hospital in Lebanon, New Hampshire is pleased to announce the addition of a Companion Therapy laser to our practice. We are the first practice in our region to offer a Class IV laser for veterinary patients. We have been providing this to our own patients since October 2014 and welcome referrals from other practices. What is Laser treatment? The word laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. To some, this may sound like a military weapon or a science fiction plot. However, there are examples of lasers in our daily lives: grocery store scanners, office printers, laser pointers (cats love these), and factory machines utilizing lasers to cut material. Not only can lasers perform those tasks, they have created a remarkable medical breakthrough in vision correction surgery. Laser types differ from one another in the wavelength and power of light they produce. In medical applications, different wavelengths affect living tissue in different ways. For example, surgeons use one wavelength of light to make incisions and a different wavelength of light to treat injured areas without causing any cuts through the skin. The Companion Laser at Stoney Brook Veterinary Hospital is a Class 4 high power machine that can deliver substantial doses of light energy to deep tissues and joints painlessly and efficiently. Our veterinarians and technicians have been trained and certified to administer laser therapy to pets. The class 4 machine is different from the portable class 3 laser (AKA cold laser) that are also available for pain treatments. How do the Laser treatments work? Infrared light from the laser probe penetrates deep into injured or painful tissues where it is absorbed into the cells. This energy is converted into chemical, not thermal, energy. This is called a photochemical effect. The light energy stimulates the mitochondria (energy source) within damaged cells to help tissues heal. This â€œphotobiomodulationâ€? triggers a cascade of beneficial effects: it accelerates blood flow (increases vasodilation), activates the immune system (increases lymphatic drainage), reduces inflammation (decreases pro-inflammatory mediators), and increases endorphin release. Continued NEXT PAGE
As a result, inflammation, redness, bruis- al exam and consultation if not coming ing, edema, and pain are reduced with in with a referral from a veterinarian.) class 4 laser treatment. How do I make an appointment? What are the most common uses for If you are not coming in with a referral and x-rays from your regular veterilaser in a veterinary practice? Laser treatment speeds healing of narian, there will be an exam and consult surgical incisions and wounds. A sin- prior to starting treatments. For orthogle laser treatment is usually all that is pedic conditions, it is best if your pet has needed for post-surgical patients. Severe x-rays to confirm the location and severity so the laser treatment can be accuratewounds may require several treatments. Laser treatment provides pain relief and ly targeted. A physical exam alone may is used most commonly for arthritis, hip be sufficient to initiate treatment. Senior or elbow dysplasia, panosteitis (grow- pets are often sore in multiple locations; ing pains) or back pain. Many geriatric but sometimes this can be pinpointed to patients have trouble taking regular pain a single location. Generally, no sedation medications, making laser therapy an is required for laser treatment and pet excellent alternative with visible results. parents stay with their pet. If a patient Acute trauma or sprains usually require is very aggressive or stressed, alternative 5 sessions administered over a few weeks, arrangements may be made. but sometimes respond after a single Please speak with your veterinartreatment. Laser can also be used to treat ian to help decide if this is right for your skin conditions such as hot spots, chronic pet. Referral forms for your veterinarian lick spots, abrasions, and bite wounds due are on our website. We look forward to working with your regular veterinarian to its anti-bacterial effects. to provide this form of alternative pain management. You may also call Stoney Does it work? Based on visible results from the pets Brook Veterinary Hospital or contact and satisfied pet parents, the resounding us via email for more information or to schedule an appointment. Treatments answer at our hospital is â€œYESâ€?. Session prices are based on the treat- range in frequency from a few times ment length. This range can be 3 minutes a week to once monthly for chronic - 20 minutes or more if there are multiple pain management. 603-448-4448 www. areas being addressed. Prices range from stoneybrookvets.com and info@stoney$25-$55 per session (*may need addition- brookvets.com
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WE ARE WHAT WE EAT W
e are hearing about nutrition/ foods lately. Diagnosed as diabetic a few years ago, it has left me thinking about foods and how our bodies break down foods, not only in myself, but in our Pets also. My weight went down, my blood sugars are regulating, and my joints hurt less since dramatically decreasing processed foods. I don’t exercise as much and I do still have that piece of cake or cookies (but they are homemade). A big thing I have noticed is how my body works with a nice variety of good quality foods. “We are what we eat.” If we eat pizza all day every day we won’t turn into a pizza, but our bodies react to it. We feel sluggish, as we age our joints hurt more, if we suddenly after months of eating just pizza had something else, our bodies would react badly, not being used to breaking it down. Our bodies and our pet’s bodies need to have a well-rounded diet to keep digestion and immune systems working properly. We are seeing changes in dog, cat, and bird foods addressing some of these issues. I talk about pet nutrition with customers daily. I have been told of a big chain store that sells live fish, the fish always seem to be sick or many dead fish are seen in their aquariums. In our store the fish look nice, colorful, plump and swim happily. I figured I would check out the situation and allegations against this huge retailer. The systems they use are fantastic systems. The filters can handle the load of many fish, the flow rates on these systems are decent. So systems check out fine. Where are they getting their fish? Some other stores get them from the same places. Other mom and pop stores buying from the same places are not having
A popular ingredient to look for in fish food is Spirulina. This superfood is a type of cyanobacteria that contains a wealth of minerals and vitamins. In general, the darker color a vegetable has, the more nutrients it contains. Spirulina is such a dark green that it almost appears purplish black.
these same issues. So if they are coming in healthy and the life support is excellent, what could be the issue? Water quality, perhaps? What else could it be?? Then I considered one big culprit in the issue of ailing and dying fish.
Nutrition!! They feed vacation feeders as a sole source of food. Vacation feeders offer food to fish by breaking down gradually, and the fish pick the pieces. Ingredients used Continued NEXT PAGE
to bind the feeder together are like a plaster based material and arenâ€™t healthy. I feed my in-store fish as well as my fish at home a variety of high quality foods. Not all flake foods are equal in quality or ingredients. There are many excellent brands, just ask your local Pet Store aquatic specialist. We feed two times a day and switch up the foods. In the morning we feed flake or pellet food (depending on the type of fish) at night we feed a frozen food. There are many different types of frozen foods for freshwater and saltwater fish: Mysis shrimp, Blood worms, Super Brine, Community blend, Cyclops, and many more. As a treat we feed freeze dried foods, my favorite is Tubifex worms. Press some up against the glass and it sticks, the fish will come up and eat making it nutritional and interactive. When feeding a frozen food, fish go crazy, definitely entertaining. For Saltwater fish we mix Seachem Garlic Guard in with the frozen. This Liquid Garlic acts as an appetite stimulant for those finicky fish, helps the immune system on all fish, and is safe for invertebrates, corals etc. Since the fish get a varied diet they are more vibrant in color, more active and most importantly, healthier. Frozen foods come in Flat packs, cubes or pods. - In Flat packs the food is frozen in a sheet. You have to break or cut out the portion and let it thaw. - With Cubes the food is frozen into cubes. Just pop a cube right into the aquarium or into a container to let it thaw. - Pods, new from Omega One, are a convenient way to feed frozen foods. You let each container (pod) thaw, rip off the cover, and pour into the aquarium. So much easier. Flake/pelleted foods: With so many varieties of fish, it is difficult to cover all of the proper flakes to feed here. For example; live bearing fish (mollies, platies, guppies, swordtails) should have more vegetable protein in their diet, and the diet for South American Cichlids is different than for African Cichlids? This is where visiting the aquatics specialist in your local mom and pop pet store comes in. Stop into your local pet store for some frozen or freeze dried foods and you will start seeing a difference. The enjoyment of watching your fish go crazy over it will happen immediately.
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DJ Nelson has worked in the pet industry for almost two decades and is the owner of AquaRealm Aquarium & Pets in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. He works with Reptiles, Birds, Small Animals, Fresh/ Saltwater fish, and Dog & Cat Nutrition. Since proper care is constantly changing, educating customers about their pets is most important. www.aquarealmaquarium.com and Facebook Winter 2015
Cold Blooded Winter Emergency Kits A
Samantha Bubar - Barre, VT
s the colder months approach, we like to plan ahead for the brisk temperatures. As Vermonters, we pull out our hats and mittens from the dreaded “winter storage” so many of us have. We drag winter jackets from the back of our closets and pull out the flannel lined pants we all have tucked away. We pull out the tiny jackets our dogs hate. We cover our beds with extra blankets. We have our furry pets and ourselves prepared for the upcoming change in weather, but what about our cold blooded companions? My first winter with a reptile, one leopard gecko, went fairly well. Sure, she stayed on the warm side of her enclosure and was less active- but who could blame her! After all, the frequent drops below zero had me doing the same thing in my own apartment! We both made it through most of the winter incident free, with the exception of one power outage that turned into an impromptu “bring your gecko to work days.” Later that night after some research and planning, I decided to put together an emergency kit. I now have two leopard geckos and a bearded dragon, and each has their own kit. I keep the kits near each enclosure, so that in case of emergency, they can be ready in seconds. These emergency kits could be used in case of prolonged power outages or in case of fire or flooding. However, we do experience some minor power outages that last only a half an hour to an hour. In those cases, I find it is easier to leave the reptile in their enclosure and monitor the temperature, sometimes covering the enclosure with a towel to keep the heat from escaping. Continued NEXT PAGE
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If the outage is only minor and you’re going to be at home to monitor temperatures, it may be less stressful to try and contain the heat, rather than move your reptile. But, if the power were to go out for more than a day or you needed to relocate quickly because of fire or flash flooding, it is certainly a relief to have a plan in place so you aren’t in a panic while trying to get yourself and your pets to safety. While not a professional, I hope that my experiences and ideas can help other reptile hobbyists. Here are a few suggestions for things that may be helpful in putting together an emergency kit for your reptilian companions! A temporary enclosure for each reptile: I use disposable Styrofoam coolers. They help insulate and provide a sturdy space for each reptile. In each kit, I keep paper towels and soft fabric, both help with insulation and keeping the reptile comfortable. 40 hour heat packs: I ordered these online from a website that sells feeder insects and shipping supplies for reptiles. In a pinch you could use hand warmers, though they won’t last as long, they will keep the enclosure warm for a period of time. It is also helpful to have a thermometer to correctly monitor the temperatures. Make sure that when adding a heat pack, to wrap it in something before putting it in the enclosure with your reptile to prevent burns from direct contact. Note: If you’re going to be around while the power is out, you can place the wrapped heat pack in the reptiles normal enclosure, with a towel over the top of their tank to ensure that the heat stays contained. This may keep the reptile more comfortable. Winter 2015
Temporary food and bottled water: I have found the canned or freeze dried feeder insects work best in an emergency kit. While these aren’t the best option nutritionally for your reptile on a daily basis, they will work in a pinch. For water and food containers, I use appropriately sized plastic lids. Depending on the type of reptile, you may have to add other supplies to your kit as necessary. I have an extra misting bottle and extra heat bulbs in my kit, as well as some extra calcium and favorite treats. Samantha Bubar 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, www.trainingdragons.wordpress.com
Do you need help with your dog’s difficult behavior?
Top 5 New Years Resolutions For Both You And Your Dog Paula Bergeron - Grafton, NH I will Lead My Dog on Two Walks Every Day Dogs are meant to walk. Deep in their genetic make up they feel the need to travel with their family until or pack. To walk your dog is to help fulfill a deep instinctual need. When you walk keep your dogs mind active by requiring them to walk next to you or slightly behind. I call this a structured walk and it helps to establish you as the leader for you dog. For dogs who are insecure you are telling them you have their back relieving your dog of stress. If you have a dog who is in competition with you over who is in charge of your life, a structured walk gives them the understanding that you are the leader not only of the walk but of your home, car, family etc. A structured walk is my number one tip for people who are struggling with their dogs. It helps to provide structure and boundaries, builds your bond, and it doesn’t hurt your health either to get out and walk at least two times every day.
I Will Ensure There is Good Nutrition In Our Meals There is so much hype and media influence surrounding the food we give our dogs. There is much that can be learned about dog nutrition that can be time consuming and confusing so here are a few simple tips to ensuring your are providing nutritious meals for your pet. Look at the label and read the first three ingredients. If you don’t recognize those ingredients chuck that dog food. Dogs are built to need protein from meat, unlike we humans who can safely live on portent from meat or vegetables their first ingredient should be meat. Next pick a grain free product especially if you have an over weight dog as grains are a filler and source of emptycalories. Take the time to read about dog food choices either on line or with a professional. And as long as we are making a New Years resolution why not resolve to feed yourself as carefully as you feed your dog, that will make for a balanced nutritional environment for everyone in your pack. I Will Stimulate The Mind A dog who is using his/her mind is a calmer more relaxed dog. When you have your dog run free in the back yard they are folioing their instincts probably dictated by scent. Your dog runs and runs barks and plays, then comes into the house and runs around like a nut, Didn’t they get their energy out running outdoors? Well yes and no. When a dog is following instinct they do not turn on the thinking portion of their brain, so the brain races around and around as the dog follows their nose or eyes or ears. When they return to the house their body may be tired but their brain is still spinning in the instinct zone and unless your dog practices using the thinking portion of their brain they will need help to shift out of the wild behavior they practiced out doors. How you do help this? By giving your dog thinking tasks and monitoring how much they are allowed to follow their instincts and how much they use their thinking brain. My rule of thumb is there needs to be more practicing of thinking tasks than instinct tasks if you want your Continued NEXT PAGE
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To minimize snow and ice-balls clinging to your dogs paws, make sure their nails and the fur between the paws are trimmed. You can also spray the paws with a special deicing solution or just spray their paws with a light application of olive oil or cooking spray.
dog to be able to shift easily from one to the other. Set up thinking games such as finding a kong with a strong scent such as peanut butter, and require they bring it to you before they can dig in. Play ball but have your dog wait to chase the ball until they are calm and look to you for permission, give your dog working tasks such as getting the paper from the porch, pick up sticks and bring them to a stick pile, or just practice recall when they begin to follow a scent or running squirrel. Be creative! Think of new and fun tasks that you and your dog can perform that provide both exercise and brain function. You will get to be creative, and your dog will be able to relax when play time is over. You will both benefit from the exercise and the relaxation. I Will Groom My Dog Every Week Grooming your dog is not just about making your dog look their best, it benefits their over all health and builds trust between you and your dog. One of the first things I do when a dog comes to me for a board and train is clip their nails and brush them thoroughly. Why? Many dogs anticipate pain when their get their nails clipped and when I take the time to go slowly and show the dog this can be a fun experience involving peanut butter and massage I kick start the trust level between the two of us allowing me to begin our training process. Brushing your dog stimulates blood flow to the skin Winter 2015
helping with skin irritations, promoting healing of any scrapes or nicks, and brings out dead skin cells relieving some dogs of chronic itching. Trimming your dogs nails keeps their paws firmly on the ground. Long nails can hinder a dogs gate causing pain and or injury to knees shoulders or paws. And lastly taking care of your dogs teeth by brushing can keep gum disease and infection at bay not just in the mouth but in other organs of the body. The greatest payoff of grooming however, is the bond that comes from doing something that feels good to your dog and has nothing to do with our own satisfaction. You might be surprised by the change in your relationship just by having a having brush fest.
Paint Your Pet
Looking for some indoor fun this winter? Local artist Paula Dorr will be offering sessions to help you paint a portrait of your pet at Tip Top Pottery in White River Jct.. These are small groups with special one- on- one instruction in a fun and informal setting. Bring a 12” x 16” picture of your favorite pet and leave with our own pet portrait! Space is limited. To register in advance visit www.TipTopPottery.com January 13: 6p-9p January 31: 3:30- 6:30 February 24: 6p-9p
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I Will Advocate For My Dog Advocating for your dog is not easy. We all want everyone to like us and when someone wants to pet our dog, or have their dog meet ours it is difficult to put boundaries in place, but if your dog is fearful, anxious, or does not yet have good socialization or manners in meeting either dogs or humans, it is our responsibility to politely let others know that your dog is not ready to meet and greet. I have seen many difficult behavioral issues come about because dogs have been forced into meeting when they are not ready or when they feel they have to take care of their owners. When confronted with the dreaded question,,, Is you dog friendly??? Meaning can I pet your dog, there is just no good answer. Say yes and you and your dog may be bombarded with people and dogs that can overwhelm everyone involved ending in a snarling fest, say no and the human leaves with the distinct energy of “Not a good dog.. and not a nice owner as well” Here are some of my answers to the question: Is your dog friendly or Can I pet your dog? He’s a great dog but he is not ready to meet other dogs yet, or My dog is in training and we are not ready to meet others yet. These are all very polite answers but if someone is approaching you it is sometimes necessary for you as your dogs advocate to just say, “Stop”. On occasion you have no time and it is far better for the human to feel a bit of embarrassment than for your dog to begin to mistrust you because you were afraid of saying the wrong thing. It is amazing the changes you will see in a timid dog when they begin to trust that you are in charge and have their back. Learning how to meet other dogs should be done in a safe training environment not on your daily walk. Better to be safe and build trust, and maybe have a human or too look at you funny than to have a snarl result from your dog feeling the need to defend themselves because we did not step up to do it for him. From walking every day to advocating for your dog these resolutions are guaranteed to build trust and your bond with your dog. And remember EVERY day is a new beginning so you need not wait till New Years…. try making one of these resolutions today, and reap the benefits that will come to you, your dog, and your relationship together. Happy New Year! Paula Bergeron and the gang at Good Dogma embrace a holistic approach to bringing balance to your dog’s behavioral issues. Exercise, training, relaxation, massage, grooming, play, socialization and energy healing are incorporated into your dog’s routine. www.GooDogma.com
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Canine Point of View Growling Michelle Grimes
“That dog should know better!” “Growling is bad!” “I hit my dog on the nose when he growls, so he knows he’s been bad.”
hen it comes to humans, we’re hard-wired to think growling is a threat. Because of that, it’s reasonable to become upset when we hear growling. All too often, I hear these statements and find myself compelled to explain why growling, in fact, is GOOD. I realize this is a foreign concept to many, if not most of society. Society says growling is bad. Society says we should be embarrassed if our dogs growl and we should have “better control” over them. Believe it or not my animal loving friends; society is incorrect. Dogs too, should be allowed freedom of speech. Please understand I am not suggesting it’s a good thing for a dog to growl at its owner, however, growling can indeed be a non-aggressive form of communication. In human terms, if you were being physically pushed repeatedly by someone, you would eventually speak up. What if you didn’t have the ability to speak up and warn the person you were becoming irritated or frustrated? Your choices would be to leave, or to physically get your point across. A growl communicates a warning, whether a dog is growling at another dog or at a person. If a dog wanted to attack, it would. A dog growl is meant to avert aggression, not cause aggression. It is a distance increasing signal. The dog is saying, “Please increase your distance from me. Please move away from me.” Dogs use body language to communicate. When uncomfortable, they start to show subtle signs such as stiffening of their body, perhaps a quiet low growl, or a slight lift of the lip to show teeth. Other dogs see these subtle warning signs from another dog. Humans are generally less perceptive and often push it with the dog, to the point of the dog needing to progress to a verbal or more noticeable cue; a full on growl. If this dog is in fact TRYING to avoid an altercation and is using what is appropriate in dog language, but is then punished for it; you are removing the ability for them to get their point across. They are saying, “I’m not comfortable with this particular situation!” Continued NEXT PAGE
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When you punish a dog for growling, the dog starts to associate growling with punishment (remember, dogs learn by association). You eventually succeed in removing the very appropriate early warning system he once had. Once this early warning system is gone, the dog is likely to begin biting with no warning. I often hear or read stories about dogs that end up biting a baby or a child, even an adult and the owners are shocked. The story generally reads that the dogs bit “without warning.” I often wonder how many of those dogs inadvertently had their early warning systems taken away from them. As I always state, “Remember to look at the situation from the canine’s point of view.” Even if the situation in question doesn’t appear to be a “big deal” in your eyes, if your dog is growling, then the situation is in fact a big deal to your dog. Heed the warning. Remove your dog from the situation, whatever it may be. Take inventory of what happened, what type of situation your dog was in, and in the future set them up to be successful by being more mindful of their discomfort, when in that particular situation. Understand that just because your dog growls doesn’t mean you’re a terrible owner, or your dog is a bad dog, or isn’t well behaved. I would prefer to be in the company of a dog that growls over a silent one any day. Michelle Grimes CPDT-KA, of K9 Insights is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer & Behavior Consultant specializing in Positive Reinforcement Training for all breeds. She has been in the animal welfare field for over 13 year is a full time Emergency & Critical Care Veterinary Nurse Technician at SAVES in Lebanon. Michelle@k9insights. com or www.k9insights.com
"Tex" enjoying the lap of luxury with Laura and Bobby.
When Missing Teeth Really Are NOT Missing, Just Hiding T
Sandra L Waugh VMD. MS
eeth that are not visible in the mouth are often presumed to be missing, that is, not present at all. And it is true that not all dogs have 42 teeth from the beginning. It is not true that just because a tooth is not visible in the mouth that the tooth is not there and therefore of no concern. Teeth that have been created but fail to erupt are called impacted teeth and they can cause havoc. Letâ€™s go back to the beginning, when a puppy is born but has no teeth. Special cells are present within the jaw bone that will, at the proper time, create a tooth. The tooth is grown within a sphere of cells which surround that tooth as it is created. Within the sphere of cells is also fluid, which is created by the cells. When the tooth erupts, the crown becomes visible and the sphere of cells that created the tooth is broken, the fluid leaks away, and all traces of this very special tissue is gone forever. If the tooth fails to erupt then this sphere of cells is not broken and can continue to fill with fluid. This sack full of fluid is called a dentigerous cyst. Because it is contained within the jaw bone it can put pressure on the bone and teeth and be locally very destructive to the jaw bone and to teeth. Two cases follow. This first is a 6 year old Boxer. The owner noticed a swelling in the front of the left side of the lower jaw. The dog also suffered from excessive gum tissue (gingival hyperplasia) which covered the teeth making counting the teeth very difficult.
The teeth are hard to see because the gum is overgrown. The missing tooth should be visible at the yellow arrow. The Xrays will tell the tale. Impacted tooth (red arrow). This is the first premolar in the lower left jaw. The lower first premolar is the most commonly impacted tooth. The cyst had destroyed the bone around four incisors, the canine tooth and the first two premolars, all of which were extracted. All of these teeth were also by the pressure, with loss of the size of the root. To prevent more bone destruction, the sphere of cells that created the cyst were also removed. The cyst had been present for a considerable amount of time before the swelling in the jaw was noticed. Continued NEXT PAGE
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The second case is a 4 year old Pug with a swelling in the front of the right side of the lower jaw. The canine teeth are under the green arrows, the incisors are under the red arrows, and the swelling is outlined by yellow arrows. There should be 6 incisors. One seems to be missing but can be seen on the Xray. Again there has been destruction of bone around the three right incisors and down the root of the right canine tooth. But wait, there are two more impacted teeth, the first premolars on both sides of the lower jaw. And the one on the left also has a cyst around it (double red arrow). In this dog the three lower right incisors and the first right and left lower premolars were extracted, as well as the sphere of cells that created each cyst.
Intra-operative photograph. The impacted tooth (yellow arrow) is visible because the bone over the tooth had been completely destroyed.
It is even possible to have extra copies of teeth that are impacted, although this is much less common. Dogs are supposed to have 42 adult teeth. Even though in some breeds missing teeth are common, any dog with less than 42 teeth with no history of tooth extractions should have Xrays taken of the teeth. Early discovery of impacted teeth can save neighboring teeth and prevent bone destrution. Dr. Waugh is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She also holds a Masters Degree from Washington State University of Veterinary Medicine and is owner of Windsor Veterinary & Dental Services.
A Lucky Duck
On land or by water, Phoenix the duck gets around.
ith their youngest daughter ready to venture off to college, Robert and Nancy Burch contemplated life as empty nesters. Little did they know that the thought would be brief and the nest filled by the most unlikely of all- a duck!
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But Phoenix was not your typical duck. Last spring during a stop at the local Agway, their daughter Anna noticed the duckling and the obvious paralysis he suffered and immediately brought him to her Putney, VT home.
It was there that Robert, the owner of Brandywine Glassworks and a longtime artisan and craftsman devised a better life for Phoenix the Duck. Thanks to some good old fashioned Yankee ingenuity, he built a wheelchair for Phoenix. But it didn’t stop there, for what American made duck doesn’t love the water? Thus, the wheelchair is also a floatation device! According to Burch, “For a duck in a wheelchair, he sure gets around.” In fact, the six month old fowl tries to fly every morning and loves to paddle in the water, although one recent water mishap ended with the duck receiving mouth-to-bill resuscitation which unconfirmed sources has as a first in Vermont. As many have flown south for the winter, this duck is content to hang with the chickens and share frozen peas and corn. While the cause of the paralysis is not certain (local veterinarian suspect either a neurological defect or a broken bone in the neck), one thing is for sure and that Phoenix is one lucky duck.
Bird Nutrition Part 2: Converting Birds to Pelleted Diets Dr. Susan Dyer, DVM
A s discussed previously in 4 Legs & a Tail, the most balanced diet for birds in captivity is a pelleted diet. We feed our dogs, cats and livestock pelleted diets, and now there are very good balanced pelleted diets for birds. Conversion is not always readily accepted by the bird. Prior to beginning the conversion, preparation is involved. Purchase a digital gram scale at office or kitchen stores or online. Alternatively, you can bring your bird to a veterinary hospital 2-3 times per week to be weighed.
By introducing pellets gradually, your bird has time to overcome its natural suspicions and inhibitions regarding new food. Pellets can be mixed with the regular food, gradually increasing until over time, pellets are the exclusive diet. Start by first figuring out how much your bird eats in a day, slowly decreasing the amount of food available until the amount they are given is completely gone after twenty-four hours. A more accurate way would be to weigh the food before you give it to your bird and again twenty-four hours later when you change it. Next, we recommend gradually decreasing the amount of their current food by 10% and increasing the pelleted food by 10%, every 3-4 days. It is very important to weigh your bird daily on a gram scale to monitor their weight. During this conversion, it would be normal for your bird to lose about 10-15% of its normal body weight. For example, a 30 gram budgie could safely lose 3-4.5 grams while a 400 gram Amazon could lose 40-60 grams. If your bird loses more than this percentage of weight before being fully converted, please call your veterinarian so they can discuss your individual bird’s case. Although patience and diligence is required, the reward is your bird’s opportunity to live in health and vitality to a ripe old age.
Using large pellets for their appeal:
Many larger parrots and macaws will switch to pellets readily when presented with Harrison’s Coarse Grind Pellets. The large size encourages the bird to pick it up and take a bite. Once they begin chewing the pellets, they soon start to consume them. There is the possibility of waste as the bird may take a single bite then drop it to the floor. The pellet size may be easily reduced to Harrison’s Fine Grind Pellets. Some large birds actually prefer the smaller pellets. It may be easier to start on pellets using Harrison’s Fine Grind or even Harrison’s Mash. Try using all three!
Covering the pellets with familiar food:
Excellent results have been obtained by covering the pellets with a bird’s regular food. The bird eats through the top layer of food and into the pellet food. This method has been used successfully in quarantine stations where many birds must be converted to a medicated, pellet diet for a period of time.
Aviary,pet store and flock situations:
Pet stores and aviaries enjoy more success in converting birds to a pellet diet than individual bird owners. This is explained by the presence of other birds, a real force in modifying a bird’s eating habits. Competition, along with group pressure, prompts birds to eat new foods quickly. Much of a bird’s behavior depends on how other birds behave. Others mimic the behavior of the flock “leader”. It is not surprising that groups of birds in a flight cage will convert to pellets readily.
- Crushing the pellets and sprinkling them over food (Harrison’s Mash is already crushed). - Leaving pellets in the feeding dish all day while feeding seed only for a short period Continued Next Page
of time in the morning and evening. - Soaking pellets with water or juice and mixing them with the seed. Note: liquid removes some of the vitamin topping and spirulina on the pellets, do this only temporarily. When using juice please be sure to use 100% juice, no sugar added. - Sprinkling pellets or mixing them with favorite foods (not seeds) such as mashed sweet potatoes, corn, whole wheat bread, muffins, etc. - Removing your bird from his normal environment, (his/her cage) often makes them more receptive to different things. - Eating the pellets yourself. Your bird knows your tone of voice and facial expressions, so keep a smile on your face and your voice upbeat. - Feed your bird pellets at family dinner times, they usually want to do what you are doing. ALL birds have changed their diet at least once in their lives, when they were weaned. Thousands of birds around the world have been converted to nutritionally balanced pellet diets and your bird can too! Time and effort working with your bird will result in a happier, healthier pet whose companionship and love will be a joy for many years. NOTE: Droppings will change from green to a brownish color, and may become a little looser due to the extra water a bird drinks while eating pel-
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lets. Your bird will also go through an extreme molt after starting the pellet diet, but will have the brightest plumage and sleekest appearance when done with their molt. WARNING: Starving your bird to convert to pellets is NOT recommended and can be life threatening. The rapid metabolism of birds demands regular intake of food. A small bird cannot go hungry for more than 36 hours without risk of starvation. Conversion should be undertaken only if your bird is currently at its normal weight, i.e. not thin, emaciated or ill. Dr. Susan Dyer dogs, cats, birds, and exotic pets at Bradford Veterinary Clinic in Bradford,VT, 802-222-4903. www.bradfordvet.com
“But What About the Dog?” or Cat, Cow, or Horse…: Domestic Violence and Our Furry Family Members Abby Tassel
t WISE, the Upper Valley’s Domestic and Sexual Violence victim advocacy organization, concern about pets is often at the top of victims’ long lists of worries. They see that the animals they share their lives with are in as much danger as they are, especially when they are thinking about leaving an abuser. Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive and manipulative behaviors utilized to gain power and control over a current or former intimate partner. Over time, abusers escalate their use and type of tactics to control the other person. By the time victims recognize the pattern and are trying to plan a safe escape, most are all too aware of the overlap between animal and partner abuse.They have likely witnessed the abusers hurting or threatening to hurt their pets – using this as a way to further control the human victims. Because a victim’s leaving is the ultimate lack of control for the perpetrators, it is the time that they are likely to be most violent. Abusers often threaten, “If I can’t have you, no one will.” or the more direct, “If you leave me, I’ll kill you.” or “I’ll make sure you never see your dog again.” Most domestic violence homicides are committed after victims leave, making safety planning essential when victims flee or are thinking about leaving abusers. So, when human victims are planning how to keep themselves and their children safe while escaping the abuse, the pets are necessarily a part of the plan. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the American Humane Association, 71% of pet-owning women entering shelters reported that the person who had abused them had also injured, maimed, killed or threatened family pets. While all domestic violence is designed to control the victims, the abuse of animals can be a particularly difficult tactic to handle. Not only are the animals a source of love, but they are often the very thing that can keep victims feeling comforted and present, in the face of the chaos and trauma of abuse. Perpetrators know this can be a powerful tool to manipulate their victims. While Continued Next Page
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some victims say they come home from work or school to find their pets have mysteriously “disappeared,” research shows that 87% of the incidents actually occurred in their presence, to control and threaten them. When victims decide that they are going to leave, we do not want the questions of pet safety to ever be a barrier. Nationally between 25-40% of women are unable to escape because they worry about the safety of their animals. Most shelters cannot accommodate pets because of space, allergies of other residents, and other logistical difficulties. Some animal shelters and kennels in the Upper Valley generously provide free care to small animals for up to two weeks in these circumstances. At other times, individuals open their homes to animals needing protection. When the pet is a horse or other large animal, the challenges are even greater. WISE advocates work with victims to strategize and often come up with ingenious solutions. No one, whether a person or an animal, should ever have to live in fear, so WISE works with the expertise of the human victims to help all of the family members stay as safe as possible in these very difficult and dangerous situations. Abby Tassel is the Assistant Director at WISE, the Upper Valley’s domestic and sexual violence victim advocacy organization where at least one dog will almost always greet you at the door. She has been working in the anti-genderviolence field for over two decades and can sometimes be spotted in Minnesota doing national consulting for Praxis International in addition to her local work.This all keeps her very busy, but not as busy as her Belgian Tervuren Kali and Pug/Bichon mix Zeke!
Lily, just warming up for winter. Photo by Sue Butler in Sunapee
Love at the Hairdresser’s A
Tayna Sousa - Orleans, VT
ll the stations were filled at the hairdresser’s that day. The door was left open to let in whatever breeze would come, although it was sweltering air. Along with one fresh breath of breeze, a slate gray, teenage cat with a white bib and double paws sauntered in. He padded in confidently to the first chair and circled a bit while the woman perched there cooed compliments. He stayed a few moments then moved on in an unhurried manner to the next woman. “Whose cat?” I asked Leni as he prepared my long red curls for a color touch-up that would take about an hour and a half. “Stray. He’s been here all day coming in and out. He doesn’t stay long,” Leni told me. I watched the cat visit the woman just before me. He concluded with a respectful rise and curl of his tail before making his way to me. I was careful not to give him more than a passing glance. Was it my imagination that he was staying at my chair longer? “I think you’ve got a friend,” Leni mused. “I think you’ll end up taking him home.” “I have a cat. I don’t need another one,” I set my mouth firmly. A half hour into my appointment, the grey teen was still sitting by my chair. I couldn’t help but sneak a peek and saw the green eyes looking at me with a nearly indescribable look of contentment and adoration. I met his eyes and was rewarded with a flurry of squints, blinks, and chin lifts. “That cat writes love sonnets with his eyes,” I laughed. “You’re weakening,” Leni said nonchalantly. “No. I have a cat already. I don’t want another cat.” The woman in the last chair clucked and wiggled her fingers to my suitor, but he remained at my side. She finally gave up. I tried not to look, but a few times in the next hour I did let my eyes wander. Each time, the young male regaled me with those love sonnets written only with eyes and a little body language. “He is cute,” I conceded as Leni finished blow-drying my hair and pulled away the protective apron. When I stood, the cat stood too, rubbing against my legs and pushing himself off his front paws in a feline wheelie. “Oh! You are a Romeo,” I told him, and reached to pick him up – only for a moment. The instant he was at my shoulder, he plunged his face and front paws into my long newly coiffed curls and began kneading furiously and – yes – drooling a bit. Without a word, I managed to pay Leni, cat still buried blissfully in my hair, and left with a cat in my arms who seemed to have waited all his life just for me. The last sound I heard was Leni’s boisterous laughter and the purring of one who chose me, then graced me with sonnets for the next sixteen years – written only with love-filled green eyes.
50 4 Legs & a Tail
Tanya Sousa is a published author of many magazine articles and several children’s picture books. Most recently, her environmental novel,The Starling God, made the short-list for the national “Green Earth Book Awards,” in the Young Adult Fiction category. www.RadiantHen.com www.forestrypress.com Winter 2015
If You Love Something Set It Free A Little Furry Miracle Comes Home
ome readers may remember the old 1970s phrase ‘If you love something set it free; if it comes back it’s yours, if not it was never yours to begin with.’ Sometimes, without any forethought or planning on our part, things have a way of working out for the better. And all it takes is to do the right thing. This story is about a neighbor of mine, Crystal Rienick, a high school literature teacher who works in Valley Center. Crystal and her husband Jameson have a perky, active 8-year old Miniature Pinscher named Pippin. Crystal, a lovely, ebullient and free-spirited woman who loves all animals considered getting a second dog as a companion for Pippin. About two weeks before Christmas, she was driving home from work, passing through Escondido, when she saw a Chihuahua running loose on the street. Being a dog lover, she acted immediately to rescue the frightened dog. “So, of course,’ she said, “I flipped a U-turn and spent fifteen minutes trying to coax him over to grab him. He had no tags, and when I took him to our vet, they found no chip. I took him home and he immediately began to sniff and pee on everything I owned. I could overlook this, however, due to the amazing fact that he and Pippin hit it off instantly.” Crystal brought the Chihuahua over to meet us, that is, Jane, myself, and our Yellow Labradors Musket and Saffron. She said in a grave voice, “We have a problem.” She put the dog in my hands. “Okay,” I replied, knowing of Crystal’s sense of humor, “but what’s this ‘we’ stuff?” She explained about finding the dog on the street and intended to try and find its owner, but it was obvious she was already smitten with the little canine. For the next few days, while on Christmas break she fell under the new dog’s charm. “I posted ‘Found Chihuahua’ signs the next morning in the area where I’d found him, but when I heard nothing after two days I decided I to take him to the local Humane Society because if I didn’t take him right away I was going to keep him forever. “I had already fallen in love with him and had named him Pickle.” “I learned I could pay the adoption fee up front and if the owners didn’t claim him, he would be ours; neutered, micro chipped and vaccinated.” Yet fate intervened. “Pickle was with me on the way to the shelter. As I was crossing Citrus Avenue my phone rang. ‘Hello?’ It was a little girl who said she saw my signs and believed I had her dog, whose name was Spikey.” The girl described Pickle in perfect detail. When Crystal said the name Spikey he responded and she felt a little chill in her heart. “‘Where do you live?’ I asked her. Winter 2015
Citrus Avenue, she told me. Almost within sight of the shelter, Crystal turned around and drove to Citrus where she found Spikey’s little owner waiting with open arms. The little dog was ecstatic to see her. “She thanked me and I made my retreat before the tears started.” That might have been the end of it, but Crystal had been bitten hard by little Pickle’s tiny beating heart. “I began my quest for a second dog. Pippin and Pickle got along so well. He was so damned snuggly and affectionate. I wanted that, too. I began obsessing on Petfinder and the local shelter sites until I knew all the dogs by sight. I gravitated to Min Pins and Chihuahua mixes trying to recreate the compatibility with Pippin combined with the snuggliness for me.” Christmas was approaching and she knew time was short. Once she and Jameson were back at work acclimating a new dog to the house would be almost impossible. She wanted to be home to help smooth the way. Three possible dogs were located at that same humane society shelter she had intended to take Pickle. “On Christmas Eve I broke out my laptop to show my family the pictures.” Crystal, not one to leave any stone unturned, scrolled down the page to see if there had been any postings since she’d last looked a week before. “And what to my wandering eye did appear, than Pickle himself! It was him, I knew it instantly. Same markings, same colors. But now his name was Mr. Moose.” “The shelter was closed on Christmas Day so I had to wait until the 26th.” Unable to sleep, Crystal worried if the little Chihuahua would still be there when the shelter re-opened. “We packed up Pippin and off we went. The place was packed, and as we waited we told our story to other hopeful pet adopters. People were stunned and excited for us. Finally we went out to the interaction
yard. And there he was. Pickle, without a doubt! He was very underweight, but he knew me right away. The shelter staff told me he had been left there just three days after I had returned him to his ‘family.’” It didn’t take long for the new pooch to feel at home. Crystal told me a few days later, “He has peed 23 times, only once in the house, eaten too much, and has been sleeping wrapped in blankets on my lap for hours.” Crystal did the right thing and the miracle came back home to live with her.
When not visiting his in-laws in South Royalton, Mark Carlson spends much of his time in North County, CA with his wife, Jane and his Labrador Retriever, Saffron. He is an award writer and an aviation historian, with numerous articles and books including his latest, Confessions of a Guide Dog. Legally blind, he travels and works with Saffron, and is a member of several aviation, maritime, and veteran organizations. www.musketmania.com Originally published in San Diego Pets Magazine
Acute Moist Dermatitis and Your Dog W hat is a Hot Spot? Acute moist dermatitis is the medi-
cal term for a “Hot Spot.” It is a common skin condition that usually appears rather quickly (within a matter of days) on the skin of the dog. It is a raw, red area that is caused by repeated irritation- usually biting, chewing, and/or licking. These lesions can grow and worsen in severity very quickly, so it is imperative that you address the issue as soon as possible. A Hot Spot typically appears relatively quickly on any area of the body, although the tail base, flank, and neck are some of the most common. The area usually appears red, raised, irritated and has some degree of hair loss. The dog will chew or lick at the area and it is usually quite painful. This condition can result in a skin infection and can cause lethargy, inappetence and fever depending upon the severity. Hot Spots are a relatively common skin condition in dogs. They occur when your pet repeatedly licks or chews a certain area. The initial cause can be an insect bite such as a mosquito, tick, or flea, an allergic reaction (to a food or an environmental irritant), or almost any other irritation. In some dogs collars have been known to cause enough irritant to incite the forma-
tion of a Hot Spot. A damp hair coat also provides the perfect environment for the formation of a skin infection which can result in a Hot Spot. Breeds of dogs such as Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers and dogs with loose and/or excess skin and wrinkles can be more prone to Hot Spots. Hot Spots are diagnosed upon examination. They have a very distinct appearance and are relatively common, so your veterinarian will be able to diagnose a Hot Spot upon seeing your pet. It is very important, however to try and determine the underlying cause of the hot spot in order to prevent it from occurring again. Treatment of the actual Hot Spot can include many different options depending upon the severity. Topical Treatment: In order for a Hot Spot to heal it is important to clip all the hair in the area. At this point it is often discovered that the Hot Spot is larger than initially anticipated. Hair should be clipped until the skin underneath is normal in appearance. The area will then be cleaned with a diluted antiseptic solution, and treated with an antibiotic/steroid spray (Gentacalm) and an antibiotic ointment (Quadritop). These treatments will need to be continued at home several times per day until the area has healed. In order to keep your dog from continuing to lick or chew the area and also to keep them from licking off the topical medication they will need to wear an Elizabethan collar until the area has healed and the skin is healthy. Internal Treatment: In most cases, Hot Spots require treatment with an antibiotic to resolve. If the area is not already infected it is very susceptible to secondary bacterial infection since the skin is severely abraded. This treatment is typically an oral medication given 1-2 times daily for 7-14 days. Additionally, an anti-inflammatory medication may also be necessary. This is typically either a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID such as Deramaxx or Rimadyl) or a steroid (such as Prednisone). These two medications
can not be given together. Your veterinarian will decide which one is appropriate depending upon your dog’s symptoms. Treating the Underlying Cause: The most common cause of Hot Spots is fleas. Ensuring that your dog has been treated with an adequate flea/tick prevention (such as Frontline Plus, Activyl TickPlus, or Nexgard) is key to successful treatment. If the underlying cause is allergies it is important to try and determine what is causing the allergic reactions. Making sure to dry your pet thoroughly after swimming, and not leaving a wet collar on can also help take care of some more common causes of Hot Spots. Hot Spots develop due to intense irritation of the skin. Pyoderma, or a bacterial skin infection, will often develop in conjunction with a Hot Spot. The open, abraded, often moist skin offers a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. This bacterial skin infection can cause the development of pustules, open sores, pus, and a foul odor. Treatment with an appropriate course of antibiotics is the only way to cure this infection. Fortunately, the recovery time for acute moist dermatitis is usually quite short. The lesions tend to heal almost as quickly as they appear. Early veterinary intervention and consistent treatment at home usually allows for complete healing of the area within 7-10 days. Unfortunately if you are not able to pinpoint and treat the underlying cause (ie parasites, allergies, etc.) the condition is likely to recur. Additionally, without proper care and medication these lesions can be progressive and extremely difficult to heal.
PET IQ Answers
1. Persian. 2. Hermit crab 3. Spotted 4. Parakeet 5. 62 6. Brine shrimp 7. All of the above 8. Burmese python
9. Middle East 10. Betta 11. Smell 12. Helen Keller 13. All of the above 14. They have extra toes 15. Female 16. False (It can cause
severe illness or death)
HOW DID YOU DO?
More than 10 correct - Congratulations! On your next Facebook post, include the fact that you are a 4 Legs & a Tail expert. 4-9 correct-Not bad, but you may want to consider reading 4 Legs & a Tail cover to cover. 1-3 correct- Call the 1970's and consider adopting a pet rock. 52 4 Legs & a Tail
Dog Toxicant Xylitol Appearing in Peanut Butters By M. Kathleen Shaw, DVM - Vermont Veterinary Medical Association
very dog owner knows the challenge of medicating a dog with pills that taste bad. Most people hide the pill in cheese, deli meat, or peanut butter. What you need to know is that many peanut butter manufacturers have started using xylitol to sweeten their product. Xylitol is toxic to dogs. Xylitol is a sweetener that until now has been used primarily in sugar free gums and candies, baked goods, desserts, toothpaste, and other oral care products in the United States. It is increasingly found in some over the counter items that are prescribed by veterinarians including certain antihistamines, fish oil, melatonin, and Vitamin B12. Beyond its use as a sweetener, xylitol also can be used to preserve moisture and is used in non-food products such as shampoos and lotions. Humans can consume xylitol with no problem but because of differences in metabolism, it can be toxic to dogs. (Xylitol is toxic to cats too; we just don’t see as many toxicities because cats tend to be choosier about what they eat.) The number of xylitol poisonings in dogs is on the rise. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control center reports that since they started tracking calls in 2007, the number of cases has more than doubled to over 3,727. The actual number is likely much higher since some veterinarians have treated enough cases that they no longer need to call the center for guidance. When dogs ingest xylitol, it causes a rapid increase in insulin which can cause a serious drop in blood sugar. This can lead to vomiting, weakness, staggering, and seizures within 30-60 minutes of consuming even small quantities of xylitol. It can also lead to liver failure. If you suspect your pet has ingested a xylitol containing product, call your veterinarian immediately. Do not attempt to remedy the situation at home. Prevention includes keeping pets away from xylitol containing products. Known companies that add xylitol to peanut butters include Go Nuts, Hank’s Protein Plus Peanut Butter, Krusch Nutrition, Nuts ‘n More, and P28. Because xylitol can appear in other products and under other names, be on the lookout for any ingredient that includes the letters “ xyl” and keep those products away from your pets.
The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association (VVMA), founded in 1898, is a professional organization of 340 veterinarians dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality medicine. Winter 2015
Green Mountain Animal Defenders: Advocates for All Animals Jenny Joczik
reen Mountain Animal Defenders (GMAD) is Vermont’s largest non-profit, volunteer-run animal protection organization. We have members and supporters all over the state, and because we rely on volunteers, we are always looking for more! Our efforts to improve the well being of all species of animals through education, outreach, and collaboration include: • An emphasis on dogs and cats (spay/neuter, Trap Neuter-Return (TNR), pet food drives, and the building of feral cat shelters and insulated doghouses) • Wildlife protection, which involves support for wildlife rehabilitators by providing cages, medical supplies, bedding, and food as well as advocating against trapping animals for their skin and fur. • A focus on alternatives to the use of animals in apparel, animals used as entertainment, and animal experimentation.
shopping, injured or abandoned wildlife, low-cost spay / neuter, lost and found pets, and foster care for animals in need. Our most recent fundraising activity, the Walk for Farmed Animals, held in Burlington on October 3rd, raised over $4,000. The funds will be used to help VINE Sanctuary in Springfield, VT where they are in dire need of a new duck pond and coop; Spring Hill Horse Rescue in Clarendon, VT; and Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, N.Y., who recently rescued over 200 neglected and abused farmed animals. Green Mountain Animal Defenders will be involved in many upcoming events, including Humane Lobby Day, which will take place around the beginning of the Legislative Session in January, when animal advocates from across Vermont converge at the Statehouse in Montpelier to promote pro-animal legislation. In February we’ll participate in World Spay Day by facilitating local spaying and neutering and by encouraging everyone to prevent animal overpopulation and reduce euthanasia in shelters across the country. In March we’ll be involved in the Great American Meatout, to raise awareness about the benefits of a plant-based diet, thereby benefitting animals and the environment and improving human health and wellness. In April we’ll participate in the World Week for Animals in Laboratories movement, which provides valuable information and helps to prevent or reduce the use of animals for dissection or product testing
GMAD participates in local, statewide, national, and international programs throughout the year. Our many outreach activities provide life-saving information about cruelty-free
The group gathered in October on Church St. in Burlington for a walk to raise awareness about the plight of farmed animals (especially those on factory farms) and also raise funds to assist with life-saving rescues of unwanted farm animals or those who are rescued from cruelty and/or neglect cases. Funds from last year helped transport a bull to sanctuary, rescued dozens of chicks, supported rescued goats, and helped repair a sanctuary's tractor, a vital piece of equipment for caring for farmed animals.
Since 1983, Green Mountain Animal Defenders has been promoting, protecting, and advocating for animals and their welfare. We are grateful for all of our wonderful volunteers, interns, and supporters who have helped us accomplish so much. With your continued support, GMAD looks forward to a productive 2016! To learn more about us, become an intern, volunteer, or make a donation, please visit www.GreenMountainAnimalDefenders. org, contact us at email@example.com, check us out on Facebook, or write to us at GMAD, PO Box 4577, Burlington, VT 05406 or call 802-861-3030. 54 4 Legs & a Tail
Paddock Partners Heidi Jo Hauri-Gill
Bran Mash, Should We Feed it? Dear Heidi, With the colder weather and all of the changes it creates this time of year, I wonder how to take the best care of my horse. My friend says she feeds “bran mash” to her horse. Is that a good thing? What does it do? What exactly is it? Susanne Hello Susanne! Thank you for your question. It is a good one, especially at this time of year. We all want to do what is best for our horses and to keep them the safe year round. It is true that the extreme barometric changes can prove challenging for horses, and who wouldn’t want to feed them something yummy and possibly warm for these cold damp nights. A bran mash is typically a mixture of bran (you can easily get it from your feed dealer), and the grain that you typically feed your horse. This is usually done at a 4:1 ratio. Reduce the grain portion that your horse would get typically to one quarter, and add 4 equal parts of bran. Poor hot water into the mixture and let it steep for 15-30 minutes. REMEMBER, NEVER feed dry bran, it swells in the system and can cause serious issues. Be sure that you add enough water so that after steeping, you can form a wet ball of bran in your hand, if it falls apart you may need to add more water. The idea has always been that the steeping process releases some enzymes that may produce a natural laxative. The reduction of grain is to reduce the possibility of tying up (as this was typically done on the night before the day of rest), and reducing concentrates in a time of stress (a barometric change constitutes stress), reduces the chance of laminitis and colic. Often times it is really nice to add fresh peelings from carrots or apples, some people like to add molasses and we can go on from there. Be careful though, as some horses don’t do well with added forms of sugar like molasses, and apples can cause colic. I have seen people add peppermints, I find that disturbing as I would never give my kids or myself sugar when I am trying to reduce stress or colic. I used to feed my whole 30 horse barn bran mash when we were closed on Monday to reduce the concentrate in the horses system for the day off. It was really nice to hear them in the barn enjoying this meal, and slurping away. Continued Next Page
For every degree below 18 o F a horse requires an additional 1% enery in their diet.
All of that being said, and the main reason I don’t feed bran mash anymore, is the difficulty that we add by changing the horses’ feed on a sudden basis. Remember, the horse uses bacterial digestion. The bacteria are not equipped to digest bran on a once a week basis. I found that when I was feeding a weekly bran mash I had some horses who were classified as “hard keepers.” When I stopped feeding bran mash, my hard keepers became normalized, and I didn’t have that problem anymore. Another minor but important fact is that bran has a poor Ca:P (Calcium to Phosphorous ratio), something to consider when feeding. As nice as the bran mash concept is, think long and hard about whether the nice feeling for you outweighs the change of diet for your horse. Sure, on cold and windy nights I would love to go through the barn and feed them something warm, just like I would love to blanket my horse when I need a sweater, but we are here to provide the best and SAFEST care for our horses. With the studies that are out these days it looks to me like perhaps a bran mash doesn’t do what we hope it does. Perhaps if we spend time and groom our horses a little extra, we provide the comfort that we are hoping to give. By grooming your horse you are separating the hairs in the coat so they can provide better warmth, added comfort, and proven health benefits, while at the same time getting attention and love from the owner. Humans comfort through their tummy, a horse is comforted by having a schedule they can count on, and receiving reliable and healthy feed. I hope this helps! Heidi Jo Hauri-Gill is the owner of First Choice Riding Academy in Enfield, NH. She is a graduate of Westmoreland Davis International Equestrian Institute, as well as UNH. Although Heidi’s passion is teaching and training she is also an L-Graduate with distinction. Heidi incorporates cavaletti and jumping in every horse/rider’s training plans. www.firstchoiceridingacademy.com 56 4 Legs & a Tail
Ruff Ruff Ruff! …My Knee Hurts! A
s the winter approaches and the snow falls on the mountains, we look forward to spending time outside with our dogs. Whether you enjoy Alpine or Nordic skiing, injuries - to both us and our best friends are not unusual. One of the most common orthopedic injuries that is seen in dogs is known as an “ACL” or cranial cruciate ligament tear. The knee is a joint that is formed by 3 bones; the femur (“thigh bone”), the patella (“knee cap”), and the tibia (“shin bone”). The bones are all held together by ligaments. The two major ligaments that join the femur to the tibia are called the cranial cruciate ligament (anterior cruciate ligament in people) and the caudal cruciate ligament (posterior cruciate ligament in people). The knee joint also has two meniscus (“shock absorber”) called the medial and lateral menisci. The major role of the cranial cruciate ligament is to prevent the knee from hyperextension and internal rotation. The cranial cruciate ligament and the medial meniscus are structures in the knee joint most commonly damaged in dogs. Cranial cruciate ligament disease can affect dogs of all sizes, breeds, and age. Rottweiler, Newfoundland, Staffordshire
58 4 Legs & a Tail
Dr. Garrett Levin, DVM, Diplomate ACVS
Terrier, Mastiff, Akita, Saint Bernard, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, and Labrador Retriever breeds have a higher incidence. Poor physical body condition and excessive body weight are risk factors for cranial cruciate ligament rupture. Simply an athletic dog landing “wrong” when running or jumping in the snow or on ice or a collision with a person or another dog could result in a traumatic cranial cruciate ligament rupture. Consistent physical conditioning with regular activity and monitoring of food intake to maintain lean body weight are factors within our control that can help prevent some of these injuries. Dogs typically present to the veterinarian with either an acute or chronic history of weight bearing to nonweight bearing lameness (limping) of the hind leg. A thorough history and physical examination is needed to diagnose an ACL tear. Gait analysis and good palpation is required to localize the area of injury and determine if it is caused by orthopedic or neurologic disease. A cranial cruciate ligament rupture will cause instability (“cranial drawer sign” and “positive tibial compression test”) of the knee joint on palpation. Radiographs (x-rays) of the knee will often reveal joint effusion (“water on the knee”) and cranial or forward displacement of the tibia (“shin bone”), but can also evaluate the degree of arthritis present. Depending on the amount of instability and physical examination findings, it is possible to differentiate between a partial and a complete cranial cruciate ligament rupture. Surgical stabilization of the knee joint is the gold standard and the best treatment for a complete cranial cruciate ligament rupture. Surgery is the only way to permanently control the instability present in the knee joint as it addresses knee instability and eliminates the pain. The goal of surgery is not to “repair” the cranial cruciate ligament itself with a graft unlike in human knee surgery. Due to biological and mechanical influences, the cranial cruciate ligament has no abil-
ity to heal once tearing begins regardless of the degree of severity. There are a number of surgical techniques available today. The most common techniques include Extracapsular, Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (“TPLO”), and Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (“TTA”). In addition, minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery (often performed by board certified veterinary surgeons) and evaluation of the knee joint (as performed in people) will allow for a faster recovery and use of the leg postoperative. A description of the common surgical techniques can be discussed with your primary veterinarian in order to make a decision which is best for your dogs size, activity level, age, skeletal conformation, and degree of knee instability. A conservative treatment approach consisting of exercise restriction, medication to control pain and inflammation, and physical rehabilitation can be considered with a partial cranial cruciate ligament rupture. However, it is common to see a partial cranial cruciate ligament rupture progress over time and eventually become a complete cranial cruciate ligament rupture (using the analogy of the partially torn shoelace that eventually completely tears). Knowing that a partial cruciate ligament rupture will most likely progress, surgical stabilization is often recommended sooner than later in order to prevent ongoing muscle atrophy, meniscal damage and arthritis that can develop as a result of chronic lameness. Premature uncontrolled or excessive activities risk complete or partial failure of any surgical repair and healing process. Proper postoperative care will be explained to you in detail by your dog’s surgeon before and after surgery. As with people, physical rehabilitation can speed your dog’s recovery and improve final outcome. Rehabilitation should start immediately and usually includes passive range of motion, balance exercises, laser treatment, and controlled leash walks. Long term prognosis for animals for surgical repair of a cranial cruciate ligament rupture is excellent. Enjoy the winter season and be safe when you hit the mountains and backcountry with your four legged companion. Dr. Garrett Levin is a board certified surgeon at Burlington Emergency and Veterinary Specialists (BEVS) in Williston, Vermont. Dr. Levin is trained in the Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) surgical procedure for treating cranial cruciate ligament rupture. He performs a range of minimally invasive surgeries including arthroscopy. Please visit www.bevsvt.com/blog for videos and additional blog topics. Winter 2015
Of Mice and Squirrels I
Scott Borthwick - Canaan, NH
t’s moving season! Yes, winter is that time of year when critters are searching for a warm, rent- free alternative called, your home. The most common statement is, “I have something running in my walls or ceiling and it sounds too big to be a mouse.” Well, 50% of the time it turns out to be mice. One customer said it sounds so big it might be a raccoon! It was mice. Another customer asked if all houses have mice. To which I responded, “pretty much.” Then he asked what the difference was from one house to the next. I said, “Tolerance level.” Mice are very difficult to be permanently rid of. They can chew or crawl through very small holes. Under my license I cannot use poisons, so I try to plug every possible entrance point and set traps. This work cannot be guaranteed and is merely an option to poison. Squirrels are far easier to deal with, as their entrances are easier to spot and they are easier to catch. They chew through soffits and fascia, but the most common entrance is the gable end vent (the louvered vent at either end of the house). Most of these have a flimsy fiberglass screen that squirrels can easily chew through, which then provides an entrance for mice and bats. We have three types of squirrel in New England; Red, Grey and Flying squirrels. Reds and Greys are the most destructive on the outside of the house, chewing large holes to get in. They are most active during the daytime. Flying squirrels are nocturnal and are the most destructive inside the house. They tend to use all the space available to them. Sometimes they nest on one side of the house and go to the opposite side to use as a toilet. When there are a lot of them you will notice a brown staining in one area either on an outside or inside wall. These are the squirrels most likely to chew through wires. I have caught as many as 36 out of one house! Sometimes squirrels seek an alternative entrance into the house. One Saturday I got a frantic call from a lady who had a Grey squirrel in her woodstove. My wife and I headed over to her house. The woodstove was located in the kitchen next to a hallway which led to the garage and to the outside. I set up a barrier using the kitchen furniture and then opened the garage doors. Once everything was in place, I opened the woodstove door expecting the squirrel to immediately run out. However he did not. In fact he ran back up into the stovepipe and would not budge. I tried harassing him by banging on the pipe and opening and closing the damper, but he would not move. My wife got bored and went back to my truck parked by the garage. Finally, after almost an hour of banging the pipe and opening and closing the damper, he came out covered in soot and made a run for it. He ran outside and right under my truck, startling my wife who said, “What was that?” because all she saw was a small black cloud of soot go running under the truck. If you have a lot of trees hanging over your house, birdfeeders out year round, or spots on your house that need repair you have the potential for a squirrel problem. A little preventative maintenance solves a lot of problems. A chimney cap would have saved Smokey the Squirrel from his traumatic event. Scott Borthwick owns Estate Wildlife Control He lives in Canaan, NH with his wife Donna, two dogs, a couple of horses and one tough, old chicken named Henrietta. Winter 2015
4 LEGS & A TAIL FUN! What 5 Things Are Different?
Pom Pom on kids hat, Dog's Foot, Kid's Boot, Yellow stripe on dog's collar, Trees in upper right corner
So What Brand Are You Feeding Your Pet?
GAZTUNIER IIOAACLNRF TUNALRAS NSSEELLW ELAGE NANETUR LIOPUN ORTUN Zignature, California Naturals, Wellness, Eagle, Nutrena, Poulin, Nutro
First Place Winner of Paws in the Pool
A guy is driving around the back woods of New Hampshire and he sees a sign in front of a broken down shanty-style house: ‘Talking Dog For Sale' He rings the bell and the owner appears and tells him the dog is in the backyard. The guy goes into the backyard and sees a nice looking Labrador retriever sitting there. ‘You talk?’ he asks. ‘Yep,’ the Lab replies. After the guy recovers from the shock of hearing a dog talk, he says ‘So, what’s your story?’ The Lab looks up and says, ‘Well, I discovered that I could talk when I was pretty young. I wanted to help the government, so... I told the CIA. In no time at all they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping.’ ‘I was one of their most valuable spies for eight years running...But the jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn’t getting any younger so I decided to settle down. I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security, wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings and was awarded a batch of medals.’ ‘I got married, had a mess of puppies, and now I’m just retired.’ The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog. ‘Ten dollars,’ the guy says.
From Left to Right:Koda, Aspen and Otto, Owner-Alona Martin Paws in the Pool was at the Lebanon Pool, hosted by the Lebanon Recreation. Photo by: All Around Towne photo
60 4 Legs & a Tail
‘Ten dollars? This dog is amazing! Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?’ Because he’s a liar. He’s never been out of the yard! Submitted by Wendell Nadeau Winter 2015
Winter Wonderland 2016 Central NH & VT
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