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Volume 17 / Issue 02•APRIL 2017 ANIMAL SCENE EXCLUSIVE: The 1st Axanthic Pewter Clown Ball Python in the World

DEALING WITH

FUNGAL INFECTION IN TORTOISES THINGS TO SAY AT A

CAT CAFÉ SARCOPTIC MANGE

IN DOGS

THE OSAKA

AQUARIUM KAIYUKAN

LOVABLE AND MUST BE LOVED

CAN YOU CARE FOR A SIBERIAN HUSKY?

APRIL 2017

A NEW LOOK FOR A POPULAR EARTHEATER

OUTRAGEOUSLY ADORABLE

THE SAPPHIRE STAR


April 2017 • Volume 17 • Number 02

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Volume 17 / Issue 02•APRIL 2017 ANIMAL SCENE EXCLUSIVE: The 1st Axanthic Pewter Clown Ball Python in the World

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THE OSAKA

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CAN YOU CARE FOR A SIBERIAN HUSKY?

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THE SAPPHIRE STAR

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CONTENTS MAGAZINE

56 COVER STORY

Volume 17 / Issue 02•APRIL 2017

It’s a beautiful dog that has acclimatized to the Philippines—and CLIFF SAWIT asks, how much do you really know about this popular breed?

ANIMAL SCENE EXCLUSIVE: The 1st Axanthic Pewter Clown Ball Python in the World

REGULAR SECTIONS 52 PREVIEWS: WHAT’S COMING UP IN OUR MAY ISSUE DEALING WITH

100 CALENDAR PIN-UP

FUNGAL INFECTION IN TORTOISES

FEATURES 28 EMMANUEL D. MACAPAGAL, DVM clears up the misconceptions

THINGS TO SAY AT A

CAT CAFÉ

about “galis aso” or sarcoptic mange

SARCOPTIC MANGE

IN DOGS

THE OSAKA AQUARIUM KAIYUKAN

LOVABLE AND MUST BE LOVED CAN YOU CARE FOR A SIBERIAN HUSKY?

APRIL 2017

A NEW LOOK FOR A POPULAR EARTHEATER

OUTRAGEOUSLY ADORABLE

40 Differently-abled pets are beautiful too, and CHE VIENES proves it in her gorgeous photos of them 66 SAGE ALFAR finds out how to speak the universal language of “meow” at a Hong Kong cat cafe 70 It’s the first of its kind in the world: the Axanthic Pewter Clown ball python, and we’ve got an exclusive on it! 76 It’s always fascinating to hear about animals from different viewpoints, and keeper WALLY SUAREZ offers his experiences with the Poecilotherica metallica

THE SAPPHIRE STAR

82 A definite must-visit not just for fish lovers: JOHNNY FILART takes us on a virtual tour of the Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, one of the biggest in the world 92 Nothing beats the practical experiences of experienced keepers, and ZIK FERRER shares the easy way that he and his fellow hobbyists treat fungal infections in tortoises 96 Here’s a handy checklist for when you’re choosing pet food, to make the decision easier 66

82

COLUMNS 8 FUR THE WIN: STEF DELA CRUZ, MD gives her space to a cat advising other cats on how to find their fur-ever homes

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18 FISH IN YOUR TANK: The short body Surinam Cichlid sharply divides hobbyists, and ANGEL L. AMPIL gives you an overview of this eartheater 48 FOR PET’S SAKE: RAMON FRANCISCO How everyone in the community can help keep pets happy and healthy this summer

50 ANIMAL PERSON: How one man’s effort to please his children turned into a business; NORMAN B. ISAAC explores a “rabbitty hobbity” 88 FINS, FEATHERS, AND FUR: Who can resist the outrageously adorable English bulldog? Certainly not columnist MANUEL YAP! 8

EVENTS 14 The Philippine National Koi Show 2017 44 All Dog Breed Conformation and Dog Fashion Show, Baguio 48 The Philippine American Bulldog Revolution


Menagerie

Do YOU Belong On The Animal Scene?

R

Status symbol pet? Definitely not, and nobody should ever acquire a pet just to show it off.

ecently, our managing editor Jeff chose to disperse a huge part of his private menagerie of animals, which included tarantulas, tegus, turtles, ball pythons, dogs, and more. This was because the man who helps him care for the animals can no longer help him out, and Jeff made the difficult decision to search for responsible, caring new owners for his charges instead of trying to hang on to them. Some people thought he was foolish for not selling them to the highest bidder; after all, in his decades of experience, Jeff has accumulated some truly admirable species. But for one, it’s not easy taking care of that many pets. In the course of our work, we’ve met many keepers, and many of the successful ones who care for more than one species of animal admit that their support system— from family members who respect their passion, to employees who help them care for the animals, to friends in the hobby who give good advice—is what keeps them going. I respect the hobbyists and keepers who persist alone, caring for their animals as best they can, because it’s not easy. And this is why we at Animal Scene are strongly against irresponsible collectors who simply buy animals because they are “uso” or in vogue, or think a dangerous creature will make them seem more “macho” to others, or who like having trophy pets. These people are on the same level as those people who buy purebred dogs and cats then abandon the same or resell them the moment the animals fall ill because they can’t be bothered to take care of the creatures.

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Knowing about the many misconceptions that surround Siberian Huskies will make you a better pet parent

No apologies for this declaration: these kinds of people are despicable, and every responsible veterinarian, breeder, keeper, hobbyist, and even the casually interested will agree with us. An animal is a commitment; we will never tire of saying this over and over. You commit to learning as much as you can to give it the best kind of life possible. This includes finding out how to acclimatize it, giving it the ideal diet, understanding its temperament and needs, providing veterinary care, and any other kind of care the creature needs. And with certain types of pet animals, this means giving it love and making it a cherished member of your family. And this also includes patience and perseverance when the animal has a problem. Jeff is currently working on an article for a future Animal Scene issue

Can you give a differently abled pet the special care it needs and the love it deserves?

which will feature how he and a young veterinarian brought a vicious dog back to its old, friendly self. He was bitten and attacked in the process, but he didn’t give up because he believed in his commitment to the animal, which he had bred and given away. Now, while you needn’t go to the extent he did, not being able to provide the rest for your pet means you do not belong on the animal scene. Period. But if you love your pet and are working hard to give it the best care and to learn about it, the local animal scene definitely needs more intelligent, responsible, and ideal keepers like you. May your tribe multiply!

Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017


How To Find Your Fur-Ever Home:

A cat’s guide

Text by STEF DELA CRUZ, MD hai! My name is Ohana. I used to be a stray cat in Singapore, but with a little bit of cunning and creativity, I found myself

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a furever-home! If you’re a stray looking for a hooman, these tips are exactly what you need. Cats in Singapore—including yours

truly—are quite lucky. While the country keeps stray populations to a minimum through neutering and spaying, stray cats like me, called “community cats” by locals, live out our nine lives in

Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017


www.qmarkpet.com


FUR THE WIN

Meet my Singaporean family. They shower me with kisses, hugs, and yummy cat treats! (Paws off the lady in the middle—that hooman is all mine.)

peace, coexisting with hoomans as we make the most of our freedom to roam and explore. Of course, nothing beats the feeling of belonging to a family who will love you and take care of you for as long as you purr. So, fellow felines, if you’re ready to leave your garbage-eating, scrap-begging lives behind, listen up! Here’s how you can snag yourself your very own hooman. Disclaimer: Take my advice with a grain of salt. Follow these steps at your own risk! Better yet, don’t follow them at all… just enjoy reading them because they’re based on a true story: mine.

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1.

CHOOSE A HOOMAN WHO HAS NEVER HAD CATS BEFORE You might think it’s foolish to pick a hooman who knows nothing about cats, but think about it: If you’re the only cat in a hooman’s home, then you will probably live a spoiled, happy life. I’m not making this up. In fact, that’s what happened to me! When I was still a stray cat, I found a lady with absolutely no cat scent on her (read: has never owned a cat). I found out later on that she absolutely hated cats—but because I was an expert at enslaving hoomans, I successfully converted her into a cat person.

She then named me Ohana. (In case you’ve been hiding under a rock and you’ve never seen the animated movie “Lilo and Stitch” before, ‘ohana’ is a Hawaiian term that means ‘family’.) If you succeed at transforming a non-cat person into a cat lover, you will be its master. Correction: You will be its only master.

2.

MAKE YOUR PRESENCE FELT Once you have chosen a hooman to convert and enslave, go into please-adopt-me mode. Do

Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017


FUR THE WIN

everything in your power to appear as cute as felinely possible! Roll in the dirt and show your underbelly. Rub against the hooman’s legs, looking up into its eyes occasionally so that it starts feeling attached to you. That was what I did when I met my hooman. I took one look at her and told her through my cute meows, “You’re going to be my meowmy.” Remember, all it takes to convert a cat hater into a cat person is one cat. My dear feline friend, you can be that cat.

3. BE CONSISTENT

Stay in the same neighborhood. You are bound to keep meeting that hooman over and over again because let’s face it, hoomans are ridiculously predictable. I’m betting my tail that if a hooman walked through your neighborhood once, it will do so again in the future! So, whenever your chosen hooman victim passes by, don’t stop being cute (refer to number 2). That was exactly what I did when I saw the hooman I wanted. Because of my persistence, she started thinking about taking me home with her, asking around if I had an owner or if I was somehow lost. “But he’s been here for a long time,” everybody told her.

Of course, I knew that wasn’t enough. I had to make my hooman realize that if she got rid of me in the future, it would be her loss, not mine. So, I staged a disappearance. I escaped from the hooman’s apartment and didn’t show up for several days. She searched day and night in the parking lot, hoping to catch a glimpse of my beautiful silver fur. She put up posters of me and even asked a cat-lady neighbor to help out. Meanwhile, she tried to convince herself that she was better off without me. She tried to think of how there would be no need to vacuum my fur off the floor, how she wouldn’t have to stomach the smell of my pee and poop. Most of all, she thought of how she would no longer spend too much money on food and litter! However, she was miserable without me. She realized that she would rather live in a smelly apartment full of fur than spend another day without me! So, when she found me, my work was done: The hooman had successfully become my slave.

5. TAME A WILD HOOMAN USING

have a pretty good batting average; I get what I want nine times out of ten.) Meow during the wee hours of the morning. Hoomans will do anything to stay asleep, so the best time to beg for anything you want is when they’re snoring heartily!

6.

IF YOUR HOOMAN WANTS TO NEUTER OR SPAY YOU, SAY YES The moment a hooman decides to have you neutered or spayed, you have already fooled it into believing you are its property. Say yes to getting snipped; it’s for your own good anyway! You and your hooman slave will be much happier together once you’ve been fixed. You also get a very fashionable mark on one ear because they cut off the tip right after. Once you’ve been ear-tipped, you know you have slaves taking care of you… in other words, you da boss! Good luck, fellow felines! I hope you find your fur-ever home. If I may say so, I think these hoomans aren’t that bad. Mine is quite wonderful, and so is the rest of her family. They have done nothing but spoil and love me!

MEOWS AND PURRS Do you like cat treats, back rubs, and chin scratches like I do? If so, make sure to reward your hooman with meows and purrs so that it gives you everything you want!

Best of luck to you, fellow felines in the Philippines! I hope you have learned something new from the stories I shared with you, lah. Let’s conquer the world, one hooman, one home, and one country at a time!

Whenever I want my dried fish treats, I meow heartily near the refrigerator where the hooman keeps the goodies. (I

P.S. Thanks to Filipino hooman Stef dela Cruz. I asked her if I could take over her April column and she said yes!

See? Being consistent paid off!

4. MAKE YOUR ABSENCE FELT

Once in a while, a hooman will have second thoughts about you, the same way mine once did. If that happens, do something to make the fickle-minded hooman miss you. When my hooman finally decided to adopt me, she said she would happily throw me out if I ruined her leather sofa. I wasn’t stupid, so I stayed as far away as possible from the darned couch!

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About the hooman who let Ohana take over her column: Stef dela Cruz, MD is a columnist and blogger. She was conferred the 2013 Health Media Recognition by the Department of Health. She is now the proud human of three cats and one dog. Connect with her on stefdelacruz.com or via Twitter, Facebook, & Instagram (@ StefdelaCruzMD).

Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017


Animals On The Scene

Adult champion VAT41 No.300 50cm Kohaki

Grand champion BVAT53 149 86cm GIinrin Kohaku

Baby champion VAT72 286 24cm Sanke

THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL

KOI SHOW

Photos by JEFFREY C. LIM and ABET VERCHES

ising in local popularity is the “nishikigoi,” Japanese fancy carp, or more popularly known as koi. With an estimated thousand koi keepers, hobbyists, and enthusiasts all over the country, more koi shows are being held in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao to cater to their need for a venue to gather and see the latest developments in the trade.

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Grand champion VAT05 088 77cm Showa

2017

The Philippine National Koi Show (PNKS) is considered the grandest show of them all, and the 2017 edition saw a 30% increase in the vats to accommodate almost 300 koi entries. Such was the demand for accommodation that organizer Russell Tantuco of Koi Hob even had to publicly apologize to those whose koi weren’t accommodated due to the limited space allotted for the show by the venue, Tiendesitas in Pasig City.

Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017


ANIMALS ON THE SCENE

Jumbo champion VAT06 094 81cm Kohaku

Mature champion VAT24 047 69cm Sanke

Reserve grand champion VAT16 146 80cm Showa

This years’ show featured 2 grow-out competitions: grow out A & B. Both saw a kohaku, the red and white koi that is the trade’s most famous variety, winning Grand Champion. The Grand Champion B for the main show went to an 86 centimeter Ginrin Kohaku, which has competed since the show’s first edition, winning each year in her size category. The Grand Champion is from breeder Mitsunori Isa of the acclaimed Isa Koi farm, popular for their showa. This is the third Grand Champion koi win for the owner and the second for an Isa-bred koi at the PNKS.

Superior male champion VAT04 040 73cm Sanke male

Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017

Tategoi awardVAT98 138 54cm Showa goa

Young champion VAT52 264 29cm Kohaku

Animal Scene

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ANIMALS ON THE SCENE

Mitsunori-san was joined by seven other Japanese breeders who served as judges for the show. The awarding ceremony was well attended by familiar faces, more popularly known as the “Koi Bois,” along with other local koi dealers and hobbyists from around the country.

(Left to right) Butch Campos, Russell Tantuco, Rj Seva and Abet Verches, discuss the quality of the koi on show.

Malaysian Koi food makers Kenneth Chong and Darren Tan of Kokusai Koi food also graced and supported the show, and locally, Lendl Christopher, representing Hikari Koi food, was also present. Peter Waddington, maker of Eric filters, travelled all the way from the UK to attend the show. Participants remarked on the fun and camaraderie they enjoyed at the PNKS. (With reporting by Russ Tantuco)

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Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017


ANIMALS ON THE SCENE

Koi hub family (Photo by : Duane Tan)

Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017

Animal Scene 17


Fish In Your Tank If you have any questions or inquiries about the fish discussed here, or you wish to have your fish featured in this column, please write Angel Ampil at AngelAmpil@yahoo.com.

THE SHORT BODY SURINAM CICHLID:

A Popular Eartheater, A New Look Text and photos by ANGEL L. AMPIL ichlids from the genus Geophagus are well known for their behavior of looking for food at the sandy bottom of their tank or habitat. These cichlids take a mouthful of sand and sift the sand in their mouths to find morsels to eat. This behavior has given them the popular name “Eartheaters.”

C

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Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017


FISH IN YOUR TANK

GLITTERY EARTHEATER Among the Eartheaters, the Geophagus surinamensis has established itself as a favorite among Filipino fishkeepers, and rightfully so, if I may say, because this is a very nice looking fish. For one thing, it is a very colorful fish. It generally has a base body color of grey to bronze gold. Rows of red scales that start from behind the operculum to the tail form stripes; hence, they are also called the “Red Stripe Eartheater” in some countries. Between these red stripes are glittering scales in hues of aqua-green. Sometimes a black spot may be observed in the upper third of the body. The fins and tails are generally red with streaks and spots of aqua-green hues. The rays of the dorsal fin boast red streaks, which are very impressive when the fish extends its fins. Most impressive are the ventral fins, which have elongated 20 Animal Scene

filaments at the tip. This makes the fish look very graceful as the filaments trail behind it when it is swimming. The dorsal, anal, and tail fins also end in filaments, but these are much shorter. The G. surinamensis also grows to a respectable size of 12 inches. Because of its tall body, this fish looks much bigger than other fish of the same length. Despite its big size, it is generally a gentle giant; that, of course should be considered within the context of cichlid aggression. While a school of G. surinamensis may bicker, flare, nip, and jab at each other, no one gets seriously injured. They are indeed one of the good-mannered cichlids, which is another reason to like them. First described by the German medical doctor and naturalist who generally is considered one of the most important ichthyologists of the 18th

century, Marcus Elieser Bloch, in 1791, its scientific name suggests the G. surinamensis hails from Suriname in the Saramacca, Marowijne, and Suriname Rivers. Their natural habitat extends to French Guiana. CARE CONSIDERATIONS The G. surinamensis is quite tolerant of different water parameters so long as the extremes are avoided. They prefer water that is acidic to alkaline within the pH range of 6.0 to 8.0. They also do well in water hardness of soft to medium with a dH range of 5 to 19. As for the temperature range our tropical climate is perfect for them and they do well within the range of 24°C to 30°C (77°F to 86°F). These water parameters are quite easy to attain, so Filipino fishkeepers are Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017


FISH IN YOUR TANK

quite successful not just in keeping, but also in breeding, them. I have known many friends who have bred the G. surinamensis at their leisure. The ease in keeping and probable breeding, I believe, are further reasons to like them. There is clear sexual dimorphism between the two genders. Males are easily distinguishable by their long fin extensions or filaments on their ventral, dorsal, anal, and caudal fins. While the females may also have these, the filaments are not as pronounced as with the males. A LONG AND LASTING LOVE Interestingly, once a pair mates, the bond is rather strong and they will not leave each other. Eggs are generally laid on a smooth surface on the substrate. This

22 Animal Scene

could be a piece of rock, broken pottery, or even the glass bottom. Once the female lays the eggs, the male follows to fertilize the eggs. After this ritual, one or both parents will pick up the eggs from the surface and brood these in their mouths. After about three days, the fry will hatch. At this point, everything becomes more exciting. As mouth brooders, G. surinamensis pairs are very good parents. Their parental instincts tell them to safeguard their fry, and this is such a powerful instinct that when danger is near, the fry swim back into the mouths of their parents. This is just like watching an underwater documentary, except that you can witness this live in the comforts of your home! Another factor that makes G. surinamensis attractive to fishkeepers is the price. This is not an expensive fish

to buy. While it is also not the cheapest fish you will find in a fish store, the price is well affordable. But for an exciting and exotic cichlid, a little investment is well worth it. A NEW LOOK FOR AN OLD FAVORITE With many favorable qualities, the G. surinamensis has become quite a popular cichlid among Filipino fish hobbyists. Recently however, I saw a variant that, in my opinion, makes it even more attractive. This is the Short Body G. surinamensis. Ironically, I am personally a purist when it comes to cichlids. I prefer keeping cichlids in their wild and natural form. True, the Short Body G. surinamensis is indeed a big digression from the normal G. surinamensis. Selective breeding under captive

Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017


FISH IN YOUR TANK

The bottom line, as far as I am concerned, is that here is a fish that I found right in front to me. I was beholden by its beauty and without overthinking the matter, I decided to acquire a few. I have had them for about a month now and am quite happy having them in my own tank. I have more exotic and highly collectible fish at home, but the Short Body G. surinamensis are just as exciting to keep. Except for the short body (and a price that is about ten times more expensive), everything about the Short Body G. surinamensis is like any normal G. surinamensis. It is still the same fish we all loved through the years, albeit with a different look.

conditions have made this variant shorter and rounder than the normal G. surinamensis. However, I found this variant pretty enough to be placed in my own tank. I would not really know how the Filipino fishkeeping market will take to the Short Body G. surinamensis. Some fishkeepers frown on short body fish, claiming these are not natural, developed only to introduce new varieties for their breeders to make money. Those who object to short body fish are quite vocal, to the extent that some disgruntled fishkeepers term these fish “Frankenfishes.” But for some fishkeepers who consider these oddballs unique and rare, the G. surinamensis are viewed as highly collectible fish. I guess the fishkeepers’ opinions will be varied, and they all have valid reasons why they like or do not like short body fishes.

24 Animal Scene

Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017


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For Pet’s Sake

PETS HAVE RIGHTS TOO THIS SUMMER Text by RAMON FRANCISCO With the coming of summer, pets have to beat the heat with the help of their owners. A regular bath is an order, boosted by an anti-rabies shot by the friendly vet. The pet owner must be responsible enough to keep their pets at home to protect them from the maddening traffic, “petnappers,”pests, and the city pound team. Barangay leaders should do no less to keep the neighborhood clean of delinquent pets that endanger the naughty kids playing in the streets and commuters who pass by. Animal welfare groups should be on the lookout for stray pets let loose by irresponsible homeowners. Friendly vets can pass the word around to have pets vaccinated against rabies and dread diseases. Radio and TV shows are now aware of their role to keep the public informed of the rights of pets to tender love and care. All concerned citizens are to be informed that from 300 to 400 individuals die of rabies annually, Department of Health records show. Remember that the Anti-Rabies Act of 2007 requires pet owners to control their dogs and other pets and prevent their roaming unnecessarily. Mother Nature rules.

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COMING IN MAY: It’s been called the “Siamese Fighting Fish” and now the popular Betta takes its turn on our cover. You’ll also meet the Cobalt Blue Tarantula, and the Red Foot and Yellow Foot Tortoise. The heat is on here at Animal Scene in May, so don’t forget to turn it up by getting your copy of the magazine early! Does your bookstore run out of copies of Animal Scene quickly? You can do two things: inform the management that you would like them to increase their stocks, or call 02.527.8121 to get your own copy.

Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017


Vet Visit

‘GALIS ASO’ OR SARCOPTIC MANGE IN DOGS

After the treatment

Text and photos by EMMANUEL D. MACAPAGAL, DVM arcoptic mange is a dermatologic condition (skin disease) that is highly contagious and is the result of the multiplication of a parasite called Sarcoptes scabiei var. canis. This is more properly referred to as “sarcoptic mange” in dogs and is characterized by alopecia, redness with crusty, scaly skin.

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I will refrain from calling it “scabies” because that is definitely another disease entity; the term in human medicine is often misused or confused for mange in dogs. In fact, the term “scabies” is more aptly used in the context of human medical dermatosis.

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Before treatment

SOME CLARIFICATIONS However, the differences end there. In parasitology (the study of parasites), the clinica (disease appearance)/parasite morphology similarities are striking. For instance, the parasite in this case is called Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis (human) or Sarcoptes in humans. In dogs or canines, it is referred to as Sarcoptes scabiei var. canis (dog variant). Animals are not a source of human scabies. In the same manner that Sarcoptes in the dog is not welladapted to human skin, adult parasites rapidly die and cannot reproduce. I have to reassure dog owners that they can recover from transient infestation (temporary dermatologic conditions in the human). The only thing you need

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VET VISIT

to do is have the pet dog treated for sarcoptic mange by a dog and cat practitioner.

gradual spread all over the body as this parasite is known to burrow under the epidermis (skin) of the dog.

A number of anecdotal terms for the condition have arisen in the native tongue, including “nakakain ng malansa,” or “napakain ng seafood,” or worse, “napakain ng basura.” These terms are well-entrenched in many a dog owners’ vocabulary.

It’s interesting to point out some things concerning this parasitic disease that are rarely discussed in the clinic setting. For one thing, that the source of infestation is usually direct contact via another dog or indirectly through contaminated premises and or bedding. The dogs usually infected are so-called naïve dogs—puppies, that is—that are exposed to feed, water buckets, and other equipment.

It has to be pointed out that as a dog and cat practitioner, my clinical experience (spanning 20 years) has shown me that the condition is seen in puppies as well as young dogs, especially those coming from pet stores, as well as from some breeders. It must also be pointed out that it also occurs in adult dogs. The above statement is merely a clinician’s point of view based on history-taking and long years of experience, as well as the number of cases it is true for every positive or confirmatory diagnosis. There is no malice intended. IDENTIFYING THE CONDITION Let’s get to the bottom of things. How do you discern that sarcoptic mange is affecting your dog? That is a little tricky to answer quickly without first observing some well-defined clues. After all, this infestation (this word is preferred over “infection”), due to the fact that the signs as well as skin lesions, is not very clearly seen or observable at first. However, as time progresses, the pruritus (medical term for severe itching) is greatly increased and causes erythematous papules (small red raised pimples or swelling), which at this point are encrusted. There are areas in the skin that are particularly affected: margins of the ear, elbows and hocks, the ventral portions of the abdomen, and the chest. There is eventually a

34 Animal Scene

Just when you think that such a thing is all in the mind, I once held in my hands a dog I hadn’t diagnosed positively for mange. To my disbelief, I begin to itch as the dog was itself inexplicably scratching itself wildly as well, like there was no tomorrow. Since I was stillr relatively young then in the practice of the profession, I respectfully asked the owner if I could do a simple skin-scraping test. The skin scrape test yielded positive results, and the dog needed to be treated accordingly. Ethical considerations dictate that we veterinarians in the field of companion animal medicine never teach clients to self-medicate in order to avoid patient poisoning, and complications arising from the erroneous treatment of an animal that is already sick and or debilitated. I do hope that it doesn’t rub my readers the wrong way if we uphold our ethical standards by intentionally withholding information on the methodology of treatments. After all, in my previous articles, I have asserted that I was the past chairman of the Council on Ethics of the Philippine Veterinary Medical Association, and as such, I must subscribe to a higher ideal.

SYMPTOMS AND DIAGNOSIS The history is descriptive of a rapid onset of severe itching. The sources of possible contagion will more often than not include pet stores, grooming parlors, and the most unlikely place, the veterinarian’s clinic. There must be evidence of spread to other dogs or humans and to a lesser extent, cats as well. Also, when you see the dog scratching itself to death by targeting its ears as though something in there is irresistibly itchy then you know you must consult with a veterinarian. Why should you? Pruritus is but a mere clinical sign that other diseases also manifest and the list is quite a long one. It is a wiser choice to have your veterinarian do the diagnosis for you. More often than not, this parasite is not detected after just one visit to the veterinarian. It has to be done correctly as well as consistently. Please do not diagnose it yourself. Let me be clearer as to why veterinarians in the dog and cat fields are better equipped in diagnosing dermatologic illnesses for reasons in addition to their knowledge as well as skill. For one, to the layman, everything looks the same; there is little opportunity for the skin to respond. Second, the same disease can have different manifestations. A third reason merits closer attention in those secondary infections as it almost always causes general itching and masks the original manifestation. The fourth reason is even worse in that several diseases are present at the same time and this can be baffling. Many diseases that manifest as skin problems are multi-factorial in origin, like canine atopic dermatitis, and are better left in the hands of the veterinarian. After all, the skin is an organ that only has a very limited opportunity to respond

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VET VISIT ALSO KNOWN AS

Galis aso; most common type of mange in dogs

CAUSE

The Sarcoptes scabiei mite; female mites burrow into skin and lay eggs. This causes the terrible itching that characterizes the disease; when the larva hatch and penetrate deeper, the itching gets worse.

AFFECTS

Skin

SYMPTOMS

• •

• • •

Crusting of area where mites have burrowed Hair loss in affected area (can include abdomen, chest, ear flaps, elbows, face, hocks), usually due to scratching Intense itching Pimple-like growths (papules) in affected area/s Rashes

SEVERITY

Highly contagious

HOW IT’S SPREAD

Contact with affected dogs, whether direct or indirect (use of same cage, kennel, accessories, etc. used by sick dogs)

HOW LONG BEFORE IT MANIFESTS

Symptoms appear anywhere from 2-6 weeks after exposure

CAN IT AFFECT PEOPLE AND/OR OTHER PETS?

Yes, but the mite prefers canines

DIAGNOSIS

Generally via skin scrapings

TREATMENT TYPES

• • •

AFFECTED BREEDS

All

WHERE DOES THE DISEASE MANIFEST?

Across the world

POTENTIAL COMPLICATIONS

• •

Injections Oral treatments Topical treatments

Can be mistaken for many other skin conditions Must be treated as early as possible for best results

PREVENTION

None, except to avoid exposure

IF LEFT UNTREATED…

Can result in chronic skin problems such as skin darkening, thickening, and wrinkling

RELATED CONDITIONS

There is also a mange in rabbits which is caused by a related variant of the same called “Sarcoptes scabiei” in rabbits and the rabbit ear mite, which is caused by Psoroptes sp., as well as another so-called rabbit fur mite.

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VET VISIT

After treatment

to various stimuli. As a result, many skin diseases look alike. Give your burdens to us; we are glad to help. The more research-oriented diagnosis may probably include serology for IgG antibodies as well as a histopathology for sarcoptes. However, in the Philippines, such a set-up is impractical and not advisable. For those who are interested in the classification and or nomenclature (name assignment) of mites, noteworthy is the fact that these arthropods are more related to spiders and ticks (“garrapata” in Spanish) than they are to insects. Remember that the spider and tick has four legs on each side while the insect has three on each side.

REFERENCES • • • • •

Also, some so-called “ear canker” infestations are actually caused by a mite called Psoroptes, which is not exclusive to rabbits but is seen in horses, sheep and cattle. The word “canker” only describes the accumulation of dead cells as well as the dried-up serum oozing after trauma to the skin is induced because of scratching.  (Additional text & research by CFB) 40 Animal Scene

• • • • • •

Clinical handbook on Canine dermatology, 2nd ed., p 1-5 Dysart LM, Coe JB,Adams CL, Analysis of client concerns in Companion animal Practice. J. Am Vet Med Assoc. 2011 Jun 15238 (12) 1609-15 Picco, F., Zinni, E., Nett, C., Bigler, B., Rufenacht S., et al. “A prospective study on canine atopic dermatitis and food-induced allergic dermatitis in Switzerland.” Vet Dermatol. 2008 Jun;19(3): 150-5 Pierre J., “Part 2: Monographs of the major canine dermatoses. Sarcoptic Mange. Virbac Animal Health copyright. Prelaud P, Mayer U, et al. “The 15-minute consultutation of the pruritic dog.” Veterinary Focus Special ed. pp. 7-35. Scott, D.W., Miller, W.H., Griffin, C.E. “Structure and function of the skin.” In Muller & Kirk’s Small Animal Dermatology 2000, 6th ed., p1-70 http://www.merckvetmanual.com/integumentary-system/mange/mange-in-dogs-andcats http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/dog-health/dog-diseases-conditions-a-z/sarcopticmange-dogs http://www.petshed.com/petcyclopedia/treating-sarcoptic-mange-in-dogs.html http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/skin/c_dg_sarcoptic_mange http://www.vetstreet.com/care/sarcoptic-mange-in-dogs Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017


Animals On The Scene

BAGUIO CITY FUN MATCH DOG SHOW

ecently, pet lovers, dog breed enthusiasts, and dog fashionistas gathered at SM City Baguio to witness and take part in a popular part of the celebration of the Panagbenga Festival: the All Dog Breed Conformation and the Dog Fashion Show.

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Aimed at supporting the Philippine government’s campaign to promote a rabies-free Philippines, the event saw 69 canine participants joining in from all over the country. Stars of the show were the local breed of canines known as “AsPins” (Asong Pinoy) and mixed breeds; they competed in their own categories in addition to the other categories they were eligible for. Judges were Jun Hieras and Crisostomo Estrebor. 42

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ANIMALS ON THE SCENE

Those who joined the Pet Fashion shows were also given a chance to win under the “Amateur” and “Professional Dogshionistas” categories. THE MAJOR AWARD WINNERS WERE: • Chester Allan Diwag of Wildboyz Kennels from Baguio and his American Bully stood out in the Conformation of Breeds and won the Best of Breed Over All, Best in Group, and Best in Show awards. IN THE PET FASHION SHOW PROFESSIONAL CATEGORY: • Adrian Stephen Cabuhat of Mandaluyong City and his Chihuahua Coco Chanel, in their entry, “King and Queen of Hearts Fashionista,” took the Best in Fashion Show award • Mark Anthony Abalos of Baguio and Shih-Tzu Georgia took second place in their entry, “Creative Cosplay Fashionista Queen Amidala.”

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IN THE PET FASHION SHOW AMATEUR CATEGORY: • Jean Denna and dog Lucky of Baguio City in native Ifugao costumes took the Best in Female Fashion award • Greg Porras Asuncion and dog Echoe from Manila in their avant garde costumes took the Best in Male Fashion award. • Both winning dogs are mixed breeds—Pomeranian and Japanese Spitz—and their outfits were personally created by their owners. The Dog Fashion Show was organized by Jaqueline Ramirez- Levisen. (Reporting by LFFernandez)

Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017


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#OLLAPSIB PSIBLE#AGES 3TAINLESS0OWDER#OATED #AGES ,EASH H#OLLAR#H #OLLAR#HOKER 'ROOMING+ITS $OG#ARRIER 3TAINLESS$OG"OWL 7ATER&EEDERS 4OYS ATTING


Special Photo Feature Monty is unable to move his rear legs. He was adopted from PAWS last July 16, 2016. Despite his disabilities, Monty is an awardwinning cat, taking the “Hali-meow” award for the Best Native Cat in Costume at the 2016 Scaredy Cats & Dogs event.

HEALING HEARTS Feline portraits by Che Vienes

Photos by CHE VIENES s a canine and feline photographer, I wish I could change the way some people think about disabled cats,” says Animal Scene regular Che Vienes. The vivacious young photographer says she is working to “…change the mindset of dividing cats into classes of worse and beautiful,

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Animal Scene

Then there’s Prince, who lost a front leg. He was rescued on August 2, 2015 and Bing adopted him from CARA. “Amputee cats are still cats; they just need extra love from the people around them,” she says.


Ingredients: Lamb meal, beef meal, ground corn, whole ground wheat, wheat mill run, soybean meal, corn gluten meal, natural flavor, brown rice, beet pulp, salt, choline chloride, minerals (zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, calcium carbonate, copper sulfate, sodium selenite, manganous oxide, mineral oil, calcium iodate, cobalt carbonate), potassium chloride, vitamins (vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, niacin, d-pantothenate acid, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), omega 3 & 6 fatty acids.


SPECIAL PHOTO FEATURE and wish that people would treat disabled cats [as] normal.” This photo series, with disabled cats in Christmas outfits, is entitled “Healing Hearts” because “…a healing heart does not discriminate on the basis of age, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.” And that healing isn’t limited to fellow humans, Che firmly believes. “Cats with special needs can be loved for who they are and the special joy they bring to our lives.” Hence this photography project.

Fur parent Bing Lim, who cares for several such cats, shared their lives with Che. She told their stories to Che as well. First, there’s Mad Eye, the blind one, rescued on November 6, 2008 and adopted from PAWS. Bing’s gentleness and patience gave Mad Eye a perfect fur-ever home.

“I have tried my best to capture the fact that, regardless [of] their disabilities, their behavior is just like that of any other normal cat,” she explains. Che also dispels a common misconception when it comes to disabled cats: they don’t require care 24 hours a day—their care is basically the same as that for a normal cat. “These felines play the same way… [they meow the same way] as well, and despite their disabilities and illnesses, they’re just like any normal cat.”

Mac’s folded front leg was malformed, and he was rescued on May 4, 2015 near the Makati/ Mandaluyong Bridge.

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Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017


Animals On The Scene

Nimrod with owner Armiel de Torres

Ferdinand “Choy” Aureus working with Larry Velasco’s Sherlock

THE PHILIPPINE AMERICAN BULLDOG REVOLUTION ecently, the Philippine American Bulldog Revolution (PABR) was held at the ERK-9 Training Field in Sucat Paranaque, with the objective of educating American Bulldog owners about the breed and how to start improving it for the better.

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Over a dozen owners and their dogs—coming from as far as Ilocos Sur— rose to the challenge of coming together to reinvigorate the breed in the country and identify the issues they will have to work on in order to achieve their goal.

Sharing event insights with Noel de la Rosa

First round of evaluation

Second round of evaluation

Alvin Salvador with Ace

Participants enjoyed the expertise of the preferred training partner for those who work with American Bulldogs, Ferdinand “Choy” Aureus. He guided them and their dogs through an exercise designed to show them what kind of working dog their American Bulldogs were, and in the process, taught them how to evaluate and bring out the dog’s working potential.

50 Animal Scene

Jeffrey Sadorra with Drago

Carl Michael de Leon with Zazu

Sharing experiences with American Bulldogs from the “good old days”: Carl with Redd Fuster


ANIMALS ON THE SCENE Back to basics demonstration

Carl demonstrates bite sleeve training with Zuri

Carl with (from left to right) pioneer American Bulldog owner Victor Tan and dog Chili; Froilan Bibon and Jon Sangalang with dog Zap; John Barnachea and dog Poker; and de Torres and Daniel Villoria.

First-hand stories and information about the good old days of the breed were shared by one of the original American Bulldog owners in the country, Redd Fuster, followed by a demonstration by organizer Carl Michael G. de Leon of the working capabilities of his own American Bulldogs Zazu (from Mondioring champion Kovu), Zuri, and Nala, to show participants what the breed was truly capable of if their owners continued to harness their potentials. The Revolution launch event merely provided a glimpse of the possibilities open to American Bulldog owners and their dogs. According to De Leon, there is still more to learn and the event was but the first step in a long journey for the breed in the country. “The PABR initiative

52 Animal Scene

must first break the barriers thwarting the growth of the breed in the country. AB standards and conformation topics are…a very divisive issue and though I believe that ‘form follows function’, I still draw a fine line leaning [towards] function as I [place more emphasis on this] working breed’s ability to perform work effectively and efficiently. The initiative just needs to find the common ground on [which] to start solidifying the [foundations] of the local American Bulldog community.” And these foundations start with returning to the roots of the breed as a working dog while correcting the misconceptions that have sprung up around it. Hence the group’s emphasis on the Mondioring dog sport.

Participants were also asked to ponder the question: what and where do they want to see the American Bulldog breed in the generations to come? The event was organized by Team Kovu, which not only competes in the different dog sport events in the country, but also undertakes adventures such as climbing mountains together, river trekking, and exploring different beach getaways that are dog-friendly. Team Kovu continuously promotes an active human and dog lifestyle by providing new and exciting avenues in which humans and dogs can spend quality time together and bring their relationship to new heights. (With reporting by Carl Michael G. de Leon)

Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017


Animal Person

RABBITTY HOBBY Text and illustration by NORMAN B. ISAAC ahal ang lalake, kasi (Males are expensive, because) you need their genes for the next generation,” Eric Hernandez says. He is referring to male rabbits.

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Amiable Eric, 27 years old and father of three kids (two girls and a boy), is a member of the board of the Philippine Rabbit Raisers and Fanciers Inc., one of the exhibitors at the World Trade Center. Incidentally, his eldest daughter, who topped her class, asked him for a gift, requesting a pet rabbit. This got Eric started on the rabbit hobby. The B.S. Biology graduate is all smiles as he explains the joy of raising rabbits. “They are huggable creatures. Very silent and gentle. Sobrang relaxing makita sila. Nakakatanggal ng (Seeing them is very relaxing. [The sight of them] can remove) stress. For me it’s just a hobby and not to make money,” he says. “This Holland Lop, bagsak ang tenga (its ears are floppy), fetches from R3,000 to R7,000. While the Lion Head, so called because of its

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ANIMAL PERSON

lion-like mane, reaches up to R10,000. For imported ones, price ranges from R15,000 to R30,000,” he shares. “I have 52 breeders: 15 males and 37 females. I don’t give them names, kasi ‘pag na-attach ka na sa kanila, ayaw mo na ibenta (because if you get attached to them, you won’t want to sell them),” he laughs. It is said that rabbits can learn to follow simple voice commands, come when called by name, and are curious and playful. But experts say that rabbits do not make good pets for small children as rabbits are fragile and easily injured by rough handling, as frequently frightened by loud noises and sudden motions. Eric explains the rabbit color points or coats. “Here is a Black Tort; it has a coat similar to a tortoise shell. This one is Broken Black; it has a broken cow-like pattern. My favorite is this American Chinchilla; it has threelayer colors: blue, gray, and black.” Among rabbit fanciers, the genetics of coat color and hair properties are paramount. “It’s not expensive to feed them. Grass worth R300 will last for 2 weeks. I also give them high fiber pellets which have all [their] nutritional requirements,” he says. “Fresh water should always be available, either in a water bottle or bowl.” Rabbits have as much color variation between them as do other household pets, and vary in other traits from breed to breed, such as in coat length and textures, body shapes, ear length and position, tail size, etc. Eric puts a Teddy Wider, a woolly rabbit with lopped ears, on the grooming table. “A little trivia: did you know that [the cartoon character] Bugs Bunny is not a rabbit but a hare?

Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017

Hares are bigger than rabbits. Pag pinanganak may balahibo na at naglalakad na mga babies (When they are born, they already have fur and the babies can already walk),” he laughs. During the Easter season, rabbits are especially popular pets in the United States due to their association with the holiday. Even in the Philippines, bunnies are omnipresent during the Easter egg hunt and used as props for window displays at big department stores. Sadly, animal shelters that accept rabbits often complain that during

the weeks and months following Easter, there is a rise in unwanted and neglected rabbits that were bought as Easter gifts, especially for children. Poor rabbits. Easter or not, rabbits will be popular pets all year round. Whether it’s a three-pound Dwarf Hotot or a twenty-two pound Flemish Giant, there will always be a responsible rabbit fancier who will take care of them. As a parting shot, Eric advises “Never hold a rabbit by the ears like what magicians do.” Touché!

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Cover Story

THE

Y K S U H N A I R E B SI

Text by CLIFF SAWIT Photos by JEFFREY C. LIM

he Siberian Husky is a beautiful, wild-looking breed that is becoming increasingly popular with Pinoy dog fanciers. Yet there are still many misconceptions about the breed that may hinder would-be Husky owners from giving their pet the care this special breed deserves. Some people believe that this breed needs to be chained up to prevent it from “turning wild.” Others even think feeding Huskies raw meat, milk, or even kittens will make them stronger!

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We asked our expert Sidney Bascon to clear up some of these ‘alternative facts’ about the Siberian Husky.

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COVER STORY

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COVER STORY

breeds are not allowed to join them, as a precaution. MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN “Breeding is not just mating a bitch and a dog,” explains Sidney. “Before breeding, we assess the bitch first, and then we find a dog that will complement her phenotype and genotype. Then we look for the weaknesses and strengths of the line of that dog, and if there’s a hereditary disease that occurs.”

GOLD STANDARD “I think it’s important to know what a real Siberian Husky looks like,” Sidney explains. “It is important to know and familiarize yourself with the breed standard, because that will help you in selecting your dog.” The Siberian Husky is a mediumsized working dog, first and foremost, descended from the original sled dogs which pulled heavy loads in teams across snowy terrain. That means that the ideal Siberian Husky should be moderate in body, with enough leg length to perform at its best. The most common misconception about the Siberian Husky, according to Sidney, is that they are a good choice for newbies. “Sorry to say this,” she says, “but they are really not for first-time dog owners, because they are not like any other breed that Filipinos are used to having.” Another misconception Sidney points out is that wooly-coated Siberians are more expensive than standard ones. “This is not true, because in fact, woolies are a fault

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by the breed standard. Personally, I think it’s okay to have a wooly-coated Siberian as a pet, but they shouldn’t be bred anymore.” A BREED APART When asked about the perceived wild nature of Siberian Huskies, Sidney just laughs. “First and foremost, they are not wild animals. They are tame. It’s just that they still possess a prey drive, and other breeds also have it. A Siberian Husky owner knows this, so they should know how to separate their Husky from their smaller breeds.”

For Sidney, phenotype is more important than genotype, and things like titles, red marks, and green marks should not even be considered a factor in breeding. “The most important thing is that you know how to assess a dog, how to read a pedigree, and develop an eye for dogs.” Similarly, when buying a Siberian Husky, she looks into the structure, movement, health, condition, strengths, and weaknesses of the dog. “Again,” Sidney says, “the line is after the phenotype.” TROPICAL COOL

Sidney thinks the Siberian Husky has adapted well to the Philippine climate, all things considered. However, she says, “All owners and Siberian enthusiasts should know that their dogs should still have at least an Still, not all Huskies are the same. electric fan all to themselves, or “I’ve known a lot of Siberian Husky breeders that can put their small animals an aircon, because the Philippines is a tropical climate, and every year the and their Siberians in the same room,” heat has been getting worse. I’ve heard claims Sidney. “But of course, not all about a lot of Siberians and other dogs Siberians would like that. Importantly, however, in my 16 years of participating that have died from heat stroke. That’s at dog shows, I haven’t heard of a single why Siberian Huskies should have their Siberian that attacked a smaller dog, or own cooling system.” any kind of dog for that matter.” HEALTHY MOM, HEALTHY BABY At her own house and kennel farm, For Sidney, a healthy dam means Sidney has separate rooms for her a healthy puppy: “If you take good Siberians and other dogs, and when the Siberians are out playing, the other care of the dam even before

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COVER STORY

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COVER STORY she gets pregnant, and continue to care for her during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and after, especially by giving her nutritious food and supplements, then her puppy will most likely be healthy.” But what does a healthy adult Siberian look like? “A healthy Siberian is a well-conditioned Siberian: Healthy skin and coat, no redness or any stain in the coat, pinkish gums.” A healthy Siberian should also possess a good appetite and alertness. DOGGY BAG “Siberians are anemic because they are an arctic breed,” says Sidney. “I deal with it by monitoring their blood tests once in a while. I also mix malunggay leaves in their dog food. I feed my dogs dog food, but every week I give them snacks or treats like boiled liver, chicken, steak, carrots, and sweet potatoes. I also give them yogurt and balut.” THE HUSKY LIFESTYLE “In my opinon,” says Sidney, “a Siberian Husky is suited for a person or family that has enough time for themselves and their pets. Siberians need a home that understands their needs, a home that can provide a space for Siberians to run and play. As others have told me, Siberians don’t fit into your lifestyle, they change your lifestyle.”

Some Siberians do tend to be choosy about the people they trust. “If they don’t like a person they will not come close, or they might bark at them, and their coat at the back might start to stand up, which is a sign that they are not happy.” Some Huskies are independent and some are emotionally needy, according to Sidney, depending on each individual dog, which is why it is important to know your dog down to their littlest personality traits. “In my kennel, most of my Siberians are independent, and have strong personalities. But 2 or 3 are really emotionally needy, and they are girls,” she laughs.

She believes that Siberian Husky owners should commit themselves 100%. “Once you own a certain breed of dog, you should know and understand everything about them, so that you’ll know how to treat and take care of them properly.”

RAZOR BURNED

According to her, Siberian Huskies show affection by letting you hug and kiss and play with them, and they even ‘talk’ with woofs and howls.

Grooming a Siberian Husky is easy, says Sidney, who bathes her dogs only once a week. If there is an upcoming show on the weekend, however, then

60 Animal Scene

she bathes them a day before the show as well as the day after the show to remove the grooming products that were applied for the show. For baths, Sidney uses a whitening shampoo, a shampoo for adding body to the coat, and an oil if there is no upcoming show. She then dries them using a pet blower. “The pet blower is very important if you have a Siberian Husky. Simply toweling them dry or placing them in front of an electric fan will not work, they will get sick or catch pneumonia.” What about shaving or trimming that thick coat? “Shaving a Siberian Husky is a big no-no. Even trimming the coat in the body is a no-no. You can trim the paw pads and nothing more. Even the whiskers are not allowed to be trimmed. Trimming and shaving is a mortal sin for Siberian Huskies, unless it’s for medical

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COVER STORY reasons.” Because males shed once a month and females shed twice a month, there is no need to shave them. Their coats are protection from both heat and cold. HUSKY FOR LIFE “When I was 6 years old, my mom and dad were already into dog shows,” Sidney recounts. “They showed golden retrievers, Labradors, and English bulldogs then. By the year 2000 my mom wanted a Siberian, so my dad bought a copper and white Siberian with blue eyes. He won Best Baby Puppy in Show during his very first show.” Her mom and dad then bought Siberians from Cebu and the USA. “The Siberian from Cebu was the dog that made a name for my dad at the dog shows. Then my mom and dad began buying Huskies from Canada as well, and this special and amazing dog came along who even finished 2015 as the #1 Siberian Husky in the Philippines at 12 years old.” By 2011 to 2012, Sidney’s parents turned over the kennel to her, first testing her on the basics of the breed and on her eye for dogs. “They let me import one puppy. They left the decision to me, and I spoke to the breeder and made the transactions. When the puppy came, it won a few Best Baby Puppy in Show awards, and finished her Philippine Championship title at 9 years old, so I think it wasn’t a bad choice.” Even though Sidney took over the kennel, her parents are still part of the decision-making process, and she also takes advice from friends and mentors from Asia, Canada, and Europe. “As a dog breeder, I’ve accomplished one and a half of my goals,” Sidney says. “I have a Philippine-born HOF and BIS winner, and I want to be a specialist judge for Siberians. I’m still working on my license but I now have my probationary license.” Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017

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The Siberian Husky Breed Standard

(Reference: http://www.shca.org/shcahp2c.htm)

CHARACTERISTIC

IDEAL

FAULT

GENERAL APPEARANCE

Excess weight

• • • • • • • SIZE, PROPORTION, SUBSTANCE

HEAD: EXPRESSION EYES

EARS

• • • • • • • •

HEIGHT: Dogs, 21 to 23 ½” at the withers Bitches, 20 to 22” at the withers WEIGHT: Dogs: 45 to 60 pounds Bitches: 35 to 50 pounds Weight is in proportion to height. In profile, length of body from point of the shoulder to rear point of croup is slightly longer than height of body from the ground to top of withers

• • •

Keen but friendly; interested and even mischievous Almond shaped, moderately spaced, set a trifle obliquely. May be brown or blue in color.

Eyes set too obliquely; set too close together

• •

One of each or parti-colored are acceptable Medium size, triangular in shape, close-fitting and set high on the head Thick, well-furred, slightly arched at the back, strongly erect, with slightly rounded tips pointing straight up

Ears too large in proportion to the head; too wide set; not strongly erect

• SKULL

STOP

• •

MUZZLE

• •

NOSE

• •

LIPS

Medium-sized working dog, quick and light on his feet and free and graceful in action Moderately compact and well-furred body Erect ears, brush tail Effortless gait Capably carries light load at moderate speed over great distances Balance of power, speed, and endurance Males: masculine but never coarse; Female: feminine but without weakness of structure Muscle firm and well developed

Medium size, in proportion to the body; slightly rounded on top and tapering from widest point to the eyes Well-defined, bridge of the nose is straight from the stop to the tip Medium length; distance from tip of nose to the stop is equal to the distance from stop to the occiput. Medium width, tapering gradually to the nose, with top neither pointed nor square Black in gray, tan, or black dogs; liver in copper dogs; may be flesh-colored in pure white dogs Pink-streaked “snow nose” is acceptable Well-pigmented and close-fitting

TEETH

• • •

NECK, TOPLINE, BODY NECK

Medium in length, arched and carried proudly erect when dog is standing. When moving at a trot, neck is extended so that the head is carried slightly forward.

Closing in a scissors bite

Appearance of excess bone or weight. Disqualification: Dogs over 23 ½” and bitches over 22”

THE HET IS ON!

Here are a few terms that may come up as you dive into the kaleidoscope Head clumsy or heavy, head too finely chiseled ken of leopard geckos. We won’t spoil your fun as you wrestle with the joys of research. stop Insufficient Allele – variant versions of a given gene, either recessive dominant Muzzle either too or snippy or too coarse; muzzle too long Baldy – patternless head or too short Carrot Tail – having orange coloration on the tail Emerine – tangerine variant line bred for green coloration Het – short for Heterozygous, where one carries one copy of two different alleles (Bb). It is seldom a pure line. Homozygous – when one carries two copies of the same alleles (BB or bb). It Any other than can bite be called purescissors for a trait. Super Hypo – lacking all spots on the back Neck too short and thick; neck too long Tangerine – orange color


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IDEAL

FAULT

CHEST

Deep and strong, but not too broad, with deepest point being just behind an level with elbows. Ribs are well-sprung from spine but flattened on the sides to allow freedom of action

Weak or slack back; roached back; sloping topline

TAIL

Well-furred tail of fox-brush shape is set on just below the level of the topline, and is usually carried over the back in a graceful sickle curve when the dog is at attention. When carried up, tail does not curl to either side of the body, nor does it snap flat against the back. A trailing tail is normal for the dog when in repose. Hair on tail is of medium length and approximately the same length on top, sides, and bottom, giving appearance of a round brush

A snapped or tightly curled tail; highly plumed tail; tail set too low or too high

FOREQUARTERS SHOULDERS

Shoulder blade is well laid back. Upper arm angles slightly backward from point of shoulder to elbow, and is never perpendicular to the ground. Muscles and ligaments holding the shoulder to rib cage are firm and well-developed.

Straight shoulders, loose shoulders

FORELEGS

When standing and viewed from the front, legs are moderately spaced, parallel and straight, with elbows close to the body and turned neither in nor out. Viewed from the side, pasterns are slightly slanted, with the pastern joint strong, but flexible. Bone is substantial but never heavy. Length of leg from elbow to ground is slightly more than the distance from the elbow to the top of withers. Dewclaws on forelegs may be removed.

Weak pasterns; too heavy bone; too narrow or too wide in the front; out at the elbows

FEET

• •

Oval in shape but not long Paws are medium in size, compact and well-furred between the toes and pads Pads are tough and thickly cushioned. Paws neither turn in nor out when the dog is in natural stance

Soft or splayed toes; paws too large and clumsy; paws too small and delicate; toeing in or out

When standing and viewed from the rear, hind legs are moderately spaced and parallel Upper thighs are well-muscled and powerful, stifles are well-bent, hock joint well-defined and set low to the ground. Dewclaws, if any, are to be removed

Straight stifles, cowhocks, too narrow or too wide in the rear

Double and medium in length, giving a well-furred appearance, but never so long as to obscure the clean-cut outline of the dog. Undercoat is soft and dense and of sufficient length to support outer coat Guard hairs of outer coat are straight and somewhat smooth-lying, never harsh nor standing straight off from the body Absence of undercoat during shedding season is normal Trimming of whiskers and fur between toes and around the feet to present a neater appearance is permissible

Trimming the fur on any other part of the dog is not to be condoned and should be severely penalized

HINDQUARTERS

• •

COAT

• • • COLOR

• •

All colors from black to pure white are allowed Variety of markings on the head is common, including many striking patterns not found in other breeds

GAIT

Smooth and seemingly effortless; quick and light on feet, should be gaited on a loose lead at a moderately fast trot, exhibiting good reach in the forequarters and good drive in the hindquarters. When viewed from the front to read while moving at a walk, the Siberian Husky does not single track, but as the speed increases the legs gradually angle inward until the pads are falling on a line directly under the longitudinal center of the body. As pads converge, forelegs and hind legs are carried straight forward, with neither elbows nor stifles turned in or out. Each hind leg moves in the path of the foreleg on the same side. While the dog is gaiting, topline remains firm and level.

TEMPERAMENT

Friendly and gentle, but also alert and outgoing. Does not display possessive qualities of the guard dog, nor is overly suspicious of strangers or aggressive with other dogs. Some measure of reserve and dignity may be expected in mature dog. Intelligence, tractability, and eager disposition make him agreeable companion and willing worker.

Long, rough, or shaggy coat; texture too harsh or too silky; trimming of coat except as permitted above

Short, prancing or choppy gait; lumbering or rolling gait; crossing or crabbing

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From Our Readers Animal Scene invites readers to share experiences with pets and animals that have helped expand their horizons and/or taught them more about the animals they love. Young author Sage Alfar shares part of her recent trip to Hong Kong, where she learned more about the cat cafés that are burgeoning across the world.

AH, MEOW!” AND OTHER THINGS TO SAY AT A CAT CAFE Cat treats for humans!

Text by SAGE ALFAR Photos by DEAN FRANCIS ALFAR at cafés are essentially pocket dimensions of paradise, and they’ve become popular in places like Hong Kong, because people in cities with limited space rarely have room for pets. So pet cafés (HK also has dog cafes and one rabbit café) are great for people without animals to care for, and also good because some cafés take in animals without people to care for them.

C

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FROM OUR READERS

One of the cat cafés that not only offers you the opportunity to hang out with kitties and eat food (my two most favorite hobbies) but also takes in strays and lets you donate to the cause of kitty welfare is Café Ah Meow. Here’s how to find the secret door into cat dreamland: find yourself on the Hong Kong side of the city (rather than the more tourist-y Kowloon side) and look for a somewhat daunting-looking building at the address Ah Meow Cat Cafe, Po Ming Building, Foo Ming Street, Causeway Bay. Don’t look for any actual signage outside the building; it’s better to just look up an image of the building frontage on Google Maps. I can only assume that this is because the location of such lovely cat-related establishments is highly confidential and meant to be accessible by only the most determined of cat lovers. The place is open from 12 noon to 11 p.m., so make sure to go at the right time!

So blissful...

Be brave, because in order to find the aforementioned door to cat dreamland, you must first go through a frankly kind of creepy building, and ride an elevator that feels like it’s about to crash every time it passes a floor. (It won’t; have faith.) You might get a bit lost, but the other people in the building are actually quite nice, and will direct you to where you are headed, if you just gesture vaguely and go, “Cat café?” When you do find the café, you’ll find that the whole place is completely decorated with all the kinds of cat merchandise that you begrudgingly decided not to buy online. There’s also cat stuff for sale, lots of cat-themed food (for human consumption, all rather nice and reasonably-priced), and, of course, there’s a bunch of cats.

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FROM OUR READERS

The cats are happy, healthy, and friendly! It’s easy to tell that they’re used to being around people, and some of them are even described in the cat manual as liking people more than other cats. Did I mention there’s a cat manual? Guys, there’s a cat manual. Not only does the cat manual explain the rules and guidelines of the café, it also gives you detailed descriptions of each cat’s history, the appropriate spots of the cat to pet (charmingly indicated as “like,” “superlike,” “don’t,” and “never”), and cute illustrations of every cat. The cat manual is everything you want it to be, and the staff will happily offer it to you along with a menu and a card to become a member of the café, which is maybe my proudest credential right now. The staff is very nice, and obviously enjoys being around the cats. They encourage the cats to interact with people, without forcing them, and use little cat toys to get them to play around! You can use the cat toys too, just for the record, but it’s best to check with staff first to see if that particular cat likes playing.

Good luck getting this one to get up and play!

The author and her father

One of the cats, who I believe is named Dor Dor, is perhaps the softest being in existence, and will greet you at the door. Another cat likes to bask in the sunlight, and will vocally express her discomfort if other cats ruin her perfect positioning by blocking out the light. Yet another sleeps in such a way that he is just a fluffy gray lump that you can only assume must, sometimes, be a cat. These kitties are all so sweet and full of personality that being around them and petting them makes you want to go, “Awww!” except that you have to be quiet in there (not totally silent, only kind of hushed), so instead you just put your hands over your mouth and kind of go, “Hhhh!”

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FROM OUR READERS

The cats are fantastic, the staff is friendly, the food is nice, the atmosphere is lovely, and the whole place doesn’t smell at all, the last of which is super-important, because some people (me) have fathers who would not want to stay otherwise.

Who is Sage Alfar?

I did try one other cat café in Hong Kong (I’m not naming names), and it was somewhat dismal in comparison—dark and gloomy, where Ah Meow is sunny, and the cats were only slightly less chilly than the staff, who loftily informed us that there was a minimum fee of HK$68 (around R 450!) per head. Compare that to Ah, Meow’s minimum—they just ask each of you to order any dish or drink— and it’s obvious why you should accept no substitutes. Needless to say, I highly recommend Ah, Meow Cat Café, because it’s just such a lovely place, despite the dodgy exterior of the building it’s hidden in. Braving the strange environment is entirely worth it to access cat paradise, so you should probably get up and start your journey already.

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You’re probably noticing a trend when it comes to how the cats are at the cafe. Hint: they aren’t likely to be rowdy!

Sage Alfar is totally ready for the zombie apocalypse, having studied, at various times, to various degrees, capoeira, jiu jitsu, krav maga, and muay thai. She is also nurturing an espionage network, composed of stray cats that she regularly visits and feeds. Amid all this, she goes to high school, hones her visual arts skills, and sometimes writes words, which have been accepted for the upcoming Fantasy: Filipino Fiction for Young Adults and more than once in the Philippines Graphic. She has also co-written the forthcoming collection Stars and Jars: Strange and Fantastic Stories. Animal Scene 69


Reptile Spotlight

T S R I F E H T C I H T N A AX LOWN C R E T W E P N O H T Y P L L BA HE T IN D L R O W

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REPTILE SPOTLIGHT

Text by CLIFF SAWIT Photos by JEFFREY C. LIM

he Axanthic Pewter Clown ball python is certainly a strikinglooking snake: gray, white, and black with a winding, dripping dorsal pattern—it is a far cry from the single wild type, the Normal, that all morphs are descended from.

T

But the Axanthic Pewter Clown ball python morph also represents the fulfillment of a dream for our resident reptile expert and breeder Pitlair. “As far as I am aware, this combination is the first in the world,” he says. Let’s refresh: what is a morph, exactly? From a previous interview, Pitlair explains, “It is a color or pattern that can consistently be passed on to the ball python’s offspring. If it is an inheritable trait, then it is correct to say that that defining color or pattern that can be passed on is a morph.”

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REPTILE SPOTLIGHT

Although beauty is in the eye of the beholder, there are certain appealing visual characteristics that breeders and hobbyists look for, like clean, crisp colors of yellow, orange, purple, or black, or patterns such as stripers, squiggles, and so on. “So, it is important to know what combination of morphs is needed to achieve a desired look,” he says.

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show that the defining trait of this unusual ball python can be passed on to its offspring.”

Finally, many morphs are recessive, and require the gene to be inherited from both of the snake’s parents before it can produce a visually distinctive appearance.

ROLL THE DICE AND BE PATIENT Even with all the color and pattern combinations considered, however, creating a morph is still a game of chance, like all genetics. Morphs can be dominant, co-dominant, or recessive. Dominant morphs, as the name suggests, will produce the same look whether the ball python inherits it from only one or both of its parents.

It takes years for aspiring breeders to come up with a new morph. “Typically an unusual-looking specimen (with a new color or pattern) can be found in batches of wild-caught ball pythons,” says Pitlair. “But before any breeder can claim it to be a new morph and give it a name, the breeder must be able to consistently

Even the sex of the unusual specimen is a big factor. Pitlair says, “If you have a male, then in about a year’s time you could, with some certainty, have a possible new morph.” It takes males at least one and a half years to become sexually active, and females at least two and a half years, although Pitlair says three years is ideal. The females also need to be in good health, and weigh at least 1.5 kilograms (kg). “There are cases of projects lasting up to ten years before something comes to light,” he warns. “Luck really plays a big part in this.”

Co-dominant or incomplete morphs, such as pastel or Mojave, have one appearance when inherited from only one parent, and a different appearance when it inherits the gene from both parents.

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REPTILE SPOTLIGHT

PERFECT COMBINATIONS, THE FOUNDATION OF SUCCESS “One does not need to exclusively use recessive genes in order to produce a new, desirable look,” Pitlair says. “A combination of dominate and incomplete morphs can also produce beautiful-looking ball pythons.” The Axanthic Pewter Clown ball python features both recessive (axanthic and clown) and co-

dominant (cinnamon and pastel) genes. Pitlair explains, “Axanthic is the absence of yellow, which results in a gray, black, and white snake. Clown in a pattern morph with a winding dorsal strip. Then we add cinnamon, which is a color and pattern morph, and pastel as a light color morph.” The results certainly speak for themselves. Pitlair is particularly proud of his breeding achievement. “We, as hobbyists, feel a great sense of accomplishment from having been able to produce this particular combination. This also means that we can be ahead of other people when coming up with even more new combinations based on this current one. Lastly, these combinations have a relatively high monetary value.”


Invert Spotlight: Keeper’s Viewpoint

HOW THIS TARANTULA GOT A KEEPER BACK INTO THE TRADE See the Poecilotheria metallica through a keeper’s eyes Text and photos by WALLY SUAREZ

TAXONOMY Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Arthropoda Class: Arachnida Order: Araneae Family: Theraphosidae Scientific Name: Poecilotheria metallica Species Authority: Pocock, 1899

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INVERT SPOTLIGHT: KEEPER’S VIEWPOINT

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Animal Scene explores the viewpoint of keepers and their practical experience with Wally Suarez’s first person account of the tarantula that brought him back into the hobby. While we’ve done interviews with keepers, experts, and breeders in the past, here is one keeper’s story of his experiences, in his own words.

How the Poecilotheria metallica brought him back to the hobby Admittedly, maintaining tarantulas on my part has oscillated between waxing and waning throughout the years—a sudden interest usually results in the acquisition of a species or two, only for me to lose focus and leave the hobby, at least temporarily. Let’s face it: tarantulas, as a whole— with the exception of species such as Euathlus sp. ‘Red’—are non-responsive ‘pets’. Many species just dig a tunnel or extensively web their enclosures, so keepers often wonder whether they are keeping an animal or a hole. As such, their novelty quickly dissipates and the tarantula is sold or worse, neglected and left to die. Many novice keepers go through this phase of disillusionment; I did. By mid-2015, I once again felt an upsurge of interest in these arachnids, due to my discovery of a population of two species of tarantulas in my area which provided me with intriguing insights of how terrestrial tarantulas live in the wild. To further stoke the embers, a co-worker sold me a specimen each of a 3-inch (total length or TL, including the outstretched legs) Curly hair (Brachypelma albopilosum) and a 2.5 inch Mexican Redknee (B. smithi) a few months later. I was once again bitten, so to speak.

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In early 2016, I searched online for tarantulas being offered for sale, and came across an advertisement for Poecilotheria metallica slings (the hobby jargon for ‘spiderlings’) being sold for R1,100, at 1 inch TL sizes. I was familiar with the genus, but had never kept one before, so this prompted me to undertake thorough research on their needs, behavior, and temperament. I absolutely believe that

an enthusiast—whether for plants or animals—should do this before actually acquiring a specimen. Too many impulse purchases result in frustration and/or demise of the acquisition. In February, I got my new P. metallica and nicknamed the tiny, scruffy creature ‘Hammett’, alluding to the lead guitarist of the band Metallica.

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INVERT SPOTLIGHT: KEEPER’S VIEWPOINT

by his willingness to eat. Poecilotheria metallica, like other members of the genus, are greedy feeders, and I have noticed that my specimen can easily down prey items that are slightly longer than he is. This should come as no surprise, as the potent venom that Poecilotheria species are known for allow them to overpower sizable prey items with minimal risk of retaliatory response from a defensive quarry. By the end of February, Hammett molted, but it was only after he sloughed off his old exoskeleteon on April 10 that his formerly subdued coloration completely gave way to the brilliant blues that the species is celebrated for.

A little background

Experiences in keeping a P. metallica

The Poecilotheria metallica is known in the trade by its common name ‘Gooty Sapphire Ornamental’, ‘Metallic Blue Ornamental’, or simply ‘Sapphire Ornamental’. The former refers to the locus classicus, or the type locality, of the species, which is endemic to Southeast India. However, despite being first collected in an engineer’s bungalow on the north-west line of the Madras Railway in Andhra Pradesh near Gooty in 1898, it is generally believed that the holotype, a female, represented a stray specimen which could have come elsewhere, particularly the railroad services locomotives that bring in timber from other regions.

Hammett was initially kept in a small, 1.5 gallon tank with coconut coir substrate and a few twigs he could climb on, which I soon discarded. Knowing that metallicas are markedly photosensitive, I placed the tank in a shaded corner. He still did try to hide from view by constructing a cozy burrow.

In 2001, the species was rediscovered in a degraded forest between Nandyal and Giddalur. For this reason, I avoid names for this species with any reference to Gooty. Likewise, I also do not refer to the species as ‘P. met’ as is often the case within the hobby, as I find the practice of abbreviating tarantula names rather unnecessary.

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The area where I maintain my arachnids commonly gets quite warm during daytime, but this is offset by breezes coming in from the mountains behind my property, and from nearby Laguna Lake. Light misting using a hand sprayer were carried out at least twice each day but it was only directed opposite of where Hammett constructed a retreat. On the fifth day, after making sure he had settled down, I offered a mealworm about as long as he was. A little commotion and some twitching of the mealworm’s tail end told me what I needed to know: Hammett was happily adapting to the conditions I’d provided, as signified

In May, I attempted to photograph him using a black cloth to block off distracting details that are visible from behind the transparent tank panel, and gently coaxed him into position using a thin and slender twig, with much of the screen top positioned to block escape. About half a minute after he settled in a spot conducive for a photograph, I slowly removed the screen top, and very slowly positioned the camera inside his enclosure. And then it happened. The tarantula ‘Flash’? Faster than I could react, the spider bolted out of his enclosure and onto the folds of the black cloth. As I was maneuvering into position, he again moved up extremely quickly, this time in a position that was ideal for a photograph and, more importantly, for recapture. This little episode underscored a facet of Poecilotheria husbandry that should be a prime consideration for would-be keepers: they move at lightning speeds, and without warning. Many tarantula species telegraph their intentions with discernible actions: Thrixopelma ockerti press their carapaces to the substrate prior to the flicking of urticating hairs; Brachypelma boehmei, a skittish member of an otherwise laid-

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INVERT SPOTLIGHT: KEEPER’S VIEWPOINT back genus position themselves in the direction where they intend to go before making a run for it, and highly aggressive species stridulate and assume a defensive posture before an actual attempt to bite. Poecilotheria do not give the same courtesy. Weeks after his ‘stroll’, when he reached a sufficient size for better observations, I also noticed how he could pounce on an offered prey item without even giving a hint that he was aware that he wasn’t alone anymore inside the enclosure. The location of the prey relative to his whereabouts is immaterial: a metallica can attack from Point A to B at blinding speed. Apart from being an ambush predator, P. metallica can and will take a more active role in securing prey through quick lunges. You won’t see them stalk like you would Horned Baboons (Ceratogyrus ssp.) or Orphnaecus once they have perceived the presence of potential prey; they just go straight for it. When I moved him into his present enclosure in October, he unnerved me once again by making a quick exit after I was able to get him into his new home. Rather fortunately, despite being prone to making swift dashes, P. metallica does so in short bursts, which means that an escapee will settle just mere inches from where it took off. Of course, it might be a different story if your animal alights on any spot of your body, and your orchestrations startle him into bolting somewhere more distant and unreachable, or worse, into a defensive mode, punctuated by a bite. Always keep in mind that even though bites are probably not fatal, Poecilotheria venom causes an excruciatingly painful experience that can land a person in a hospital. Events such as these, when caught up by media and sensationalized, can adversely affect the hobby. Compared to other species from its genus, P. metallica is far less defensive, and when disturbed, most often resorts to running or, in more open

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areas, leap into the air and onto the ground or nearby objects. Yet, bites from sufficiently provoked individuals are not unheard of. And be aware that intolerable levels of provocation varies from one tarantula individual to another. A calm specimen can be gently cajoled into position for a photograph, but this same treatment may be construed as an attack by another, which will then react defensively according to its temperament. Practical husbandry tips

Note that despite being arboreal, P. metallica does not often employ branches as their perches, preferring instead walls or any other substrate with large surface area for lounging out, so you can forego such decorations, which might become a liability when doing maintenance work inside the enclosure (i.e. you may not be able to withdraw your hand quick enough if you notice your animal “waking up,” or even worse, you might knock over the piece and have it land on your pet, resulting in a very messy—and pricey—demise.

You can find many references saying that this species can be kept communally, and indeed, they are less disposed to cannibalism than other tarantulas. A batch of spiderlings raised in a suitably sized container may coexist peacefully with one another for a period of time, but once reared separately, they often become antagonistic towards others of their kind. So unless you are willing to lose some individuals, or are scandalously wealthy, I strongly advise against keeping two or more individuals in one enclosed space, except for the purposes of breeding.

To combat molds in a humid enclosure, I recommend using what is often termed a ‘live substrate’, or one with a healthy population of springtails (Collembola ssp.). Springtails are commonly found in decaying leaf litter, but you can ‘invite’ them in by using a sliced potato as bait. In my enclosures, it is not unusual to find even small millipedes and mushrooms appearing periodically, which attests to a truly functioning substrate.

As of this writing, Hammett has grown to a total length of 4 inches, or quadruple his size when I bought him. One can only guess what his measurements will be once he reaches his first year under my care, especially since he has never failed to molt each month. True to form, the carapace and abdomen are decorated with white fractal patterning flanked by thin, blue-grey stripes, and his tibiae are a vivid yellow.

Excessively humid terraria encourage the appearance of mites; providing adequate ventilation inhibits this. In the wild, P. metallica occupy perpendicular tree hollows and crevices and seal themselves in with their webs. In terraria, in the absence of similar structures, they either burrow into the ground or construct mostly vertical tubes using their web and pieces from the substrate, which still renders them rather visible even when they are hiding.

I offer him large moths, katydids, and cockroaches about twice a week. While most keepers will invariably frown at the latter food item, I hasten to add that that they are safe to use for as long as one does not use insecticides around the house. For water, I just gently mist the enclosure once a day, four to five times a week. I do not provide a water receptacle for drinking as I have never seen him drink anyway, but you can do so if you are so inclined.

If you are doing something inside their enclosure and you notice them moving inside the tunneled web, even in a retreating direction, stop altogether and withdraw your hand as calmly and as gently as you can. They are out in the open at night, which precludes any maintenance on your part. But you can take photos if you are really careful and alert, and if your tarantula’s demeanor allows it.

Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017


INVERT SPOTLIGHT: KEEPER’S VIEWPOINT

CAUTION! Full disclosure The IUCN Red List has the Poecilotheria metallica listed as “Critically endangered” due to the destruction of their original habitat. “The species is found in a single location, which is severely fragmented. The extent of occurrence is less than 100 km2. India: Andhra Pradesh: Reserve forest between Nandyal and Giddalur,” the site says.

Final advice To sum it up, Poecilotheria metallica is a true pièce de résistance of any arachnid collection. Many other tarantula species sport blue colorations, but P. metallica’s combination of inherent color intensity and contrast patterning is truly outstanding in the world of tarantulas. Coupled with their size and propensity to be out in the open, particularly during nighttime, guarantees favorable responses from guests who don’t share your (misplaced?) love for tarantulas. However, they are by no means a ‘starter’ species, and a whimdriven acquisition can have disastrous consequences for either or both the owner or the spider. If you are a novice, I suggest you earn your dues first by keeping relatively docile species from Aphonopelma and Brachypelma before moving in to more defensive, terrestrial species and then later on, to arboreals. As for me, I think there is no more looking back as I have more species that

I am currently eyeing for acquisition— much to the consternation of my disapproving girlfriend, although I have heard her make affirmative comments on Hammett’s colors. Further reading • Pocock, R.I. 1899. The Genus Poecilotheria: its Habits, History, and Species, in The Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Vol. 3. Taylor and Francis, London •

Guptha, M.B. et al. 2014. Rediscovery of the Critically Endangered Tarantula Poecilotheria metallica Pocock, 1899 from Seshachalam Biosphere Reserve, Eastern Ghats, Andhra Pradesh, India. World Journal of Zoology 9 (4): 235-238

What is the IUCN? It “…[assesses] the conservation status of species, subspecies, varieties, and even selected subpopulations on a global scale for the past 50 years… [to] promote their conservation [and provides] the world with the most objective, scientifically-based information on the current status of globally threatened biodiversity. The plants, fungi and animals assessed for The IUCN Red List are the bearers of genetic diversity and the building blocks of ecosystems, and information on their conservation status and distribution provides the foundation for making informed decisions about conserving biodiversity from local to global levels.” The Red List determines the risk that such life forms will become extinct, and its “…main purpose… is to catalogue and highlight those plants and animals that are facing a higher risk of global extinction (i.e. those listed as Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable).”


Animals On The International Scene An iridescent glow from a jellyfish commonly found off the waters of the Sea of Japan

A colony of sea stingrays foraging for food

AT A GLANCE • Kaiyukan is famous worldwide for being one of the biggest aquariums in the world, its innovative presentation of its creatures, and for its unique use of acrylic for its tanks. • Features the aquatic creatures of the Pacific Rim in their recreated natural environments, and the reptiles, birds, mammals, and amphibians endemic to other exhibits.

A magnificent live representation of the Japan rainforest greets every visitor to Osaka Aquarium

THE OSAKA AQUARIUM KAIYUKAN Text and photos by JOHNNY FILART

t doesn’t come as a surprise that once I became enamored with Tokyo’s Sunshine Aquarium, I would set out to see other such attractions. The Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan, established in 1990, is famous for being one of the largest aquariums in the world and sits beside Osaka Bay.

I

On the train going there, we found ourselves with several Japanese families; practically all those walking with us had happy and excited children with them, and nearly everyone was going to the Osaka Aquarium. It was reminiscent of my trips to Disneyland.

82 Animal Scene

• Its permanent exhibits are Aqua Gate, Japan Forest, Aleutian Islands, Monterey Bay, Gulf of Panama, Ecuador Rain Forest, Antarctica, Tasman Sea, Great Barrier Reef, Pacific Ocean (featuring the whale shark, which is the biggest fish in the world), Seto Inland Sea, Coast of Chile, Cook Strait, Japan Deep, Floating Jelly Fish, Arctic, Falkland Islands, Maldives, and a tank for seasonal exhibits. • Visitors work their way down from the eighth floor to the ‘sea floor’. • Visits usually take two to three hours to complete. • The aquarium’s theme: “Our planet and all living things on it are closely integrated with each other, forming a single organism.” • Learn more by logging on to http://www.kaiyukan.com/ language/eng/concept.html or calling the Information Counter, +81-6-6576-5501 or emailing info2@kaiyukan.com • How to get there: Kaiyukan is in the Tempozan Harbor Village, in the bay area of Osaka, and is easily reached from the Osakako Station on the Chuo subway line. • Operating hours are 10 AM to 8 PM (extended to 9:30 PM in the summer months), with last visitors allowed in an hour before closing time.


ANIMALS ON THE INTERNATIONAL SCENE

A leatherneck sea turtle commonly found in the Pacific Ocean

Schools of marine fish thrive on daily meals of squid and anchovies

Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017

Families come in droves to treat their children to an entertaining and educational tour of the aquarium

Animal Scene 83


ANIMALS ON THE INTERNATIONAL SCENE Another fantastic jellyfish species from the Sea of Japan

This commonly found and caught squid is a staple of the Japanese diet

Fish living in the middle to bottom of the ocean show very little color due to both diet and temperature differences

A school of anchovies foraging for food in the coral life of the ocean Fish thriving in the upper to middle portion of the ocean always show striking colors

Earlier, after a simple breakfast, we approached the hotel front desk to buy our entrance tickets. Bundled in the the package for ¥2550 was the Aquarium pass, as well as a whole day pass on the Osaka Municipal Railway System! This was delightful, since it was similarly priced as the tour to the Tokyo Sunshine Aquarium, which was a third of the size. Wow, this was really going to be a treat, I thought! Soon, we were in line with hundreds of people visiting the Aquarium, locals and foreign tourists alike. The courteous and smiling staff checked each ticket, and we chose to rent the biggest locker for ¥600, where we dropped off our bags and heavy winter wear and proceeded with the crowds to enter.

84 Animal Scene

Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017


ANIMALS ON THE INTERNATIONAL SCENE

An aquarium employee plays with his shark friend during the morning feeding routine

It’s not easy joining hundreds— possibly even thousands—lining up to see various fish on display in an aisle that measures less than four meters. Compounding this was the dark passageway and the kids that one may trip over. But the discipline and courtesy so obvious throughout Japanese society served us well as almost everyone seemed to give way to one another, and you can observe parents continuously disciplining their children to behave. The loud voices and animated conversations were in Cantonese or Mandarin, as there were droves of Chinese tourists; absent, though, were their tour guides holding up red flags. It’s not true that if you have seen one, you have seen all of the different aquariums. Compared to Tokyo’s Sunshine Aquarium, which had three independent floors showcasing various tanks of sea and freshwater fish, Osaka

Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017

One-year-old Adam Macalalad enjoys the sights with his Dad

Please bring your children to Osaka Aquarium if you can, as it will be one of their best moments in life

Animal Scene 85


ANIMALS ON THE INTERNATIONAL SCENE A king crab colony typical of those abounding in Japanese waters

Even in coral-free surroundings, so long as temperatures are warm, fish always show off good coloration This is how the underbelly of a whale shark looks like

was four floors of mostly marine fish connected through a huge main tank containing the largest whale and hammerhead sharks swimming with huge stingrays and groupers! Thus you realize eventually that central to your descending various stairways and ramps, on your right is a huge main tank and on your left are various subtanks showcasing various species from the ocean from Tasmanian to the warm Pacific.

A very rare type of jellyfish discovered in the north of the Sea of Japan

The Osaka Aquarium averages over five thousand visitors each day, with this number tripling on weekends and on holidays. Growth in the area is inclusive; the train system is one proof of this, as buying a discounted pass from the front desk of one’s hotel gives you an entire day’s pass for the Osaka railway line. Needless to say, your tour of the mega city comes free with your ticket to the aquarium.

86 Animal Scene

Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017


ANIMALS ON THE INTERNATIONAL SCENE

The largest of the rodent species, the copybura lives in the Amazon jungle

Aquarium workers feed their seal colony every morning

A family of penguins A bottlenosed Tang

The majestic whale shark

Squid and seaweed life found in the Sea of Japan Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017

Animal Scene 87


Fins, Feathers, & Fur

The

English Bulldog: Outrageously Adorable Text by MANUEL YAP Graphics and photos by VANESSA ESTARIJA, AARON YAP & ALEC YAP he cartoons I watched when I was a kid are a fun memory for me. Bulldogs were often portrayed as strong protectors…or massive bullies. In one cartoon, the bulldog often defended Tweety Bird from Sylvester the Cat.

T

When I got my first colored computer monitor in the 90s, I chose as my wallpaper a picture of an English bulldog. It intrigued me, how interesting this canine was. After a few searches regarding the personality of the dog, I put it on my wish list because it did not fit my needs and lifestyle then. I always preferred an active dog that required minimal care and was fairly priced. My family knew about my wish list, and they probably knew me better because in August 2014, my wife Suzie and kids Jamie and Aaron surprised me with an English bulldog puppy. I would say the puppy got me at hello. We named him Thor. He was a gift to me to bring to my office so my bullmastiff Hulk could have a companion—and given how friendly Thor was, he became a great friend to Hulk. 88 Animal Scene

Thor at three months of age Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017


FINS, FEATHERS, & FUR

BASIC CARE AND INFORMATION •

Breed group: Non-sporting

Weight: Males, 53-55 pounds (2425 kilograms or kg); females, 49-51 pounds (22-23 kg)

Height: 12-16 inches (31-40 centimeters or cm)

Lifespan: 5-10 years

Color: Brindle, fawn or yellow, piebald, red, solid white

Requires minimal grooming and exercise

Short nose makes it prone to overheating in warm weather

Prone to cherry eye and skin infections

Needs a shady place to rest

Great jumpers because of their massive legs

English Bulldog basic physical traits

BREED STANDARDS English bulldog must be of medium size and have a smooth coat. They have a massive, short-faced head, wide shoulders, and sturdy limbs. They are wide, medium-sized, compact dogs with short legs and bodies, and massive heads with extra skin on the skull and forehead falling in folds and their skin hanging under the neck. Their attitude should suggest great stability, vigor, and strength. They are kind, stubborn and courageous, but not vicious or aggressive. Friendly, sociable, and sweet, they get along with everyone, from children to other animals.

Socializing with our Chihuahua

I have personally experienced my bulldog contracting skin diseases, white retina in one eye, and needing an operation for cherry eye. We are fortunate to have a great veterinarian, Dr. Jerry Hawson, from whom we acquired Thor. Dr. Hawson is very patient with all our dogs and explains every detail to the answers he gives when we inquire from him. I got the opportunity to get information about him and his liking for English bulldogs. Dr. Jerry Hawson opened his own clinic in 1999 named Pet Bureau located in Del Monte Avenue Quezon City. He got interested in Brachycephalic breeds when he was in his second year of studying pre-vet. “Brachycephalic” means “shortened head” and refers to the short nose and flat face of these dogs.

This has been my PC wallpaper since 1995!

Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017

Thor at 18 months of age

Animal Scene

89


FINS, FEATHERS, & FUR

He started with a pug and was influenced by his friends Marlon Clemente, Dr. Nathaniel Cheng (his business partner in Pet Bureau), and Joey Mancilla. I acquired my Doberman in the past from Joey Mancilla. Dr. Jerry is fond of bulldogs because of their cuteness and high energy levels from when it is a puppy until it reaches adulthood. Breeding English bulldogs is a great challenge. The timing of labor is critical when they are full term. He learned that other countries wanted to stop the breeding of English bulldogs due to its defects as a breed. He personally feels the breed will endure because people love English bulldogs in spite of its faults. Thor at present, in 2017

After my office work, it is time for me to have my regular visit with my pets. I will check on my fish in the pond, then go up to the roof and fly racing pigeons. But my most fun time is giving treats to Thor and Hulk; they get so excited that they start jumping in their kennels. They carefully claim the treats from my hand, avoiding biting me. My hand will always end up wet from their saliva. It is really fun. Taking care of English bulldogs is a big challenge. They might not be ideal for beginners but with their great personalities and adorable looks and behavior, I would suggest learning about and researching on their care before taking the plunge and getting a pet bulldog.

Adorable bulldogs

Every time I am at the office, a happy routine takes place. My dogs always start barking when my car stops in front of the gate, as they know I’ve just arrived.

90 Animal Scene

As I alight from my vehicle, they patiently and quietly watch me from their kennel. I watch them from my office window as they play and engage in their antics.

All of my articles are based on my research and personal experiences. For questions, please email aquarium_ zen@yahoo.com. (John 20:29) Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”


Practical Solutions

PROJECT “BYE BYE FUNGI” Treating fungal infections in tortoises DID YOU KNOW? What causes fungal infection and build-up? • An unsanitary environment and enclosure. Always make sure to keep your tortoise’s enclosure sanitized and clean. • The substrate is too damp; it should be humid and moist only.

Text and photos by ZIK FERRER ome time ago, when I got one of my tortoise hatchlings, it had a mild case of fungal infection. I was completely aware of it and brought him home as I saw this as a challenge to embrace, and I wanted to give the tortoise the hope of becoming a healthier tortoise.

S

The moment I brought it home, I was very determined to treat it. After a little bit of perseverance and determination, everything paid off!

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Here’s a before and after photo comparison; in the “Before” photo, you can see the fungal infection, and in the “After” photo, you can see the treatment results.

A few of our fellow enthusiasts from PTE (Philippine Tortoise Enthusiasts) also had their fair share of fungal infection cases, and we’ve decided to share the treatment process that we have found to be an effective treatment to help other tortoise keepers who face the same situation with their tortoises.

A FUNGAL INFECTION ISN’T A REASON TO CULL YOUR TORTOISE; THERE IS AN EASY WAY TO CURE IT!

Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017


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PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS

Here’s a Sulcata tortoise belonging to Philippine Tortoise Enthusiasts (PTE) member CJ Honsayco; it also underwent the treatment outlined here for a fungal infection.

STEP-BY-STEP PROCEDURE:

1.

Soak or bask the tortoise in a clean plastic tub with a shallow level of lukewarm water.

2.

Rinse the tortoise with clean and fresh water from the faucet.

3.

Use a (soft) brush to gently scrub its shell and plastron. It’s important to scrub the affected areas thoroughly as it helps to lessen the fungus build-up. Don’t brush it too hard as this may hurt or stress your tortoise out.

4.

Completely dry the tortoise off with a piece of cloth, a clean towel, or tissue or paper towels.

5. Apply Betadine (Povidone-Iodine) on the fungus-affected areas. Just to be safe, be careful not to apply any of the

94

Animal Scene

solution on the other parts of the tortoise such as the cloaca/anus, eyes, nose, and mouth, since the solution is for external use only.

6. Let the solution dry up. I usually hold my tortoise in front of a fan for a few minutes to let it dry quicker.

7. Apply anti-fungal foot cream on the affected areas. (I prefer to use Lamisil over Canesten because Lamisil is more potent and effective in my experience. I have tried using both brands on separate occasions. Lamisil took about 5 to 10 days of daily treatment before the fungus was treated, while Canesten took about 14 days or more before the fungus was treated. I highly recommend Lamisil over Canesten.)

8. Let the anti-fungal foot cream dry. 9. Place the tortoise back in its

enclosure. If the tortoise is housed with other tortoises, make sure to isolate it in a different enclosure.

10. Do these steps daily and your tortoise will be happy, healthy and fungus-free sooner than you think! NOTE: For safety reasons, I always do treatment after my tortoise has already eaten for that day. If the Betadine and cream are applied before the tortoise eats, there may be a chance that the cream might be smudged on the tortoise’s food and may therefore be ingested. So I personally feed my tortoise first, then after it’s done eating, that’s the time I do the treatment. We hope this will help other tortoise keepers in treating their tortoise(s) which have fungal infections!

Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017


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Did You Know?

s t s i l k c e Ch g n i s o o h C for d o o F Pet

erhaps the place to start if you want to improve your pet’s diet is by arming yourself with the information you need to make a good decision. Here’s a set of things to look for in—nay, demand from—pet food.

P

BEFORE YOU BUY: • Ignore advertising claims regarding commercial pet food, and instead ask people you trust about their experiences with pet food.

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Animal Scene

• Learn all you can about how to read ingredient lists like a pro. As a general rule, the longer the ingredient list, the more potential for filling your pet with stuff that is biologically inappropriate, probably allergenic, and possibly toxic.

Volume 17, Number 02 • April 2017


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DID YOU KNOW?

KEEP THESE IN MIND AS YOU BUY:

1.

There are different kinds of pet food in the market: Do some research and be aware of the different categories of pet food in the market so you can narrow down your search to the best food in the right category. There are three categories of commercially sold pet food. a. Commercial pet food - Found in grocery stores, these can sometimes be of lower-quality, less-digestible, inexpensive ingredients that do not provide the most nutrient-dense ingredients b. Premium pet food - Usually found in pet stores and veterinarian offices, it contains higher-grade ingredients but may still include artificial colors, artificial flavors, chemical preservatives, and filler ingredients c. All-natural pet food - Has no artificial preservatives, flavors, or coloring, and uses the best natural sources for fatty acids to help build healthy skin and coat as well as additional vitamins and minerals).

2. Wet or dry? This is a long-debated topic, but it all boils down to your pet’s needs and your budget.

Dry food is much easier to store and measure, more affordable, more energy dense, and helps ensure firm stools but may be less palatable. Wet food, on the other hand, is messy, more expensive, and spoils easily but is much more palatable and contains 75% water compared to dry food. Wet food is also a good choice for picky eaters, senior pets who have lost some of their olfactory senses, pets

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who are unwell and cannot smell well or lack appetite. Both types of food have their upsides and downsides. Pet parents may opt for either, given that it is well balanced and made with high quality ingredients. Mixing dry and wet food in the bowl to make dry food more palatable is another option.

3. Consider your pet’s age: Your

pet’s energy and nutrition needs are based on multiple factors. You need to consider your furbaby’s activity level (and breed), reproductive status and age. Pet food is geared for feeding during certain life stages of the animal. A young growing puppy will need more calories than an older pet. Puppies should only receive puppy food for the first year (the larger breeds, several months longer). Like puppies, kittens will need higher amounts of calories, protein, vitamins, and minerals for proper growth. Older cats and dogs need food that is more easily digested to ease the processing burden on their kidneys. Adult dogs and cats have varying lifestyles. Hence, they will require specially formulated food suited for their health needs (more energy and protein for highly active sporting dogs). Adult cats should not miss out on important nutrients like arginine, which helps support liver function.

4.

Take note of your pet’s health history: Ask your veterinarian to perform a body condition evaluation to make sure your pet’s weight is on track. See what advice they can provide based on your pet’s current health and be sure to check if they have a particular health problem that is affected by diet such diabetes, kidney disease, pancreatitis, and food

allergy. Remember to choose food that is appropriate for their condition to avoid making it worse. If your pet has become overweight or tends to gain weight easily, consider trying high-quality weight management formulas. If your pet has sensitive skin or a sensitive stomach, consider a tailored grain-free or limited ingredient formulas. For pets that may be prone to plaque and tartar buildup, quality nutrition that’s specially formulated to help clean teeth and gums can support better dental health. Some cat foods are uniquely formulated to help maintain urinary tract health by reducing urinary pH and potentially minimizing crystal and bladder stone formation.

5. Read pet food labels: The first

five to seven listed ingredients can tell you a lot about the quality of the dog food. Ideally, the first three should be a named protein source (“lamb meal” is better than “animal meal”). By law, pet food labels must list their ingredients in order of weight. Look for food with meat, fish, or eggs listed as the first ingredient since they have a high percentage of protein in the form of digestible and usable amino acids. Cats, especially, are obligate carnivores requiring nutrients such as taurine and arachidonic acid to be supplied in their diet; these are only present in animal sources. SIGNS OF GOOD PET NUTRITION Check your pet’s health after feeding the food you’ve chosen for at least a month. Bright eyes, a shiny coat, and a healthy energy level are just some manifestations that you have chosen a good source for your pet’s nutrition.

Bow & Wow offers nutritious and safe products for furry friends; stores are located at the 6th level of the Shangri-la Plaza Mall; the lower ground level of Greenbelt 5; the 2nd level, Alfresco, of Robinsons Magnolia; the ground level of Excelsior, Eastwood City; the 2nd level of Ayala Center Cebu; and the ground level of Ayala Malls Solenad 3 Nuvali. E-mail marketing@ bowandwow.com.ph, call (632)637.8888, or visit www.bowandwow.com.ph for more information and inquiries.


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Animal scene april 2017  

Some people thought he was foolish for not selling them to the highest bidder; after all, in his decades of experience, Jeff has accumulat...

Animal scene april 2017  

Some people thought he was foolish for not selling them to the highest bidder; after all, in his decades of experience, Jeff has accumulat...

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