Page 1

May 2014 5

Articles 5

Anything with Teeth Can Bite

8 How Can I Help My Dog Stay Cool? 16

10 Meet the Breed 12 Is There Another Place in your Heart? 16 Housebreaking Your Puppy


 18 What Should You Do If You Find a Stray Dog? 20 Circle of Life 24 The Artful Dog 30

26 Pawzzle 28 The Adventures of Chip 30 What’s Hiding in your Pet?

Spring Had Sprung! Spring weather is here — and so are the storms and higher temperatures! If your pet is afraid of storms, take time to learn about the options. There are many ways to keep him/ her calm during this season. It is Spring and that means we will all be outside more. Our dogs want to get outside just like us, but remember “Anything with Teeth Can Bite.” Protect yourself, your pet and others – read the article on page 5. In addition, please make sure you mircochip your pet. Check out the article on “What Should You Do if You Find a Stray?” on page 18. What is Hiding Inside your Pet? This is an important article about the potentially harmful parasites that could be living inside your pet. Check out this article beginning on page 26. Do you love taking your pet in your car when you run errands? Please be aware that temperatures are on the rise. The article on page 8 “How Can I Help My Dog Stay Cool” can help you keep your dog cool and safe.

Publisher Barbara Riedel Editor/Production Manager Dan O’Leary Magazine Layout ROI Marketing 816.942.1600 •

Are you bringing home a new puppy? “Housebreaking your Puppy” offers some great tips on how to address this important process. The article begins on page 16. May is known for Memorial Day – remember the people and pets that you have lost. We are pleased to feature two great articles – “Is there Room in Your Heart?” and “Circle of Life” in this issue. Read, reflect and smile with the memories. Looking for some great ways to decorate your home? Check out “The Artful Dog!” There are some awesome pieces of artwork available. Check them out! Don’t forget the Meet the Breed – the Affenpinscher – an ancient toy breed, and of course the Pawzlle. This month’s word for Chip’s Adventures is Gratitude and Loyalty — something we want and need. Don’t forget to register for the Bark in the Park in Forest Park on May 17 – it will be a great time. Enjoy your Spring – we have earned it. Happy Spring!

Barbara Riedel, Publisher

Advertising Sales Ad Sales: 913.548.1433 Deals of the Week Contact MetroPet PO Box 480065 Kansas City, MO 64148 Phone: 913.548.1433 Fax: 913.387.4313

Contributing Authors Mike Deathe Diane Engeszer Pawlean Journe Heddie Leger Cathy Perry Nancy Bush Piper Erin Quigley, DVM Belle Wead

Publishing Policy: Articles printed in the MetroPet Magazine express the opinions of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the formal position of MetroPet Magazine. Acceptance of advertising does not necessarily constitute endorsement by MetroPet Magazine. Articles: Readers are invited to submit articles for consideration for publication to All materials are subject to editorial review. © 2014 MetroPet Magazine. All rights reserved. Request reprint permissions at MetroPet Magazine is owned and published by ROI Marketing Services, all rights reserved.

Anything with Teeth Can

BITE by Mike Deathe

The focus of this article is dog bites, along with a little bit about how and why they happen. But even more specifically, steps we can take to decrease the chances that a bite will happen. That being said, let me make it perfectly clear — anything with teeth can bite and that includes toddlers and preschoolers. However, very few toddlers are ever taken away from parents, euthanized, or taken to orphanages due to this behavior. I do not want to make light of the situation, but want to point out that bites are a normal part of dog behavior, at least as normal as fights are among humans. Frowned upon in most circles, but occurring, none the less. Bites Based on Fear and Anxiety I personally believe that almost all aggression in dogs (and humans for that matter) have a basis in fear and anxiety. If you remember back to your Psych 101 class, one of the chapters dealt with how all living things deal with stress and anxiety. This was the introduction to the idea of freeze, flight and fight. The idea is simple: whenever faced with stress or anxiety an animal (dog, human, cow or sea monkey) will go through these three steps in this order. Freeze — quit moving, act like a tree, and hope the scary thing doesn’t notice it. With dogs you will notice they suddenly quit moving and avoid eye contact at all cost. This would be a good time to back up give the dog some space and let them become more comfortable. Flight — run like hell because freezing has not worked! In this instance, a dog will start moving away from the scary thing, doing its best to put distance between it and what is making it anxious. Inexperienced dog handlers usually end up cornering a fearful dog trying to convince said dog that they don’t have anything to be fearful of. What is the old saying about cornering an animal? | St. Louis - May 2014


Fight — Yep, this is the one this article is all about. Everything else that has been tried has failed, the only option left is to fight and in dog speak that means BITE! Let’s face it the dog has already gone through two stages of avoidance, doing everything he can to let you know he is uncomfortable and still the fear and anxiety continues. In many cases after a bite, dog trainers hear the phrase “the dog gave me absolutely no warning.” I would suggest that humans are just very bad at reading warnings sent by dogs. Three Different Perspectives Now that we have a little bit of a basic understanding as to why dogs bite, let’s look at three specific perspectives: the puppy, adolescent, and adult dog. Specific steps that we can take in each developmental period to help dogs make better choices and feel more comfortable about the environment in which they live. The lower the stress and anxiety, less the likelihood a dog will bite. Puppy My favorite technique with puppies has always been hand feeding. It goes back to the saying, “don’t bite the hand that feeds you.” By simply hand feed a puppy for 30 days, each piece of kibble comes from a human hand. Your dog will learn not to bite the hand that feeds it. In fact your dog will learn to like and enjoy human hands because they bring the most important resource their food! This may sound a little kooky but it is easily the one technique I get more positive comments on than any other. Adolescent These dogs fall in the age range of 6 to 18 months and in most regards can be compared to a teenager. They are learning their place in the world and constantly pushing and testing the boundaries. So, for me, the technique I will stress for this age group, is impulse control. 6

MetroPet Magazine | St. Louis - May 2014

From an impulse control standpoint, the command “wait” becomes very important. I will start by making a dog “wait” for everything. A small pause before they are allowed to begin eating dinner, same small pause before they go out the back door or get into the car. I will even work the idea of “wait” before allowing them to get up on a couch or into a bed. Anything I can do to convince Fido that simply waiting patiently equals getting what he wants, creates a dog that has simple impulse control and is much less likely to become overstimulated, anxious, or fearful in certain life scenarios. Adult These are dogs over the age of 2 to 2 ½ and they tend to be more set in their ways. At this point their personality will have become outgoing, introverted, fearful or happygo-lucky. A lot of that has to do with how you did in socializing your dog, but it also has a lot to do with the genetics of mom and dad. It’s the age-old argument of nature versus nurture. Unfortunately, since we cannot have conversations with a dog to discuss their feelings, we are left dealing with their behaviors. With dogs in this age range, and older, one of my favorite techniques it to teach item exchanges. Exchange Items In many cases trainers will tell you, that you should be able to take anything from a dog because you are the human and they are a dog. However, anytime a dog covets an item, that dog has the possibility of guarding the item. Think about it a different way: if I came into your house and put your cell phone in my pocket would you be okay with it? Or would you ask why I just took your cell phone? How would you respond if I said yes, I took your phone, and gave the reason because I could? Chances are my decision to take your phone would start an argument or at least a serious discussion. Now, do you see the problem with just taking something away from a dog? Item exchange teaches dogs to trade. I don’t want you to have my shoe, so take this squeaky toy and give me back my shoe. If we teach to redirect and to exchange items, a dog will never learn to guard an item, and bring

out the teeth. By exchanging items you also get the added benefit of being able to redirect your dog to an appropriate item that he is allowed to have. I usually have several exchange toys that are only used if I find my dog with an inappropriate object. Once the technique is taught the need for special exchange toys goes away and your dog is just fine giving up just about anything, so long as they get something in return (it could even be a kind word or rub of the ears). In Summary For those of you who think that I am bribing the dog ask yourself a simple question, would you continue to go to your job every day without a paycheck? Bribing, rewarding, or earning a paycheck, whichever way you look at it, is a part of life. Another important part is being consistent and frequent. It is your job as the human to be an advocate for your dog. If you see an anxious or nervous behavior from your dog it is your responsibility and yours alone to redirect or remove your dog from the situation. Remember, anything with teeth can and will bite, if pushed past their limits. As always, remember to keep it simple, stupid, and have some fun! | St. Louis - May 2014

Mike Deathe is an avid pet lover who found his passion as a dog trainer. Since 2008 he has trained hundreds of pet parents on how to live with their companion animals. He writes the Keep It Simple Stupid dog blog (K.I.S.S). Deathe authored The Book of Pee and Poop, and Forever Home — Dog 101 and How to be a Better Shelter Volunteer. Follow Deathe’s blog at @http://muttzmembers. or the website @ www.


How Can I Help My Dog Stay Cool? By Belle Wead

Spring has sprung! The birds are singing, flowers are blooming, bees are buzzing, and the days are getting warmer, welcome signs after this long winter. The days will now grow longer, and we will have extra time to spend outdoors with our best friends. Here are a few tips for keeping your pet cool in warmer weather.

Tips to Keep Your Pet Cool • M  ake sure your pet has access to cool water everyday especially after walks and/or playing in the yard.

• A  small plastic children’s pool is quite useful especially for large breed dogs (labs, boxers, etc…).

• Make sure your pet has access to a cool shaded area.

• H  aving your dog’s hair cut can help. A dog who is not carrying a lot of excess hair tends to be more eager to walk, play, and enjoy the sunshine.

• R  emember unlike you, your dog does not wear shoes. During the middle of summer pavement gets hot - very hot. Keep the mid-summer walks short and during the cooler part of the day when possible.

• P  lease do not leave your pet in your car. When it is 72°F outside, the temperature inside a locked car can reach 117°F within 60 minutes.


MetroPet Magazine | St. Louis - May 2014

Heatstroke - Early Warning Signs


Heatstroke can be fatal. Heatstroke develops when dogs can’t reduce their body temperature. Some dogs are more prone than others:

If you suspect heatstroke, act quickly — heatstroke can be fatal! If your dog shows any of the signs of heatstroke, move them to a shaded, cool area. Cool down the animal with the tips below. Then, call your veterinarian immediately.

• dogs with short snouts

• fatter/muscley dogs

• long-haired breeds

• old/young dogs

• dogs with certain diseases/on certain medication

Heatstroke Symptoms Heatstroke symptoms include the following. • Heavy panting • Profuse salivation  • Rapid pulse  • Very red gums/tongue 

Urgently, gradually lower their body temperature: • I mmediately douse the animal pet with cool (not cold) water, to avoid shock. You can use a shower, or spray and place them in the breeze of a fan. • L  et them drink small amounts of cool water. • C  ontinue dousing them until their breathing settles • N  ever cool dogs so much that they begin shivering.

• Lethargy • Lack of coordination  • Reluctance/inability to rise after collapsing  • Vomiting  • Diarrhea  • Loss of consciousness

Belle Wead is the owner of Best Friends Pet with 2 locations: Peculiar Mo and Leawood KS. She is member of the IPG International Professional Groomers, Inc. Wead has over 30 years grooming experience, including grooming in an Overland Park, KS, veterinary practice for eight years. The grooming outgrew the practice so Wead expanded to Leawood. In addition to grooming, Best Friends Pet offers Pet Chiropractic, Pet Photography and the PetCab. For more information or to schedule an appointment call Leawood, KS 913-498-1397 or Peculiar MO 816-984-5481. | St. Louis - May 2014


Meet the Breed

May Pet of the Month

Affenpinscher The Affenpinscher is an ancient toy breed dog which is believed to have originated in Central Europe (Munich, Germany and France). During the 17th century, small terriers were frequently kept around stables, on farms, or in stores where they served as ratters. It is one of those breeds that no one really knows much about its development. Its origins are a bit sketchy, although we know that Mrs. Bessie Mally of Cicero, Illinois was dedicated to this little dog and imported a pair of Affenpinschers to the United States in 1935. Nolli V. Anwander, had the honor of being the first Affenpinscher registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC). Any “new” breed brought into this country today must undergo many generations of breeding with stipulations that are well documented before AKC recognition is granted. The breed was recognized because Bessie Mally was very persistent in her efforts. The Affenpinscher is known as a “happy-golucky combination of charm.” They have tons of character and spunk. They are a small dog with stamina, agility, and great courage, but known to possess sensitivity and gentleness. This breed is owner beware, as they often possesses a “big dog in a small body” syndrome. They are bold in nature, which makes it necessary for owners to be cautious and not allow this little dog to provoke an attack by a large dog. This attitude makes them a joy to own and provides hours of entertainment.


MetroPet Magazine | St. Louis - May 2014

They are great travellers as they adjust with no trouble to changing circumstances. The Affenpinscher is clean and requires a minimum of grooming. Although small in stature these little bold dogs are alert and ready at all times to protect their owner, home and possessions. Their general appearance is one of balance. They are a wiry-haired terrier-like toy dog. Their intelligence and demeanour make them good house pets. The name Affenpinscher means “monkey-like terrier” as their face actually resembles a monkey face. They are described as having a neat but shaggy appearance. They come in colors of black, gray, silver, red and black/tan. They were recognized in the Toy Group with the

AKC in 1936. This toy breed ranges in size from 9 to 11½ inches tall at the shoulder.

Is the Affenpinscher the right breed for you? Affenpinschers have a fun-loving, sometimes mischievous, personality. Their intelligence, appearance and attitude make them a good house pet, but children should always be taught how to properly handle any dog, especially a small dog. Their small size makes them ideal for apartment dwellers. They are great for active families, people who like to run and are very active indoors. Most of their exercise needs can be met with indoor play, but like any dog they enjoy daily walks. They have a wiry coat that should be brushed and combed twice a week and trimmed at least twice a year. Credits: AKC; Affenpinscher Breed Club of America | St. Louis - April 2014


Having been in the pet death industry for over 30 years, I have been asked many variations of the question “should I get a new pet?”, after someone’s pet has died. I have also heard many stories from people about their venture into life with a new pet.

ready to bring another pet into your life and your heart?

My schnauzer Linessa died at a relatively old age. We had two other dogs at the time, so I was not “dog less”. It was six years before my husband announced he was getting me a miniature schnauzer for my birthday. I said “Ok, I’ll go look at them.” Everyone at work laughed, as they knew I by Nancy Piper couldn’t just “go look”. Off we went to see the puppies. We watched them have had a variety of experiences playing. I picked one up, held her, with pets becoming new members and finally nodded to my husband of my family. I will relate some of that I would take her. I couldn’t talk my stories in the hope that one or for the tears. My tears were both for more will touch a chord in you, and the one who had died and for the joy help you in your decision. of holding a puppy. There was a new place in my heart at that point for a I was heartbroken after one of my new member of our family, Piper. I have been blessed with many pets over the years. Therefore I have grieved the death of many pets. I

Is T here Another Place In Your Heart?

Simply stated, there is not a standard answer. Each person needs to do what is right for himself. I advise people to look inside of themselves, to pay attention to the emotions there, and see what your inner self tells you. What does your heart say? Do you still have grieving to do before you can accept another pet into your heart? Do you need another pet to help you with the grieving? Are you recovering from your grief and are


MetroPet Magazine | St. Louis - May 2014

cats died as the result of an accident. After a few months, I thought I was ready to bring another cat into my heart and my home. I made a trip to a veterinary clinic that had several cats up for adoption. They were perfectly nice cats, but my heart was not ready to take another one in. Fortunately, I recognized that and came back home without a new cat.

A few years ago, Jake, one of our dogs, died. Then his sister Jill was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor on her foot. Next, one of our mules died. All this happened within a month. Our household was pretty glum. The two remaining dogs, Jill and Piper (the miniature schnauzer), were grieving horribly for Jake. They were not doing any of the things they normally did, like barking at the critters in the woods or baying at the moon. They were not playing with each other. Everyone, human and animal, was grieving. So we got a new puppy, Dolly. It just made sense to us and was a very good decision on our part. Jill immediately perked up. She had someone to groom and to play with. Piper took a few weeks. She kept asking, “you mean she’s staying?” She eventually decided | St. Louis - May 2014

Dolly was okay, and that she made a good play toy. Gary and I cheered up, as well. Dolly brings laughter into our hearts every day. It is often a good idea to give yourself time to work through your grief and loss, to come to terms with the death of your pet, before you bring a new pet into your home. Otherwise, you might find yourself resenting the new pet simply for being there. You might make unfair comparisons between the new pet and the pet who has passed on. Some people simply need to have another pet immediately. Some people don’t. One lady told me “When my husband died, I didn’t go get a new husband. My dog has died and I won’t go get a new dog.”


There is no right or wrong thing to do. A person must simply do what is right for him/her. Sometimes the deciding factor is to have a companion for a pet still at home. Sometimes the house is too empty and it needs a pet in it, someone to greet you when you come home from work, and cuddle up with you at night. A person must realize that you cannot replace a pet who has died; you can only find a new place in your heart

which will bloom with love and joy. Some people get a different breed than they had before, just to help them not compare between the pet who died and the new family member. One couple I know adopted not one, but two of the same breed. That was the right thing to do for them. If you do get a new pet and find out it is a mistake; that you weren’t ready; that you and the pet are not a good fit; please do yourself and the pet both a favor and return the pet to where you got him, or find him a new home. Sometimes getting a new pet may seem like a betrayal of the previous pet’s memory; but it is often a tribute. Famed playwright Eugene O’Neill wrote a book about his dog Silverdene Emblem, O’Neill, known as “Blemie”, entitled The Last Will and Testament of an Extremely Distinguished Dog. Having heard his mistress say “When Blemie dies we must never have another dog. I love him so much I could never love another.” Blemie had one last request. “Now I would ask her, for love of me, to have another. It would be a poor tribute to my memory never to have a dog again.” Nancy Bush Piper owns Rolling Acres Pet Memorial Center in Kansas City, MO, along with her husband Gary. Gary and Nancy are also co-owners of Loving Hearts Pet Memorial Services in St. Louis County, MO. At both Rolling Acres and Loving Hearts, their mission is “serving those who think of their pet as one of the family by providing compassionate, dignified, and ethical after life care for their pet.” Nancy has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and sociology from Northwest Missouri State University. She is a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist and a charter Certified Pet Loss Professional as well as having a Pet Loss Companioning Certification. Nancy and Gary are blessed with many animals in their lives. For fun, she studies horsemanship and plays with her horses and mules.


MetroPet Magazine | St. Louis - May 2014

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Housebreaking Your Puppy By Diane Engeszer Housebreaking is easy with a consistent routine. Puppies need to go potty often, especially after eating, napping, drinking or playing. Use a cue phrase such as, “outside?” Take your puppy to the place where you want him to potty and stand still until he does. After he potties, praise him and play for a few minutes. This way he learns to potty right away, rather than get distracted and play! Use a crate when you can’t supervise the puppy. Puppies can’t hold it overnight until they are about 11 or 12 weeks old. When the puppy is out of the crate, always watch him! Sniffing and circling are cues he has to go, NOW! Pick him up and take him to the outside spot. Praise and play when he goes to reinforce the positive behavior. If you work away from home, have a friend or neighbor let

the puppy out of his crate about noontime and give him his lunch, then let him out again. Puppies can’t hold it all day, and they do need a lunch feeding until they are about 4 to 5 months old. If your puppy makes a mistake in the house, take him outside to his spot. Clean up the inside mess and use an enzymatic cleaner on the spot to remove the smell that will attract him back to that spot. Do not discipline the puppy for the mistake, he won’t know why you are upset with him. If he is in the process of making a mistake, say a verbal “No” and then make a quick dash to the door and to his outside spot. Puppies need close supervision and consistent routine. Your reward is a happy puppy, and clean house!

Other Puppy Habits

Is your puppy gnawing on your hands? Many


MetroPet Magazine | St. Louis - May 2014

puppies will nip, bite, chew and gnaw on your hands. Often this happens when they were removed from their littermates too soon. Puppies learn to bite each other at about five weeks. By eight weeks, they learn that if you bite your littermate, they will bite back! Puppies then learn to moderate the mouthing behavior and how to play appropriately. If your puppy it biting your hands say “ouch” loudly. Then, stop the play and ignore the pup. After a few minutes, give the pup an approved toy that he can bite and chew. He will quickly learn that if he wants to play, he has to moderate the biting activities.

that he only gets attention when he has “four on the floor” he will change his behavior. Training a puppy takes time, but the rewards are longlasting and worth the effort.

Diana Engeszer is the President of the Board of Directors of the Bulldog Club of America Rescue Network and the Executive Director of Saint Louis English Bulldog Rescue. She has over 40 yours in Bulldogs and is an AKC Licensed judge. Diana Has been active in rescue for over 15 years. She has trained Obedience and Field Trial Labradors and is the author of the Our Good Dog video training program. She may be reached at

Don’t use your hands or feet as a toy. Puppies follow quick motions and what is “cute” when the puppy is small, quickly becomes “uncute” as they grow.

Jumping — Prevention and Cure

Jumping is annoying. Muddy paws, scratched legs and with a larger breed, danger of a fall do not make your puppy welcome to visitors. Puppies jump for attention. Negative attention is almost as good as positive attention to a puppy. Pushing the puppy down, shouting “No” or “Down” or “Get off ” or trying to knee the puppy are not effective. The best way to stop jumping is to stand still, cross your arms and close your eyes until the puppy has all four feet on the floor. Some trainers suggest turning around. Once the puppy has all feet on the floor, praise the puppy. If the puppy has developed a habit of jumping, changing the habit will take time and repeated positive reinforcement. Once he understands | St. Louis - May 2014


by Mike Deathe

What Should You Do If You Find a Stray Dog?

Recently, a good friend of mine, Mark, was doing what many of us do every morning — starting his day by getting a hot cup of coffee. He noticed a small terrier mix running around the parking lot. This little dog was going in and out of traffic and running up to everyone he met, saying hi, and looking for help. As Mark headed in to get his coffee, another customer asked “what do you think we should do about this little guy?” After some discussion it was decided Mark could, while on his way to work, drop the little guy off at the police station.

What If The Dog Was Microchipped? But on his way there, Mark had another thought, what if this dog was microchipped? Mark knew that both of his dogs were chipped. What if this little guy was, as well? Mark knew that taking the dog to the police station was a one-way ticket to the pound and a hefty fine for the owners. So instead of dropping the dog off at the police station, Mark decided to go to the nearest veterinarian, and have the dog checked for a microchip. Guess what — this little guy had a chip, and his name was Benji! In a matter of hours (with the help of the folks at an animal hospital), Mark was talking to some very 18

MetroPet Magazine | St. Louis - May 2014

appreciative dog owners that not only had their dog back, without fines, but three very happy kids who thought they had lost their family friend forever! In addition to animal hospitals and vet clinics, many local shelters can help scan and reunite pets with their owners. It is best to call the organization where you plan to take the pet, to make sure they have a microchip reader. Most pet advocates feel strongly that microchips save pets lives and make it possible for them to be returned to their owners. While collars and ID tags are very important, they are not a permanent means of identification. Microchips are the only permanent means of identification that pet parents have available, and they are very reasonably priced. Chips can easily be injected into a pet, and it takes just a few seconds. The next step is registering the pet. If you don’t register your pet, and keep the registration up-todate (put this task on your list when you move), stray pets cannot be returned to their owners. If the registry is upto-date, then, when a lost pet is found, it can be scanned and reunited with its owner.

Microchipping Is A Must — There are two very important lessons to take from this story: Take Action — If you find a dog, don’t assume the animal shelter or police department is the best place to take a lost dog. And for those who see a pet, but don’t act — shame on you. Either of these choices just puts more pressure on an already stressed pet and family! Take the time to help someone you have never met. The Humane Society estimates that between 3-4 million family pets are killed each year. If each person reading this article does what Mark did, think of the difference we can make! Microchip Your Dog! The cost is minimal. At the high end, it will cost you around $40. If you attend a local pet event in your area, there are groups inserting chips for a nominal fee (as low as $5 per dog).

Moral of The Story So the moral of this story: treat others as you would hope they would treat you. Thanks to Mark’s decision to go a little out of his way and stop by a veterinarian, instead of the city pound or police station, Benji’s owners now have their dog back, along with some very happy kids. I know that if they get the chance to do the same for someone else, they most certainly will. Thanks to the personal phone call from the owners, I know Mark would do it again! Now The Big Question — how many of you will go out and microchip your dogs (if not done already)? Or will take the extra time to stop and pick up a stray dog or cat and take it to the nearest veterinarian and most likely make someone’s day? I think Mark put it best when I asked him why he did it. “My main objective that morning was to reunite the dog with its family/owner. When I found out that the dog was microchipped I knew that reunion would take place before the day ended. Receiving the phone call from the owner who showed their gratitude with thanks and praise for my actions, was all I needed. My last words were to pass it forward, meaning that if you encounter a similar situation make the next person happy and keep the cycle going.” I think we could all learn a lot from Mark. We owe him a big thank you for the good deed that we should all do as well. | St. Louis - May 2014

Mike Deathe is an avid pet lover who found his passion as a dog trainer. Since 2008 he has trained hundreds of pet parents on how to live with their companion animals. He writes the Keep It Simple Stupid dog blog (K.I.S.S). Deathe authored The Book of Pee and Poop, and Forever Home — Dog 101 and How to be a Better Shelter Volunteer. Follow Deathe’s blog at @http://muttzmembers. or the website @


Thursday, May 15 4:30 - 7:30 FANDANGO’S SPORTS BAR 2940 Dougherty Ferry Road; Kirkwood, MO 63122

Light Hors D’Oeuvres; Cash Bar Admission with Cash Donation or Donation of an item on the Stray Rescue Wish List See Wish List on Back of Flyer

Friends of Stray Rescue are offering a $100K MATCHING GRANT! Every dollar you donate will be doubled to replenish funds spent this winter.

$50 Sponsorship Opportunities Available All sponsor money goes directly to Stray Rescue Sponsors will be recognized at the event on signage and flyers Sponsors will have a link to their website through our online publicity page Sponsors can offer a raffle or drawing if they so choose Questions? Call Dave Coblitz at 314.205.8958


Circle of Life by Heddie Leger


MetroPet Magazine | St. Louis - May 2014

Saying goodbye to our beloved pets is so hard to do. Knowing when to say that final goodbye is something none of us is ever truly prepared for. Although we know full-well our pets normally will not outlive us; they are such an important part in the fabric of our lives we are never ready for them to leave our daily walk. The fledgling field of veterinary hospice is helping humans move through this phase in the “circle of life” in a humane and compassionate manner.

What is veterinary hospice?

The philosophy of the hospice system provider brings comfort and compassion to the care of patients (and their owners) during the end phase of their pet’s life. Support in the bereavement process is provided to family members, including other pets. Comprehensive nursing care as well as spiritual, emotional and psychosocial care is important for the patient and family. Hospice care can provide an alternative to prolonged suffering for pets. It allows the family precious quality time to adjust to the reality of their pet’s impending death whether through natural causes or euthanasia. Hospice emphasizes the pet’s quality of life and the relationship between the pet and the family. | St. Louis - May 2014

When is Hospice care initiated? When the pet’s family or veterinarian recognize the patient is terminal, discussions begin regarding hospice care being a kinder alternative to further attempts to cure. Hospice care may come as a relief to some pet owners/parents who have recognized the impending passing of their pet.

It is not uncommon for family members to not be ready to face reality or give up hope for a cure. Ethical, medical and financial options, and their consequences, must be a part of the decision making process. Family members often need time to think about the options and discuss them openly before making a decision. Helping them choose between ever costly and intensifying medical treatment, hospice care, or euthanasia is an extremely challenging conversation calling for sensitivity and caring. The family of the pet should be made aware of various techniques for increasing their pet’s comfort, be advised of signs indicating pain, side effects of the medical conditions and treatments, and anticipated complications as the patient’s condition declines. Some facilities provide staff that are versed in the role of grief education and support resources. They will listen to and validate feelings, and empower owners to make decisions.

Hospice care:

•R  educes unnecessary patient and owner suffering •H  elps owner express and examine unresolved grief •C  reates a positive atmosphere that makes the loss and grief as meaningful as possible.


How do I consult with my veterinarian? A hospice consultation can help you understand the options you have regarding your pet’s death. Making these decisions in advance can reduce some of the stress that will inevitably be experienced during the process.

The decision to help your companion animal through this life phase can be one of the most painful and difficult decisions you will ever make. It is helpful to plan and prepare ahead of time as possible.

Some common questions include:

• How do I know when euthanasia is the right choice? • Who can the family rely on as a basis for the decision? • What environment is most appropriate for my pet to die in?

•W  hat options are available for care of the pet’s body? Unless we are able to mourn properly, during and after a severe loss, it is extremely difficult to process the stages of grief. Our society, even in these modern times, has recognized pets as family members that are precious to us, however, there are not well accepted avenues to grieve for them properly. Many people state they are embarrassed by their feelings of loss over a beloved companion pet and feel they have no where to turn. Animal Hospice is helpful in ensuring that both the emotional needs of the grieving owner and the physical needs of the pet are met. Understanding the death process and understanding it as a natural part of the life of the animals we love, is a healthy way to move through the healing process.

• Who should be present when my pet dies?

Answers to the April Pawzzle

In the St. Louis area, direct help can be found by calling Loving Hearts Pet Memorial Services at 1631 W. 5th St. Eureka, MO 63025 or by calling 636587-8880. Loving Hearts Pet Memorial Services realizes the need of those who lose a pet to finalize, celebrate and memorialize the relationship with their faithful companion. We are always available to assist your family when needed. We encourage those with pets who are beginning to fail, to call us ahead of time so we can help guide you through this difficult time.


MetroPet Magazine | St. Louis - May 2014

Learning how to care for those in end life phases and dealing with the death of our pet(s) helps us learn how to live well and live life to the fullest. The process of dying can help us learn how to live in the moment and enjoy each phase of the life process. If you are dealing with the death of your pet or in the grief process please check out and meet Dr. Amir Shanan, a veterinary specialist and the Founder of the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care. Please read his thoughtful comments that explain how Hospice can help us proceed through the grief process on a healthy emotional path as well as provide the most comfortable and humane path for the pet members of our families. More information can be found at: and http://

Heddie is a Certified Humane Educator and member of APDT, APLB, APHE and NHES sharing a lifelong passion of helping children and the elderly learn manners reinforcement with their pets through the PawZone In-Home PetSitting. You can reach her at 816.820.5829.

Thursday, June 19 • 6 - 8 p.m. Humane Society of Missouri 1201 Macklind Ave. • St. Louis, MO 63110

Event Registration - $40 | St. Louis - May 2014

Raffle tickets - $35 each or 3 for $90 Register today at 23

The Artful Dog Decorate Your Home with Images of Your Best Friend

By Cathy Perry Dogs have been celebrated in art for almost as long as humans and dogs have had a relationship. Cave paintings dating back many thousands of years across a variety of continents include pictures of dogs, frequently with humans, and in at least one painting, on a leash of some sort. In the Middle Ages, dogs were depicted on hunting expeditions, and during the Renaissance, they began to be portrayed more as companion animals. In the 18th century, wealthy British families You Make Me So Dog Gone began to commission Happy Reclaimed Wood Wall Art. portraits of their pets. In fact, Sir Edwin Landseer, a 19th century British painter, became so identified with painting dogs that a black and white variety of the Newfoundland dog was named the “Landseer.” We are just as enamored with celebrating our pets in art and home décor today. It is not difficult to find artwork dedicated to man’s best friend in the form of black and white prints or colorful abstracts. During a recent visit to the semi-annual Furniture and Design Market in High Point, NC, I posted some of the dog-related artwork that I saw displayed by various vendors and received an abundance of on-line interest. These pieces garnered the 24

MetroPet Magazine | St. Louis - May 2014

highest number of Facebook likes and comments: These Asheville, NC artists paint colorful and playful renderings of dogs (and a few cats and other critters) on canvas, notecards, and other pet products. For the purebred dog lover, it is not too difficult to find your best friend represented in a piece of art, but what about the guardian of a randomly bred dog, cat, rabbit, horse, or other beloved companion? There aren’t many over-the-counter works of art depicting the variety of

Horse on Aluminum by Dave Coblitz, Coblitz Photographic Arts mixes that we have grown to love. Fortunately, there are numerous photographers and artists who can capture your best friend in a variety of images, and you don’t need to be a wealthy British landowner to hire them.

Local Artists

First is the pet photographer. These professionals

specialize in capturing your pet’s unique qualities, whether by itself or interacting with the family or other animals (magic to me since I struggle to take even the simplest, non-blurry photo of my two dogs). A simple Google search for St. Louis pet photographers yields pages of options. Area shelters and rescues are likely to be able make recommendations, as a number of these photographers donate their time and talent to capture the unique qualities of animals seeking their forever homes, for website advertising and Facebook sharing. If you want something other than a black and white, or color photograph, artists in St. Louis and beyond can provide you with an image of your pet in other forms, ranging from a charcoal drawing to an oil painting to art in other media. Another online search turned up Erica Wagner Art (www Erica creates small, medium and large charcoal and pencil drawings of your pet based on a photograph you send her. Erica donates a portion of all commissioned art to the Country Acres Rescue Program. David Coblitz, an “artographer” with Coblitz Photographic Arts, combines photography and art in one medium. This stunning horse, see image at left, is printed on aluminum based on an original color photograph. Another highquality photo artist is Shana Watkins (www. shanawatkins. com). She specializes in black and white photography Photography by Shana Watkins, and creates Portrait Artist, St Louis, MO beautiful canvas portraits that preserve the memories of today.

Non-Traditional Options

Looking for something a little more non-traditional? Asheville, NC artist and jewelry designer Jamie Belongia can create the image of your pet in metal-work or

design a copper-based memorial plaque of your pet. She has created the holiday ornament for the Asheville Humane Society, the bulldog picture shown, and she can similarly craft your pet from a photograph. She can create cats, too, from your pampered lap cat all the way to the king of the jungle! Whether your taste in artwork leans to the traditional or tilts to the abstract, your Abstract and Expressionistic home décor can easily Jewelry and Fine Art reflect your love of by Jamie Belongia animals, varying from a wood-paneled study with traditional dog portraits to an industrial loft with black and white photography and metal art. Your home should be a reflection of you, and what better way to reflect who you are than through a depiction of the animals that have become family. Imagine a wall in your family room devoted to an artful arrangement of the animals that have graced your life or one stunning painting above the mantel.

Cathy Perry is a lifelong dog lover (who has discovered a love of cats along the way, too) with a passion for homes and design. She is a Real Estate Consultant with Keller Williams and an interior designer and home stager with her own company, Renovate and Redesign, LLC. Visit her real estate website at to learn more, or contact her at 636-236-5695. She would love to help you find or create the perfect space for your twoand four-legged family members!


Chip’s Corner


Answers to this Pawzzle can be found in the Breed of the Month story on page 10. 26

MetroPet Magazine | St. Louis - May 2014

ACROSS 2. This breed is known for their charm, ________ and 3.



16. Which group are they listed in the AKC registration.

Their personality is sometimes _________.

17. This breed is known for being ___________.

5. Farmers and store owners during the 17th century used them as _____________. 7.

Their general appearance is one of __________.


The coat is _____.

10. Before the AKC accepts a breed - breeders must go through _________ of proven breeding. 11. Like any dog they need daily ____________. 13. Their joyful _______ makes them entertaining to own.

DOWN 1. They are very clean and require a minimum of ______________. 4. This small breed does not realize its size and sometimes has the big dog small dog __________. 6. They are known to possess ______ and gentleness. 9.

14. They are also known for their stamina, agility and great

The Affenpinscher loves to ______________. | St. Louis - May 2014

18. The name of the woman that first imported these dogs to the US was Mrs. Bessie _________. 20. Most of their exercise needs can be met with ______ play. 21. Name of the meet the breed dog of the month? 22. They should be trimmed at least ____________ a year. 24. Nickname for this breed of dog? 12. They are described as having a neat yet _______ appearance. 15. The Affenpinscher is believed to have originated in Central __________. 19. Their small size makes them perfect for __________________ dwellers. 23. One color that is acceptable in the Affenpinscher.


The Adventures of Chip


Recap from Episode 4: Chip demonstrated courage in meeting a huge scary dog and in calming Allen and Penelope, even though he was scared too. When visiting them at their foster home, he got a very bad feeling about the place they were staying. He wanted to help them be brave and tried to encourage them the best way he knew how. He heard the nice lady say, “I am going to help those children, no matter what.” The next day Chip could hear the lady arguing with a man that also lived in the house. They usually were very nice to each other, but not on this day. Chip heard her say she could not believe she had lived with the man so long and still they did not have any children. Turns out Horace the big black and brown dog was the only other one living in the house besides me. The lady was now crying and upset. She kept saying she wanted to go and get Allen and Penelope so they could have a nice home. The man seemed to be more logical and insisted they needed to make sure and do things right. The man remained calm and tried to reason with the lady. I found out the lady’s name was Stephanie and the man’s name was Robert. Stephanie and Robert left together in the car and sped off. It kind of scared me, as I did not know if they were going to come back. Of course, they had a very nice house so there was no reason why they would not, so I decided to lay down and take a nap. I don’t know how long I slept before I heard the car engine from a distance. I went to the window to see if they were coming home and did not see the car, but I could smell it and hear it. I sat there quite a while and then I saw it, the car was driving slowly up to the house and into the driveway and I could see two other people in the back seat, but could not see who it was, but…….it smelled like Allen and Penelope. 28

MetroPet Magazine Magazine || St. St. Louis Louis -- February May 20142014 MetroPet

They sat in the car quite a while talking. I could see they were smiling and they were no longer mad or yelling at each other so my guess was that something good was about to happen. Low, and behold, the doors of the car opened and out stepped Stephanie and Robert. They turned to open the back doors and out JUMPED Allen and Penelope. I started jumping up and down and barking, running back and forth, I was sooooooooooo happy. Had they come to get me, were we going back to find our parents? They all came in and Allen and Penelope said, “Boy, we are starving, the food in that place was horrible, and we hardly ate any of it.” Their clothes were kind of wrinkled and a little bit dirty, but they looked happy and healthy. Boy, was it good to see them, as I ran to them, they sat down on the floor and we had a hugfest. They were so happy to see me, and I was so happy to see them, it was the happiest day of my life. In the kitchen, I could hear Stephanie and Robert talking. They were talking about paperwork and court dates, medical care and schooling. They never once got mad at each other and seemed to be at peace as they discussed these things. I went running into the kitchen where they were talking and was showing them how happy I was, and they said, “Yes, Chip, we are happy they are here too.” Is this what a family feels like, I said

to myself? It sure felt good to all be together again. Allen and Penelope ran outside and I ran out the doggy door after them. There was a big tree in the backyard and they were sitting under it eating cookies and drinking milk. They were discussing how much better it was here with Stephanie and Robert and how they wished they could stay. They said something about fostering people and a temporary home, but I did not want this to be temporary, I wanted this moment to last forever. From around the corner, the big black and brown dog came lumbering over to us. I thought he was going to grab a cookie right out of Penelope’s hand, but he sat down next to us all polite and calm with drool hanging down from the corner of his mouth all the way to the ground. He looked so funny, we all started to laugh uncontrollably, and then he rolled over on his back and stuck his feet up in the air. He was a big, goofy dog and I cannot believe I was ever afraid of him. He laid there in that position just looking at us for a long time. Allen and Penelope finished their cookies and milk, and decided to join him. They lay down beside him on their back and put their hands and feet in the air. It looked like so much fun that I did too. We laid on the ground for quite a long time. Then, we heard snickering and laughing from the back door. Then, we heard a click and saw a flash. Stephanie had seen us and decided we all looked so funny lying there together,

Activity Make a gratitude journal. List at least five things you are thankful for this month, each day. Write a thank you to someone that has done something nice for you. It could be a brother, sister, mother, father, aunt, uncle, friend, bus driver, teacher, or even the grocery sacker that helped at the grocery store. Every single person you know likes to feel appreciated. Do you have someone in your life that has shown loyalty to you? Write them a thank you letting them know how much it means to you.

she took a photo. It was our very first photograph together. A candid moment in the lives of people who had been through some traumatic experiences, but had come together and found loyal caring friends to share their lives. How I wished that moment would last forever. I was so thankful for my new friends. I wanted to find some way to show them how grateful I was for meeting them, for Allen and Penelope helping me when they needed help themselves, and for helping me find food and a safe place. I sure hoped some good things would happen for them too.

Story Discussion Tips 1) How would you define loyalty? 2) When Chip greeted his friends upon return what emotion was he showing? 3) There are many types of friendships and family units. Discuss how this friendship helps everyone feel connected and supported. How do you define a family unit? | St. Louis - May 2014

Heddie is a Certified Humane Educator and member of APDT, APLB, APHE and NHES sharing a lifelong passion of helping children and the elderly learn manners reinforcement with their pets through the PawZone In-Home PetSitting. You can reach her at 816.820.5829.


What’s Hiding in your Pet? by Erin Quigley, DVM

Potentially harmful parasites! A parasite is an organism that lives on (external) or in (internal) an organism of another species (such as dog, cat or human), known as the host. The parasites live and reproduce by feeding on the host directly or by taking in a portion of the host’s nutrients. This month we will be talking about internal parasites that affect your dogs and cats and potentially you and your family.

Internal parasites

Last month we talked about a common internal parasite that lives in heart, lungs and blood vessels of dogs and cats called Heartworms. This month we will be talking about another common classification of internal parasites called intestinal parasites. Intestinal parasites can live anywhere in the body but tend to populate in the gastro- intestinal tract. The two main categories of intestinal parasites are Helminths (aka. worms) and Protozoa (single cell organisms). Let’s start with worms…


MetroPet Magazine | St. Louis - May 2014


Roundworms are among the most common intestinal parasites of dogs and cats. These worms are large as adults (3-18 cm in length) and when passed they resemble spaghetti noodles. Transmission — Dogs and cats of any age may get roundworms but they are most vulnerable when they are young. In fact 90% of puppies fewer than three months of age can be infected. That’s because these worms are often passed from a mother to her puppies before birth through the placenta and shortly after birth through her milk. All ages can become infected by ingestion of fecal material of an infected animal. This can happen easily by a dog stepping in soil contaminated by an infected animal for example at a park, or even in your yard if a stray animal or wildlife has passed through. When your dog licks its paws, it becomes infected. Symptoms — In puppies or kittens common symptoms include failure to gain weight, poor hair coat, and pot-bellied appearance. In heavier infections

the young puppy or kitten may expel worms in their vomit. Adult dogs and cats may show signs of diarrhea, blood in stool, weight loss or vomiting. ** V  ery commonly a dog or cat may act completely normal yet still be shedding the worm eggs in the stool, without any visual evidence, contaminating the environment (your home and yard). Prevalence — How common are Roundworms. As stated above, roundworms are extremely common in puppies. Every puppy should be tested, ideally before coming home to your family and your other pets. In adult dogs according to the Companion Animal Parasite Council, the current statistic for Missouri matches the National prevalence of 1 out of 45 dogs tested are positive for round worms. This includes dogs both on and off preventative. Diagnosis — It is true that a diagnosis can be made

by seeing adult worms in the stool, but this is a rare occurrence. The majority of the time our pets are shedding microscopic eggs without our knowledge or any evidence so a diagnosis needs to be made by fecal flotation. This is the definitive diagnostic test that uses special solutions, centrifugation and microscopic exam to detect the parasite in your dog or cat. Take Away Point: You cannot look at your dog or cats stool and know if he or she has intestinal parasites! Most of the time worms are diagnosed in dogs and cats with normal appearing fecal matter. This is why your veterinarian recommends yearly fecal examination. Zoonotic — Yes, roundworms can be transmitted to people, most vulnerable are children. How? The most common way is through fecal-oral transmission. Dogs and cats contaminate homes and yards with infective eggs and larvae passed in their stool. These eggs and larvae are resilient and can survive in parks,


playgrounds and yards, even inside homes. People get infected through direct contact with infected feces. This can happen if a dog has recently licked their contaminated paws and then pass that material by licking a child’s face. Most commonly transmission occurs when children play in contaminated soil or sand boxes when hands or contaminated objects go in the mouth. Immune compromised adults also are also at an increased risk. When infection occurs in people the ingested eggs hatch into larvae, these larvae travel through the liver, lungs and other organs. In most cases, these “wandering worms” cause no symptoms or apparent damage. However, in some cases they may produce a condition known as visceral larva migrans. The larvae migrate and cause damage to tissue, affect the nerves or even lodge in the eye, and potentially cause blindness. Prevention — So, what can we do to protect our pets and family? Here is a list of things we can all do to prevent the spread of worms. • Take your puppy or kitten immediately into the veterinarian when you adopt them so they can be screened for parasites with a fecal exam and dewormed before exposing your family or other pets. • Have your adult dog and cat tested annually for intestinal parasites by a fecal examination at your veterinarian’s office. Place your pet on a monthly parasite preventative. There are oral and topical preventatives appropriate for dogs and cats that their doctor can recommend. Give these preventatives to indoor and outdoor animals all year round. Because parasites live inside our pets and shed any time of year, preventatives should not be viewed as seasonal. Indoor animals, like our feline companions, are exposed by tracking in parasite eggs on the bottom of feet by the family or the family dog. 32

• At home you can promptly remove animal feces from the yard or litter box to prevent contamination and spread between animals. Keep dogs on a leash or in fenced yard and keep cats indoors. • Monitor children when they are playing outside in the yard, playground and sandboxes. Cover sandboxes to prevent contamination. Children and adults should wash hands frequently, especially if at risk of feces handling or exposure to feces. For people with weakened immune systems, be especially careful of contact with animals that can transmit these infections.


Hookworms are short (6 to 12 mm), thick worms that are whitish to reddish brown with a hooked front end. They are rarely seen as adults so diagnosis is necessary by fecal flotation to find eggs. Transmission — Puppies can contract worms from crossing the mother’s placenta and through the mother’s milk similar to Roundworms. Hookworms are not transmitted to kittens in pregnancy. All ages of dogs and cats can obtain hookworms from ingestion of contaminated fecal material. Something unique about Hookworms is they can penetrate through skin of a dog, cat or person, from infected soil. Symptoms — Infected puppies and kittens can be anemic and show pale gum color, and fail to gain weight. They can also have a dull hair coat and become dehydrated or have dark, tarry, soft stools. When people are infected they have red, itchy skin with a worm like lesion under the skin. Prevalence — Nationally one out of every 51 dogs tested are positive for hookworms. Missouri has an increased risk with one out of 35 tested dogs being

positive. This increased prevalence may have something to do with the fact that we do not tend to see adults in stool, where occasionally we will see adult roundworms. This is why it is so important we test our dogs’ and cats’ stool annually. Diagnosis — Diagnosis is made by fecal flotation test at your veterinarian’s office. Zoonotic ­— Yes, similar to roundworms people, particularly children, are at risk by a fecal-oral route. Contaminated soil, sandbox or stool that is on your pet or in your home is transferred to your hands and then to your mouth. Unique to hookworms and more common transmission in people is penetration through the skin. Commonly it occurs when not wearing socks or shoes while gardening or playing in sandboxes that are contaminated. Prevention — The steps to preventing hookworm infection are identical to roundworms with deworming of puppies and kittens, monthly prevention and annual fecal examinations. In addition to removing feces from the yard to prevent ingestion it is also recommended to wear shoes and gloves while gardening.


Whipworms are named for their characteristic whipshaped body and infect dogs, foxes and coyotes; cats are not affected. Adult worms are 4.5- to 7.5-cm long and are

rarely seen in stool. Transmission is through ingestion of contaminated soil, and not through maternal placenta or milk. Symptoms include diarrhea with bright red blood or mucus, staining to defecate, and weight loss. Diagnosis is made by fecal flotation and treatment is an oral deworming medication. The national prevalence for whipworms is 1 out of 116 dogs tested. The prevalence in Missouri is 1 out of 31 dogs tested. The good news about Whipworms is that they are not zoonotic (contagious to people). The bad news about Whipworms is they are impossible to get rid of from your environment. Whipworm eggs can persist in soil for several years, surviving winter freezing and even burning of top soil. So once your dog is infected and yard is contaminated monthly preventative specific to prevent whipworms must be given every 30 days all year round. Dogs that visit dog parks or live in communities where land is shared between several pets are at increased risk.


Tapeworms have a flattened, ribbon-like appearance and are often seen in motile segments that resemble white rice directly in stool, near the anus of an infected dog or cat, or in the environment. Transmission is through ingestion of fleas or animals that carry fleas such as rodents and rabbits. Often our pets carry tapeworms for months at a time without any symptoms. Tapeworms may absorb nutrients in the intestinal tract, but rarely cause disease. If signs are present it is commonly itching or dragging their hind ends. Unique to tapeworms is that diagnosis is typically by observation of the segments on the animal or in the environment; these parasite eggs are rarely detected on fecal examination. Treatment of this parasite is by oral medication and prevention is by a high quality monthly flea preventative. As far as risk of infection to people, it is through contact with the fleas on your pet and in your home or by accidental ingestion of fleas. Most people infected do not show symptoms, but diarrhea, abdominal pain and anal itching are possible.


Giardia - is a microscopic two-celled organism with flagella (whip like tails) that lives and reproduces in the small intestines of infected humans or other animals. 33

Individuals become infected through ingesting or coming into contact with contaminated food, soil, or water. The Giardia parasite originates from contaminated items and surfaces that have been tainted by the feces of an infected carrier. Commonly dogs ingest this parasite by drinking water from creeks, rivers and rain puddles. The symptoms of Giardia, which may begin to appear 2 days after infection, include violent diarrhea, excess gas, stomach or abdominal cramps, upset stomach, and nausea. Resulting dehydration and nutritional loss may need immediate treatment. Diagnosis can be made at your veterinarian, and treatment includes specific course of antibiotics and anti-parasitic drugs with supportive care, such as fluid therapy. Coccidia — is a single-celled organism that infects the intestinal tract of dogs and cats, particularly kittens and puppies in shelter environments. Infection causes diarrhea with weight loss, dehydration, and (rarely) hemorrhage. Severely affected animals may present with anorexia, vomiting, and depression. Death is a potential outcome. Dogs and cats may shed coccidia in feces but remain asymptomatic. Many times an asymptomatic or mild infection may become significant during times of stress such as changing environments to a new home. Published surveys indicate that coccidia are present in from 3% to 38% of dogs, and 3% to 36% of cats in North America. Diagnosis is made strictly by centrifugation fecal exam. Treatment is a sulfa-type drug for duration of 7-20 days. Prevention is soley based on environmental control, and disinfectants of surfaces and treating exposed animals. Unfortunately in some environments there is much resistance in coccidiosis infection, despite medicating and disinfecting. Because humans are not susceptible to the species of coccidia that infects dogs and cats, canine or feline coccidia are not considered zoonotic agents.


Whether its worms or protozoa, microscopic organisms may be shedding off your family pet at any time without any evidence. Speak with your veterinarian today so she can help you protect your pet and your family from all of these harmful parasites with one simple yearly test, as well as provide a preventative fit for your dog or cat and lifestyle needs.

Erin Quigley, DVM, Member of AVMA, MVMA, grew up in Florissant, MO, and received a Bachelor’s degree in Biology at Missouri State University. After college I worked as a receptionist at Rock Road Animal Hospital, a zookeeper at the St. Louis Zoo and a veterinary assistant at Howdershell Animal Hospital until attending Veterinary School at University of Missouri-Columbia. I graduated with my Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and have lived in O’Fallon, Missouri since I graduated. I have worked as a veterinarian in Troy, Wentzville, and Florissant, MO, until purchasing Animal Medical Center of Wentzville in 2010. I married in 2011 and live with my husband Ryan and boxer dog Finnegan in Lake St. Louis/O’Fallon. When my husband and I have free time from the clinic we enjoy spending time with our dog, family and friends. Our hobbies include attending Cardinal baseball and Mizzou football games. We also enjoy the outdoors biking, boating and horseback riding.

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