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holiday safety

Have Your Pet HOME (not hospitalized)

for the Holidays By Dr. Brad l Hines, DVM


s the Holidays approach and we are pulled in so many different directions, it is easy to get distracted when it comes to the four-legged members of our family. Every year at Southern Colorado Veterinary Internal Medicine, we see pets for a variety of medical problems that may be avoidable. These are a few helpful tips that will help to ensure that your pet is home for the Holiday season. Pancreatitis is a condition where the pancreas, an organ in the abdomen that produces insulin and enzymes that are necessary for the digestion of food, becomes inflamed. The inflammation that occurs can be quite severe and result in a lack of interest in food, vomiting, and abdominal discomfort in dogs. We recognize that the most common cause of pancreatitis in dogs is “dietary indiscretion”. Often, pet owners will give their pets the drippings, carcass, or skin from the holiday meal. If you give your pet these very high fat foods, they will often show the first signs of pancreatitis in 24-72 hours and can spend several days in the hospital. Although most cases of pancreatitis can be successfully treated, pets who recover will need to be fed a low fat diet on a long-term basis and are at higher risk for developing the same condition later in life. In some cases, this condition can be life-threatening. Toys, treats holiday decorations and bones often get stuck in the esophagus of small breed and sometimes larger breeds of dogs around the Holidays. Pets that experience an esophageal obstruction often exhibit an exaggerated swallowing reflex and may refuse to eat or drink. If they attempt to eat or drink, they may regurgitate the material very soon after consumption. The longer a foreign object remains in the esophagus, the more damage it can do by damaging the tissue due to pressure and a reduced blood supply. In many cases, an esophageal foreign body can be removed using specialized equipment and general anesthesia. If the object can not be removed, surgery may be required along with a few days in the hospital. Cats like to chew on decorations and will sometimes try to swallow them. These materials can become lodged under the tongue, in the stomach, or even in the small intestine and cause an obstruction to the passage of food and or water. Signs may include lack of interest in food or water and the rapid onset of vomiting after eating or drinking. In a short period of time, these materials may result in damage to the tissue and leakage of stomach or intestinal contents into the abdominal cavity. Surgery is

usually required to remove the material and if a hole develops, the prognosis is less favorable and the duration of hospitalization is prolonged. We are all aware of the stressors that occur during the Holidays. What we sometimes forget is that our pets are attuned to our moods and that these stressors can also affect them. I have always found cats to be very social eaters. They require the right food at the right temperature in the right setting. Anything that disrupts the mood may result in a lack of interest in food. When you are changing foods for your cat or when something changes in their world (work schedule, vacation, or an illness in your cat) they may stop eating. A condition called hepatic lipidosis or fatty liver can occur rapidly in cats that stop eating regardless of the cause. This condition is most common in cats who are considered to be overweight, but may occur in any cat. It may occur in as few as 48 hours. The most commonly reported signs include cats that show an interest in food but refuse to eat (they may lick gravy), elevations in blood liver values, and yellowing of the gums, skin, or white portions of the eyes. Weight loss is also a common sign, but may take several days to be observed. The longer this condition persists, the more clinically ill your cat can become. There are several treatment options to remedy this condition including the use of appetite stimulants. However, in our experience, the best treatment option is the placement of a temporary feeding tube. Most cats with hepatic lipidosis will recover but the placement of a feeding tube requires a short period of hospitalization and at home care can take several weeks.

frozen, a warm place to sleep, and adequate dry bedding. Pets should not be left outdoors in severe inclement weather and should not be left unattended in running vehicles. With some simple precautions, you and your pets can have a safe Holiday at home, rather than in the hospital. Unexpected, but preventable conditions in your pets can result in a less festive season, both emotionally and financially. All of the doctors and staff at Southern Colorado Veterinary Internal Medicine wish you and your pets a happy and safe Holiday season.

Join Us For Pet Photos with Santa at our Hospital 5520 N. Nevada Ave. #110 Sunday, December 9 Cats: 9:00am – 11:00pm Dogs: 11:00pm – 2:00pm

Suggested Donation of $5. Proceeds benefit the Treasured Paws Fund (helping low/fixed income families pay for their pet’s internal medicine needs)

Chocolate is often present in most homes during the Holidays. Cats tend not to care for chocolate but dogs quite like it. Unfortunately, ingestion of chocolate in dogs has a greater affect on their gastrointestinal tract and nervous system instead of their waistline. There are substances in chocolate that are toxic to animals. Theobromine and caffeine are present in larger amounts in cocoa and dark chocolate but are also still in milk chocolate. Dogs who are exposed may get diarrhea, begin to vomit, and become progressively more agitated. If you notice that your pet has eaten chocolate and it has been less than 1-2 hours, induction of vomiting may be considered. If a longer period of time has elapsed, they may require hospitalization. Holiday plants such as Poinsettias can also be toxic and should be placed out of reach of pets. Finally, with the coming winter, it is important to remember to provide water that can not become winter 2012


in this issue Winter 2012



17 3 6 8 10 11 12 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 21 22

Holiday Safety: Have Your Pet Home (not hospitalized) for the Holiday Vet Central: Vet Makes House Calls Humane Society of Pikes Peak Region Update Cover Story: Spending on our Pets, Recession Proof Top Ten: Most Dog Friendly Cities in the United States Volunteers: Advocate Calendar of Events Non-Profit: Hamlett Clinic Fulfilling Mission Stable News: Winter Care for Your Horses Ask the Doc: Observe Some “Abnormal” Behaviors Home Sweet Home: Picking a New Home Around the Globe: Unexpected Stowaway Eating Healthy: Choose Treats Wisely Pet Aftercare: Safety Tips for Your Pets at the Holidays Honoring Heroes: Colorado’s Animal Heroes 2012 Business Marketplace

from the publisher


ver wonder if animals can get the hiccups? Should you be concerned if your dog snores excessively? Inside you’ll find an article by Dr. Gross, PETacular’s “Ask the Doctor”, as he addresses these commonly asked questions this time of year.

Winter can also bring additional challenges when caring for our companion animals. Southern Colorado Veterinary Internal Medicine’s Dr. Hines, shares a variety of medical problems they see over the holidays and provides helpful tips to avoid a trip to the doctor and ensure your pet is home for the holiday season. Front Range Equine Rescue provides important information in their article to keep your horses comfortable, safe and happy this winter. How much do you spend on your pets during the holiday? Is it Christmas for them all year long? Can you believe national pet spending surpassed $50 billion for the first time in 2011. Our winter issue cover story proves that pet spending is truly recession proof. We would love to share your unique or outrageous pet purchase. Post your story on PETacular’s Facebook page today. With the passing of our eighth year, we here at PETacular are so grateful to our readers and advertisers. This is the time we look back and cherish the stories that have benefited so many families. Please email us at and let us know the stories that have impacted your life. We would also welcome any story ideas that would benefit our community. We wish you all the best this holiday season and look forward to great things in 2013.

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See all our before and after photos on Facebook Tailored Tails Grooming Salon & Pet Spa, Inc.

vet central Austin Bluffs Animal Clinic 4323 Austin Bluffs Pkwy. Co Spgs, CO 80918 (719) 598-7879 Richard Monyek, DVM Eli Layman, DVM

Vet Makes House Calls

Black Forest Veterinary Clinic 12740 Black Forest Rd. Co Spgs, CO 80908 Ph (719) 495-3666 Ted H. Mohr, DVM Rick E. Coufal, DVM Amy C. Mueller, DVM


wo kids, two jobs, two pets, too much. That’s how it felt to Cindy Ford when it came time to get her dog and cat to the veterinarian. So she jumped on a growing trend and called the vet to her. House call practices are growing in popularity. It’s been invaluable for clients like Ford. Her cat Lucky is terrified to travel in the car and so stressed to enter a veterinary hospital that he has to be tranquilized just to make the trip. Her Mastiff Toby is so big that he is difficult for Cindy to transport in her car. Fortunately she found a vet that makes house calls. Mobile PetDocs is a veterinary practice that brings an experienced veterinarian and technician to your home for general medical care, mobile dentistry and the growing need for hospice and palliative care. Dr. Jim Humphries has been a veterinarian for 35 years and has owned and operated a successful house call practice previously in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Humphries says that an in-home veterinary practice is a very personal style of practice that takes the time necessary for both outstanding care and a lasting relationship. “It takes so much of the stress out of the experience for both pet and owner. Many animals are very stressed to go into a hospital with all the different smells and sounds. When we see pets in their own home, they are relaxed and often don’t even realize they are being examined or treated.” House calls also help the veterinarian solve many problems they just can’t solve when seeing pets in a hospital setting. By seeing the pets in their own home, the veterinarian is able to observe behaviors, diet and pet-owner interactions that provide many clues to a variety of problems. With the most modern equipment available and a real passion for truly personal veterinary care, Mobile PetDocs fills the need for in-home care in our area. Mobile PetDocs has a highly custom state-of-the-art mobile veterinary hospital for top quality dental care, digital dental x-rays, cryo-surgery and same-day blood analysis. The practice serves the Northern part of Colorado Springs, the Monument area, Black Forest, Falcon and Peyton.

Brown Veterinary Hospital 45 E. Broadmoor Road Co Spgs, CO 80906 (719) 636-3341 Jeffrey Gross, DVM Theresa MacNab, Harrison Wellman, DVM Cook Veterinary Hospital 21 W Cimarron Just east of I-25 on Cimarron Co Spgs, CO 80903 (719) 633-7769 Carin Ramsel, DVM High Plains Veterinary Hospital 4007 Tutt Blvd. Co Spgs, CO 80922 (719) 574-8920 Anne Pierce, DVM Jessica McKenney, DVM Whitney Anne Butler, DVM Mobile PetDocs North Co Spgs, Monument Area, Falcon, Black Forest and Peyton (719) 495-2100 Jim Humphries, DVM, CVJ Thomas Dock, BS, CVJ

Dr. Jim Humphries, Veterinarian

Thomas Dock, Veterinary Assistant

Visit their web site to learn more: Find Us On Facebook at: Mobile PetDocs 719-495-2100


winter 2012

North Powers Animal Hospital 5470 Powers Center Pt, Suite 100 Co Spgs, CO 80920 (719) 282-1222 Russell Welfare, DVM


Pikes Peak Veterinary Clinic 1813 N. Union Blvd. Co Spgs, COÂ 80909 (719) 475-1747 Melanie A Marsden, DVM Christie A. Bond, DVM Jaime Clevenger, DVM St Francis Animal Hospital Located in Briargate 8834 N. Union Blvd Co Spgs, CO 80920 (719) 282-3443 Kim Kaufer, DVM Kerri Mozinski, DVM Timberview Animal Hospital Located in North Colorado Springs 11550 Ridgeline Drive Co Spgs, CO 80921 (719) 362-8880 Vicki Wynn, DVM COMPOUNDED MEDICINE FOR PETS The Medicine Shoppe #0437 2431 N. Union Blvd Co Spgs, CO 80909 (719) 630-3154 Gene Bockrath R.Ph.

List your veterinary office in Vet Central Contact us at

610 Abbot Lane


Colorado Springs CO 80905



4600 Eagleridge Place l Pueblo CO 81008 l 719.544.3005

Math, Science, English


HSPPR is Educational, Too! Karlee’s Happy Tail

A group of smiling children sits in a tight circle on the floor. They’ve had their snack. They’ve made beautiful crafts. And now they are eagerly awaiting their next lesson. The special guest comes running through the door accompanied by squeals of delight from the children – an adorable puppy is teaching this class! This is a scene straight from Camp Whiskers & Wags, one of Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region’s many educational outreach programs designed to help children nurture a love for animals and learn about pet responsibility. At these camps, designed for children ages 5 through 12, kids will play games that teach important pet care, such as Potato Poop Scoop Relays and Litter Box Treasure Hunt. “Humane education and encouraging a love of animals in children is so important,” said Lynda Grove, Education Manager at HSPPR. “These children will grow up caring about all life around them and might even end up teaching their parents a thing or two about responsible pet care!” Camp Whiskers & Wags isn’t the only educating HSPPR does. Grove, a licensed elementary school teacher, also visits classrooms across the Pikes Peak Region with her small animal posse of a rabbit, three guinea pigs and two rats to share HSPPR’s mission and role in the community with children all over Colorado Springs. These classroom presentations are usually tailored to fit the ongoing curriculum and lessons at the time; for example, a lesson on the difference between wild animals and pets would fit well in a Life Science class. Grove also conducts field trips to HSPPR and has worked with Girl and Boy Scout troops to help them earn various badges. For more information about any of HSPPR’s humane education opportunities, visit or call 719.302.8739.

Like puppies & kitties?


“Like” us on Facebook! winter 2012



cover story


Spending on our


Recession Proof

eath and taxes. We’ve known for years these two elements are inevitable. Add to that “Spending on our Pets” and you’ll have a more complete list. According to the National Retail Federation, national pet spending surpassed $50 billion for the first time in 2011. During the past decade or so, pets have become an integral part of a family and not just an animal to keep in the back yard.

Part of the reason total spending has increased is that more people own pets, grown from 56 percent in 1988 to 62 percent today. However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Time magazine published a story recently listing the top five reasons why. First, pets are stress busters and we need that now more than ever. Anxiety is high today. Playing with pets gives us a “hefty boost of oxytocin, our body’s naturally occurring feel-good, stress-relieving, emotional-bonding hormone.” Second, according to Time, pets have more status today. “More than 9 in 10 owners consider their pets to be members of the family, and 81 percent say pets are equal members of the family.” As proof of this, more than one million dogs in the U.S. have been named the primary beneficiary of their owners’ wills. The third reason we spend more money on our pets is because pets fill connection and friendship vacuums. Remember hearing about the single guy that got a dog to help him meet women? Still a valid reason people get pets, but pet owners don’t stop there. Nearly a third of cat owners say they’d rather chat with their cat after a long day than with anyone else, and 39 percent say their cat is more likely than a romantic partner to pick up on their current mood. Multiple studies show that pets lower blood pressure, alleviate depression, and boost mental and physical resiliency. Why wouldn’t we want to reward these pets with the finest we can afford? The fourth reason we love our pets is that they fulfill our need to nurture. One in seven Americans live without another human. Either empty nesters or single adults, the need to nurture is universal. About 78 percent of these pet owners consider their pets as their children and prefer to be called pet parents and 58 percent call themselves “mommy” or “daddy.”

By Debbie l Evert


Finally, the fifth reason we spend more on our pets is that there are more things to buy today. Pampered pets are not new, but the ways we can pamper them today run the gamut from specialty foods to massages, expensive trips to designer clothing. In an informal poll taken by my Facebook friends, with more than three-fourths being pet-loving people, the following was discovered. Some of the questions were answered directly by pets with their own Facebook pages. Piper arfed… “Mom spends $150 each for Christmas and another $150 each on our birthday. She also pawtisipates in secret santas for us. We even have birthday parties complete with dog cake and pawty favors.”

winter 2012

Angel woofed…“Mommy just bought me a $140 blanket from Neiman Marcus kids department.” This sweet dog inspired her pet mom to “raise visibility, awareness, and support for the fourlegged canine angels in our lives.” She bakes and sells homemade goods to raise money for dogs. Multiple pet owner Kristin talks about how she provided for her yellow Labrador, Taylor. “When she was diagnosed with diabetes, we bought a $30K toy hauler trailer so we could take her everywhere we went from that point on and never have to worry about hotel living. That trailer was named ‘Taylor’s trailer,’ for her. The last 15 months of her life, we dropped more than $15K at the vet’s battling cancer and her kidney failure.” With the debt paid off now, Kristin says she wouldn’t change a thing about any of it. “She was our girl.” For Aimee, it isn’t the amount of money that helps her pamper her cats. “Nothing super expensive comes to mind, but I do crochet them cat beds and make them toys. I’m working on making either a cat hammock or a cat tree with recycled things from around the house. Then there is the Snuggle Safe I bought for Karma last year. It was $30 give or take on Amazon and it kept him warm all day and night, by microwaving for 7 minutes it would stay warm up to 10 hours.” Another Facebook friend, Cathy, said, “We bought a house. When Maxx was reaching his senior years he had difficulty with steps. We decided it was time to sell the two-story house and build a ranch so he could easily go in and out the back door.” Lynn wrote, “Bambi suffered from bleeding behind her eye, which took us to a veterinary ophthalmologist. If the drops hadn’t worked (which they thankfully did), she was going to lose her eye. I was prepared to fix her up with a prosthetic eye.” Nicole said, “My friends did chemotherapy on their dog for lymphoma and while working in the clinic I saw a $2,000 surgery because the owner thought it would be a good idea to give their dog a steak bone, along with seeing tumors removed, bone surgery, etc. There are a lot of people out there who will spend that kind of money on their animals.” You’re right, Nicole. For most of us, it’s not about money. It’s about taking care of those that love us unconditionally. A recession will not stop us.

top ten

Most Dog-Friendly Cities in the United States courtesy: Bone-A-Fide Dog Ranch Bee Good Marketing

winter 2012



ADVOCATE (noun or verb): to speak or write in favor of; support or urge by argument; recommend publicly

Besides working to change the perception of the breed, volunteers educate on many things, for all breeds, to include the importance of spay & neutering; talking about rescuing instead of buying from a pet store and/or breeder; training techniques and communicating with others that may have general questions about dog ownership. Some facts you may not know…

By Vicki


l Gramm

Member, SCPBA

ne group of volunteers in Southern Colorado is, and does, just that for a type of dog known as the Pit Bull, or American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Bull Terrier, etc. Many other types of “bully” breeds can, and usually are, lumped into the Pit Bull category. The Southern Colorado Pit Bull Advocates (SCPBA) is out to prove that pit bulls, like any other dogs, are man’s best friend.

A large percentage of the dogs rescued from Michael Vick live in loving homes and many are therapy dogs. One of those dogs, Johnny Justice, just became named this year’s most beautiful dog in the country and is having a Gund plush toy modeled after him. Sgt Stubby was the most decorated war dog of World War I and was the only dog to be promoted to the rank of sergeant through combat. He was a Pit Bull. Their jaws do NOT lock. Petey from the Little Rascals – another Pit. Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, General Patton, Helen Keller, Rachael Ray, Jon Stewart, Jessica Biel, Jamie Foxx among many, many others all were or are guardians and advocates of the breed.

The American Pit Bull Terrier, while a top-three breed in 28 states across the nation, doesn’t even make the top-ten in Colorado. This is mostly due to what is known as Breed Specific Legislation in some of the municipalities, to include Denver. The rather small group of advocates (but growing rapidly) in Southern Colorado don’t want to see that happen anywhere else, especially in the Pikes Peak region.

Pit Bulls serve many functions within the community: therapy dogs, service companions, search and rescue, agility winners, military working dogs and police K9s. And the most important: family members, protectors, confidants, loyal listeners, secret holders and the best cuddle when you need it most.

From holding monthly walks; to most recently becoming one of at least a hundred cities across the na tion to participate in the Coast to Coast Bully Walk on National Pit Bull Awareness Day; to education for current owners and nonowners alike; to working with Animal Control, the media, local rescues and the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region and communicating with politicians – the SCPBA works hard both behind the scenes and in public to make sure the truth about these lovable, loyal family members be known.

After all, everyone should stand for something.

Calendar of Events Pet Night with Santa

presented by Pet City

Tuesday December 4 & 11 6pm-8pm The Citadel Mall Located on the upper level at Center Court. Please use the mall entrance by Burlington Coat Factory. We ask that all pets be leashed or kenneled. Dogs & cats only.

Holiday Pet Celebration & Pet Blessing

Saturday December 8 1pm-4pm Homeward Bound Pet Memorial Center 318 Karen Lane, Colorado Springs, CO 80907 719.636.1036

Camp Whiskers & Wags Camp for Kids

Looking for ways to keep the kids busy this December? New adventures where kids and critters become friends. Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region December 8, 15, 27-29 Reservations needed 719.302.8739


winter 2012

Next time you want honest and accurate information about the breed, please consult those that know. Ask an animal control officer, a rescue group, the Humane Society, a trainer/behaviorist. And no matter what breed you have now, if you’re against discrimination (because it always just starts with one race/breed), or just love dogs, join the Southern Colorado Pit Bull Advocates on Facebook.


Hamlett Clinic Fulfilling Mission By Debbie l Evert


The clinic offers three special programs: Feral Fund, SNFFS, and SNIPCS. Feral cats are those born outside, living in a wild state, and are untouchable by humans. SNFFS stands for Spay and Neuter Free For Seniors. Anyone 60 years of age and older can have their dog or cat sterilized for free. Rabies and distemper shots are also included. SNIPCS stands for Spay and Neuter Incentive for Colorado Springs. Low-income clients can have their animals Each year millions of pets in this country sterilized for free, but the additional shots are not are euthanized or are unwanted because of included. Proof of income or government assistance overpopulation. One solution to this growing is required. problem is to spay or neuter cats and dogs. The clinic receives limited funding from private The Hamlet Spay & Neuter Clinic has provided foundations which goes directly to the services more than 153,000 procedures in their 35 years of provided to clients. business. Not only does this immediately affect the dogs and cats sterilized, but it also prevents their If your pet is already spayed or neutered, you can still help the Hamlett Clinic. They accept cash donations potential offspring. as well as cat food and litter, blankets, and towels. According to People for the Ethical Treatment of Because they are a 501c3 nonprofit organization, all Animals (PETA), spaying and neutering makes donations are tax deductible. Call them at 475-1800 a big difference. One unaltered female dog and for more information. her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in only six year. In seven years, one female cat and her In addition to overpopulation prevention, other benefits exist for spaying and neutering cats and offspring can produce 370,000 kittens. dogs. According to the American Society for the In March 2012, the clinic moved to a new location, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the top reasons for 3660 Citadel Dr. North, having outgrown its old sterilization are as follows: building. The space inside is larger and plenty of parking is available for clients. They are hoping to increase the number of procedures they can offer in a month. At this time, they perform 48-52 sterilizations in a day.

1. Your female pet will live a longer, healthier life. It prevents uterine infections and breast cancer, which can be fatal. 2. Neutering provides health benefits for your male. It prevents testicular cancer if done before six months of age.

In addition to sterilizations, Hamlett Spay & Neuter Clinic offers vaccinations, micro-chipping, heartworm tests, nail trims and flea/tick control to the general public. To help keep costs affordable, they do not charge an office visit or exam fee.

9. Your pet doesn’t need to have a litter for your children to learn about the miracle of birth. Use videos and books to teach your children about birth in a more responsible way.

n 1977, Alan and Josephine Hamlett set out to make a difference in our community. They committed to the prevention of the birth of an animal rather than having to destroy it later. Their mission “to provide affordable sterilization of dogs and cats in an effort to reduce the overpopulation problem, and therefore reduce needless death and suffering of animals” makes an impact every day.

3. Your spayed female won’t go into heat. Female felines usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. They will yowl and urinate more frequently. 4. Your male dog won’t want to roam away from home. An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate! Once free to roam, he risks injury in traffic and fights with other males. 5. Your neutered male will be much better behaved. Neutered cats and dogs focus their attention on their human families and do not try to mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine. 6. Spaying or neutering will not make your pet fat. Don’t believe this myth. Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to be hefty. 7. It is highly cost effective. The cost of this procedure is less than having and caring for a litter. It also is less than the cost of treatment if your pet gets into a fight. 8. Spaying and neutering your pet is good for the community. Stray animals can cause problems by preying on wildlife, causing car accidents, damaging the local fauna, and frightening children.

winter 2012


stable news

Winter Care for Your Horses


s the days get shorter and the temperatures drop, we are all reminded of the coming winter. I would like to share with you some tips that we at Front Range Equine Rescue find important and that will help your horses stay comfortable, safe and happy this winter. One of the biggest things that is often overlooked is clean, fresh, water that is not frozen. Horses should typically consume one gallon of water per 100 pounds of body weight a day, even in the winter. However, they often do not drink enough due to the temperature of the water being too cold. Insufficient water intake can lead to dehydration, difficulties digesting food and colic. Make sure you have a working heater and that you clean and scrub the tank just as often as you would in the summer months. Having a source of salt near the tank also helps make sure they get enough minerals and helps encourage them to drink the proper amount. Proper nutrition is also very important. Horses use the digestion of food in helping them maintain heat. Monitor your horse’s weight carefully, he should not lose weight in the cold months! Hay or feed is often increased in the winter months so that the horse has extra calories to burn when keeping himself warm. If you have senior horses that require soaked feed, remember that the feed will freeze and be difficult for them to eat, you want to consider a heated bucket to feed them in. And never skip feeding a meal simply because you do not want to go out in the cold. Horses depend on you to take care of them. Shelter from the wind and from getting wet is a huge consideration for each horse. In the wild, horses can go find natural shelter that protects them from the weather. Since we corral them into smaller areas, it is imperative that we provide proper shelter. A horse simply cannot properly regulate its body heat if it is in the wind or becomes wet; the combination of being wet and having to be out in the wind can quickly make a horse sick. Blankets are an option, but make sure you blanket properly. There needs to be a plan for when you


winter 2012

blanket, and you need to stick to it. Some people use a certain temperature as a guideline—just make sure that your plan is consistent. Once you start to blanket, the horse will not develop as much of a winter coat, so it is imperative that if you start using a blanket, you continue to use one. It is also crucial to remove the blanket once the temperature rises during the day. Horses will overheat if blanketed on a nice, sunny day. Remove the blanket often to check for fit, areas that it may be rubbing, and debris that may get under the blanket. Just as your winter hat starts to itch and get uncomfortable after a while, so does the blanket. Fire safety is another consideration in the winter. Fire is a big concern as we use cords for our heaters or park equipment inside—remember how easily a fire will spread in a barn with hay. You may want to park the tractor in a separate garage or barn, well away from your hay supply. Be sure to check cords often for damage that may cause them to short and start a fire. Ice and snow are not only potential hazards when riding; stalls and corrals can also have slick spots. Check all areas for ice; horses slip easily and can fall and injure themselves. Remember to clean the snow from their hooves; snow can easily build up into ice balls and makes walking very dangerous and difficult. If your horse is shod, you may want to talk to your farrier about pads that will help keep snow from building up. Veterinary needs must also be considered. The temperature and weather changes can add stress to the horse’s system, so adding sedation or medications on top of that can be a recipe for illness or colic. It is best to do your routine veterinary care before the major winter weather pattern sets in. This includes fall vaccines and worming as well as dental care or other routine procedures. These animals depend on us to care for them, so it is crucial we do so properly, especially in the cold weather!

ask the doc By Dr. Jeffrey l Gross Brown Veterinary Hospital


o as the days get shorter and the nights longer, our pets are in the house more than ever this time of year. With the increased time spent together in the family room and bedroom, we will start to observe some “abnormal” behaviors that we may not have seen before in our pets. Here are two commonly asked questions that I am asked this time of year. Can dogs get hiccups? I know that it may sound weird but I have seen my dog have the same type of behavior as when I am having a bout of hiccups. Yes, dogs can certainly get bouts of hiccups. Physically, it is the diaphragm that is responsible for hiccups in most mammals. It is a muscle located at the bottom of your chest that separates the chest from the abdomen. This is the muscle that is the start of all bouts of hiccups. The job of the diaphragm is to help pull air into the lungs when we inhale and then pushes air out of the lungs when we exhale. The diaphragm is normally a very efficient muscle but sometimes when it becomes irritated it can act erratic and cause air to be drawn into the lungs suddenly. Eating too quickly or too much, stomach or throat irritation or even nervousness and excitement can all irritate the diaphragm. Most cases of hiccups last a short period of time but some cases can last days or weeks. If your pet starts to have frequent bouts of hiccups, a change in diet may be necessary. During a bout of hiccups, a little water or small meal may help. Also, exercising you dog may cause a change in breathing and heart rate which could make the hiccups go away. In cases where it lasts an extended period of time, it is important to be examined by your veterinarian because that is usually a sign of another problem. Why has my dog suddenly started to snore? She is 7 years old and only recently has she began to snore so loud that it is keeping up the rest of the family. I am concerned that the sudden nature of these signs can be something very bad. The secret is out! Dogs Snore! As more and more pet owners allow their dogs to sleep in the bedroom or even on their beds, snoring is becoming one of the more common questions that I am asked during visits. Although your pets’ snoring is obviously bothering you, there is a good possibility that it is not bothering them at all. Snoring usually results from

vibrations caused by the relaxation of muscles and soft tissue or slight obstruction in the back of the throat while you pet is breathing when it sleeps. As your pet becomes more relaxed while sleeping, the muscles in the back of the throat can also become more relaxed and increase the vibration that you are hearing. This vibration, or snoring, is most cases is a minor problem that only last for a short period of time when they are sleeping and therefore not a serious problem. However if you pet is consistently snoring throughout the night, it can be interrupting their sleep. If your pet seems tired or grouchy during the day, the snoring may be a problem. There are many causes for this increased snoring including allergies, weight issues, laryngeal problems, nasal issues and in some cases breed disposition (i.e. Bulldogs). I have recommended many alternatives to my clients when dealing with abnormal snoring. Labwork and X-rays are two very helpful diagnostic tools that can be used in order to help determine if there is an underlying problem. Also, sedating your pet and examining their mouth and laryngeal area can be beneficial in determining any additional problems. If diagnostics are inconclusive, I recommend a few additional changes to your dogs’ lifestyle. If you pet is overweight, increasing their exercise while decreasing there caloric intake can help alleviate some of the snoring. I will also recommend a change to a dog bed which can be different than the bed they are sleeping on now. If you pet suffers from allergies, determining what they are allergic to by visiting your veterinarian or an animal dermatologist can be very beneficial. Limiting their exposure to the allergen can limit their symptoms. Also, in some cases antihistamines can be recommended which can also help alleviate some of the allergy symptoms. If you are unable to determine a cause to alleviate your pets snoring, separate bedrooms may be necessary. This practice has saved many a marriage, and it may be necessary for you and the dog to sleep apart. I am sure your dog will still love you, even if you have to sleep in separate beds.

winter 2012


home sweet home


hen it’s time to move and find a new house, it’s exciting but stressful for the family but most people don’t give a lot of thought about the family pet and how the move and the new environment will affect them.

Picking a New Home with Your Furry Family Members in Mind By Jan l Cass


winter 2012

In my 12 years in real estate I have noted some specific ways to make the move smoother for your pet and also some tips to consider when house hunting for the entire family which includes the very important furry members of your family. Here is a general checklist to consider when choosing a home with your pet in mind. 1. Find out if the neighborhood allows privacy fences or fences that will keep your pets in and pesky critters out! 2. Carefully observe neighboring homes that might have pets that bark or jump or disturb you or your pets, especially if it’s the next door neighbor’s home. It’s a good idea to go back several times of day to homes that you are interested in to see if the neighbors pets are out at a certain time of day like when the owners come home from work. 3. Check to see if the neighborhood has leash laws that are enforced and locate the dog parks that are nearby. 4. When you find a home that you are considering, check for safety hazards in and around the home that may be harmful to your pets such as window

wells that are not covered, holes in fences or stickerfilled yards or metal edging that could be painful to their paws. 5. Check for areas of shelter and shade to protect their delicate skin when left outside to play. 6. Does the home accommodate a doggie or cat door in the sliding glass door and is there a perfect vantage point in which the pet can “perch” to observe the comings and goings on your street without hurting your leather sofa. 7. If you have older pets, a ranch floor plan may be in order. Once you decide on the perfect home, the packing and moving process begins. Your pet may become very concerned and anxious that something is very different. Be sure to reassure them that they are coming with the family and that their bedding and toys will come too. It’s a good idea to pack a small bag with toys, treats and fresh water for them when everyone stops to stretch if you are driving. If you are flying with your pets, call your veterinarian for advice to keep your pets calm and stress-free and don’t forget to pick up their shot record before departing. With a little pre planning and thought, your pets will sense your excitement and anticipation about the move and will join happily in the new adventure of your new safe and pet-friendly home.

around the globe

Unexpected Stowaway By Bradley l Ritzenthaler


anger and excitement are routine at sea. Even though the mariners of the Military Sealift Command (MSC) operate vessels at close quarters, move millions of dollar of supplies, and work with potentially catastrophic accidents only seconds away if they become inattentive; the routine of the day can become boring in it’s repetition. On a day in July 2012 the mariners of one MSC ship had their routine interrupted and helped a sea animal in the most unexpected way. We had just finished supplying an aircraft carrier when the tension line that connects the two ships was dropped in the water - as it always is. The previous 1000 times I’d seen the maneuver completed uneventfully. This day the line was pulled from the water entangled with a fishing net. The net contained several large buoys and a 250 – 300 pound green sea turtle. Quickly word passed around the ship that we had a new rider. Everyone was excited and concerned for our shellback friend. Obviously the turtle was excited too but not in the same way we were. He (an assumption based on the size of his tail) angrily slapped his flippers on his chest as he lay on his back. Sensing the turtle’s distress one of the boatswains mate, at risk to himself from the panicked animal, quickly cut away the net entangled on his shell and rear flippers. Being the only medical person on the ship I inspected the turtles wounds caused by the net. There were minor lacerations but no life threatening injuries that I could ascertain. Finally another mariner brought a large cardboard shipping container folded

flat to use as a liter to carry the turtle to the rail of the ship. It took six of us to lift our unexpected stowaway and slip him back into his natural habitat. We will never know what happened to our temporary turtle passenger after he left our company. I am fairly certain that if we hadn’t by chance snagged the net that entrapped him that the net would have been the direct cause of his death. The buoys were sufficient in size to keep him from diving to any significant depth. Green sea turtles are herbivores. This would have limited his ability to feed. As the nets twisted behind the turtle they were slowly getting tighter and tighter around his rear flippers. Even if he were able to feed entangled in the net, eventually the net would have caused severe nerve damage and may have caused the amputation of the limbs. The crew of aircraft carrier who witnessed the turtle coming on to our deck wrote emails inquiring about the health of the turtle. Our crew talked incessantly for days about every detail of our sea turtle experience. We were all concerned about his health and proud that we were able to save him from what seemed to be certain death without our intervention. Having the experience of being so close to a majestic creature certainly enriched my life experience. I can only hope that we were able to do the same for him. Bradley Ritzenthaler is a Medical Services Officer at US Navy’s Military Sealift Command.

winter 2012


eating healthy

Choose Treats Wisely By Rachel l Cederberg Southern


hen thinking about your pet’s nutrition, don’t forget treats!! Many people put their dog on a raw diet but then feed them treats that are mostly carbohydrates. In addition, some people have dogs with severe allergies and buy special food just to mitigate these allergies, but then buy treats at the grocery store without thinking about what is in them. Treats are just as important as the daily food! If your dog has allergies to a specific food, remember to buy treats that also avoid that food – if your dog is on a venison and potato food, make sure you only buy venison or potato treats until you know exactly what your dog is (and then is not) allergic to. The whole purpose of that “elimination diet” is to eliminate everything except the one thing you think your dog might not be allergic to. If your dog is on a raw diet, try to maintain the low to no carb idea even in his or her treats. For instance, chicken breast jerky, shaved bonito flakes, or freeze dried raw meat make much better treats than biscuits or sweet potato chips. These other treats can actually upset their tummies if you feed too many of them, especially if your dog is on a raw diet because of a sensitive tummy. Many of the commercially prepared raw diets also offer treats and freeze dried options. These options are great for travel and for training. Why not just feed any old treat? On the one hand, we as people will always eat a Twinkie (or maybe not in the near future…) so the same can be said for dogs… But if you’re going to feed the treat every day, it’s best to avoid the really troublesome ingredients. Even humans don’t (or at least shouldn’t) eat Twinkies every day. Natural dog foods try to eliminate things like by-products. While tendons and liver can be classified as by-products, so can feathers and beaks. Unless you know for sure what that company uses as “by-products” you won’t really know. Chemical preservatives are also common in grocery store dog treats. BHA/BHT and ethoxyquin have


winter 2012

been shown to cause cancer at some levels and more research is being done on exactly how likely that is. Propylene glycol is used to preserve some semi-moist treats, and it is not safe at any level for cats and can cause kidney failure in dogs. This is basically the “safe” anti-freeze but while it is safer than ethylene glycol, I personally don’t like the idea of putting anti-freeze in dog food. Natural treats should be preserved with things like rosemary, vitamin E, and citric acid or vitamin C. The other consideration is what is truly safe… There are many “natural” things a dog can chew on, but some of them are not safe. For instance, cow hooves are extremely popular, but they are not digestible. Many dogs will splinter off large hunks of hoof and swallow it whole. These can then collect in the dog’s intestines and cause a blockage. I liken it to gum… people can swallow one piece of gum and probably be fine, but too much, and it may not come back out. True rawhide, even American made, is also not digestible. If a dog softens up a large chunk of rawhide and swallows it whole, this will also often not come back out. Natural smoked bones can also splinter with strong chewing, and the bone shards it produces are likely to pierce the intestines. Some dogs can even splinter raw shank bones. Please watch your dog very carefully the first time s/ he chews something to make sure it is an appropriate treat. Pig ears are very fatty and thus inappropriate for dogs with sensitive tummies, pancreatitis, or young puppies. They are also obviously not advisable for dogs on diets. Picking the correct treat can give your dog great pleasure (and you a nice break). Please pick carefully and thoughtfully so that you and your friend can enjoy many years together. Rachel Cederberg Southern is the owner of Ruffing It: Natural Living for Pets in Colorado Springs For more information, visit

Bacon Bites for Dogs

6 slices cooked bacon - crumbled 4 eggs - well beaten 1/8 cup bacon grease 1 cup water 1/2 cup powdered milk - non-fat 2 cup graham flour 2 cup wheat germ 1/2 cup cornmeal Mix ingredients with a strong spoon; drop heaping tablespoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet. Bake in a 350 oven for 15 minutes. Turn off oven and leave cookies on baking sheet in the oven overnight to dry out.

Article Source:

pet aftercare

Safety Tips for Your Pets at the

Holidays By Trey

Manager of Customer Comfort Homeward Bound Pet Memorial Center


problems ranging from mild stomach upset to seizures and death, so it is best to keep all chocolate out of your pet’s reach.

Many holiday plants are poisonous. Holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, and many forms of lilies are toxic to animals. A good rule of thumb is to keep pets away from all holiday plants.

Fruits and nuts. Avoid grapes, raisins and macadamia nuts as they can cause problems ranging from digestive upset to organ failure.

i All! To introduce myself, I am Trey, the new Manager of Customer Comfort at Homeward Bound Pet Memorial Center. My specialty is helping people when they are feeling a little sad after they have suffered the loss of a family member. To help families with pets, I thought it would be helpful to talk about maintaining our homes as a safe place for our pets during the Holiday Season.

Although a holiday tree is not poisonous, it may still be hazardous. The needles on either a live or an artificial tree may cause irritation to the mouth and digestive tract if your pet eats them. If you have a live tree, use a tree skirt to prevent your pets from drinking the tree water. A live tree may contain fertilizers, insecticides and flame retardants that can leech down into the water in the base. You may also want to secure the tree to the wall or the ceiling. Dogs may run past the tree and knock it over, or you may have a curious cat that would try to climb the tree, possibly resulting in pulling it over. No tinsel or angel hair! These items are particularly attractive to cats. When eaten, they can cause blockages which often require surgery to remove. Avoid glass ornaments on the tree and keep lights up high. Your pet might think those attractive ornaments are a ball to play with. If an ornament gets broken, the glass pieces can be very sharp, resulting in cuts in your pet’s mouth or on the pads of the feet. Young puppies may find the wiring for the lights on the tree to be a good chew toy – possibly resulting in a burned mouth or electrocution. Burn Hazards. Keep candles and potpourri pots up high where your pet will not reach them. Avoid chocolate. All chocolate should be avoided, especially dark or baking chocolate. There are toxins present in chocolate which can cause

Avoid rich fatty foods. Foods high in fat content can cause your pet mild stomach irritation or even a severe inflammation of the pancreas, known as pancreatitis. This may require hospitalization and may even result in death.

Food wrappers, string from a rolled roast, or aluminum foil. Pets have an excellent sense of smell and will sniff out items containing traces of food. Wrappers are often unable to pass and may cause an obstruction in the intestine, leading to surgery for their removal. Keep your countertops clean and store your trash in a secure area. Also, do not drain grease from roasting pans or deepfat turkey roasters onto a gravel or rock driveway. Your pet may find the rocks to be a tasty item when coated with oil or grease, and many time rocks will lodge in the intestinal tract or cause severe pain as they are passed through the colon. Check children’s toys. Many toys are made of plastic or have small parts or balls that may be very attractive to dogs or cats. If eaten, surgery may be required to remove a foreign object from the pet’s intestinal tract. DO NOT give a pet as a gift. The holidays are not an ideal time for introducing a new pet into the family. New pets require a stable environment and plenty of extra attention and time to bond with their new family. Hope Everyone Enjoys this Special Time of Year Woof, Woof! Trey

winter 2012


honoring heroes

Colorado’s Animal Heroes 2012


olorado’s Animal Heroes for 2012 were recently honored in November. Animal lovers of all ages came to see animals and humans alike receive Olympic-style medals in celebration of their accomplishments. The stories of Colorado’s Animal Heroes are about hope, companionship, courage, and service – and how these heroes have even saved the lives of others. Whether it is a cancer-surviving man finding hope through the bond with his dog, or a veterinarian volunteering countless hours to provide free wellness exams for disadvantaged seniors, these stories provide inspiration and touch hearts. This year’s recipients:

Ellie - Animal Hero

Ellie is being recognized for her courage and dedication to her companions during this summer’s High Park wildfire. Ellie and her herd of three horses and one other donkey could not be reached for evacuation before the fire moved through their area and were feared lost, but a rescue crew sweeping the area after the fire found the herd in a safe place, with Ellie in charge. Always the leader of her herd, Ellie had moved them to one of the few remaining unburned areas. There were a few singed whiskers and tails, but everyone survived, and when Ellie climbed into the rescue crew’s horse trailer, the herd followed her as they had before.

Fox - Human-Animal Bond

Like many pets, Fox is a most beloved companion. But he and his owner, Jimmy, are a team. When Jimmy was diagnosed with cancer, it was Fox who stayed by his side, seeing him through the grief, uncertainty, and medical treatments. Soon after, Fox fractured his leg and needed help, but the bills still due for Jimmy’s treatment made Fox’s care a financial difficulty. Still, Jimmy wouldn’t give up and found a way to get help for Fox. Now, the bond Fox and Jimmy share is that much stronger. The love they have for each other exemplifies the human-animal bond.

Simon - Service

Simon is a 10-year-old cat who was born with a spinal deformity, but that hasn’t stopped him from making the world around him a better place. In fact, it’s been his gift. Simon has been a registered therapy animal since 2009 and is part of Denver Pet Partners. Alongside his owner, Diana, Simon helps tutor children at Denver’s Westword Opportunity Center and participates in Night Lights, a respite program for parents of children with physical and developmental challenges. Simon is especially gifted in working with children who suffer physical challenges like he does, as he demonstrates for them the possibilities that remain open for them.

Jessica Rychel, DVM - Human Hero

Dr. Jessica Rychel is being recognized for her tireless devotion and commitment to one special but paralyzed St. Bernard, Bruno. Dr. Rychel was Bruno’s veterinarian when he began treatment for Wobbler’s syndrome, an instability in the cervical vertebrae. Bruno began an ambitious treatment regimen, but within a few short weeks his owners decided they could not manage his long term care. Dr. Rychel took Bruno into her family rather than euthanize him. After intensive rehabilitation and a lot of hands-on guidance, Bruno took his first steps six months later, with Dr. Rychel by his side. He was two-and-a-half years old.

Jayme Nielson Animal Welfare Volunteer

Jayme Nielson has worked tirelessly on behalf of animals in the Denver area for the past 20 years. She has been active with the Dumb Friends League since 1991 and helped to establish the Metro Denver Shelter Alliance in 2000. Jayme also serves on the board of the Pet Overpopulation Fund and participates in the Coalition for Living Safely with Dogs. In her free time, she partners with Kali to comfort Alzheimer’s patients at an assisted living facility. Through it all, Jayme’s commitment to animal welfare has never wavered.

Elizabeth Hauser

Youth Animal Advocate

Elizabeth Hauser is the producer of a video titled, “A Hole in my Heart: A Child’s Guide to Pet Loss.” For this and for her special understanding of the way that pet loss affects children, she is the 2012 Youth Animal Advocate. Liz’s mission with her video and animal advocacy is to help children cope with the loss of a pet. When she suffered through the loss of a pet herself, Liz realized there were few resources for children and dedicated herself to helping others through their suffering.

Stacy McVicker, DVM Jim Crafts Volunteer of the Year

As one of PetAid Colorado’s biggest supporters and a longtime volunteer with the Home Outreach program, Dr. McVicker has shared her expertise and contributed countless hours to ensure that pets whose owners cannot access veterinary services in the animal hospital receive the care they need to stay healthy and in their homes. The connection between human and animal health and well-being is well documented. Providing for these animals and people is something PetAid Colorado can do only because of people like Dr. McVicker.

Our Dogs Love This And Yours Will Too!


f your best human friend came to your house for dinner, would you feed them two month old food? Of course not! That is what the majority of pet owners feed their four legged best friend. Most people don’t know that the commercial pet food industry is not regulated by any government agency. There are no human inspectors dressed in white coats making sure the protein and grain sources that supply the commercial dog food industry are deemed safe for pets. Often euthanized dogs and cats, diseased and injured livestock and even road kill become sources of protein used in the pet foods we buy. Everyone knows of someone whose pet died from cancer, kidney failure and a host of maladies. Many leading veterinarians attribute this shortened and low quality of life not to poor treatment but rather to the inferior quality of foods pet owners feed their best friend(s). At Jack & Charlie’s Dog Food Products, we use only the ingredients you buy at the grocery store to feed your family. Items like all natural chicken, USDA Choice Cuts of beef, turkey, oats, vegetables (peas, green beans, spinach, corn and carrots), rice, russet and sweet potatoes. That’s it! No preservatives, No artificial anything. Just wholesome great tasting food made fresh in our home kitchen and delivered frozen right to your door. All you do is thaw and serve! Discover for yourself what a difference a fresh food diet makes in your pet; bright eyes, a shiny coat and their wagging tail tells the whole story. Tanya in COS: “My pup starts jumping against me when it’s time to eat. She loves it!” Derek from Monument told me: “Our three Labs go crazy for it! Thanks Jack and Charlies’” For pricing call us at 719-641-9163 email: Visit our website at

PetAid Colorado is the healthcare safety net for pets. A 501(c)(3) organization, PetAid Colorado fulfills a vast need by providing healthcare for pets of vulnerable populations exclusively. It collaborates with veterinarians and community partners, and prevents animal suffering and relinquishment through a unique array of programs including PetAid Animal Hospital, PetAid Care Grants, PetAid Disaster Services, and PetAid Home Outreach.

winter 2012


pet-loving businesses

Thank you for supporting these pet-loving businesses in our community. Look for the special offers and mention you saw them in PETacular.

Colorado Petacular is published by Production Plan-it Inc. and is distributed to over 150 locations in the Colorado Springs and area communities. Copyright 2012 Production Plan-it Inc. 6620 Dreamweaver Drive, Colo Springs CO 80923 (719) 260-8177. Customer Service, Advertising and other questions: All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without written consent. Views expressed by editorial contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers. Publishers/Editors: Kelly Crnokrak, Audree M. Grubesic Creative Director: Alison Harder Contributing Writers: Jan Cass, Debbie Evert, VIcki Gramm, Dr. Jeffrey Gross, Dr. Brad Hines, Dr. Jim Humphries, Bradley Ritzenthaler , Rachel Cederberg Southern We would like to thank you for reading the PETacular magazine. Our advertisers allow this publication to be FREE by their support and contribution. Please visit them today.

Petacular Winter 2012  
Petacular Winter 2012  

A quarterly magazine for pet lovers.