November / December Vol. 5 • Issue 2
PetConnections wellness through the human-animal bond
Happy Holidays! 4th Annual Thanks for Paws Contest Winter Tips for Outdoor Cats Medical Frontiers
Cold Weather Nutrition for Horses FREE Pittsburgh’s #1 Resource for Everything Pets
VCA Castle Shannon Animal Hospital
24 HOUR EMERGENCY CARE
24/7 • • • • • • •
Complete wellness services: Vaccines, Annual Exams, etc. Emergency and Critical Care Services Dentistry & Surgery Therapeutic Laser Therapy Acupuncture and Holistic medicine Exotics and Pocket pets Over 70 years of trusted, compassionate care
REGULAR HOURS MON-FRI 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM SAT 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
3610 Library Rd., Pittsburgh, PA 15234
Emergency 24/7/365 Sunday wellness hours ( 9:00 AM -12:00 PM last Sunday of every month)
Penguins & Paws Calendar! 20 $
* Calendar will feature members of the Pittsburgh PenguinsÂŽ organization with some adoptable animals from the Animal Rescue League Shelter and Wildlife Center and Western PA Humane Society. Calendars will be available and ship end of November. Just visit our website at www.animalrescue.org/penscalendar or contact Ann Yeager at 412-345-0346 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos ÂŠPittsburgh Penguins
* Plus shipping and handling.
Proceeds from the calendar benefit the Animal Rescue League Shelter and Wildlife Center and Western PA Humane Society.
PROTECT YOUR PETS
Table of Contents
| November/December 2016, Volume 5 Issue 2
Easy to read and easy to attach, unlike metal tags and connectors
Order at pawdentify.com
“Pittsburgh’s original & most exclusiv exclusivee Pet Hotel!” K UP WE PICIVER! & DEL
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Calm, Balanced Homestyle Days 4-6 Daily Outdoor Breaks Supervised, Selected Playgroups Continuous Contact with Staff Clean, Dry Indoor Rooms www.countrylanepethotel.com email@example.com
Download our mobile app! Search for Country Lane
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1075 3rd St N. Versailles PA 15137
Dog and Balance
Rescue & Shelter First Match for Pets for Vets Pittsburgh
Kitty Korner Ten Winter Weather Tips for Outdoor Cats
Wellness For Guardians Medical Frontiers
6 Events 8R escue & Shelter Animal Rescue League and Western PA Humane Society Merge
12 P et Health & Wellness Digging into the Benefits of Pet Insurance
14 P et Health & Wellness Intervertebral Disc Disease
16 H olistic Pet Care The Benefits of Integrative Veterinary Medicine
18 A dvertiser Locator Map 23 K itty Korner Cat Rescue Resource Guide 26 It’s The Crazy Cats or Me!
24 Directories 27 W ildlife Create, Conserve & Protect Monarch Habitats
28 P et Friendly Living 32 E quine Affairs Stretch your Horse 101 33 C old Weather Nutrition for Horses
34 In Remembrance 2 PITTSBURGH PETCONNECTIONS | November/December 2016
From the Publisher Welcome to our Pittsburgh PetConnections bi-monthly November-December Holiday Edition 2016, Volume 5 Issue 2 News & Events
Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas!
CORRESPONDENCE firstname.lastname@example.org 724-503-8695 All Rights Reserved | Copyright 2016 PITTSBURGH PETCONNECTIONS BI-MONTHLY published by: Pittsburgh PetConnections, LLC. Pittsburgh PetConnections LLC. was formed in 2012. Our mission is to publish a high quality, informative publication focused on the Human-Animal Bond. We support local businesses and also assist local non-profit businesses for pets and people, to give back to our great Pittsburgh communities. MAGAZINE PUBLICATION STAFF Carla Mader, Managing Editor Kara Jones Photography, Photography Jaimee D. Greenawalt, Art Director Nicole Mayer, Creative Designer Carla Mader, Sales & Distribution Manager Jaime Chesney, VP of Media Sales ADVERTISING SALES Robin Reinfeld, Director of Sales, Pittsburgh 412-780-2254 | email@example.com Denise Iamurri Bartman, Marketing Director, Pittsburgh & Central OH Jaime Chesney, VP of Media Sales CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Susan Wagner, DVM, MS, ACVIM Doug Knueven, DVM, CVA, CVC, CVCH Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center April Minech
Cover photo “Pippa” by: KJones Photography
The Pittsburgh Pet Expo had the best year ever! A special THANK YOU to presenting sponsor, Healthy Pet Products, and VCA, Fromm Family Pet Foods, Rachel Ray Nutrish and Mr. Rooter! PetConnections was the major print media sponsor and produced the show program for the 5th consecutive year! Thank you to all our readers and new subscribers who visited our booth! Our PetConnections advertising sponsors who sponsored the expo and exhibited were Healthy Pet Products, VCA, Animal Rescue League/Western PA Humane Society, Animal Friends, The Dog Stop, Murray Avenue Apothecary, Country Lane Kennels, Best Breed Holistic Pet Food, Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center, Animal Healing Now, Pinch’s Place, Jefferson Memorial Cemetery, Funeral Home & Crematory, Manning Chiropractic, and Close 2 Ur Heart Jewelry.
Carmella & Roxy win the costume contest again!
This Issue Please submit your entries by December 30th for our 4th Annual Thanks for Paws contest sponsored by Paws N Claws Eyewear! See the event page for details and winners will be published in our January-February issue. We have many holiday-related safety tips, informational and heartfelt articles for our holiday edition! Our Rescue & Shelter sections, read about the exciting merger between the Western Pa Humane Society and the Animal Rescue League & Wildlife Center. Together, they will serve the Pittsburgh area with even more strength and compassion! Also in the section, read more about Animal Friend’s Pets for Vets program. Also, see Buddy Reinfeld’s Remembrance by Robin, our Pittsburgh Director of Sales. A special thank you to Robin as it is her second anniversary with PetConnections! Become part of the PetConnections community with a VIP Individual or Business Membership! Memberships for Business and Non-Profit Organizations are available with many benefits and to participate in special offers to our VIP PetConnections Members! Submit your photos and stories, as well as remembrances to be featured online and in future issues to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for picking up this copy of PetConnections. Take care of yourself and your animals and be well this Holiday season! Warmly, Carla Mader Publisher Pittsburgh | Central Ohio PetConnections Magazine Please submit any correspondence to: email@example.com Please check us out on the web & subscribe at: www.petconnections.pet. Follow PghPetMag on Twitter and “Like” us on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/ PghPetconnectionsMagazine. Disclaimer: The views expressed in our content does not necessarily reflect that of PetConnections Magazine. PetConnections shall be indemnified against damages from content including ads and articles, false advertising libel, trademark infringement, etc. www.petconnections.pet
Five Life-Balance Lessons from Dogs By Garry McDaniel & Sharon Massen
As business professors, we have the opportunity of working with talented professionals in different organizations. In our conversations, it is not uncommon for employees and managers to share personal and professional struggles in maintaining life balance. These individuals report that they are spread so thin that they are losing touch with their personal priorities, families, health and spiritual lives. If this sounds familiar, perhaps it would help to reconsider how you are approaching your life balance. If our dogs could talk, here are five tips they would share for living a life that is in balance. Know your purpose. The American humorist Mark Twain said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Dogs seem to understand that their main purpose in life is to be our best friend. Are you clear about what your purpose is in life? In our book, The Dog’s Guide to Your Happiness: Seven secrets for a better life from man’s best friend, we state that to live a life of purpose is to be able to answer three questions: • Am I following my heart and being true to myself? • Is my life focused on things that matter to me? • Am I being the person I want to be in the world? Live in the moment. Most people live their lives thinking about the past or future and miss out on being fully present. We are bombarded by messages that encourage us to dwell on what we have done wrong in the past, how inadequate we are in the present (fashion, weight, sexual attractiveness, wealth, etc.), or to worry ourselves sick about what may or may not happen in the future. Dogs live in the moment.
When they are with you, they are with you! Dogs are the best model for the saying, ‘yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, and that is why it is called the present.’
Give more than you take. Dogs give us their love and attention and they ask very little in return. Humans on the other hand, easily fall into the trap of viewing the world around us as a limited set of resources and opportunities. Our thinking seems to be, “If I give more to you, then there is less for me.” Dogs know that you can share all the love, forgiveness, and positive feelings you want and still have more to give. Live life fully. When Garry takes his dog, Panda, for a walk, Panda takes an interest in every rock, twig, leaf, tree, person, and dog they meet. Can’t you remember when you were a child and looked forward to new and exciting experiences and you did not mind being having fun and being silly? How can you reconnect with your inner puppy and rediscover your inner sense of play and adventure? Enjoy Life Now! Humans tend to think if we spend all our time working now, at some point in the future we will slow down to enjoy life. Very few elderly people would say this approach makes sense. For
4 PITTSBURGH PETCONNECTIONS | November/December 2016
example, author Leo Buscaglia describes a letter by an 85-year old man who wrote, “If I had my life to live over again, I’d try to make more mistakes next time. I wouldn’t try to be so perfect. I’d be sillier than I’ve been on this trip. I’d ride more merrygo-rounds; I’d watch more sunrises and play with more children-- if I had my life to live over again. But you see, I don’t.” The message is clear; watch sunsets now. Enjoy your family now. Develop your ‘bucket list’ and start scratching off your accomplishments now. Dogs understand you only have so much time on Earth and it is up to you to live a life that is balanced. Understanding your purpose, living for the moment, giving more than you take, living life fully, and living life in the now are not trivial guidelines; they give meaning to our lives, our family, and our colleagues at work. Learn from your dog and make time to rest, to play, to explore, to lay in the sunshine, to scratch, and give time to those you love. That’s life-balance. Garry McDaniel and Sharon Massen speak nationally on what individuals and organizations can learn from dogs about leadership, team building, and customer service. Their book, The Dog’s Guide to Your Happiness: Seven Secrets for a Better Life from Man’s Best Friend, can be pre-ordered on Amazon. Garry and Sharon invite you to contribute stories about what you have learned from your dog that has positively enhanced your view on personal, family or professional relationships. Please send your stories or insights to Garry and Sharon at happydogsecrets@ gmail.com or by calling 614-6578524. PC
Gift cards make Great Gifts!
Find us on
w Hope Haven Winterfest w
DECEMBER 19TH Animal Friends: Thinkingoutsidethecage.org
Animal Rescue League/Western PA Humane Society: wpahumane.org Holiday Gift Wrapping thru DECEMBER 24TH
Saturday, January 28th, 2016 2pm to 5pm At Broadmore Senior Living at Lakemont Farms (located at 3275 Washington Pike, Bridgeville, PA) Tickets: $12.50 General Admission / $23.00 VIP Ticket includes food & beverage / VIP + special offers. Cash bar / Chinese Auction / Silent Auction (one week prior to event) More information & tickets available at ticketbud.com
at the Mall at Robinson
FEBRUARY 4, 2017 Cupids & Canines
at the Club Level at PNC Park
THANKS FOR PAWS CONTEST Sponsored By
Submissions Accepted thru December 30th, 2016 Submit a photo and a 200 words or less by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org stating why you are thankful for your pet and/or the animal shelter you rescued it from.
1st Prize: Boutique sunglasses with polarized lenses in leopard. 2nd Prize: Boutique eyewear frame in midnight/tortoiseshell. ÂŽ 3rd Prize: Hand painted ceramic OptiPets eyewear holder. Available in a variety of cat and dog breeds.
Paws N Claws Eyewear raises funds and awareness for animals in need by donating 5% of the purchase price of these unique frames and accessories.
Sponsored By 6 PITTSBURGH PETCONNECTIONS | November/December 2016
CFA CAT SHOW Sixth Annual Allbreed Cat Show Sponsored By Steel City Ki�es, Inc.
Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017 9 AM TO 4 PM
Sunday, Feb 12, 2017 9 AM TO 4 PM
Monroeville Conven�on Center 101 Mall Plaza Boulevard Monroeville, PA 15146 412-373-7300
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, TICKETS AT THE DOOR (CASH ONLY) $8.00 ADULTS, $6.00 CHILDREN, 5 years old and under are FREE
Enter your Household Pet by Tuesday, February 7, 2017 Visit steelcityki�es.com for more informa�on on how to enter.
ST E E L C IT Y K I T T I ES , I N C C AT C LUB, a NO NP RO F I T C FA R EG I ST E R E D C AT C LU B . O u r c l u b wa s esta b l i s h ed i n J u n e o f 2 0 1 1 . O ur c l u b m em b e rs en co u ra ge t h e b re ed i n g o f p e d i g ree d cat s to t h e C FA sta n d a rd w h i l e a l s o en co u ra g i n g t h e a do p� o n o f s h e l te r cat s . S tee l C i t y Ki � es we l co m e s h o u s eh o l d p et s to e nte r o u r s h ows w h i c h a re a l ways t h e s e co n d we eke nd i n Feb r u a r y i n t h e P i � s b u rg h a rea . I t i s t h e p ra c � c e o f S tee l C i t y Ki � e s to a l l ow fo r a ve n d o r s p a c e fo r a s hel te r at ea c h o f o u r cat s h ows .
VISI T US AT S TEELCI TYKI TTI ES.COM Sixth Annual Allbreed Cat Show Sponsored By Steel City Ki�es, Inc.
Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, 9 AM TO 4 PM Sunday, Feb 12, 2017, 9 AM TO 4 PM
Monroeville Conven�on Center 101 Mall Plaza Boulevard, Monroeville, PA 15146
CFA CAT SHOW
Rescue & Shelter Animal Rescue League and Western PA Humane Society Merge to Form One of the Largest Shelters in the Northeast
By Caitlin Lasky
e are excited to announce that boards of the Animal Rescue League and Wildlife Center (ARL) and the Western PA Humane Society (WPHS) approved a merger of the two animal welfare organizations, effective January 1, 2017. We are excited to create one, dynamic,
“Over the years, the Animal Rescue League and the Western PA Humane Society have become more alike with regard to philosophies on animal welfare and the programs and services we offer,” says Joseph Vater, Esq., President of the Board of Directors, Animal Rescue League. “A merged organization will provide greater efficiencies in animal care processes, staff training and bringing best practices to one organization. We will be able to save more animals and serve more animals.”
voice that will enhance our outreach to the western PA region. It will be beneficial to adoptions, animal care, animal control and fundraising.” With the merger, the locations of each organization will remain open. WPHS is located on the North Side, and ARL expects to move by year end from its current location to its new facility, both in the East End. ARL’s Wildlife Sanctuary in Verona also will remain open.
“A merged organization will provide greater efficiencies in animal care processes, staff training and bringing best practices to one organization. We will be able to save more animals and serve more animals.” Dan Rossi, currently the executive director of the ARL, will be the CEO of the merged organization, and David Grubman, currently President of the Board of Directors of the Western PA Humane Society, will be chairman of the new Board of Directors. industry-leading animal welfare organization in Pennsylvania. It’s a new beginning that builds on the strength and passion of both organizations for the wellbeing of animals.
“Our two organizations have a long history of collaboration,” Grubman says. “Now, by building on the strengths of each group, we will create a singular, more powerful
8 PITTSBURGH PETCONNECTIONS | November/December 2016
Work will begin immediately on the integration of the two organizations. “We have a lot of details to work out,” says Rossi, “but we will be launching this new organization with a talented, compassionate staff and a phenomenal group of volunteers. We’re excited about the expanded capacity and potential and the broad array of programs and services that will be under one organizational umbrella.” PC
Western PA Humane Society
WELLNESS CLINIC Servicing Pittsburghâ€™s dogs and cats! Did you know? The Western PA Humane Society has a low cost wellness clinic that is open to the public! We take care of your routine exams, flea and tick prevention, vaccines, and more.
NEW PATIENT OFFER!
412-321-4625 Option 2 for Clinic
wpahumane.org 1101 Western Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15233
Your first office visit at the Western PA Humane Society clinic!
Rescue & Shelter
FIRST MATCH FOR PETS FOR VETS PITTSBURGH By Kellie Roberts, Director of Placement Services Photography: Angie Pulice
ith an enormous smile on his face, Retired Army Sergeant Donald Borland greeted Louie, a 2-yearold Jack Russell Terrier for the first time. Louie returned the sentiment with a wag of his tail, not knowing how much this moment meant to Don.
he would be a good match for the program and, more importantly, for Don. Once Louie had been identified as a match for Don, he began a 6-week “boot camp” with Debi in her home where she taught him good manners and the specific behaviors personalized to Don’s needs. Don presented Debi with a Military Challenge Coin as a thank you. Don was given the coin by his General following Iraqi Freedom – he had been holding onto it to give it to someone who deserved it. Not only did Don find a new companion in Louie with the help of Pets for Vets and Animal Friends, he made what he calls a lifelong friend in Debi. When we asked Don about the program and what he’d want to tell other veterans about it, his words were short, sweet and to the point, “Simply awesome.” PC
It all started seven months before their match day. Don, a lifelong dog lover, was looking online at some of the adoptable dogs at various animal rescues and shelters in our region when he came across the Pets for Vets Pittsburgh Chapter at Animal Friends. He immediately picked up the phone and took the first step that would bring him and his new best friend together. Pets for Vets is a national organization that supports veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury by matching them with companion animals that have been carefully selected for them based on their lifestyle, personality and specific needs. While Don, a decorated combat veteran of Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom, would give Louie a loving home, Louie would give Don something just as important – the unconditional love and companionship only a pet can provide. Louie is a sweet and outgoing little guy who loves just about everyone he meets. And, Don will tell you he’s quite the ladies’ man! Once they met, it quickly became clear that Louie had found his family and Don had found his perfect sidekick.
The incredible bond that Don and Louie share is no coincidence. It’s not the result of luck or chance either. It’s thanks to the skill, commitment and love of certified Pets for Vets trainer, Debi Meehan. Debi met Louie after he had been rescued from a high-kill shelter and placed into a foster home. After evaluating him, she knew that
10 PITTSBURGH PETCONNECTIONS | November/December 2016
Don and Louie are the first of what are sure to be many successful matches made through the Pets for Vets Pittsburgh Chapter at Animal Friends, but to connect more vets with pets, we need trainers! So if you’re interested in giving back to our nation’s veterans and helping shelter pets, contact Kellie at KRoberts@ ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org.
Holidays with Heart
Sat., Dec. 3 | Sun., Dec. 4 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Find the perfect gift for everyone on your list at our craft and vendor fair.
Choose Your Family Member
B.Y.O.P. (Bring Your Own Paw)
Sat., Dec. 10 | Sun., Dec. 11 10 a.m.-5 p.m. They say you can’t choose your family – but you can during this adoption event.
Sun., Dec. 11 | 3-5 p.m. Bring your four-legged friend and make a paw print ornament for a donation.
Mon., Dec. 19 | 4-7 p.m. Follow your nose to pick out the perfect assortment of cookies and desserts.
Have some animal lovers on your list? We have the perfect gift for them! sit AnimalFriends
These limited edition Animal Friends holiday ornaments are the unexpected, thoughtful gift they’re sure to love. In addition to the ornament, they’ll receive a personalized acknowledgement card and
562 Camp Horne Road know that the lives of homeless animals will be saved because of your thoughtful donation. Pittsburgh, PA 15237 ThinkingOutsideTheCage.org Please hurry! Orders must be received by Dec. 18 to be delivered by Dec. 25.
ThinkingOutside TheCage.org/ Ornament52 or call 412.847.70 y! to get yours toda
Pet Health & Wellness
Digging into the Benefits of Pet Insurance Are you wondering if pet insurance is right for you? Let’s dig in and explore the benefits of this coverage. A Tale of Two Dogs When two dogs were brought into the El Cid Animal Clinic with the same symptoms, their pet parents had different experiences.1 One had pet insurance and easily agreed to recommended diagnostic and treatment services without even looking at the estimated costs. She had the comfort of knowing she could get reimbursed for her dog’s care. The other pet parent didn’t have pet insurance and couldn’t afford the services suggested for his dog. Fortunately, the medical team was able to go back and identify an alternative plan that was within his price range. However, this solution left unanswered questions about the dog’s illness and put constraints on treatment. Overall, it was a “financial and emotional nightmare” for the client according to Dr. Xavier Garcia who is the Medical Director at the clinic. “Sadly,” he added, “some clients realize how important pet insurance is after being put in a position of having to choose finances over optimal care for their beloved pets.”
enroll. The new ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Complete CoverageSM plan gives you the comfort of knowing exam fees, diagnostics, and treatments including alternative therapies will be covered for:
Accidents Illnesses Behavioral Issues Hereditary Conditions Dental Disease
Plus, it offers coverage for prescription food, vitamins, supplements, stem cell therapy, and microchipping.4 In addition, you can add preventive care for a little more per month. This can cover things that help keep your pet healthy such as:
By Dr. Mary Beth Leininger clinics too. Here’s how it works: 1. Pay your veterinarian as usual. 2. Submit a claim online, by mail, or by fax— whatever works best for you. 3. Get reimbursed 90% of your bill. You can have your reimbursements directly deposited into your back account or receive a check in the mail. You can also track your claims, pay your bill, view your plan details, and update account information anytime online. You’ll need to meet an annual deductible before you can start getting reimbursements. The good thing about an annual deductible is that you only have to meet it once a year no matter how many times your pet gets hurt or sick. Other providers have a per incident deductible, which needs to be met each time your pet has a medical issue.
Wellness Exams Screenings Vaccines Flea and Heartworm Prevention Is Pet Insurance Right for You? Annual Dental Cleaning Spaying or Neutering Many pet parents have already discovered
You can also customize Complete CoverageSM
The Rising Costs of Veterinary Care
the benefits of pet insurance. Currently, there are over 1.4 million pets insured according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA). That number continues to go up as more pet parents discover the benefits of coverage.3 Of course, enrolling in pet insurance is a personal decision, but as you can see from Dr. Garcia’s client, it can make a big difference if your pet needs medical attention. Visit www. WeCoverThat.com to learn more about ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Complete CoverageSM and see if it’s right for you.
Pet owners are often surprised by the cost of veterinary care for their pets. The good news is that there are many advanced medical services available for pets these days, such as MRI, surgery, and chemotherapy, but they can be expensive. In fact, an emergency trip to the veterinarian can run between $2,000 and $3,000.2
Pet insurance helps by reimbursing you for your pet’s veterinary care. This can be helpful even if you feel like could manage an unexpected veterinary bill. For instance, it can prevent the need to dip into your savings, add to your credit card debt, or put off things like a home improvement or family vacation to cover the costs.
to better fit your needs and budget by selecting your annual limit, annual deductible, and reimbursement percentage. If you only want a little extra cushion in case your pet gets hurt, you can choose the accident-only plan option.
Exploring Your Options
How Does it Work?
As you start considering pet insurance and shopping around for a plan, be sure to look carefully at what’s covered. It’s important to know what you’ll be getting before you
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Complete CoverageSM doesn’t limit you to a network, so you can stay with the veterinarian you trust. You can visit specialists and emergency
12 PITTSBURGH PETCONNECTIONS | November/December 2016
1Based on information provided by El Cid Animal Clinic, Aug. 2015 2http://www.kiplinger.com/article/spending/T065-C000-S001the-true-cost-of-owning-a-pet.html 3North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) State of the Industry Report 2015 4Coverage for prescription food, vitamins, and supplements do not i include prevention or general health maintenance (including weight loss). Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Waiting periods, annual deductible, co-insurance, benefit limits and exclusions may apply. For all terms and conditions visit www.aspcapetinsurance.com/ terms. Preventive and Wellness Care reimbursements are based on a schedule. Complete CoverageSM reimbursements are based on the invoice. Levels 1-4 reimbursements are based on usual and customary eligible costs. Products, rates and discounts may vary and are subject to change. Plans are underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company and administered by Fairmont Specialty Insurance Agency (FSIA Insurance Agency in CA), a Crum & Forster company. C&F and Crum & Forster are registered trademarks of United States Fire Insurance Company. The ASPCA® does not offer insurance. Through a strategic licensing agreement, in exchange for the use of ASPCA trademarks, the ASPCA is paid a royalty fee of up to 10% of the purchase price, with a minimum of $335,000 per year.
www.aapvet.com 724-745-5503 155 East Pike Street Canonsburg, PA 15317
829 Jefferson Aven ue Washington, PA 15301 724-503-4887 Now Scheduling Appointments
Pet Health & Wellness
Intervertebral Disc Disease Kendra R. Mikoloski, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology) Neurologist at PVSEC
What is intervertebral disc disease?
What are the symptoms of IVDD?
The spinal cord is a very important, delicate structure responsible for conveying signals from the brain to the rest of the body (and vice versa). Because of its fragility, it is encased in bones, called vertebrae, to keep it protected. The channel in the vertebrae where the spinal cord lies is called the vertebral canal. Between each vertebra and just below the spinal cord, an intervertebral disc serves as a cushion. The disc allows for mobility and flexibility between the vertebrae during movement. Fig. 1 shows a normal intervertebral disc on MRI imaging, and Fig. 2 is a depiction showing a normal intervertebral disc. Normally, each disc consists of an outer fibrous ring and an inner gelatinous center (a good analogy would be a jelly donut).
IVDD often occurs between the thoracic (rib cage) and lumbar (lower back) sections of the spine, called the thoracolumbar (TL) region. In this typical region of IVDD injury, the disc problem affects the spinal cord in such a way that the front legs are normal, but the hind legs are affected. Severity of signs depend on the degree of compression and bruising to the spinal cord. There may be back pain, and the dog may show symptoms such as squealing when he/she moves or is picked up. The hind legs may appear weak or unbalanced, walking with a clumsy or “drunk”-looking gait in the hind legs. This is called hind limb ataxia. In more severe cases, the hind legs may be completely paralyzed. There may be loss of bladder control and pain sensation to the hind legs and tail (aka “absent deep pain”).
As a part of the normal aging process, these discs deteriorate, resulting in socalled intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). Certain breeds (Dachshunds, Beagles, Pekingese, French bulldogs, and other short-legged dogs) are at risk of degeneration earlier than the “normal” aging process, although it is possible to happen in any breed. With intervertebral disc disease, this “doughnut” changes in consistency;
www.pvs-ec.com the outer fibrous ring becomes weakened and the inner “jelly” center hardens, losing it shock-absorbing properties. The degenerated outer fibrous ring may no longer be able to hold this hard center in place, and movement of the vertebrae on either side may suddenly squeeze the disc out of its normal position (referred to as a herniated disc, ruptured disc, slipped disc, or disc extrusion). The disc material compresses the spinal cord (as there is limited space in the vertebral canal), induces inflammation, and it also can rupture out at considerable force, bruising the spinal cord. Fig. 3 is an MRI image of a ruptured disc in a dog, and Fig. 4 is a illustration showing a ruptured disc.
14 PITTSBURGH PETCONNECTIONS | November/December 2016
Other sites of intervertebral disc degeneration in IVDD can include the cervical (neck) spine and the lumbosacral (lower back, closer to the tail) spine. The different locations of injury will result in different problems and symptoms. For example, IVDD in the neck region can result in weakness or paralysis in all four legs, but more commonly an animal exhibits neck pain.
What diagnostic tests are needed?
What is the treatment for IVDD?
What is the prognosis?
These symptoms indicate that the dog or cat has a problem affecting the spinal cord but not the exact location or cause of the problem. Disc disease, a tumor of the spine, auto-immune disease, or an infection of the spine may all produce similar symptoms. Tests are needed to determine the exact location and cause of the problem and to decide on the appropriate therapy. X-rays can help to rule out other major problems such as fractures, some bone infections, and some bone tumors. X-rays can also be helpful in choosing the best next test (CT or MRI). Ultimately, either a CT scan or MRI are the best tests to provide insight into the degree of compression and location. A myelogram (injection of dye around the spinal cord) is another option to show a ruptured disc, but does not provide as much information as an MRI or CT scan.
Some disc ruptures can be treated with medical management if pain is the only sign. Medical management involves strict crate rest and medications to decrease pain and inflammation. The compression of the spinal cord is not relieved with medical management, putting these dogs at greater risk of a repeated bout of disc problems in the future. In many cases, disc disease is a problem requiring surgery to remove the disc material compressing the spinal cord. The surgery used most frequently to remove disc material from around the spine is called a hemilaminectomy. Surgical removal of disc material from the spinal canal is the only treatment that provides rapid and maximal recovery of spinal cord function.
For animals undergoing a hemilaminectomy (surgery), the speed of recovery and the extent to which normal function of the legs is regained depend on many factors, including the degree of the damage to the spinal cord and the length of time that the spinal cord has been compressed by the disc material. Time may be of the essence, particularly in more severely affected dogs. Animals exhibiting severe neurologic signs (e.g., depressed feeling in their toes), a rapid onset of symptoms (hours), and a long period of time before surgery generally have a prolonged recovery period and may have permanent damage to the spinal cord. An evaluation by a veterinarian as soon as possible (on emergency if necessary) can help to determine prognosis and treatment options.
Alternative therapies (acupuncture, laser therapy, chiropractic manipulation, etc) have not been adequately studied in dogs to determine their efficacy.
Holistic Pet Care
The Benefits of Integrative Veterinary Medicine
By Dr. Doug Knueven, DVM, CVA, CVC, CVCH
ntegrative Veterinary Medicine involves the use of the most appropriate Western medicine techniques along with the best of what holistic medicine has to offer. In this way, the pet benefits from the best of both worlds! When I speak of using the “most appropriate” Western medicine techniques, I mean the art of choosing the right tool for the right problem. Often, conventional medicine lumps many individuals into the same group. Every animal with the same diagnosis gets the same treatment. My holistic philosophy of medicine honors the individual animal and each garners a unique approach. Western medicine is geared toward fighting disease. In fact, in veterinary school, we are not taught about health care; we are taught about disease care. While this approach imbues the practitioner with vital skills, it gives an incomplete view of health and healing. Holistic medicine, on the other hand is focused on the health of the patient. By helping the pet’s body function to its highest level, we aid the animal companion in regaining wellbeing. Integrative Veterinary Medicine practitioners realize that these two approaches are
not mutually exclusive. It is certainly possible to strengthen the body while fighting disease. For example, if a pet has a serious infection, it makes sense to give antibiotics to kill the bacteria. But, no antibiotic can help a pet with a failing immune system. So the use of supplements to support the animal’s immune system is also called for. And by the way, while antibiotics are killing off the bad bacteria, they are also decimating the good bacteria in the animal’s gut. Any pet on antibiotics needs a probiotic supplement to maintain intestinal and immune system health. The holistic approach to health honors the body’s ability to heal itself. In fact, the body comes complete with its own pharmacy. Proof for this assertion can be found by studying the placebo effect. It is a fact that on average, 30% of those treated with a sugar pill will get better – no matter what disease we’re talking about. While we might say this is a case of mind over matter, we have to acknowledge that these individuals have found a way to cure themselves. Holistic methods tap into this innate ability of self-healing. I would also like to point out that while fighting disease is great, it is much better to avoid problems in the first place. And, how many tools does conventional medicine have for preventing disease? By my count one – vaccines. While prudent vaccination plans are helpful, we must realize that every vaccine is a doubleedged sword. Each one can affect a pet nega-
Call: 614-937-8309 www.lifevantage.com/peggymills#canine
16 PITTSBURGH PETCONNECTIONS | November/December 2016
tively and it is certainly possible to over-do it when it comes to vaccinating. Every pet does not need every vaccine every year. Each animal should be vaccinated based on its unique lifestyle and disease risk. The beauty of holistic medicine is that it can powerfully prevent disease. Holistic practitioners can detect what has been termed dis-ease. Dis-ease is a state of health where the animal is having problems but those issues have not progressed to the point of disease. Let’s face it, just because a pet is not sick does not mean she is perfectly healthy. Most pet owners have witnessed dis-ease in their four-legged companions. Every once in a while they can clearly see that their pet is not acting right. Unfortunately, when they take him to their vet, the exam and tests do not identify a disease. In such cases the veterinarian is at a loss to come up with a treatment because there is no diagnosis. Holistic methods give the practitioner techniques to detect subtle imbalances, along with tools to fix the problem. The bottom line is that by embracing Integrative Medicine, a veterinarian has more tools in the old tool box. While conventional veterinarians have drugs and surgery, an integrative vet has those important tools plus things like nutritional supplements, herbs, chiropractic, acupuncture, energy medicine, massage therapy, therapeutic laser, and even Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine food therapy. No doubt you’ve heard the saying, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” An integrative vet will use the appropriate tool. PC
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Now Nowhiring hiringgroomers! groomers! Cheyenne Veterinary Wellness & Surgical Center 3028 Brownsville Rd Pittsburgh, PA 15227 412-884-3162 Brand new veterinary hospital in the South Hills offering wellness and surgical care at affordable prices. Many payment options available. 18 PITTSBURGH PETCONNECTIONS | November/December 2016
MANNING CHIROPRACTIC AND WELLNESS CENTER Dr Astrid Manning, DC, CVCP
YOUR PET'S OTHER DOCTOR
Treating diseases such as: • Hip dysplasia-like symptoms • Urinary and digestive disorders • Wobblers and lameness disease • Endocrine disease 250 Mt Lebanon Blvd Suite 307 • Pittsburgh PA 15234
Ten Winter Weather Tips for Outdoor Cats By Alley Cat Allies
Spay and Neuter Before Kitten Season
BETHESDA, Md., USA – Nov. 17, 2016 – As temperatures across the country begin to drop, many people find themselves concerned about how to care for outdoor cats in the wintertime. Cats are resilient, but they can always use a hand staying warm and healthy during cold weather.
Winter is the prime breeding season for community cats and the ideal time to spay and neuter. If you’re conducting Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)—the only humane and effective approach to stabilize community cat populations—in the winter, follow these safety tips:
“Cats live and thrive outdoors in all kinds of climates,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “But a little extra help during the winter months can go a long way for protecting community cats.” Alley Cat Allies offers ten easy ways people can make life outdoors even more comfortable for cats:
Protection from the Cold • Provide shelters to keep cats warm. These can be easy and inexpensive to build yourself, or can be purchased pre-made online. Check out our new do-it-yourself shelter video at http://www.alleycat. org/resources/how-to-build-an-outdoorshelter/. • Insulate shelters with straw. Not only is straw less expensive and easy to come by (just check your local pet supply store or garden center), but straw repels moisture. • Remove snow from all shelter entrances and exits. It’s important to keep cats from getting snowed in.
Extra Food and Water • Increase food portions to help cats conserve energy and stay warm. Canned or wet food, which takes less energy to digest, should be in insulated containers. Dry food, which More will not freeze, also works. • Keep water from freezing to
prevent dehydration. To keep water drinkable, use bowls that are deep rather than wide and place them in a sunny spot. Or use heated electric bowls. A Little Precaution Could Save a Cat’s Life • Do not use antifreeze, which is deadly, in an area accessible to cats. Keep antifreeze out of reach and clean up spills. Most antifreeze brands use ethylene glycol as the main ingredient, so be sure to switch to a brand made with propylene glycol because it is less toxic. • Refrain from using salt and chemicals to melt snow. These can be lethal when licked off paws or ingested from melting puddles and can hurt a cat’s paw pads. • Check your car before you drive. Look between your tires and give the hood of your car a few taps before starting it to make sure that a cat has not hidden underneath or inside the engine for warmth.
• Check the traps frequently and provide a warm holding area, pre-and-post surgery. If it’s too cold for you, then it’s probably too cold for cats to be in traps, exposed to the elements, for extended periods of time. Keep traps covered and secured in a temperature-controlled vehicle or building. • Ask your veterinarian to shave only a small area for spay/neuter surgery. This will help the cats stay warm by maintaining maximum fur coverage.
About Alley Cat Allies Alley Cat Allies, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., is the only national advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and humane treatment of cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has more than 600,000 supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens worldwide. Its website is www.alleycat.org, and Alley Cat Allies is active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube. PC
Media Contact: Lauren Tate 513-639-7461
winter weather tips for outdoor cats are available at www.alleycat.org/WinterWeather
20 PITTSBURGH PETCONNECTIONS | November/December 2016
Working with Animals is My Dream Career... Thanks PCI. In just 18 months, you could earn an Associates Degree in Veterinary Technology with hands-on training from PCI. Take the first step toward your new career and call today: 412.281.2600
or visit pci.edu.
Accredited Member, ACICS, CVTEA. Financial Aid is available to those who qualify. PCI cannot guarantee employment or salary. 421 Seventh Ave. w Pittsburgh, PA 15219 Ph: 412.281.2600 w 800.333.6607 www.pci.edu w Facebook.com/PCIschool
“Miracle worker” “Dr. Savko provided relief to my dogs WHEN ALL ELSE FAILED keeping Tillie the pug from getting chronic ear infections and vertigo and keeping Daisy the mastiff comfortable from the arthritis in her leg from her 2 knee surgeries. I can’t say enough wonderful things about him and his techniques! Tillie and Daisy have been seeing Dr. Michael Savko for their regular holistic care and animal healing for about a year. He offers totally non-invasive treatments that keep them both symptom free and provide immediate relief when needed; and they love their doggy massages! Anyone with an animal, from farm animals to kittens, can benefit from non-invasive healing of the nervous system so that the body can function properly and heal itself without the use of drugs or surgeries, should contact ANIMAL HEALING NOW immediately. I LOVE these babies and seeing them in pain or sick is absolutely the worst. And giving them unnecessary drugs and putting them through surgeries without giving another method a try is also heart breaking.” ~Susan G. Holistic Nutrition and Health Coach You want results? You want your pets and your household to have a happier holiday season and new year? Contact ANIMAL HEALING NOW today! Explore the FB page www.facebook.com/animalhealingnow or go to the website for testimonials, videos, articles, information, and MORE! 5 locations in prestigious veterinary hospitals all across the region. Healing, not simply treating!
Am Heng NOW
Dr. Michael Savko DC CCSP CVCP
Dr. Savko works with the following veterinary clinics: Holiday Park Animal Hospital, Plum PA Greenfield Veterinary Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA Suburban Animal Clinic, Butler, PA Donovan Veterinary Hospital, Ligonier, Pa Fox Run Equine Center, Apollo, PA
Healing animals since 2000 Chiropractor Certified VOM Therapy / Massage Acupressure / Reiki / Nutrition Magnetics / Essential Oils / ThetaHealing® Myofascial Release / Energy Medicine Chakra Balancing / Distance Healing Phone or email consultations
Cat Rescue Resource Guide
Cat Rescue Resource Guide
Low-Cost Spay & Neuter Organizations & Programs This is an ever-changing list of resources for cat owners in Pittsburgh and beyond, though many of the listings, like the shelters, apply to dogs and other pets as well. It includes low-cost spay and neuter programs as well as TNR for community cats, pet-friendly rentals in Pittsburgh and across the US, and links to shelters for adoption and other services. In the future we will also list clinic dates with the organizations below when they are available.
TNR & Low-Cost Spay/Neuter for the Pittsburgh Area
Low-cost Spay/Neuter and Veterinary Clinic
Homeless Cat Management Team: www.homelesscat.org
Spay Neuter Clinic | Penn Hills | 412-244-1202: www.spayaz.com/pittsburgh-pa
City of Pittsburgh Free Spay & Neuter for City Residents
Find Local Low-Cost Spay, Neuter & Veterinary Care on the Internet
City of Pittsburgh free spay/neuter: www.pittsburghpa.gov/animalcontrol/spay_neuter.htm City of Pittsburgh residents can apply for free spay or neuter vouchers for up to five pets, including stray/ feral cats.
Low-Cost Spay & Neuter (search by zip): http://neuterspay.org Love That Cat: www.neuterspay.org Spay USA: www.neuterspay.org
Low-Cost Spay/Neuter & TNR Programs at Allegheny & Surrounding County Shelters Animal Friends: www.thingkingoutsidethecage.org Animal Rescue League: www.animalrescue.org Beaver County Humane Society: www.beavercountyhumanesociety.org Washington Area Humane Society: www.washingtonpashelter.org - Colony Cat Project: email@example.com Western Pennsylvania Humane Society: www.wpahumane.org
Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Organizations in Allegheny & Surrounding Counties Frankieâ€™s Friends Cat Rescue | Allegheny & Westmoreland: www.sites.google.com/site/ frankiesfriendsnatronaheights Fluffyjean Fund for Felines | Allegheny and Washington Counties: www.fluffyjeanfund.weebly.com Fix Ur Cat | Washington County: www.fixurcat.org Catnip Acres | Greene County: www.catnip-acres.org Snip-It! | Westmoreland/Indiana Counties | Alle-Kiski Valley (Leechburg): www.snip-it.org
22 PITTSBURGH PETCONNECTIONS | November/December 2016
Pet-Friendly Rentals In the Pittsburgh area, visit this list on the FosterCat website: www.fostercat.org/friendly.html Nationwide (United States only): www.rent.com/pet-friendly-apartments
Shelters & Shelter Services Allegheny County: Animal Friends (AFI): www.thinkingoutsidethecage.org Animal Rescue League (ARL): www.animalrescue.org Western Pennsylvania Humane Society (WPHS): www.wpahumane.org Surrounding Counties: Beaver County Humane Society: www.beavercountyhumanesociety.org Butler County Humane Society: www.butlercountyhs.org Humane Society of Westmoreland County: http://members.petfinder.com/~PA83/about.html Washington Area Humane Society: www.washingtonpashelter.org
Non-Shelter Feline Adoption FosterCat: www.fostercat.org Kopy Kat Sanctuary | Westmoreland County (Delmont): www.kopykatsanctuary.org
one-on-one play with staff), and individual meal preparation using food from home.
Dog Daze & Cafe Doggy Daycare Dog/Cat Boarding Grooming Doggy Day Care Is your dog unhappy or lonely while you are at work or school? Give your companion the personal attention he or she deserves throughout the day by enrolling them in Big Easy Dog Daze. Located in the trendy neighborhood of Lawrenceville, PA, your pet will have fun and stay active in a safe and caring environment, plus have the opportunity to play and socialize with other dogs. We offer full and half day pricing as well as five, ten and twenty day packages. Dog Boarding Dog Daze offers boarding for your dogs while you are away. Once checked in, your dog receives only the finest amenities, which include CLEAN & DRY indoor accomodations, spacious clean runs with continuous contact with staff throughout the day, 4 to 6 daily outdoor break (always supervised), supervised daily play-group or staff interaction (dogs not suited for playgroups enjoy
Cat Boarding Need to have your kitty enjoy the comforts of home while you are away? We have a â€œCats Only, No Dogs Allowed!â€? boarding room at the Big Easy Animal Hospital section of the facility. Or Kitty Condos have a sunny window ledge with a view of our future cafe. We have a large private play area, complete with climbing trees, tunnels and a lot of play toys!!! Dog Daze & Cafe Get your day started with a locally sourced and brewed coffee and a selectable pastry from our cafe. Free wifi makes it a perfect place to work away from the office. Veterinarian owned, Pet Bakery of Oakmont, will be selling their goodies on site. More details about our dog friendly cafe coming soon........ Now offering Grooming!
Directories Animal Educational Exhibits
North: The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium pittsburghzoo.org The National Aviary nationalaviary.org
North: AKIN Family Dog Training (Lilian Akin) 412-732-8091 | akinfdt.net Greater Pittsburgh Area: Happy Pets Training/Christine Flint 412-373-9583 | www.happypetstraining.com Success Just Clicks successjustclicks.com North Shore: Western PA Humane Society 412-321-4265 | wpahumane.org South: Paula’s Professional Dog Services 412-818-2482
Dr. Doug Knueven, DVM Beaver Animal Clinic 724-774-8047 | beaveranimalclinic.com Dr. Qiang Li VCA Castle Shannon 412-885-2500
Animal Communication Greater Pittsburgh Area: Renee Takacs, M.A. intuitguide.com
Visit our online directory at pghpetconnections.com/Dog-Cat-Directory
Animal-Related Art, Photography & Retail April Minech Custom Portraits | Pet Inspired Art www.ladybugdelightz.etsy.com North: Nicole Begley Photography nicolebegleyphotography.com Vibrant Images 724-774-1731 | www.vibrantimages.photography South: Kara Jones Photography kjones.smugmug.com Paws ‘n Claws Eyewear PawsnClawsEyewear.com
Animal Rescue Organizations North: Animal Friends 412-847-7000 | thinkingoutsidethecage.org Beaver County Humane Society 724-775-5801 | www.beavercountyhumanesociety.org Pennsylvania Great Dane Rescue 724-869-9185 Hope Haven Farm Sanctuary 412-366-1187 | hopehavenfarm.org Western Pa Humane Society 412-321-4625 | wpahumane.org South: Animal Care & Welfare 412-244-1372 | animalcareandwelfare.org Droopy’s Basset Rescue 888-9 GET DROOL | www.droopysbassetrescue.com Washington Area Humane Society 724-222-7387 | washingtonpashelter.org Animals Against the Odds Rescue/Rehab www.aato.rescueme.org East: Animal Rescue League 412-345-7300 | animalrescue.org ARL Wildlife Center 412-345-7300 | animalrescue.org SW PA Pugs with Special Needs 724-763-2790 | swpapug.org West: CARMAA 412-780-4983 | carmaa-petadoption.com Greater Pittsburgh Area: SPAAR www.seniorpetandanimalrescue.org
Bird & Supplies Natural Inspirations Parrot Cages www.naturalinspirationsparrotcages.com
24 PITTSBURGH PETCONNECTIONS | November/December 2016
Dog Training Clubs South: Dogworks Training Center at The Canine Club Phone: (412) 220-8100 | www.thecanineclub.com Golden Triangle Obedience Training Club 412-653-6880 | gtotc.com Keystone Canine Training 412-833-2211 | keystonecanine.com Xcel Canine Training Center 412-833-2504 | xcelcaninetraining.com
Equine Boarding, Lessons & Training Facilities North: Rockin’ Horse Stables 724-601-4706 | rockinhorsestables.com South: Coventry Equestrian Center 724-206-9902 Manon’s Farm 724-705-7912 | 724-621-0260 Equine Holistic Care Greater Pittsburgh Area: Dr. Michael Savko, DC, CCSP, CVCP 724-261-7915 | drchirovet.com
Equine Tack Stores South: Lowry’s Western Store 724-228-1225 | lowryswesternshop.com
Equine Veterinarians Dr. Brian Burks, DVM - Fox Run Equine Center 724-727-3481 | foxrunequine.com
Holistic Pet Practitioners Pet Chiropractor North: Dr. Doug Knueven, DVM Beaver Animal Clinic 724-774-8047 | beaveranimalclinic.com Greater Pittsburgh: Dr. Michael Savko, DC, CCSP, CVCP 724-261-7915 | drchirovet.com South: Dr. Manning – Chiropractic 412-341-2505 | www.drastridmanning.com
Holistic Practitioners for Guardians East End: Judith Levy Wellness Coaching/Energy Modalities 412-726-2659 | www.judithlevywellness.com
Pet Burial, Memorial & Cremation Services South: Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation 412-220-7800 | ccpc.ws Jefferson Memorial Funeral Home 412-655-4500 | jeffersonmemorial.biz East End: Precious Pets Memorial Center & Crematorium 412-351-PETS (7387) | preciouspetspgh.com Greater Pittsburgh: Carved Stone by Serena 724-941-2664 | www.carvedstonebyserena.com Thousand Hills Pet Crematory 724-355-8296 | www.thousandhillspetcrematory.com
Pet Fencing Greater Pittsburgh Area: Invisible Fence of Western PA 724-396-7231 | invisiblefence.com
Pet Grooming North: All About Dogs 724-925-1577 | allaboutdogsgrooming.info Larry’s Laundromutt 412-534-4052 | larryslaundromutt.com Happy Tailz Pet Spa 412-759-7620 Happytailzpetspa.com Healthy Pet Grooming 724-759-7567 Larry’s Laundromutt 412-534-4052 | Larryslaundromutt.com South: Candelore’s Barking Beauties 412-872-5550 Creative Canine Cuts 724-223-9020 Grand Slam Grooming 412-221-5081 | grandslamgrooming.com Petsburgh Dog & Cat Grooming 412-885-4027 Pets At Home 412-655-7297 The Pet Salon 412-279-5331 | petsalonusa.com Woody’s Dog Wash & Pet Boutique 412-714-4644 | woodysdogbath.com East: Animal Elegance 412-361-1177 | www.animal-elegance.com Candelore’s Barking Beauties Pet Grooming 412-872-5550 | candeloresbarkingbeauties.com Cat Around Town Cat Grooming 412-461-3700 | cataroundtown.com West: Paws Here Awhile Pet Resort 724-573-4665 | pawshereawhile.com
Greater Pittsburgh Area: Zoom N Groom (Sonya Patterson) 724-225-4827
Pet Friendly Businesses & Organizations
Pet-Friendly Living East: The Gateway at Summerset 855-401-2700 | www.gatewayatsummerset.com Glen Highland Farm www.glenhighlandgetaway.com South: American Destiny Real Estate Services 412-983-2220 | www.adr-usa.com Amore 877-716-6840 | amoreapartments.com
Pet Grooming Schools North: Pa Academy of Pet Grooming 412-759-7620
Pet Ministries South: Christ United Methodist Church 412-277-1096 | christumc.net Westminster Presbyterian Church 412-835-6630 | westminster-church.org
Pet Resorts - Boarding, Daycare, Grooming & Training North: Camp Bow Wow - Ross Township campbowwowpgh.com Dog stop - North 724-935-DOGS (3647) | www.thedogstop.net The Dog Stop - Sewickley 412-766-DOGS(3647) | www.thedogstop.net Lucky Paws Pet Resort 724-728-1484 | www.luckypawsresort.com South: Camp Bow Wow - Castle Shannon campbowwowpgh.com Grandma’s Dog Daycare 412-586-7094 | grandmasdogdaycare.com Fuzzy Paws Pet Villa 724-746-3899 | fuzzy-paws.com The Dog Stop - Banksville Rd. 412-343-1171 | www.thedogstop.net
Veterinary Hospice & Mobile Services
East: Camp Bow Wow - Highland Park campbowwowpgh.com Pittsburgh Pet Concierge 412-856-8505 | petconcierge.org The Dog Stop - Monroeville 412-373-3355 | www.thedogstop.net The Dog Stop - East End 412-361-0911 | www.thedogstop.net East: The Dog Stop - East: Strip District 412-315-7050 | www.thedogstop.net Country Lane Pet Hotel 412-824-7991 | www.countrylanepethotel.com West: Camp Bow Wow - Greentree campbowwowpgh.com Paws Here Awhile Pet Resort 724-573-4665 | pawshereawhile.com
Pet Retail/Supply North: Healthy Pet Products 412-366-0700 | healthypetproducts.net South: Healthy Pet Products 412-831-3700 | healthypetproducts.net Oddball Pets & Aquariums 412-884-2333 | oddballpets.com Woody’s Dog Wash & Pet Boutique 412-714-4644 | woodysdogbath.com East: Petagogy petagogy.com | 412-362-7387 Petland East Side Village 412-363-PETS | www.petlandvillageofeastside.com Greater Pittsburgh Area: Canine Health Supplements 614-937-8309 www.lifevantage.com/peggymills#canine Fan Reps 412-439-3063 | www.fanreps.com Pawdentify and Links-It Collar Tags www.pawdentify.com Paws in the Sand 814.434.4857 | www.pawsinthesandpettreats.com Close 2 Ur Heart Jewelry feifish.etsy.com Lucy Pet Products www.lucypetproducts.com
Greater Pittsburgh Area: Nancy A. Ruffing, DVM 412-801-1071 | gentlejourneyvet.com
Greater Pittsburgh Area: Murray Avenue Apothecary 412-421-4996 | MAApgh.com
Veterinary Hospitals North: Beaver Animal Clinic 724-774-8047 | beaveranimalclinic.com Cheyenne Veterinary Wellness & Surgical Center 412-884-3162 | www.cheyennevet1.com VCA Northview Animal Hospital 412-364-5353 | vcanorthview.com South: All About Pets Veterinary Hospital 724-745-5503 | aapvet.com All About Pets Veterinary Hospital – Washington location 724-503-4887 | www.aapvet.com VCA Castle Shannon 412-885-2500 East: The Big Easy Animal Hospital 412-908-9301 | tbeah.com Monroeville Pet Hospital 412-372-1100 | www.monroevillepethospital.com West: VCA MetVet West Animal Hospital 412-788-6400 vcahospitals.com/met-vet-west
Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Services Greater Pittsburgh Area: Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center, Inc. 412-366-3400 | pvs-ec.com VCA Northview Animal Hospital Specialty Referral Center 412-364-5353 | vcanorthview.com East: AVETS - Allegheny Veterinary Emergency Trauma & Specialty 412-373-4200 | avets.com
Veterinary Technology Schools Greater Pittsburgh Area: Pittsburgh Career Institute 412-281-2600 | pci.edu
Visit our online directory at pghpetconnections.com/Dog-Cat-Directory
Bactronix 412-375-7886 | www.bactronix.com Good Nature Organic Lawn Care 888-LAWNSAFER | whygoodnature.com Greater Pittsburgh Area: Fragasso Financial Advisors 412-227-3200 | www.fragassoadvisors.com Fundvelopes 412-595-8641 | fundvelopes.com Matt Arch Foundation www.connectarian.com One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning 724-225-1644 | www.onehourair.com Susan G. Komen Pittsburgh 412-342-0500 | www.komenpittsburgh.org East Pittsburgh East Nissan 412-824-9020 | www.pittsburgheastnissan.com Unique Home Solutions www.uniquehomesolutions.com Line Keepers www.linekeepers.com
Pinch’s Place 412-445-8550 | pinchsplace.com Pampered Paw Resort 724-413-3135 | pamperedpawresort.com
Pet Sitters North Furry Family Pet Sitting 412-999-9524 | www.furryfamilypetsitting.com Western PA No Boarders Pet and Animal Care Home & Farm Sitting 724-219-7801 Noboarders-petcare.com South: Your Critter Sitters (Raylene Hoover) 724-448-7330 | yourcrittersitters.com East: Pittsburgh Pet Concierge 412-856-8505 | petconcierge.org
List your business today! firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s The Crazy Cats or Me! By Susan Wagner, DVM, MS, DACVIM There I was at my friend Jim’s 60th birthday party, enjoying the many stories he was being roasted with. Someone yelled to his wife, Patty, “Tell the cat story”. We had all heard it a thousand times, but never the less, we asked for it again. Jim had two cats, Frankie and Alexandra, who were pretty spoiled. He loved them very much, and they knew they were the apples of his eye. Once Patty came into the mix, the dynamic changed. Jim was smitten with the human love of his life. He and Patty married. It appeared that neither cat was thrilled with their new mom. (At least that’s the common interpretation of this story–the one everyone at the party had come to believe.) Frankie and Alexandra showed their displeasure by urinating in the most inappropriate ways. For example, Patty spent hours of hard work refinishing an old dresser for their new home. When it was finally done, she unveiled it to Jim. What a beautiful job she had done. Layers of old paint gave way to beautiful wood. Frankie walked up to it and sniffed around. “Hmm, I remember this. Must have taken mom a long time to get it looking so good” He then turned his back to the dresser, and let it fly, or should I say squirt. Urine came dripping down the side of the beautiful wood. And shrieks of horror came from Patty’s mouth. But it didn’t stop there. No matter how nice Patty was to them, Frankie and Alexandra weren’t buying it, or so it seemed. Then the moment came, the one we listeners loved to hear over and over. Patty and Jim were sitting on the couch, and Alexandra jumped on Patty’s lap. How nice–was she finally giving in? Was she finally showing her new mom affection? We held our breaths–it was not so much affection as a strong message. Alexandra let loose a huge expulsion of urine, right on Patty’s lap. “You have a choice”, she screamed to Jim. “It’s these crazy cats or me!” “I wouldn’t put it that way”, came Jim’s reply. Spoken like a true cat person.
Things Aren’t What They Seem
While everyone can enjoy Jim’s reply, there are two camps reading this right now. The cat people are laughing, and thinking to themselves, “Of course the cats stay”. The non-cat people are probably calling them a few choice names. But what if we take an energetic perspective on the situation? Could Frankie and Alexandra have been Patty’s best friends? What if Patty had understood that their behavior was not about dislike for her, but reflections of a negative vibration in her energy field? Could that information have prevented many episodes of professional heartache for her? What do I mean when I say energy field, and how does it relate to Patty and the cats? Quantum physics has taught us that every thing that exists is made of energy, including living beings. A profound, Nobel Prize winning study done by Brian Josephson showed that tiny particles making up our bodies are actually waves of energy. His discovery is no different than finding a dog that looks like a dog, acts like a dog, yet meows, purrs and generally runs the household. In other words, finding a dog that is also a cat. A particle is a particle, and a wave is a wave–that’s that. Or is it? Since that discovery, scientists now know that every bit of who we are, down to the tiniest of tiniest substances, is a wave. In fact, all of the particles that we thought were particles–electrons, protons, etc–are made up of vibrations of energy. We are all one big wave of electromagnetic radiation. This radiation
creates a magnetic field, called the biofield. Biofields receive and send energy waves. Every living being is a cell phone or radio–we receive and transmit energy. You may be familiar with a different name for our biofield: our “aura.” Yes, the concept that seemed to originate in fantasy nonsense told to us by healers, psychics and ghost busters–has now been measured by scientists. It’s not fantasy at all, but one of the incredible realities that will change the way we live as much as knowing the world is round instead of flat. The concepts of energy and biofields aren’t just theories, they have been measured in laboratories by magnetocardiography, magnetoencephalography, and by machines called Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices (SQUIDs).
Energy Medicine and the Human-Animal Bond
Our biofields run through and around every cell and organ system of our bodies. Energy medicine is the practice of assessing and manipulating the biofield to bring it back into balance, and to enhance the patient’s own instinctive abilities to heal. I was introduced to energy medicine through my own journey with chronic pain and fatigue. Because I was able to function at a much higher level after my sessions, I decided to learn energy medicine for my patients. I now approach every case with conventional veterinary training and an energetic approach. As I continued my practice and investigation into energy theory, I became aware that I could no longer approach anything in life –academic or personal–without honoring the energy behind it. Everything had become about energy. I realized that I was in a second “residency”. I can’t tell you how unprepared I was, and how astonished I was, at what I was learning. This wasn’t just about balancing the energy field and helping the animal’s innate ability to heal, this was a universal curriculum in the human-animal bond. I witnessed animals mirroring emotions and situations of the human guardian. I could feel dis-ease in the household by working with the animal. I began to understand what animals were really here for. These experiences made me realize, without a shadow of a doubt, that the human-animal bond has its basis in energy.
Back to Our Hero and Heroines
So what does the energetic nature of the human-animal bond have to do with Patty, Frankie and Alexandra? The cats were mirroring Patty’s biofield. Our energy fields not only govern our mental and physical health, they create our reality. Physicists and philosophers who study the nature of reality and consciousness tell us that reality is a series of possibilities. These possibilities are made of–you guessed it–energy waves! What we focus on, what our magnetic field gives energy to, governs the frequency of those waves and how they coalesce into matter and experience. These ideas are not new-age nonsense, but are based in science. The works of brilliant researchers such as Albert Einstein and Nikola Tesla have contributed to these modern theories of life. I have come to believe that animals are not only our companions and furry friends; they walk the path of life with us to teach us who we are, and to help us stay balanced and in a state of well being. I like to think of this as the spiritual nature of animals. With careful observation, we can learn so much about ourselves. Patty went on to create a meaningful professional life that has helped so many people. Yet during her career, she was plagued with a common theme. Many of her superiors did not respect her, her work was de-valued, and colleagues took credit for her ideas. In simple terms, her professional life and work were pissed on, over and over again — just as she and her beautiful chest of drawers were.
26 PITTSBURGH PETCONNECTIONS | November/December 2016
What if Patty had known the energetic connection of the human-animal bond, and what Frankie and Alexandra were reflecting back to her? Could she have taken measures earlier in her career to break the pattern, and create a new possibility for herself? If she had known that we could influence our realities, not simply exist in them, could her professional life have been more rewarding? Perhaps this sounds too silly to be true; just a ridiculous theory from an over zealous animal lover and energy practitioner. Perhaps. I would agree if it were one story. But having watched many stories unfold, and now being able to explain what the pattern is to the human, and what probably happened to them in the past to create it, I don’t believe it is silly at all. When I can spot the unresolved human anger by working with the aggressive animal, I know it is more than coincidence. The response is usually a look of amazement from the human. “How could you possibly know that?” they often say. “Just ask your pet,” I reply. Patty’s story exemplifies the reason for my work. It shows us that things are not necessarily as they seem. Life can be an illusion. If animals are able to shed light on our lives, then why not other human beings? Perhaps this human-animal relationship is a model for human-human interactions. As long as there is one homeless person, there will be feral cats. As long as one child is abused, there will be cruelty toward animals. Animal welfare mirrors human welfare. The research potential for this concept is very exciting. A multidisciplinary team of psychologists, neuroscientists, social workers, veterinarians and animal behaviorists are just a few of the professionals that can join together to look at life from an entirely different perspective. As Albert Einstein said, “One can’t solve a problem with the same thinking that created it” Don’t worry, cat lovers, Frankie and Alexandra remained with the family, and enjoyed the rest of their lives in the great outdoors. They fulfilled their instinctive purpose for their mom, but it wasn’t apparent at the time. On behalf all humans who are learning about energy fields, and desiring a better life, I thank you Frankie and Alexandra. Dr. Susan Wagner is a board certified veterinary neurologist whose pioneering work acknowledges the bioenergetic interaction between people and animals. She is an advocate for change in the area of interpersonal violence and animal cruelty, and works toward a greater understanding surrounding the health implications of the human-animal bond. Residing in Worthington OH, she is an active public speaker in the areas of energy theory and healing, spirituality, and the human-animal bond. She especially enjoys teaching about the spiritual nature of animals. Dr. Wagner is published in several peer-reviewed journals. She is also co-author of Through A Dog’s Ear: Using Sound to Improve the Health and Behavior of Your Canine Companion, and was research director for the Through A Dog’s Ear CD series. Dr. Wagner practices integrative medicine at MedVet, is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University Veterinary College, and a Level IV Healing Touch for Animals practitioner. PC
MONARCH WAYSTATIONS: Create, Conserve & Protect Monarch Habitats By Linda Forte-Spearing, Volunteer, Ohio Wildlife Center MONARCH CONSERVATION
NATIVE MILKWEED SPECIES
Each fall, hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies migrate from the United States and Canada to mountains in central Mexico where they wait out the cold weather until conditions favor a return flight in the spring. The monarch migration is truly one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, yet it is threatened by habitat loss at overwintering grounds in Mexico and throughout breeding areas in North America.
It is important to plant milkweeds that are native to your region of the country. Native plants typically require less maintenance and offer a greater benefit to local wildlife. In the northeast region of the United States, including Ohio, common milkweed, swamp milkweed, butterfly milkweed, and poke milkweed are all considered to be native or indigenous.
WHY WE ARE CONCERNED As butterflies do not feed their young, they are careful to lay their eggs on a host plant—one that is an appropriate food source for the caterpillar phase of a butterfly’s life cycle. For monarchs, this plant is milkweed. Plants in the milkweed family contain poisons, which render them unpalatable for most other insects. Monarch caterpillars have the ability to assimilate milkweed toxins. As the caterpillars, and subsequent butterflies, store these toxic compounds in their bodies, they are distasteful to many predators. Widespread adoption of herbicide-resistant corn and soybeans has resulted in the loss of more than 100 million acres of monarch habitat. The planting of these crops, genetically modified to resist the non-selective herbicide glyphosate (Roundup®), allows growers to spray fields with herbicide instead of tilling to control weeds. Milkweeds can survive tilling. They cannot survive the repeated use of glyphosate. This kind of habitat loss is devastating since these particular croplands represent a significant portion of the summer breeding grounds for monarch butterflies. The use of herbicides and frequent mowing along highways has converted much of this roadside space into grassy areas that lack food and shelter for wildlife. Some states have started to increase the diversity of plantings (including milkweeds) along thoroughfares. This year, Ohio Wildlife Center collected milkweed seeds and
donated them to ODOT for a project focusing on planting milkweed along major highways. The remaining milkweed habitats in pastures, hay fields, grasslands, native prairies, and urban areas are not sufficient enough to sustain the large monarch butterfly populations that were seen within the last couple of decades. Monarchs need our help!
Ohio Wildlife Center, a non-profit organization located in Powell, has a prairie area with a large amount of milkweed. Each year, Center staff and volunteers collect eggs and caterpillars, watching them grow and then releasing them back to the wild. The caterpillars have a much better chance of survival under the watchful eye of Ohio Wildlife Center.
MONARCH WAYSTATION HABITATS Monarch waystations are places that provide the necessary natural resources for monarch butterflies to prosper. Without milkweed, throughout their spring and summer breeding locations in North America, monarchs would not be able to produce successive generations that culminate in the migration each fall. Similarly, without nectar from flowers, these fall migratory monarch butterflies would be unable to make their long journey to Mexico. The need for host plants for larvae and energy sources for adults applies to all monarch butterfly populations around the world.
WHAT YOU CAN DO Creating monarch waystations can be as simple as adding milkweeds, and other nectar sources, to existing home gardens and open plots of land at schools, businesses, nature centers, etc. or maintaining natural habitats with existing milkweeds. No effort is too small to have a positive impact on the declining monarch population.
CERTIFY YOUR MONARCH WAYSTATION To show your support for monarch conservation, you can have your monarch habitat certified as an “official” waystation by Monarch Watch. This means your habitat will be included in the International Monarch Registry, and you will be awarded a certificate bearing your habitat’s waystation ID number. You may also choose to display a waterproof sign identifying your waystation as such. This display helps convey an important monarch conservation message to all those who visit. PC
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PetConnections 28 PITTSBURGH PETCONNECTIONS | November/December 2016
Wellness For Guardians
Alternative medicine is the fastest growing sector in medical field in the United States and its popularity is reaching new highs year to year, while mainstream medicine goes lower and lower. This trend is driven by patients disappointed with the results of the treatments and skyrocketing costs of medicine. More and more patients come to the conclusion that the only hope to restore their health is take charge of their health, fire the PCP, neurologist, rheumatologist or even oncologist and look for alternative solutions. Internet comes handy bringing all necessary information to the personal laptop. Education becomes the key on the road to recovery. This trend doesn’t come cheap. Patients who decide to go this way cannot rely on their health insurances to pay for the services and treatments. Doctors on the other had who dare to come off the grid of mainstream medicine, face sanctions from state and federal authorities or bureaucrats from medical licensing bodies, lose support of their pear and referral sources dry up. It is obvious that this trend doesn’t go unnoticed by the mainstream sector of medicine. Big pharmaceutical industry fights back seeing loss of sales of statin drugs, useless vaccines, antacids, antidepressant or sedatives. They have repeatedly attacked supplement and vitamin industry. Few years ago, they tried to ban Vitamin B6 for they found that it prevents complications of diabetes such as kidney failure, neuropathy and retinopathy by blocking process known as glycation. Reason? They wanted to sell Vitamin B6 as a drug at high price of cause. Insurance companies often cross-invested with big pharma, are not staying behind. They deny payment for any treatments they don’t approve. It is not enough that patients pay $1000 per month premium, alternative therapies no matter how inexpensive and effective, will not be paid for. By controlling what is reimbursed, they control the whole medical industry. While the insurance companies making record profits, year after year, medical care falling to record low year after year.
My advice to patients is: buy the least expensive insurance, type of “catastrophic”, signed up for health saving account and pay doctors out of pocket and you will save money and have better care. In our center patients, often despite of having medical insurance decide to pay out of pocket finding this alternative less expensive. As a matter of fact, insurance reimbursement is the defining line between mainstream and alternative medicine. Why we gave the power to decide what treatment patients should have to the bureaucrats? Shouldn’t this be a choice between a patient and his or her physician? One could ask if alternative medicine is scientific for it has not practice in Universities or Medical Schools. Before we answer it, let’s reverse the question: how scientific is mainstream medicine? The answer lies in the understanding how medical “knowledge” is developed and propagated. It is based on so called “evidence based” medicine. It sounds great; however, I suggest you to do your own carful research and you will be set for a surprise because it has nothing to do with science. Fort example so called safe upper level of cholesterol in the blood was set at 200 mg of LDL per deciliter arbitrarily without any scientific evidence nor a single study and in 2015 was further lowered to 126. And this was done just to push more statin drugs. Another one is low sodium diet which has been pushed by American Heart Association (AHA) against their own studies showing that low sodium diet is associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. How about the eggs fiasco? The AHA was changing recommendations every few years until recently, when they found that 80% of cholesterol is produced by the liver any way and dietary intake doesn’t matter. This fact was known to me from bio-chemistry class at medical school 35 years ago. So, mainstream medicine is not scientific but dogmatic. How about science in alternative medicine? Let me explain: new developments in science don’t automatically enter mainstream medical field because of the insurance bureaucrats who control the industry. It takes on average 20 years for new discovery to be applied in medical practice. Because alternative medicine doesn’t have these limitations, these advances can be made available to the public immediately.
30 PITTSBURGH PETCONNECTIONS | November/December 2016
Sure, you must be very careful and skeptical choosing an alternative medicine center of you want to be. Check professional credentials of the doctor and his scientific background. Make sure he has a license. Check patient’s testimonials. Be careful of amazing claims. There are no miracles in alternative medicine as much as there are no miracles in the mainstream medicine. Look for solid science. It is all about science, because science explains or attempts to explain nature and the living matter to which we belong. Medical Frontiers is a center of alternative therapy focused on chronic pain and degenerative diseases in a holistic approach. It was established in 2003 and over time has developed expertise in regenerative medicine. Regenerative medicine focuses on healing and restoration of function of cells, tissues and organs to restore health, and prolong life. They are researchers looking of the magic pill a compound that will revitalize the body and even bring immortality and surely fortune for the lucky one who found it. I wish them good luck but. I believe that the secrets to regenerative medicine are hidden in nature and in our bodies, themselves by our creator who equipped in healing mechanism. For this purpose, we have the entire immune system and stem cells in our disposal. Why we don’t heal then? For the regenerative processes to take place it is required a perfect bio-chemical environment in the cells and tissues which are commonly compromise by: inflammation, environmental toxicity, metabolic problems, nutritional deficiencies, stress, toxic food and a lot of other factors. Once the body environment is restored, to jump start the healing process it is time to apply regenerative technologies such as: laser therapy, platelet reach plasma (PRP), stem cells therapies, ozone prolo-therapy, intravenous vitamin infusions, nutraceuticals. PC
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STRETCH YOUR HORSE 101 By Kristin Hermann Horses like humans need to stretch. By stretching our muscles, we keep them healthy and elastic. A stretchy muscle is less likely to injure than one that is tight. I suppose football players do ballet and yoga to limber their muscles, and that is equivalent to a horse stretching. Horses are way more flexible than we give them credit. If there is a fly on their flank and a little tightening and flicker of the skin does not dislodge it, they whip their head around and move the fly with their nose. Horses are born bendable and stretchy but often become less flexible as they are ridden. Riders often just put a horse in a headset and constrain the neck and gaits by inhibiting them from moving as a natural horse. Riders that complement a horse are the ones that can move in rhythm with the horse’s natural gaits and not interfere and/or constrain how the horse moves. First develop a feel of askStretching a horse ing the horse to flex at the can enhance and poll from the ground. or restore its natural gaits, in addition to many other benefits, and there are several ways to stretch a horse. From the ground, on the lunge line and under saddle. Lunging is one of the best ways to encourage a horse to stretch, but the handler must first know how to lunge a horse. Please seek professional advice on how to lunge your horse, so you do not get tangled up in the lunge line. When our horses at Coventry Equestrian Center can’t get turned out because of the weather, I lunge them to stretch out the top line muscles. It is like play time in the fields but with a little more structure and purpose! Before I lunge a horse, I first teach the horse to stretch at a whoa from the ground. Many different ways can be used to teach the horse to stretch its head and neck down. One is applying pressure at the poll with your hand or asking the horse to flex at the poll with the bit and then allowing the horse to stretch. Pinching the poll is good if you are on the ground but doing this mounted or lunging poses some difficulty! Therefore, learning how to ask the horse to flex at the poll from a light pressure with the bit is preferable because you can do it mounted and
lunging. Teaching the horse to give at the poll and jaw with the bit, when I learned it, was called “chewing the reins out of the hands.” (Pgh Pet Connections article July 2014 https://issuu.com/pghpetmag/ docs/petconnections_july_2014_digital_ed/34) Training the horse to flex at the poll can be called give and release, flex and stretch or teaching the downward cue. It doesn’t matter what it is called as long as we get the same results of our horse to learning the reflex of stretching its head and neck down at our command.
STRETCH YOUR HORSE TO IMPROVE ~ Basic training at its best ~ Suppleness ~ Submission ~ Lift the back ~ Lengthen the stride ~ Improve overall health ~ Connect the back end with front end ~ R ecreate the natural horse’s way of going with a rider ~ Develop unconstrained gaits ~ Unlock tension in the back
When the horse learns the reflex for stretching at a standstill the person lunging can apply the same skills from a distance while lunging. Yes, this requires a coordinated skill, but if you can lunge a horse and not get tangled in the line, you can teach the horse to stretch while lunging. A horse has to have a rhythmic trot on the lunge or while riding before attempting to teach it to stretch while trotting. If a horse does not have a relaxed rhythmic trot, you cannot teach it anything because you do not have its mind. It only makes sense that to train a horse anything, it must first be relaxed so it will pay attention to the handler. With relaxation and rhythm, you can progress with the training of the horse in motion. How you go from teaching the horse to lower its head and neck on the lunge line after training the reflex at the whoa is done by applying the same signals while the horse is rhythmically trotting on the lunge or while under saddle. The rhythmic trot also helps the horse to lower its head down. To get the horse to stretch on the lunge line, you have
32 PITTSBURGH PETCONNECTIONS | November/December 2016
To train your horse to stretch on the lunge apply the same skills of asking the horse to flex at the poll only with a 20 foot rein, the lunge line. Please know how to lunge first.
to ask. In other words, you cannot just stand in the middle and let the horse circle you. There has to be some proactive interaction from the handler talking to the horse with the lunge line or rein. However, the difference is the lunge line is twenty to thirty feet long as opposed to the rein length being two or three feet. A proactive interaction of asking and allowing, as I have written about in all these articles for Pgh Pet Connections, applies for any training of the horse. The rider or handler does not just command the horse but also has to listen to the signals the horse is giving back, or not giving back. Training a horse is not just asking the horse to do something, that would be too easy. This interaction between the handler and the horse I call a “the silent dialog.” A training jingle I’ve heard used is for the rider to Request, for the horse to Respond and then the rider allows a Reward: Request, Respond, Reward. The difference between stretching a horse under saddle or while lunging as opposed from just standing still at a whoa is that when the horse is moving and stretching, then the whole top line (neck and back) and not just the neck are elongating. One of the reasons we want our horses’ to stretch under saddle and on the lunge, as opposed to just standing still, is because when the horse is moving it is engaging its back and using its whole body. Unifying and or “connecting” the horse’s hind end with its front end via stretching is one of the best suppling and training exercises that a horse can learn. For more details on teaching your horse how to stretch on the lunge line or under saddle contact Kristin Hermann via email and I can set up a clinic or private lessons at either your farm or Coventry Equestrian Center. Your horse will be happy you did. PC
Training your horse to stretch under saddle is not the horse grabbing the reins out of your hands but, the rider allowing the horse to chew the reins out of the hands. The same feeling they learned at the whoa.
Cold Weather Nutrition for Horses By Brian S. Burks, D.V.M., Dipl. ABVP Board Certified in Equine Practice Horses handle cold weather much better than hot weather; they are adapted to being out in the elements. Wild horses are known to gain weight in the summer months, and lose weight in the winter. They also don’t usually live if their domesticated partners. It is important to assess your horse’s body condition at least twice weekly, meaning that the blanket needs to come off, and your hands need to go on the horse and FEEL underneath that fuzzy hair, which can make horses appear
heavier than they are in fact. The ribs may be easy to palpate under the fuzz, which is not what you want- you should have to feel deep for the ribs, though they ideally are palpable. Winter uses more calories, and this can be especially evident in late gestation mares, the elderly, and the infirm. If you haven’t already, this is a good time to check teeth and have a good physical examination done. Horses require about 22,000 Kilo calories per day. This may increase in the winter. Roughage is the main heat source for the horse- not grain. Bacterial fermentation in the colon of fiber produces a lot of heat, which keeps the horse warm. Horses that cannot consume
enough hay each day to maintain weight and warmth will require additional calories from grain or vegetable oil. Start with feeding 2% of body weight of hay each day. It is ideal to weigh this amount to ensure accuracy. Once you know this, you may be able to feed by flakes, if the hay is all from the same source. For every 10 degree drop, add about two pounds of hay. Horses in the wind and rain may require even more hay. Also, ensure that there is adequate water at tepid temperatures. Water is required for fermentation, but many horses will not drink freezing water, though if temperatures gradually decrease, they are more likely to drink colder water. Adequate water intake will also prevent dehydration and intestinal impactions.
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Buddy As our first dog, Buddy quickly became a member of our family. He was the cutest puppy who captured our hearts the moment we saw him. He was a typical energetic lab who loved to play catch and retrieve, hike, swim, run, go to the dog park, play tug of war, and simply just being by our side.
Buddy had a wonderful life and we were all so thankful to have been a part of it. He is missed every day and will forever be in our hearts.
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The Most Comprehensive Multispecialty Referral & Emergency Veterinary Hospital in Western Pennsylvania
EMERGENCY PET CARE Open 24 Hours a Day, 365 Days a Year. Veterinarian On-Site At All Times. Dogs, Cats, Birds, Reptiles, Small Mammals
ANESTHESIOLOGY MRI & MRI CT IMAGING & CT IMAGING ANESTHESIOLOGY Practice Ltd. to Anesthesiology Dianna Ovbey, DVM, MS, PetsDx Veterinary Imaging www.petsdx.com PetsDx Veterinary Imaging www.petsdx.com Isla Arcaro, DVM, MS CARDIOLOGY Gerald Frye, VMD Gerald Frye, VMD CARDIOLOGY Eva Sikorska, DVM, DACVIM NEUROLOGY NEUROLOGY Eva DACVIM ErinSikorska, Trageser,DVM, VMD, MSc, DACVIM Edward MacKillop, DVM, DACVO Edward MacKillop, DVM, DACVIM Erin Anderson , VMD, MSc, DACVIM DENTISTRY Kendra Mikoloski, DVM, DACVIM Kendra Mikoloski, DVM, DACVIM DENTISTRY Krista Mendoza, DVM, DAVDC ONCOLOGY ONCOLOGY Krista Mendoza, DVM, DAVDC DERMATOLOGY Rebecca Newman, DVM, MS, DACVIM Rebecca Newman, DVM, MS, DACVIM DERMATOLOGY Sandra Sargent, DVM, DACVD Todd M. Erfourth, DVM, DACVIM Todd M. Erfourth, DVM, DACVIM Sandra Sargent,&DVM, DACVDCARE EMERGENCY CRITICAL Bridget Urie, DVM, MS, DACVIM Bridget Urie, DVM, MS, DACVIM EMERGENCY CRITICAL CARE Kenton D. Rexford,&VMD OPHTHALMOLOGY OPHTHALMOLOGY Kenton D. Rexford, VMD Christine Guenther, DVM, DACVECC Lawrence Bagley, DVM, DACVO Lawrence Bagley,DACVO DVM, DACVO Christine DVM, DACVECC ChristineGuenther, Rutter, DVM, DACVECC Rachel Keller, DVM, Rachel Keller, DVM, DACVO Sarah DACVECC Sarah J.J. Deitschel, Deitschel,DVM, DVM, DACVECC Michael Finn, DVM, MS, DACVO Michael Finn, DVM, MS, Amy DVM, DACVECC AmyDickinson, Dickinson, DVM, DACVECC RADIATION ONCOLOGY DACVO Kara Anderson, Gornik, DVM, DACVO Rebecca A. Miller,DVM, DVM DACVECC Kara Osterbur, Christine DVM, MS, ACVIM, ACVR Joey Kallem, DVM DVM RADIATION ONCOLOGY Rebecca A. Miller, RADIOLOGY Kristen Krisulevicz, DVM ChristineWarrington, Anderson, DVM, MS,DACVR DACVIM, DACVR (RO) Joey Kallem, DVM Christopher DVM, Brendan DVMDVM RADIOLOGY Jennifer Cloonan, Wooderson, SURGERY Carol BVSc Christopher Warrington, DVM, DACVR ElissaPark, Allen, VMD Anthony D. Pardo, MS, DVM, DACVS Victoria Chu, Stephanie V.DVM Nelson, DVM John T. Payne, DVM, MS, DACVS SURGERY Michael McGinley, Robin M. Dutra, DVM DVM Julie L. Compton, DVM, DACVS Anthony D. Pardo, MS,MS, DVM, DACVS Jaime LaVelle, DVM Lindsey Rademacher, DVM Jonathan Anderson, DVM, DACVS John T. Payne, DVM, MS, DACVS Kelly Weimer, DVM DVM RADIOLOGY Kristen Krisulevicz, Michael DVM, JulieDoornink, L. Compton, DVM,DACVS MS, DACVS Jennifer Daly, DVM, ResidentDVM, in Emergency Jonathan DVM, DACVS Christopher Warrington, DACVRand Critical Care Jennifer Covey,Anderson, DVM, DACVS Shaina Mooshian, DVM, Resident in Emergency Critical Care HopeMichael Doornink, DACVS Resident in Emergency andand Critical Care Tricia Tovar, DVM, Chisnell, DVM, DVM, Resident in Surgery Kelsey Sutcliffe, DVM, Resident in Emergency and Critical Care Hope K. Chisnell, DVM,Resident DACVS in Surgery INTERNAL MEDICINE Kathyrn Campbell, DVM, Rocio Ramirez, DVM, Resident in Emergency and Critical Care Katrin Saile, DVM, MS, DACVS Sherwood Johnson, DVM, DACVIM Jeffrey Christ, DVM, Resident in Surgery INTERNAL Tracey Peterson,MEDICINE DVM, DACVIM Jessica Ogden, DVM, Resident in Surgery Todd Carter, DVM,DVM, DACVIM Sherwood Johnson, DACVIM Alyson Frederick, DVM, Resident in Surgery Emily Klosterman, DVM, MS, DACVIM Tracey Peterson, DVM, DACVIM Emily Klosterman, DVM, MS, DACVIM 807 Camp Horne Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15237
807 Camp Horne Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15237 412.366.3400 412.366.3400 www.pvs-ec.com www.pvs-ec.com
Lisa M. Sepesy, VMD, DACVIM