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January 2013


Vol. 1, Issue 5


PetConnections Magazine In This Issue: The HumanAnimal Bond Together We CAN Pages 4-5

Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center Pages 6-7 Winter Safety Tips for Pets Outdoors Page 8 Meridian Tapping for Pets and People Pages 14-15 What’s that Bump? Equine Sarcoid Page 18

Cover Contest Winner! Read all about Shayne on page 21!

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Serving the Greater Pittsburgh Area

January 2013

Vol. 1, Issue 5


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I n T h i s Issu e: The Human-Animal Bond . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4-5

Press Release . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20

Together we CAN…

What’s the Hype?

Pet-Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6-7

Community Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21

Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center

Cover Contest Winner; Hello Bully 5th Annual Gala

Animal Health & Wellness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

Animal Behavior . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22

Winter Safety Tips for Pets Outdoors

Free Dog Aggression Classes

Holistic Care . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10-11, 14-15

Short Stories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23

Addressing the 100-pound Lab in the Room; Chaos and Order; Meridian Tapping for Pets & People

Snowy Survival; Confession By Way of Ruse

Health & Wellness For Guardians . . . . . . . . .16 One Hour Wellness Clinics

Equine Affairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 What’s that Bump? Equine Sarcoid


©Pittsburgh PetConnections

January 2013

FROM THE PUBLISHER HAPPY NEW YEAR! We all made it to 2013 despite predictions the world would end! Animals can be an inspiration and we learn a lot from them. They do not constantly worry about hypothetical situations. They live each day as it comes and accept the bad with the good. They are non-judging and unconditional in their love for us. They do not hold grudges and often give each other and their people assistance when we needed. The Human-Animal Bond is certainly about love. Animals teach us about trust and love. It is truly inspiring to watch our animals carefree at play! It tells me that there is new hope with a new day. I love when the dogs and horses frolic in the snow - picking up sticks and throwing them about! We hope PPC Magazine inspires you also. Reach out and pay it forward any way you can in this New Year, through volunteering with people and pets, donations and shopping local. Our local economy is built from grass root efforts and communities which support local business and charitable organizations. Times are tough and spending your money wisely has never been more prudent. Through our magazine, PPC wants to help businesses, people and their animals thrive. PPC Magazine supports local animal shelters and rescue organizations through donated and discounted ads. We are working with sponsors from all types of businesses who want to help support the mission and events of local organizations. We support local small businesses to promote their products and services; our goal is to share educational information, as well as resources on wellness for pets and people. Please see our center map spread for our Advertiser Locator. Check out our PPC Magazine Revista website at, if you haven’t yet. The digital editions are free, if you missed an article or issue! Our pet and wellness related business directories are building and we welcome submissions for free listings for your business. Find out how your business – no matter how small – can become a Media Partner on our website Advertise page. We offer a target audience for businesses like no other local publication. Our Media Partnership packages are an exceptional value. My background of over 25 years as a veterinary technician, veterinary hospital administrator and non-profit founder, has led me to create Pittsburgh PetConnections Magazine. My goal is to lead, share and heal through the Human-Animal Bond (HAB). I would like to personally thank all of our contributing writers, readers and our sponsors for making this magazine possible. Thank you for picking up PPC Magazine and also subscribing! Take care of yourself, as well as your animals and be well in this New Year!

Please submit any correspondence to: Please check us out on the web & subscribe at: Also, “Like” us on Facebook!


Disclaimer: “The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of Pittsburgh PetConnections Magazine.” Pittsburgh PetConnections Magazine ©

Carla Mader, Managing Editor

Pittsburgh PetConnections Monthly Published By: Pittsburgh PetConnections, LLC. Pittsburgh PetConnections, LLC. was formed in 2012. Our mission is to publish a high quality, informative and Human-Animal Bond focused publication. 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 Sales Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Carla Mader Distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Martin Mader Graphic Artist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Patricia Sutkowski Photographer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Kara Jones Photography Contributing Writers: Our contributing writers have many years of combined experience and expertise in the fields of veterinary medicine and the Human-Animal Bond. Managing Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Carla Mader

ADVERTISING: 724-503-8695 Contact: All Rights Reserved Copyright 2012

January 2013


THE HUMAN-ANIMAL BOND Together we CAN… Tracy Delp rides across the country for cancer awareness It was Christmas day, 1:30 in the afternoon, when most of us were preparing dinner in our warm homes and spending time enjoying our loved ones, that Tracy found the time to take my call. She was mounted upon her trusty steed, Sierra, and battling the elements in 20 degree weather conditions, yet she spoke as long as she could so that I may share her story with all of you… “It’s not the ice and snow that make it hard” she said in her strong, confident voice through the whipping winds, “but the cars that make riding the roads dangerous.” Tracy was heading to Chambersburg, Pa. on route 30 that day, and the blizzard conditions were hitting her hard. Where to next? I asked excitedly and she replied “On to the Appalachian trail from here! I try to

same courage and determination that she showed; to take on this ride-to emphasize what we CAN do.” Tracy left from Port Orchard WA on mother’s day 2011 to make the 3500 mile sojourn that is to end near Delaware’s Cape Henlopen State Park where she will “put her toes in the ocean”…she has just under 175 miles yet to go as of Jan. 4, 2013. Her promise? To “put the CAN back in cancer” and provide funding for treatments to those who otherwise could not afford it, both human and animal. Tracy’s progress has been a difficult one, and she has depended upon the kindness of strangers to help her complete her goal. She started out with 5 horses, a mule and her dogs. Sadly, in August, her dog Duke also passed from bone cancer; her black retriever Ursa still rides with her. Duke had begun the journey by her side, riding only in the truck, since he was 14 years of age, and travelled with her as far as Iowa…his ashes still ride with her. It was at this time that Tracy began to “lose time” and her focus became nothing more than getting from point A to point B. Shortly thereafter she was shown the way when a bout of noxious poisoning made her horse ill. She also lost her driver, but instead of giving up, Tracy took advantage of those three weeks Sierra needed to recover, and donated her time in New York helping the animals who were displaced from hurricane Sandy. Strength renewed, and only 60 miles from the PA boarder, with purpose even stronger in her heart, Tracy decided to travel alone and complete her journey. Tracy has been riding alone since Idaho, but despite the lonely nights, and hassle of sometimes walking back or finding rides to retrieve her truck, so the horse could rest, she pressed on. “This trip has changed me” she said and recounts how she now sees things differently, and takes each moment in for the gift that it is. “Every day is like Christmas!” Tracy says with her hardy smile, and finds comfort in the kindness of strangers; a kind word of gratitude often expressing more to her than any monetary donation ever could. Tracy never once complained about the nights she spent sleeping in her tent in the cold, and rides on for the cause she believes will unite people who have experienced these sufferings in their lives. If we only take one message from her efforts, let it be that we should never give up…

Who is Tracy Delp? My hero…

ride each day as far as I can, and I find that having a ‘topic’ for each day helps me press on” How does she do it? I pondered and asked what her biggest challenges are when she rides. She told me about the battles with the snow, and the ice pellets stinging her face, and how it was very hard to keep her phone charged because the cold temperatures drained the battery so quickly. More pressing was her concerns for the vehicles that could potentially slide due to those icy conditions and endanger her, and more importantly (as she expressed) her 13 year old mare Sierra. I was in awe of her concern for the animals over her own safety, and admired her fortitude to press on despite the obstacles that had befallen her. Who is Tracy Delp? My hero… Tracy is a 48 year old woman with a heart of gold; an internationally recognized meta-physician who lost her mother and several canine companions to cancer. “Watching her (mother’s) courage and composure made me very aware that a person CAN do anything; that there is always a choice even when you think there are none…Watching her has given me the strength to choose with the


In early December Tracy made her way up Route 30 to Donegal where she was welcomed by our friend Pam Kalish to spend the weekend and rest at Hillside Stables; her mare enjoyed the company of Pam’s horses and a warm stall for the cold nights. She also found a new fan, Maddy, who is pictured here, and was so inspired by Tracy that she too wore her “cowgirl hat!” Maddy’s grandmother Laura boards an old horse at Pam’s, and Maddy has already learned to love and care for the animals, so Tracy was an instant role model hanging out there in her old worn chaps and boots. Tracy makes time for all of her fans, big and small, human or animal, and enjoys sharing everything she can with all of them. She has been the trail head for many rides out west, has donated time and effort at the Wolf haven, and even takes children on up to three day excursions on horseback to experience the feeling of riding the trails. Although she has no children of her own, she is like a mother to them all.

©Pittsburgh PetConnections

January 2013

There was a brief mention of Tracy passing through our area on the evening news, but like many stories, it was soon forgotten. On December 18th Tracy rode past the memorial of Flight 93, and here she paused to pay tribute to those who have fallen to protect our freedoms. Tracy posted a picture of the memorial site visit and has given us permission to share it, as well as her other photos, so that we may spread the word-least we not forget. Her cause will provide funding so that others can get the help they so desperately need to treat their loved ones. Tracy’s ride may not be about freedom, but in some ways it is…for we all have the freedom to choose, and it’s up to each of us to make the choices that are right for us. Her courage stands as a symbol of what we CAN do if we all work together, and every effort counts. If you would like to make a donation to help this cause, you can do so by going to her website at You can also follow her story on Facebook under her page Coast 2 Coast for Cancer (T. Delps, personal communication, 2012). I give permission for anyone to reprint all or part of this article to promote awareness, providing it is properly cited back to me, and approved by Tracy Delp in advance. Authored by Nancy Frishkorn, Jan. 04, 2013 for Pittsburgh PetConnections Magazine Jan. 2013 Vol. 1 Issue 5.



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By Carla Mader

Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center (PVSEC) is western Pennsylvania’s most comprehensive multi-specialty referral and emergency veterinary center. They provide small animal veterinary services in 13 disciplines and 24/7 emergency services. PVSEC is conveniently located and easily accessible in North Hills off I-279. Pittsburgh is very fortunate to have a premier veterinary center like PVSEC in our region. The specialty and emergency services at PVSEC support and compliment the care local veterinarians offer, with their specialty and emergency services. PVSEC’s 30,000 sq. ft. state-ofthe-art facility offers advanced diagnostics and procedures all under one roof. They are also open 24 hours a day 365 days a year, with emergency veterinarians and critical care specialists on site and able to consult with the other specialist at all times, unlike other emergency clinics.

What is a veterinary specialist?

Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center Your veterinarian may refer you to a PVSEC specialist for advanced care when medically indicated. Veterinarians also know many cases are complicated and require more than one specialist to consult. PVSEC offers the most diverse team of specialists in Pittsburgh, allowing consultations between disciplines for the most comprehensive care possible. Advanced diagnostics such as MRI, CT, ultrasound, digital radiography, endoscopy and much more assist them in rapidly diagnosing problems and devising an appropriate treatment plan for your pet. The value of this cannot be overstated when your pet’s health is at stake. Early referral by your veterinarian also can prevent problems from progressing, saving time, money and even your pet’s life.

Veterinary medicine has become sophisticated, as in human medicine. Since the mid-seventies, specialty disciplines in veterinary medicine have The Diverse Team at PVSEC been formally established and continue to grow. The American College PVSEC has an incredible team of veterinarians, veterinary technicians of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) certifies veterinarians in the and client services team. The highly compassionate and qualified support specialties of Cardiology, Oncology, Neurology, Large Animal Internal staff is fostered with a work environment that encourages teamwork, Medicine, and Small Animal Internal Medicine. Additional colleges supports professional advancement and rewards superior performance. include The American College of Veterinary Surgery (ACVS), The This has resulted in a highly skilled, happy and American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists retentive staff and shows in the care they give (ACVO), The American College of Veterinary clients and patients alike. Dermatology (ACVD), The American Veterinary PetDx Veterinary Imaging at PVSEC is Dental College (AVDC), and The American overseen by medical director Dr. Gerald Frye, College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical VMD. PetDx offers a high-field closed Care and The American College of Veterinary magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) unit and Radiology (ACVR). computed tomography (CT) scanner for To become a diplomate of a veterinary specialty pet-safe imaging. These advanced imaging college, it is much the same as in human medicine. tools assist in obtaining a diagnosis and Veterinarians must complete additional training creating effective treatment plans. MRI is used usually comprised of a one-year internship, to see soft tissues more clearly and CT scan followed by two to four years in a residency Computed Tomography (CT) Scanner uses x-rays to provide a better image of bony program for their specialty, followed by extensive structures. PVSEC has a licensed MRI/CT board examinations. technologist, Chris Wilson, R.T., CT, MR, who worked in human Veterinary Technicians also can receive specialty certification in surgery, medicine for 18 years before joining PetsDx. internal medicine, critical care, nutrition, dentistry and more. Dr. Christopher Warrington, DVM, DACVR is PVSEC’s radiologist. He works with the other specialists to assist them in obtaining a better Why do veterinarians refer to PVSEC? diagnosis via his expertise in reading radiographs, CT and MRI studies PVSEC’s philosophy of providing outstanding care and being a leader in and also performing ultrasound exams. veterinary medicine is recognized by our area vets. A very large referral base PVSEC internal medicine specialty team is headed by owner, of veterinarians in Pittsburgh, Ohio and West Virginia consult and refer Dr. Sherwood Johnson, DVM, DACVIM and includes Dr. Tracey cats and dogs to PVSEC daily, for the advanced services and exceptional Peterson, DVM, DACVIM , Dr. Todd Carter, DVM, DACVIM and client and patient care offered. PVSEC also builds strong relationships Dr. Emily Klosterman, DVM, MS, DACVIM. They commonly see cases with referring veterinarians through open communication and referred for kidney, liver, intestinal and urinary diseases, and endocrine continuing education.


©Pittsburgh PetConnections

January 2013

diseases, such as diabetes, thyroid and Pittsburgh Veterinary Dermatology was Cushing’s, and immune mediated disorders founded in 2003. Dr. Sandra Sargent, also are commonly treated by the PVSEC DVM, DACVD and Dr. Elizabeth Troops, internal medicine department. DVM, MS, DACVD are the only The Cancer Center at PVSEC is staffed dermatologists in western Pennsylvania. with oncologists Dr. Rebecca Newman, They specialize in conditions affecting the Dr. Todd Erfourth and Dr. Bridget Urie, who skin and ears including skin allergies, are all diplomats of the ACVIM. Dogs and immune mediated skin disorders, hormonal cats are most commonly referred for cancers The Cancer Center at PVSEC abnormalities and bacterial, fungal or of the soft tissues and bone such as parasitic infections. They have video lymphoma, sarcomas, carcinomas, and more. They offer diagnostics and otoscopy available to treat and diagnose chronic ear infections and do in treatment plans for chemotherapy, as well as radiation therapy. house intradermal allergy testing and vaccine formulation. PVSEC’s Veterinary Radiation Oncology department was founded in Advanced dentistry is also offered at PVSEC by the only board certified 2010 and joined the oncologists and surgeons to create Pittsburgh’s only veterinary dentist in western Pennsylvania, Dr. Krista Mendoza, DVM, comprehensive cancer treatment facility. Dr. Koichi Nagata, DVM DAVDC. The dentistry department offers state-of-the-art diagnostics DCVR (RO) provides radiation therapy using their state-of-the-art linear and equipment, such as digital dental radiographs, and performs accelerator. “We utilize additional diagnostics, such as CT scan, and also tooth-saving procedures such as caps and root canals. positioning for precision during radiation therapy planning sessions”, he Pittsburgh Veterinary Surgery was started in 1993, by Dr. Anthony explains. Dr. Nagata routinely works with the oncologists, internists and Pardo MS, DVM, DACVS. It was initially a mobile veterinary surgical surgeons on cases, coordinating care between all three services in order to service. The practice initially settled in Shaler Township, PA and became obtain the best possible outcome. one of the founding practices of Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty & The Neurology/Neurosurgery department at PVSEC is comprised of Emergency Center. Dr. John T. Dr. Edward MacKillop, DVM, DACVIM and Dr. Kendra Mikoloski, Payne DVM, MS, DACVS DVM, DACVIM, who are Western Pennsylvania's only board-certified partnered with Dr. Pardo in neurologists. The Neurology department employs numerous diagnostic 2004. Dr. Pardo and Dr. Payne technologies, including MRI, CT and electro-diagnostic tools, such as are joined by 4 additional auditory, muscle function and nerve conduction testing, to diagnose and AVCS board-certified surgeons, treat both acute and chronic neurological disorders. They also perform Dr. Ju l i e L . C o m p t o n , surgery on the brain and spine for problems varying from tumors to Dr. Jonathan Anderson, ruptured vertebral discs. Dr. Michael Doornick and Dr. The Cardiology department offers cardiac work-ups including Jennifer Covey. Soft-tissue and echocardiography, ECG, blood pressure measurement, and thoracic orthopedic surgical diseases as radiography. They also offer OFA/ARCH Exams which are cardiac well as traumatic injuries are screenings for purebred dogs to identify hereditary cardiac diseases treated in the state-of-the-art through the presence of a heart murmur (i.e. subaortic stenosis, pulmonic operating rooms. Advanced stenosis, valvular dysplasia, patent ductus arteriosus, etc). OFA/ARCH surgeries include total hip Exams do not require a referral, and are appropriate for show or field trial replacement, cruciate ligament dogs, or for screening prior to breeding. Dr. Eva Sikorska, DVM, repair, thoracic surgery, and Pittsburgh Veterinary Surgery DACVIM and Dr. Bethany Smouther, DVM DACVIM are minimally invasive procedures PVSEC’s cardiologists. such as laparoscopy. Dr. Lawrence Bagley, DVM DACVO founded the Animal Eye Clinic PVSEC is also proud to have the expertise of the first veterinarian with of Pittsburgh in 1997. He merged with PVSEC in 2008 to form the residency training in anesthesiology in western PA. Dr. Dianna Ovbey, Ophthalmology department. Along with Dr. Rachael Keller, DVM, DVM, is available for assistance with all PVSEC patients requiring DACVO and Dr. Michael Finn, DVM, MS, DACVO, Dr. Bagley anesthesia or pain management. She has worked in concert with specialists sees patients referred for in fields such as surgery, ophthalmology and radiation oncology, since her ocular conditions such as arrival at PVSEC in October, 2011, and will take the anesthesiology board uveitis and glaucoma. exams in 2013. They perform testing and The PVSEC Emergency department offers emergency medical care procedures in their own 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, including all holidays, providing pets dedicated surgical suite with quality emergency care around the clock. The team is headed by specialized for ocular Dr. Kenton D. Rexford, VMD, Dr. Christine Guenther, DVM, procedures. OFA Eye DACVECC, and Dr. Christine Rutter, DVM, DACVECC and boasts Certification Registry 5 critical care specialists and 10 experienced emergency veterinarians. Examinations (formerly Along with their highly skilled technicians, the emergency department is CERF Exams) are offered staffed and equipped to provide your pet with the highest quality without a referral. OFA emergency medical care, including hospitalization if necessary. Because of exams are ophthalmic the urgent nature of emergency care, the PVSEC Emergency department Animal Eye Clinic screening tests for welcomes walk-ins. purebred dogs that identify hereditary ocular diseases (i.e. corneal dystrophy, cataracts, PRA). OFA Eye Certification Registry Exams are appropriate for show or field trial dogs, or in preparation for breeding.

(continued on page 28)

January 2013



ANIMAL HEALTH WELLNESS irst, get a windowsill. When my cat, Mimi, lived mostly outdoors I would see her trotting quickly down icy sidewalks or trying to plow her way through a snowdrift. I winced to think of her tiny paws on ice and rock salt and seeing her petite little self nearly be lost in the snow and many was the time I wanted to just go and get her and bring her inside. She was skittish and would run, but I was always glad to


only let her wander for shorter times than she preferred, much to her consternation and protest. If pets go outside at all, they shouldn't be outside without protection for very long.

Winter Safety Tips for Pets Outdoors

by Bernadette E. Kazmarski

see that she had survived another day, another winter with all her extremities intact. Unfortunately, also, her uterus, but that's another story entirely, and likely one of the driving forces that kept her roaming, even in winter. Now she takes advantage of every sunny windowsill and warm soft spot, and while she joins me on the deck when it's warmer, now that it's cold with ice and snow she stays inside and simply watches me go out to feed the birds, probably getting an extra measure of appreciation for where she is remembering the feeling of ice under her paws.

Aside from cold is also the risk of poisoning, either from leaking anti-freeze, always a risk but moreso when animals take refuge beneath a warm car on a cold day, and from products used to melt ice and snow. Fluids and oils from vehicles also tend to persist in snow and on wet pavement, so you should always wipe down your pet when they come inside, and wash off any sticky or oily substances on their fur. Remember that you also track these things indoors on your shoes, so be careful to place wet boots and shoes where your pets can't get to them, wipe them down as soon as possible (this is good for your boots and shoes anyway), and clean up the floor before someone licks up a puddle. As for cute little coats they may be more than just cute and actually provide needed insulation for cats and dogs, but you can be the judge if your pet will wear one! Below are links to articles that will give you more detail on preparing your indoor-outdoor pets for the cold.

Cold Weather Tips from the ASPCA:

Don't take for granted that animals can survive outdoors. Simply because other animals live in the outdoors without human intervention doesn't mean that our pets can – and it doesn't always mean that those animals whose habitats are outdoors live well or even survive the winter. Wild animals also need and find adequate shelter and food and water if they don't hibernate, and if they don't find these things they don't survive.

Pet Winter Safety: Prepping Your Pet for Winter Weather from WebMD/Pets:

14 Winter Safety Tips For Pets from Pawnation: Cats may tolerate cold for a while, but their small bodies lose heat quickly and extremities like tails and ears can easily be lost to frostbite. Small breed dogs like a Chihuahua with short, thin fur or a delicate Italian Greyhound with no body fat obviously don't have the resources of a squirrel who's doubled his fur and fattened up on nuts and fruits (and my bird seed and suet). Puppies and kittens are likewise less tolerant of cold than adults, likewise older pets. Cookie went outside with me every single day no matter the temperature and bravely walked on whatever had fallen from the sky, but as she grew older I would

Cover Contest runner-up Big Jake Mackenzie, aka Mackie, was a beloved Golden Retriever of our family. Grandfather of two Search and Rescue dogs he loved water, rocks, rides (boat and car), and long walks. He tolerated 3 litters of puppies with the tolerance of a true grandfather. Sadly Mack passed away at the age of 10 following a complication from surgery, but he lives on through his offspring. Photo: Denise Malovich


ŠPittsburgh PetConnections

January 2013

Toni and Meg

Probiotics for Pets…Really? robiotic has been the latest buzzword in the human supplement world and they are even being added to foods. As you would guess, this new healthy trend has now trickled over into the pet industry. It seems that a host of brands are adding probiotics to their food and new probiotic supplements for pets are showing up all the time. But what are they and does that necessarily mean our pets can & will benefit from them? The answer is absolutely! Probiotics are and always will be an essential supplement for improving the overall health of our pets.


So what are Probiotics? They are live microorganisms AKA “good bacteria” that live in the digestive tract where 75% of our immune system support develops and lives. There are more than 500 different bacterial species that keep intestinal linings healthy and assist in breaking down food. Beneficial organisms are also believed to help regulate healthy immune response. The balance of this friendly bacteria can be disturbed by such things as simple aging, poor diet, stress or antibiotic use. For these reasons and many others

it's important to complement your immunity system with a probiotic supplement. Although some pet foods have now started adding probiotics, I’m still recommending that we give and or take them in supplement form. Reason being, probiotics are live microorganisms that begin dying immediately after they are manufactured. This process also exposes them to a high degree of heat, which also takes away from their effectiveness. So, if they are added to the food before the cooking process, most if not all will. Some companies will spray the probiotics on after the cooking process. This procedure is better as long as the company allows the food to cool before hand. Depending on the ethics of the company it’s essentially a marketing ploy. Not to mention that the probiotics would have to pass through hostile stomach acid and bile to get to the intestine. The intestine is where the probiotics need to plant in order to seed the dog’s intestinal tract with healthy flora. One more thing to consider when shopping for a good probiotic is to see if prebiotics are added. “Pre”biotics are the nutrients that act as the energy source or food for the “good” bacteria that live in

the intestinal tract. They help the beneficial bacteria thrive. Prebiotics are a specialized form of fiber that occurs naturally in foods such as chicory, asparagus, artichokes, garlic, honey, wheat and oats. One of the most common prebiotics is FOS or fructooligosaccharides. These, unlike “pro”biotics, are not vulnerable to heat and have a stable shelf life. We discuss all of the above ailments on a daily basis here at Healthy Pet Products. So, chances are your pet has at least one one of the above ailments. Hopefully this has encouraged you to start your pet on a good probiotic and on a better road to health and wellness.

The Right Probiotics Will: 1. Help maintain a HEALTHY DIGESTION 2. Help TREAT DIARRHEA and PREVENT DIARRHEA and constipation in dogs 3. Help ELIMINATE SMELLY STOOLS and BAD-SMELLING GAS 4. Help reduce BAD BREATH Probiotics are 5. Help counteract the destructive side and always will effects of antibiotic therapy be an essential 6. Help PREVENT SHEDDING and SCRATCHING caused by stress supplement for from digestive imbalances improving the 7. IMPROVE DOG SMELL overall overall health of our pets. 8. REDUCE LITTER BOX ODOR 9. Help CONTROL YEAST and yeast related rashes and SKIN PROBLEMS 10. Helps REDUCE HAIRBALLS in cats.

January 2013

SOUTH HILLS: Crossgates Plaza 1742 Washington Rd. Upper St. Clair, PA. 15241 (Next to Model Cleaners)

412.831.3700 NORTH HILLS: 9600 Perry Highway McCandless, PA 15237

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HOLISTIC CARE Addressing the 100-Pound Lab in the Room Doug Knueven, DVM, CVA, CVC, CVCH


hat if I told you that I have a pill that you could give to your dog once a day, and it would help him to live almost two years longer? Would you be committed to getting it into him every day? How much would you be willing to pay for such a pill? Well, there is no such pill. But don’t worry; I have an even better proposition for you. What if I told you that simply keeping your pet at his ideal weight will accomplish the same thing? It is true – feed your dog less and he will live longer. A few years ago there was a study published regarding pet food intake and longevity. Two groups of Labrador retrievers were followed from birth to death. One group was fed as much food as they wanted; the other was fed 25% less food than the amount the first group ate. The findings were stunning. The researchers found that the individual that ate less food were thinner. (Actually that finding did not surprise anyone). But, they also found that the thinner dogs lived on average 1.8 years longer than their pudgy counterparts. Furthermore, for the slim Labs there was a 2.8 year delay in the onset of the symptoms of arthritis and other chronic diseases. So we’re talking not only quantity of life, but also quality of life. You might think from the significance of the longevity difference in the above groups that the overweight dogs must have been extremely fat. In truth, the average body condition score (a rating of the amount of fat vs. muscle with 1 being emaciated, 9 being extremely obese and 5 being ideal) for the short-lived dogs was 6.5 out of 9. So, it does not take much extra weight to put your pet in danger. Unfortunately, pet owners in general have a bloated idea of what a fit pet should look like. Studies have shown that people consistently underrate their pet’s body condition score. For your pet’s sake, you need to be able to objectively evaluate your pet’s weight. There are several ways to check your pet’s body condition score. First, look straight down on your pet. There should be a narrowing of his body contour just behind the ribcage. (It’s called a waist for a reason). Looking at your pet from the side, the abdomen should tuck up behind the ribs. Finally, feel the sides your pet’s ribcage, right behind the shoulders. You should be able to easily feel the ribs (but not see them). If instead you can pinch an inch, your pet is overweight. Overweight is defined as a pet being 10% above his ideal weight. Obese is defined as a pet being 20% over his ideal weight. Taken together, these two conditions are the second most common diagnosis for middle-aged dogs and cats (those between the ages of 5 and 11). According to a recent study, 34.9% of dogs are overweight and 6.7% are obese. The reality for cats is worse; 34.3% are overweight and 9.7% are obese. Two extra pounds on a ten pound cat is the difference between fit and obese! The formula for weight loss is simple; put fewer calories in and burn more calories off. Of course just because something is simple does not mean it is easy. Just like in people, a weight loss program for your pet takes discipline and must become part of a healthy lifestyle. First, have your veterinarian help you establish a target weight. Be sure to feed your pet the appropriate amount of food. Realize that for millions of years, dogs and cats evolved in an environment where food was scarce. Their DNA tells them that each meal may be their last. Also be aware that pet food companies do quite a bit of research on product palatability. The companies know that when pets seem to enjoy their food,


the pet owner will keep buying it. They use irresistible, artificial or “natural” flavorings to entice pets. I fear that for some pets it may be impossible to feed enough food to satisfy them. For this reason, free feeding (just keeping the bowl full) is out! Feed your pet a measured quantity of food each day. The amount to feed should loosely follow the feeding guidelines on the food label. There are two things to keep in mind when using the feeding guidelines. One is that they are based on the animal’s ideal weight, which may be less than his current weight. The other is that pet food companies often seem to overestimate the amount of food a pet needs, so be prepared to taper meal portions down quickly. There are two reasons I prefer canned or raw foods over dry food for weight loss. One is that dry food is inherently high in carbohydrates (usually around 60%). The carbs are necessary to bind the ingredients into a kibble. Even grain-free, dry foods have some source of carbohydrates. Much research indicates that high carbohydrate diets lead to weight gain. While the Atkins diet may or may not be best for people, there is no doubt that it is ideal for dogs and cats. After all, they invented the low-carb diet and evolved eating it over millions of years. The second reason I prefer raw or canned pet foods is that by definition, dry pet food has very little moisture, making it more calorie-dense. Canned and raw pet foods, by contrast, contain about 75% water. All that calorie-free water fills up the pet’s stomach without piling on the pounds. I have found that feeding pets twice daily, instead of only once, is helpful for weight loss. If a pet eats one meal a day, his stomach gets stretched which makes him feel even hungrier by his next meal time. Feeding an animal twice daily keeps his satiety level on an even keel. Minimize treats! This pet “junk food” is often just as unhealthy as is the human counterpart. Instead, give him a fiber-filled veggie (like a carrot or green bean) to chew on. Giving him a treat when he begs or gives you “the look” only re-enforces that behavior – and nobody likes a moocher. Another problem to address is our modern, sedentary lifestyles. It is important to realize that our pets’ wild counterparts do not get a free ride; they have to hunt for their food. To maintain an appropriate weight, pets need lots of activity. Make time to play fetch with your dog and go for walks as often as possible. Cat owners can use a laser pointer and other toys to help with kitty calisthenics. Be aware that obese pets may need to build up their exercise tolerance slowly. Finally, I would suggest weighing your pet every two weeks. Keep track over time and adjust the animal’s food quantity and activity level as needed to reach the goal. As with people, weight issues in dogs and cats seriously affect their health. Fat is a metabolically active tissue and promotes inflammation. Excess fat may predispose your pet to arthritis, diabetes, heart problems and other diseases. If you find that your pooch has packed on a few pounds, you can help get him back on track in a healthy way so you both can live a long, happy life together.

©Pittsburgh PetConnections

January 2013

On a Wing and a Paw… Chaos and Order An elderly terrier comfortably rests upon a favorite footstool. A giggling toddler, rattle in hand, wobbles toward the footstool. The toddler startles the sleeping terrier who reacts with snarls and snips. Instantly, the mother flies toward the scene, flinging the terrier off of the footstool. The grandmother rushes to the aid of her terrier who is hurdling through the air. Chaos abounds, adrenaline surges, feelings are hurt. I receive a call from the grandmother. The grandmother asks: “Is my terrier okay physically and emotionally?” “How does he feel toward my daughter and grandson now?” “Can the toddler and terrier remain in the same room together?” The terrier tells me he felt temporarily threatened, yet still feels loving and friendly toward the toddler and the toddler’s mother. He senses rejection from the toddler’s mother and feels confused about that. His left, hind leg and low back feel sore. I explain why he was flung from the footstool. He seems to understand and is not traumatized. One week after our initial talk, we communicate again. The toddler’s mother and grandmother make some agreements. The toddler and terrier can play together while under supervision. If supervision is not possible, the terrier will go in a room secured behind a gate. The family and terrier choose love, common sense and harmony. All of our pets give us opportunities to experience both chaos and order.

HOLISTIC CARE Years ago, another terrier became a teacher for me. He was aggressive towards dogs, strangers and some family members. During our visit at his location, his people restrained him with a muzzle, collar and leash. The terrier told me his story, and I attempted to convince him that he was safe. I encouraged him to feel comfortable around friendly people, especially me at the time. At the end of the session, I reached for my pen on the coffee table. The terrier lunged, the muzzle slid and the leash released. Instant chaos. I felt a quick sensation hit my face. The woman’s eyes got large and she said, “You might want to go to the bathroom and take care of that.” Reflected in the mirror was a thin line of blood flowing down my right cheek. What happened to the Disney version of magically transforming the beauty from the beast with this terrier? I was barely nicked, yet, it served as a wake up call for me. Since this experience, I’ve learned to manage my expectations, especially with aggressive dogs, and to flow with the unexpected. Chaos, disguised as terriers who lunge, cause our bubbles of perception to burst. Something inside us cracks open; maybe a lack of awareness, a fearful reaction, or a Disney-like fantasy. Chaos provides an opportunity for greater awakening and expanding our capacity for love and harmony. May we all learn from our teaching pets. May we choose to let the light and love in through the unexpected, bubble-bursting yet necessary, cracking open. Listening lightly, Renee

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©Pittsburgh PetConnections

January 2013

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HOLISTIC CARE Meridian Tapping is a healing technique using specific points on your cat or dog’s body known as acupoints and utilizes the same systems as acupuncture. The theory is MTT assists in removing disturbances in the body that may impede good health and a sense of well-being. It is believed MTT addresses energetic disturbances caused by negative experience such as a history of neglect or abuse, as well as negative states such as fear and frustration, possessiveness or extreme excitement. It also addresses energetic disturbances created by unhealthy physically conditions and mental confusion etc. Judith believes many of our cats and dogs who are rescued have these disturbances

electromagnetic and more subtle energies are important for physical, mental and emotional health and for fostering well-being. MTT is a comfortable and non-invasive.

Meridian tapping techniques for your pet may be helpful in: • Aiding in correcting any behavior problem, including separation anxiety • Eliminating or reducing fear • Reducing general anxiety • Decreasing effects of trauma from abuse or severe neglect that cannot be corrected with standard training methods • Changing ritualistic behaviors such as spinning and licking paws • Restoring optimism in an animal that has lost interest in life • Reducing physical discomfort caused by illness or old age • Improving overall health and increasing a feeling of well-being • Although Meridian Tapping Techniques are considered experimental they appear to have promising mental, emotional and physical benefits. There is promising research being conducted that indicates the safety and efficacy of MTT • Tapping techniques, in combination with other energy practices implemented by Judith, may help to accelerate your pet’s healing process and behavior change. Judith often combines Reiki and the Bach Flower Essences® in the same session with MTT. These methods also complement and can be integrated with traditional Veterinary care. • Pet guardians have reported seeing a positive change in their dog, cat or horses condition or behavior from just one MTT session. In other cases more sessions may be advised. • Judith regularly helps pet guardians with behavioral issues that were not able to be corrected with traditional dog or cat training. • It is believed once you remove the energetic disturbances that have caused the problem behavior or physical illness it’s possible to see improvement. In more extreme cases, maintenance sessions are advisable but with occasional sessions, good balanced can be maintained.

Meridian Tapping for Pets Tapping techniques work alone or in combination with behavioral modification programs. MTT may help accelerate physical and emotional and behavioral healing. Tapping may also be very effective in eliminating blocks to success for a cat or dog who seems stuck in problematic behavior patterns. MTT is the name for a variety of “meridian tapping techniques” that use the ancient Chinese meridian system (energy pathways) to balance an individual’s energy with a gentle tapping procedure which stimulates designated meridian end points on the face and body. The prevailing premise of MTT is that the flow and balance of the body’s

The number of sessions of course, depends of the severity and the complexity of the animal’s problem. Although it is impossible to guarantee a particular outcome, often, a single session may be sufficient and at times more sessions may be advised. When implementing a modality that is believed to help the body heal itself, it is necessary to put the body back in balance several times before it will hold. For example, multiple sessions may be advisable as a complementary method to use in conjunction with traditional veterinary services in the following situations: • Dealing with an animals that have experienced abuse or neglect in the past • Post surgical healing • Creating comfort in old age In Judith’s experience three to five sessions are generally enough to see good improvement.


©Pittsburgh PetConnections

January 2013


Meridian Tapping for People MTT is the name for a variety of techniques that use the ancient Chinese meridian system to balance an individuals energy with a gentle tapping procedure which stimulates designated meridian end points on the face and body. The prevailing premise of MTT is that the flow and balance of the body’s electromagnetic and more subtle energies are important for physical, spiritual, and emotional health, and for fostering well-being. Typically, in MTT the practitioner guides you to tap gently on your body’s meridian points while saying specific phrases that help you to focus on the issue you are trying to heal or resolve. Judith regularly works with clients to assess their unique situations and prescribe tapping algorithms, often in conjunction with additional energy health practices, to help achieve positive outcomes. It is believed that meridian tapping techniques may be helpful in: • Relieving or eliminating chronic conditions • Reducing Stress • Overcoming a problem habit, such as smoking or overeating • Increasing healing from illness or injury • Increase healing from stressful life events • Removing obstacles to achieving a goal • Improving overall health and sense of well-being MTT can work with tapping alone, but it is believed that adding simple phrases to your tapping will help you focus and release disturbances more quickly and completely. Judith will help you discover the phrases best suited to your personal situation as part of her MTT work with you. • Although Meridian Tapping Techniques are considered experimental they appear to have promising mental, spiritual , and physical benefits. There is promising research being conducted that indicates the safety and efficacy of MTT. • MTT can be used alone or in combination with other methods. Using tapping techniques with other energy practices may help to accelerate your healing and/or success. • Although it is impossible to guarantee, people often report complete relief from just one MTT session. In other cases more sessions are advised. A client may come for a session and then return at a later time with a different issue to be addressed. • Sometimes the issue the person focuses on in the first round turns out not to be the core problem. For example, a headache may turn out to be derived from your stress over a troubled relationship. If this were the case, once this has been identified, you may want to focus on the relationship with tapping. Judith can give you an idea of what to expect in your specific case. It is believed once you remove energy disturbances that are causing illness or blocking the achievement of a goal, you make it more likely that you can achieve that goal! Judith Levy is a Certified Energy Health Practitioner as well as a Reiki Master practitioner trained under multiple Reiki masters, including renowned William Rand at the International Center for Reiki training. Because Judith has achieved training in multiple energy modalities and can offer behavioral solutions for your pet, you can receive the benefits of all these modalities for self and your furry family member!

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& One Hour Wellness Clinics



Do you sometimes feel guilty for not spending more time with your pet? Do you think your pet needs more stimulation but you don’t have much time to provide that? Or do you have the desire to deepen your connection with your pet? In this clinic Judith will teach you how to better meet the needs of your pet when you have a very busy life style. You will experience a deeper heart connection than your previously thought possible. This clinic is also great for people who are home bond and want to give their pet more. This experiential/ informative workshop is fun, rewarding and will benefit both you and your pet! South Hills Location: Friday, January 18th, 6pm-8pm East End Location: Monday, January 21st, 6pm-8pm

BE THE LEADER: BE IN CONTROL WITH POSITIVE METHODS INSTEAD OF FORCE AND FRUSTRATION: Do you experience your dog as running the show? Is your Canine listening only when it is convenient for him to listen or only when you have a treat in your hand? Do you find yourself giving in because you get frustrated when you dog does not listen? This One Hour Clinic will change your relationship with your dog, leaving you feeling more in control and closer to your pet. AND, your dog will happier and more calm as well! South Hills Location: Friday, February 22nd, 6pm-8pm East End Location: Monday, February 25th, 6pm-8pm

LIVING WITH THE LOSS OF A PET: Grief can be painful and positive at the same time. This One Hour Wellness Clinic will give you a space to have your experience of loss without judgement. We will help you to feel that it is ok to have questions and to have the rest of your process in whatever way feels right to you! We will address the benefits of the use of a ritual and will help you create other ways to have peace around the loss of your beloved pet. South Hills Location: Friday, March 15th, 6pm-8pm East End Location: Tuesday, March 19th, 6pm-8pm

Presented by Judith Levy M.Ed.,CEHP, RMT Holisitic Canine & Feline Behavior Consultant, Certified Energy Health Practitioner For Pets and for People

HAVING A BABY? WHAT ABOUT THE DOG?: Nothing is more exciting than bringing a new baby home! Would you like to learn how to create an atmosphere of acceptance and avoiding unmanageable chaos? Attend this clinic to help your dog adjust to being a positive member of your newly expanded family. With the material and techniques you discover in this one-hour clinic, you’ll start preparing your dog for the baby two months before the birth. You’ll learn about wise practices to help create a safe environment for your baby as well as how to manage time and space after your help goes back to work! South Hills Location: Friday, April 19th, 6pm-8pm East End Location: Monday, April 22nd, 6pm-8pm To Receive Registration Form: More Information: SPONSORED BY:


Holistic approach to behavior Specializing in treating fear and trauma in cats and dogs

Judith Levy M,Ed., CEHP, RMT Educator Feline and Canine Behavioral Consultant Certified Energy Health Practitioner



©Pittsburgh PetConnections

January 2013

EVEN SMALL BIRDS CAN PRESENT CHALLENGES! Do you have a pet parrot? Are you considering adding a pet parrot to your household?

Parrots – including parakeets, cockatiels, conures, macaws, and cockatoos – can be incredibly rewarding pets for the right home, but they are not a low-maintenance alternative to a dog or cat. To better prepare families to care for pet birds, the National Aviary is offering a program entitled Positive Parroting, which consists of three sessions to be held on January 19, February 16 and March 23rd from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. at the Aviary. “Many people don’t realize that pet birds not only require regular attention,” says Cathy Schlott, manager of Animal Training at the National Aviary,“but they also need specialized housing, nutrition, and even toys to maintain proper mental and physical health. Even a small bird, like a parakeet, has these needs.” The course will explore some common behavioral issues that parrot owners face, as well as information on healthy diets, appropriate housing, veterinary care and positive reinforcement training. Notes Schlott,“Some of the traits that make parrots so appealing – their long lifespans, their abilities to mimic sounds, and their intelligence – also make them challenging to live with.” Medium-sized parrots, such as Amazons and cockatoos, can easily l ive 40 years or more, which is a very long

commitment for a pet owner. Pet parrots are also hard-wired to make contact calls and loud sounds throughout the day. For example, if an owner leaves the room, a parrot may start to contact call, their way of yelling,‘Where are you?’” And parrots, which are among the most intelligent of birds, need plenty of mental stimulation. A bored parrot can develop bad habits. The key to living successfully with pet parrots is to encourage appropriate natural behaviors. Pet parrot owners can accomplish this by learning some basic training techniques, which Schlott will introduce and demonstrate during the course of the workshop. “These training techniques are easy to learn and practice at home,” says Schlott. “Not only do they help with challenging parrot behaviors, these techniques also help create better relationships between parrot owners and their birds. And these training methods can work with any pet – not just parrots.” The National Aviary’s workshop will include training demonstrations with the Aviary’s parrots, nutrition and health information, tips on housing, and a session on making inexpensive parrot toys at home. Participants will make a one-of-a-kind toy to take home during the workshop.

January 19, February 16 and March 23 from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm. Cost of the workshop is $25, $20 for Aviary members. Please leave your parrots at home! To register for the workshop or for more information, please visit or call 412-258-9439. Positive Parroting is supported by grants from

About the National Aviary: The National Aviary is America’s only independent indoor nonprofit zoo dedicated exclusively to birds. Located in West Park on Pittsburgh’s historic North Side, the National Aviary’s diverse collection comprises 550 birds representing more than 150 species from around the world, many of them threatened or endangered in the wild.The National Aviary’s large walk-through exhibits create an intimate, up-close interaction between visitors and free-flying birds, including opportunities to hand-feed and to meet many species rarely found in zoos anywhere else in the world.

January 2012


EQUINE AFFAIRS Have you ever noticed any lumps or bumps in the skin of your horse? If so, you should have these

What’s that bump? Equine Sarcoid

longer exposure time of the tumor to the cisplatin. Another way to administer cisplatin is via electro-chemotherapeutic poration. This equipment opens the cell evaluated by your veterinarian. These membranes to cisplatin, allowing more can range from innocuous bug bites to of this chemotherapeutic agent to get bacterial/fungal diseases, or skin tumors. By Brian S. Burks, D.V.M., inside the cell to effect cell death. Unfortunately, Certified Equine Specialist the expense of the equipment severely restricts its use. The sarcoid is the most common skin tumor in Bleomycin is another such agent, but it has not shown much success. the horse. Their behavior is completely unpredictable. They can be ‘silent’ for many years and then suddenly begin to grow quite rapidly. Other topical anti-tumor medications have also been used, with Sarcoids tend to be locally aggressive, but seldom spread from one site varying success, including Aldara and XXTERA. The latter, in some to another; even though they do not spread, they can become quite cases, may transform the tumor, making it much more aggressive. Also deep, involving the underlying soft tissue and bone. They do not transplanting some of the tumor to a distant site in the horse has been spread to internal organs. used, with the thought of immunizing the patient to the tumor; this has enjoyed only limited success. The etiology of the equine sarcoid is unknown. It has been said that a bovine (cattle) papilloma virus is the cause, and their DNA has been I personally have the best result using a surgical laser combined with found in the sarcoid, but no active virus has ever been found. Other cisplatin and sometimes 5-fluorouracil. This removes most of the types of viruses have also been proposed. tumor, destroys cells several millimeters beyond what the eye can see, and leaves medication locally to kill any tumor cells that may remain. Sarcoid types include the occult, verrucous, nodular, fibroblastic forms, If the tumor is able to be completely removed via excision (usually only and mixed sarcoid, containing features of several of the tumor types. small lesions) this is best, and is considered curative. The occult form occurs mainly in thin haired areas and is fairly flat. They occasionally open and drain. They may only show small areas Refractory cases can be treated with local radiation therapy with of hair loss initially, before becoming an overt tumor. Verrucous Iridium 192, known as interstitial brachytherapy, by implanting sarcoids are a bit larger and form more crusts. They have local skin radioactive beads in the tissue. The beads are left in until a pre-determined thickening around the main area, indicative of further tissue invasion. dose is reached. Patients must be quarantined while the radioactive Nodular sarcoids are large, firm masses in the skin and subcutaneous implants are in place, restricting this modality to a few referral centers. tissues. The last type, the fibroblastic sarcoid is much larger and appears The success rate approaches 100%. These tumors are less ably treated by similar to exuberant granulation tissue, or proud flesh. These tumors Teletherapy or Tomotherapy (this combines a CT with Teletherapy) are quite vascular, and bleed easily. They may be pedunculated or have an external radiation beam, which requires specialized equipment and a larger base. It usually develops at the site of a wound, especially on repeated general anesthesia and enjoys a success rate of less than 30%. the limb. Many times these various tumor types are mixed, with occult and verrucous and nodular forms all occurring together. Thus, the equine sarcoid is the most common skin tumor in the horse. Fortunately, although it can be locally aggressive, it normally does not Differential diagnoses include papillomatosis (warts), chronic spread to distant sites (metastasize). There are several different types of blistering, hyperkeratosis (thickened skin from something like sweet sarcoid that vary in appearance, and may be confused with other types itch), equine sarcoidosis (granuloma) exuberant granulations tissue, of lesions, including other tumor types. Simple surgical removal or and squamous cell carcinoma. Sarcoids most closely resemble biopsy is not recommended because this tends to make sarcoid tumors exuberant granulation tissue. extremely aggressive, growing very quickly, and spreading through the local tissue. Removal with an Nd:YAG laser, combined with local All skin tumors should be sampled and sent for histopathology to anti-tumor medication gives the best success rates, although very determine the type of tumor and distinguish sarcoids from granulation occasionally some tumors may persist. Brachytherapy is the most tissue or other infections. Histopathology also allows assessment of the successful treatment modality for refractory tumors, but requires margins, to determine if the entire tumor was removed. Simple specialized centers. You and your horse should seek treatment for any removal tends to make sarcoid tumors much more aggressive, so that mass that is actively growing. they will enlarge rapidly. This is because the entire tumor has not been removed due to its invasion of surrounding skin. Dr. Brian Burks is the owner/veterinarian at Fox Run Equine Center, a Treatment modalities are many, and only very rarely do these tumors 24-hour medical-surgical center near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is resolve on their own. Cryotherapy (freezing with liquid nitrogen) board certified by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners immunologic treatment with BCG or Eqstim, and repeated intra(Equine Practice). This certifies him as an expert in all categories of lesional injection with cisplatin, bleomycin, and 5- fluorouracil (5-FU) equine practice., have all been used. Cisplatin and 5-FU are the most successful. Currently, sarcoids may be implanted with cisplatin beads, to allow a


©Pittsburgh PetConnections

January 2013


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On deathbed, was carried into office for first few visits... Dear Dr Savko, Thank you so much for everything you have done for Piper. It is just amazing to see him walk into the office on his own power! He is much more active and “nosey” again. It is so heartwarming to see that big black gumdrop nose right there curious as to what you have in your hand or what you are doing. Each day seems to give him some sort of improvement no matter how tiny-still improvement-he hunts for a chewey or sees us going in the car and thinks he should be going too! I have to admit when you said we would space the sessions out for 3 weeks I felt a panic inside but during the second week I realized we were going to be okay. We were going to make it to the third week! We were still moving forward and not loosing ground. I know that I could have called you if I needed to but we didn’t have to! Isn't that wonderful?!

Piper gave me the best birthday present I have ever had when it was the first time he walked into your office on his own!!! He has been a blessing to us and you have been a blessing to him. Thank you!

January 2013


PRESS RELEASE For Immediate Release WHAT’S THE HYPE? Veterinarian Blogs about Her Dogs’ Transition from Kibble to Raw Food FLEETWOOD, Pa. – For one full year, Dr. Amy Nesselrodt, a licensed veterinarian and a 1988 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, fed her dogs a raw food diet using Answers Pet Food ( When Nesselrodt started using Answers Pet Food, it was labeled for supplemental or intermittent feeding only, and she wondered why it wasn’t fed to pets as their sole means of nutrition. To answer her question, Nesselrodt proposed a raw feeding trial, using her dogs as the subjects, to Jacqueline Hill, Vice President of Answers Pet Food. “A trial was not without risk to Answers,” Nesselrodt said. “A lot could go wrong with dogs in a year – especially dogs not in a laboratory setting. Not only did Answers support this idea, they supported my commitment to maintaining an honest, open blog.” Nesselrodt’s blog, “Dr. Amy’s Raw Dog Food Research ( Welcome_1.html), outlined her project from the beginning with her initial questions about the value of a raw food regimen for her dogs to her observations of her dogs after six and 12 months of eating Answers Pet Food. Nesselrodt completed her personal study in May 2012. Nesselrodt’s goals for the trial and the blog were to raise awareness of feeding dogs a raw food diet; to increase people’s interest in feeding raw to their dogs; and to bring up topics and issues which she believes need to be addressed in the pet food industry.


At the end of her study, Nesselrodt was pleased with her dogs’ overall health. She noted that she’ll continue to feed Answers Pet Food to her dogs because she believes that Answers provides superior, high-quality pet food compared to traditional kibble. “I’m comfortable feeding Answers to my dogs because I know the formula provides appropriate whole, food nutrition to them,” Nesselrodt said. And Dr. Nesselrodt’s findings could debunk the AWMA’s stance against feeding raw to dogs. Of course, more formal, independent studies need to be done to convince them to change their minds, but Nesselrodt’s informal study could open up the debate about the benefits of a raw pet food diet. Answers Pet Food offers unique pet food products in new raw forms and innovative green packaging that comes in two varieties: Straight and Detailed. The Straight formula provides the right combination of meat, organ meat, and ground bone, and it’s available in chicken, beef, and pork. The Detailed formula is a full, ingredient product made with meat, organ meat, ground bone, eggs, vegetables, fish oil, montmorillonite, Kombucha, and natural trace minerals. And Answers Additional goat’s milk enhances your pet’s diet. It’s made with grass-fed goat’s milk, cinnamon, honey, and cultures and is great for fussy eaters. Answers Pet Food Company consists of individuals with over 50 combined years of experience in the raw pet food industry.

©Pittsburgh PetConnections

January 2012

COMMUNITY EVENTS COVER CONTEST WINNER! Shayne is a 7 year old border collie mix rescued from Western PA Humane Society. She lives for any type of sport or game – K9 Disc, Agility, Rally-O, fetch, nosegames and more. Many of the things she loves to do have her doing insane stunts, flips, or high-flying vaults – she is absolutely fearless. I love seeing this side of her because it is a far cry from who she was when I adopted her. She was more than just fearful when I adopted her and ended up having quite a few behavior challenges that we had to work through. Seeing her become the dog she is today and watching her do the things she’s able to do has been the most amazing experience, every time I think about it I cannot help but smile. There are many moments that I think about her transformation so she brings many smiles to my life. Tena Parker

HELLO BULLY’S 5th ANNUAL LOVERS NOT FIGHTERS GALA FEBRUARY 16, 2013 To benefit Pit Bull Rescue, Education and Spay/Neuter. Join us for our 5th Annual “Lovers not Fighters” Gala on Saturday, February 16th at 7:00pm at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Oakland. Featuring a red carpet, hors d’oeuvre and dessert buffet, cash bar, raffle, silent and live auction, special guests and a presentation by Hello Bully. Tickets will be available for purchase at

Visit our website to see picture of the runners-up and other contest entries, and thanks to all who entered!

General Admission: $50 per person VIP Ticket: $120 per person (Price includes admission to the Champagne Rescue Reception from 6:00-7:00pm, premium seating in the VIP balcony area and premium gift bag). For an interview or additional information, please contact Nicole Meloy at (724)454-9718.


Mon-Sat: noon to 8 • Thursday: appt. only • Sun: noon to 6 January 2012


ANIMAL BEHAVIOR Is your dog loving towards you, but aggressive towards others?

Dog aggression can be responsible for the injury of other pets, family members or strangers. Letting your dog behave aggressively can lead to veterinary or physician expenses, lawsuits or even death. Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation (see our ad page 12) is partnering with Penny Layne to offer a FREE two hour course to help you not only understand aggressive behavior in dogs but to help you handle it either in your own pet or if you encounter it from a strange dog.

Have you ever encountered an aggressive dog during your dog’s walk?

Class will cover the types and signs of aggression and predicting aggression through body language, as well as how to prepare for a walk with your dog and what to do if you or your dog are attacked. Class will be held: Bridgeville Public Library: Saturday, January 19, 1-3 pm Mt Lebanon Public Library: Tuesday, January 29, 7-9 pm Monroeville Public Library: Tuesday, February 12, 7-9 pm Bethel Park Public Library: Wednesday, March 27, 7-9 pm Although the class is free, preregistration is required to assure sufficient materials are available on the day of the class. Please call Deb Chebatoris of Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation at 412-220-7800 to register.

Sponsor: Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation — Instructor: Penny Layne —

It’s A Great Day to be a Dog! • We offer 8,000 sq ft of play • 15 years experience • Now offering Spa Services Hours: Mon- Fri 6:30am-7:30pm Sat & Sun 10am-4pm

$5.00 Off First Grooming Offering Fromm, Primal, Nutri Source, Orijen Natural Balance, Taste of the Wild, & much more

$2.00 off any size bag food 1 Free Day Daycare

412-782-2200 • 5601 Butler Street, Lawrenceville, Pittsburgh, PA 15201


©Pittsburgh PetConnections

January 2013

Snowy Survival SHORT STORIES by Dr. Susan Wagner

As I was looking out our picture window this morning at yet another snowstorm, I gave thanks for the birds inhabiting our back yard. We have several varieties, but cardinals are my favorite. The males stand out like bright red rubies in the snow-covered bushes. Cardinals are remarkable birds because they don’t migrate for the winter. We can have tough ones here in Central Ohio – snow, ice and bitter wind chills. Despite the bitter conditions, they continue their vibrant songs. Did you know that the pitch at which birds chirp is the ideal frequency for plant growth? And we thought they were just talking to each other. Even more wondrous are the Robins. They have always flown south for the winter, and their return cheerfully marked the beginning of spring. Our Robins have stayed around the last few winters, which is puzzling. I’ve heard different theories as to why this is happening. One possibility is that they’re re-adjusting to the change in the earth’s magnetic field. I’ve also read that our winter Robins may actually have migrated from further north. Seems to me they’d prefer Florida’s weather to Ohio, but when I think about what my brother is experiencing in Minnesota, I guess Ohio looks pretty darn good. That who study energy medicines know that red is the color of our root chakra, the major energy center concerned with survival. A healthy root chakra helps us stay grounded and know we are safe, no matter what comes our way. As I look at these extraordinary birds known for their red coloring, I think of the intense root chakra strength needed to survive the winter. We could learn something from these beings. This country has been going through some tough winters – literally and metaphorically. We are all bracing against the winds of change. Illuminating the darkness can be frightening, but healing can’t begin until the wound is identified. If Robins have chosen to stay in the midst of blizzard conditions, I think we can too. If they can survive, so can humanity. We can all help one another through the process, whether it is through a kind word, a smile or speaking the truth even when others don’t want to hear it. Let’s not forget the wildlife going through this time with us. Robins are adjusting to their new winter home, just as we are working through our changes. They need fresh water and food – especially fruit. Taking care of them opens your heart chakra and strengthens your own roots. 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. Dr. Wagner is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University Veterinary College, a Level IV Healing Touch for Animals practitioner and co-author of Through A Dog’s Ear.

January 2013

Confession By Way of Ruse

by Wayne Vanderaar

I’ve got to get this out before either of us is gone. You see, Gwen and I are both getting on and I don’t know how much time we have left together. It was not love at first sight, for sure, she was much younger than I, a child really when we first met. Nevertheless, we shared an easy early friendship, spending our early months together around the neighborhood. We sort of eased into getting used to each other in innocent conversation and casual walks in the park; nothing more although we saw each other daily. As time passed, Gwen began to fill out and I must confess, myself always having an eye for a pretty face and easy grace, began to long for a more serious relationship. In her demure, patient way, she sensed my growing affection for her and, gradually to my good fortune, she reciprocated. We became quite a pair, developing an uncanny knack at anticipating each other, even without talking. We reveled in running across the hills together and especially enjoyed the companionship of other pairs along the quiet paths in the woods. Of course, we often spent private hours doing the usual petting and caressing when alone. She seemed to invite my touch and I certainly enjoyed her nuzzling. Somewhat bashful and old-fashioned, I always looked around in public before giving her a quick kiss. I still do. She has a funny way of tossing her head at me and she has this favorite spot on the right side of her neck, just below her ear… It’s a good thing she’s always been able to keep a secret! Oh, I’ve got to tell you, we’ve been through some tough times for sure! She’s always had expensive tastes but I’ve always thought that she was worth it. I’ve seldom been able to say “no” to her and this has caused a few “bumps” in our relationship. I suppose the surgery she required at one point after a sports injury stressed us both the most and her rehabilitation almost drove us apart. We stuck it out though. If anything, the patience I learned in dealing with her therapy brought us closer. Patience is a virtue that grows in living with her kind and is not without progress and reward. Perhaps you know the lines of Browning’s poem “…Grow old with me, the best is yet to be – the last of life for which the first was made.” This really hit home. The vet tells me that Gwen can no longer jump and shouldn’t gallop hills, but I’ve learned to live with that, for there are lots of things I can’t do any more either. Gwen, while still beautiful, is beginning to look matronly – kinda catching up with me. No matter, we love each other and will share our older years together. (Gwen is a thirteen year 17h mare living in semi-retirement at Mingo Creek Farm. Her beau is from North Strabane Township).


The Rogan Rexford Animal Blood Bank

“Pets Giving Pets the Gift of Life” Please volunteer your dog to be a “Blood Donor Hero” DOG DONOR ELIGIBILITY • Between 1 and 7 years of age • Weight: 50 lbs. or more • Healthy with a gentle temperament • Current with vaccinations • Never had a blood transfusion

• Tested negative for blood-borne diseases (free testing by blood bank) • Must be on heartworm, flea and tick preventative • Not pregnant or currently nursing

Read more about The Rogan Rexford Blood Bank at: For questions, or to make an appointment call: 412-348-2588 or e-mail:

PVSEC (continued from page 7) PVSEC offers hospitalized patients very comfortable and impressive wards, in which to rest and recover. The intensive care unit is equipped with supportive equipment, such as oxygen cages and monitoring devices, which can be observed from the main treatment room and the critical care and emergency doctor stations nearby. As with all of the veterinary technicians, the nursing staff is highly trained and gives every patient careful attention and compassionate care. Enough cannot be said about the support staff at PVSEC. Karen Seger, Referral Liaison, states “Most of our support staff members have been here for over 5 years”. The outstanding client care team is there to warmly PVSEC treatment area support clients from the first phone call, to greeting you for a returning appointment. The team is always there to answer questions and assist you through the referral process and follow-up appointments. PVSEC is located at 807 Camp Horne Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15237. Please call PVSEC at 412-366-3400 or visit for additional information.


HAAWC is a 501(c)(3) organization that honors the Human Animal Bond as a source of wellness for individuals, families and communities. Guided by the belief that animals are a gateway to human healing, HAAWC intends to develop both urban programs and rural sanctuaries designed to impact community health, safety and wellness. HAAWC is raising funds for upcoming animal-related programming.

©Pittsburgh PetConnections

January 2013

Dr. Doug The Holistic Vet

Holistic and Conventional Care: • Full Service Animal Clinic • Preventive Health Care • General Surgery • Radiology • Dentistry • Vaccine & Vaccine Counseling

• Nutrition Counseling & Natural Raw Diets • Holistic Care • Acupuncture • Chiropractic • Chinese Herbal Medicine • Therapeutic Laser

Dr. Doug Knueven practices an integrative approach to pet care. He is well versed in conventional veterinary medicine and has been licensed since 1987. He is also certified in acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and chiropractic. He is a member of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association and has advanced training in natural nutrition, massage therapy, homeopathy and a host of other alternative therapies. At Beaver Animal Clinic, Dr. Doug offers a full range of options for the treatment of disease and the maintenance of health. Western medicine tends to focus on fighting disease while holistic medicine strives to strengthen the body. These two goals are not necessarily mutually exclusive. An integrative practitioner works with the best of what these two philosophies have to offer picking and choosing from the full menu of options to put together a treatment plan that is ideal for the individual pet and her caregiver.

BEAVER ANIMAL CLINIC We at Beaver Animal Clinic believe in the power of caring. Caring for our patients as our own pets. Caring for our clients as our friends. Caring for each other as our family.

Hours: Mon.–Thurs. 9-8; Fri. 9-5 Sat. 9-3; Sun. Closed

357 State Avenue | Beaver, PA 15009


Dr. Ingrid Rhinehart earned her veterinary degree in 2011 from Cornell University. During her time in veterinary school, she focused on such things as bringing veterinary medicine to low-income families, helping people cope with the loss of a pet by volunteering on the Pet Loss Hotline, organizing community education events and helping to bring holistic and complementary medicine to the college and the veterinary students. She is a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist and looks forward to expanding her training in integrative modalities. She shares her life with her husband and their three fabulous Great Danes (Aurora, Lucky and Harry), one smart and sassy Doberman (Ace), and a very entertaining Hermann’s tortoise (Scooter).

Piitsburgh PetConnections Magazine January 2013  

Piitsburgh PetConnections Magazine January 2013 Volume 1 Issue 5

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