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Animal wellness


Animalwellness For a long, healthy life!

Take it to


How to tell if your dog has cardiac problems

Ready, set


Find out what actually happens during a veterinary dental cleaning

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myths about


Emmanuelle Vaugier

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An actress with a passion for helping animals

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Patient and powerful Meet the BOXER!



These antibody tests are a viable alternative to annual booster shots

Home health checklist Goathouse


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10 ways to cope with feline dementia

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Contents February / March 2012

features 18 Take it to heart

Cardiac disease can afflict dogs of all breeds and sizes. Find out what the signs are, and how these conditions can be diagnosed and treated using an integrative approach.

22 Ayurveda for dogs

This ancient holistic healing system was developed in India and can be applied to companion animals as well as humans.


26 Animal ambassadors

Many hotels and resorts accept four-legged guests, but what if your companion isn’t a good traveler? Fill the void left by his absence by checking into accommodations with their own friendly resident critters.

28 The latest on H1N1

The flu virus that swept the world in 2009, afflicting animals as well as humans, has the potential to combine with other bugs to form hybrids. Help protect your companion by protecting yourself.

32 Apps for animals

Mobile applications are going to the dogs! Check out the growing number of products designed especially for pooch people.

34 Mouth matters

Dental problems affect most dogs. A wholesome meaty diet along with energetic balancing are two effective ways to help treat and prevent periodontal disease.

40 Ready, set, smile! What actually happens during a veterinary dental cleaning? Knowing what the procedure involves can help relieve any anxiety you might feel for your dog.

43 A quest for comfort

How improving her arthritic cat’s quality of life inspired this businesswoman to give up her banking career and start a pet bed company.


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46 Snow safety

Winter offers lots of opportunities for outdoor fun and exercise. Just remember to keep your dog’s well being (and your own) in mind, especially if you live in or are traveling to avalanche country.

50 Attack plaque!

76 My furry Valentine

Show your canine companion you care with these heartfelt gift ideas.

80 A catalyst for change

There are several main areas to consider when caring for the 48 adult teeth in your dog’s mouth – good nutrition and natural remedies, regular brushing and veterinary cleaning.

For nearly 30 years, this organization has been rescuing dogs, cats and other critters from dire straits, while going the extra mile to end animal abuse and neglect.

64 Let’s talk titers

83 He walks his talk

66 Is she feeling foggy?

86 Emmanuelle Vaugier – a passion for helping

Want to avoid over-vaccinating your cat? These antibody tests are a viable alternative to annual booster shots.

Feline dementia is a very real issue in most senior cats. Here are 10 ways to help you and your kitty cope.

68 A place to call home

Nestled amid 16 acres in North Carolina, this refuge for needy cats is an idyllic sanctuary.

70 Home health check list

Cats are good at hiding pain or illness. Keeping an eye on your kitty’s well being can alert you to potential problems so you can get him to the vet before they become serious.

Not too many busy entrepreneurs go out of their way to add philanthropic work to their already lengthy to-do lists. Here’s one who does.

Improving the lives of animals in need is high on the list of priorities for this ambitious Canadian-born actress.

90 5 myths about anesthesia

If you feel nervous about having your dog “put under” for veterinary procedures, you’re not alone. While there are risks involved, anesthesia is safer than you might think.

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Look inside for: Holiday Gift Ideas – Treats, Toys, Food and More!


Columns 14 Yakkity yak

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38 What’s your breed?


57 Warm & fuzzy


61 Cat chat 84 Communication


94 Passages

8 Editorial

96 Book reviews

12 Mail bag

103 Tail end

44 Product picks 53 Animal Wellness resource guide



73 Feline Wellness marketplace 74 The scoop 98 Animal Wellness marketplace


104 Classifieds 105 Events calendar

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Topics include: disease prevention natural diets and nutrition natural health care

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On the cover photograph by:

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Originating in Germany in the 19th century, boxers have grown to become one of North America’s most popular dogs. Loyal, patient and intelligent, well-trained boxers make wonderful household companions. Read more about the breed in our new column “What’s your breed?” on page 38.


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Volume 14 Issue 1

Editorial Department Editor-in-Chief: Dana Cox Managing Editor: Ann Brightman Senior Graphic Designer: James Goodliff Graphic Designer: Dawn Cumby-Dallin Cover Photography: Mark Coffey Tail End Illustration: Leanne Rosborough Columnists & Contributing Writers Nadia Ali Sue Becker, BFRP, BRFAP, CTTP Kimberly Button Christina Chambreau, DVM W. Jean Dodds, DVM Sara Jackson Tessa Kimmel Cindy Kneebone, DVM Lisa Mackinder Patrick Mahaney, VMD, CVA Erin Mayo, DVM, CVA Mia McGregor Shawn Messonnier, DVM Sandra Murphy Barbara Nefer Kelly Nelson Anna O’Brien, DVM Robert J. Silver, DVM, MS Nancy Stordahl Charlotte Walker Diana Yousfi Administration & Sales President/C.E.O.: Tim Hockley Office Manager: Lesia Wright Operations Director: John Allan Administrative Assistant: Libby Sinden Submissions: Please send all editorial material, advertising material, photos and correspondence to: Animal Wellness Magazine, 202-160 Charlotte St. Peterborough, ON, Canada K9J 2T8. We welcome previously unpublished articles and color pictures either in transparency or disc form at 300 dpi. We cannot guarantee that either articles or pictures will be used or that they will be returned. We reserve the right to publish all letters received. Email your articles to:

Advertising Sales National Sales Manager: Ann Beacom, (866) 764-1212 ext. 222 Western Regional Manager: Becky Starr, (866) 764-1212 ext. 221 Classified Advertising: Lesia Wright To subscribe: Subscription price at time of this issue is $19.00 in the U.S. and $26.00 in Canada, including taxes for six issues shipped via surface mail. Subscriptions can be processed by: Website: Phone: 1-866-764-1212 US Mail: Animal Wellness Magazine, 6834 S University Blvd PMB 155 Centennial, CO 80122 CDN Mail: Animal Wellness Magazine, 202-160 Charlotte St.Peterborough, ON, Canada K9J 2T8. Subscriptions are payable by VISA, MasterCard, American Express, check or money order. The material in this magazine is not intended to replace the care of veterinary practitioners. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the editor, and different views may appear in other issues. Redstone Media Group Inc., publisher of Animal Wellness, does not promote any of the products or services advertised by a third party advertiser in this publication, nor does Redstone Media Group Inc. verify the accuracy of any claims made in connection with such advertisers. Refund policy: call or write our customer service department and we will refund unmailed issues. Dealer Inquiries Welcome: Animal Wellness Magazine is available at a discount for resale in retail shops and through various organizations. Call 1-866-764-1212 and ask for dealer magazine sales, fax us at 705-742-4596 or e-mail at

Animal Wellness Magazine (ISSN 1710-1190) is published six times a year by Redstone Media Group Inc. Publications Mail Agreement #40884047. Entire contents copyright© 2012. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, without prior written permission of the publisher. Publication date: January 2012.

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It starts with the


friend of mine recently had an abscessed tooth. Swollen, in agony and unable to chew, she had to put her whole life on hold until she was able to visit the dentist and get some treatment and pain relief. If you’ve ever had a toothache, you’ll know just how miserable it can make you feel. And left unattended, dental problems can result in tooth loss and serious infections that can impact your overall health and well being. We know that regular dental exams are essential for heading off any potential problems before they get a chance to manifest and cause pain and inflammation. Trouble is, a lot of people don’t realize that dogs and cats need dental care and checkups too, and that periodontal disease is one of the most prevalent health conditions veterinarians see in their patients. I used to be in that category myself. I believed that sugar was the chief cause of all dental problems, and that because my animals didn’t eat anything sweet, I didn’t have to worry about their mouths. I also believed that all I had to do to ensure clean teeth was to feed them commercial dry pet food. It’s more complicated than that. Sugar is not the only culprit when it comes to dental problems. And no matter how crunchy they may be, poor quality pet foods – even those purported to keep teeth clean and strong – contain ingredients that can actually contribute to periodontal disease. Because dental problems are such a big issue in our animal companions, we’re devoting this edition of Animal Wellness


animal wellness

to helping you prevent periodontal disease in your own best friend. Learn how a wholesome meaty diet along with energetic balancing and the right supplements can help keep your companion’s mouth in good health. And if you feel anxious about subjecting your animal to a veterinary dental cleaning, check out our article on what the procedure actually entails – it’s not as scary as you might think! Is it the fear of having your companion anesthetised that’s putting you off? Then read up on the myths surrounding this procedure, and why it’s so much safer than it used to be. This issue is packed with lots more reading to lift those February blues. Discover what’s available in the way of apps for animal lovers, how you can include your pooch in your Valentine’s Day celebrations, and how actress Emmanuelle Vaugier is making life better for animals in need. We’re also offering advice on snow and avalanche safety for you and your dog, and how Ayurvedic therapy can be used to help heal your canine companion. Planning a winter getaway? Find out about the growing number of hotels and resorts with their own resident animal ambassadors. Have a happy and healthy winter!

Ann Brightman Managing editor

Research about Solid Gold Sundancer Dry Dog Food with Curcumin, it continues to Help in a Variety of Health Problems. Additional research reprinted in the Dallas Morning News, August 16th, 2011. The title of the article in the newspaper: “Could This Powder be “Solid Gold’?” PubMed, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, lists more than 4,000 studies using curcumin as herbal medicine by practicing physicians. Dr. Bharat B. Aggurwal, professor of experimental therapeutics at the University of Texas at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, has helped produce more than 100 of these curcumin studies. He says curcumin has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal qualities. He also recommends it for pain management and Alzheimer’s. Further research in the book, “Real Cause, Real Cure,” Dr. Jacob Tertelbaum at the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers shows how curcumin blocks the inflammatory cytokines, helps white blood cells move faster, decreases allergic inflammation and strengthens cells against bacteria. Solid Gold SunDancer dry dog food with curcumin comes in 4, 15 and 33 pound hermetically sealed bags. Some dog food companies have reduced the size of their bags to 25 or 28 pound sizes. Not Solid Gold. Our bags remain at 33 pounds. The Solid Gold Sea Meal is always fed with our dog food. See our catalogue specially for Oriental dogs, Arctic dogs, and dogs from England, Scotland, Ireland and all water dogs (labs, poodles – as well as terriers, spaniels and retrievers). In 1958, the U.S. Congress wanted to fund a study using curcumin and cancer. But the pharmaceutical companies lobbied against it. They said it might interfere with their revenue from their cancer drugs so the lobbyist stopped the study. In 1971, President Nixon tried to have the study begin, but Watergate ended that. Ask your local animal supply store to get in the Solid Gold SunDancer dry dog food with curcumin. It is the chicken/white fish base with tapioca and quinoa to control gas. It is also helpful for tear-staining, ear infections, bladder stones and chewing at the feet. You have tasted curcumin when you eat mustard. Curcumin gives mustard its bright yellow color and its spicy flavor. It’s also called curry. The Indians (in India) refer it to curcumin as Solid Gold for a variety of healing problems.

Solid Gold Holistic Animal Nutrition Center 1331 N. Cuyamaca, El Cajon, CA 92020

Ask your local pet store for a free catalogue. If they don’t have a SunDancer catalogue, call us at (619)258-7356, M-F, 10am to 5pm Pacific time. Or e-mail us at, you can also visit our website at animal wellness









1. Veterinarian Dr. Cindy Kneebone received her DVM from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1981. She received diplomas in Homeopathy from the British Institute of Homeopathy, in Chinese Herbal Medicine from Huang Di College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and in Veterinary Acupuncture at the Michener Institute. She is certified with the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. Dr. Kneebone joined East York Animal Clinic in 1998. Turn to page 50 for her advice on combating dental disease. 2. Veterinarian Dr. Jean Dodds received her veterinary degree in 1964 from the Ontario Veterinary College. In 1986, she established Hemopet, the first non-profit national blood bank program for animals. From 1965 to 1986, Dr. Dodds was a member of many committees on hematology, animal models of human disease and veterinary medicine. She received the Holistic Veterinarian of the Year Award from the AHVMA in 1994. On page 64, Dr. Dodds discusses vaccine titers for cats. 3. Veterinarian Dr. Christina Chambreau is a homeopathic vet, lecturer and author. She graduated from the University of Georgia Veterinary College, and is a founder of the Academy Of Veterinary Homeopathy. Dr. Chambreau teaches classes in homeopathy for animals and lectures on many topics. She is co-author of the Homeopathic Repertory: A Tutorial. For her article on preventing dental disease, see page 34. 4. Veterinarian Dr. Erin Mayo graduated from the North Carolina State University College of


animal wellness

Veterinary Medicine in 2002. She received her veterinary acupuncture and Chinese herbal certification from the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, and provides holistic and TCVM services for companion animals in central New Jersey. In this issue, (page 18), Dr. Mayo addresses heart disease in dogs.

5. Veterinarian Dr. Shawn Messonnier authored the Natural Health Bible for Dogs and Cats, The Natural Vet’s Guide to Preventing and Treating Cancer in Dogs, and 8 Weeks to a Healthy Dog. He’s the pet care expert for Martha Stewart Living’s “Dr. Shawn – The Natural Vet” on Sirius Satellite Radio, and creator of Dr. Shawn’s Pet Organics. His practice, Paws & Claws Animal Hospital (, is in Plano, Texas. See page 90 for his article on common myths about anesthesia. 6. Veterinarian Dr Robert Silver is a 1982 graduate of Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and practices at Natural Animal in Boulder. He is a veterinary acupuncturist and herbalist, and experienced in the use of nutraceutical and functional foods. Dr. Silver developed RxVitamins for Pets, a line of nutraceuticals. In this issue, he talks about Ayurvedic therapy for animals (page 22). 7. Veterinarian Dr. Patrick Mahaney graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1999. He is a certified veterinary acupuncturist from the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. His practice, California Pet Acupuncture and Wellness, offers integrative medicine. Dr. Mahaney writes

a veterinary blog for His first book, The Uncomfortable Vet, will be available this year. He writes about H1N1 and your dog on page 28.

8. Sue Becker is an animal communicator who is passionate about promoting understanding between humans and their animal friends. She is offering Animal Communication Teleclasses this spring ( Check out her advice on using animal communication to deal with animal aggression (page 84). 9. Veterinarian Dr. Anna O’Brien practices in central Maryland. She has worked with numerous species, from cats and dogs to cattle and camels. Her animal family consists of a black Lab named Shadow and three cats called Amber, Scabs and Tuna. Turn to page 40 for her article on veterinary dental cleaning. 10. Barbara Nefer is an animal lover and freelance writer living in Celebration, Florida. She shares her life with three cats, two horses, and a Quaker parrot. For this edition (page 80), she profiles Last Chance for Animals. 11. Sara Jackson lives on a 12-acre farm in American Canyon, just outside the Napa Valley. She is a graduate of the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and has a BFA in Screenwriting. She is a freelance writer and has written a number of short stories, two scripts and a book ( On page 32, Sara looks at apps for animal lovers. 12. Nadia Ali is a freelance writer who was born in London, England and now lives on the






Caribbean island of Trinidad. She is inspired by Cici, her family cat. Her work has been published online and in print. In this issue, she offers fun and safe Valentine tips for dogs (page 76).

13. Tessa Kimmel has over 20 years’ experience in animal care and was employed as a veterinary technician for nearly ten years. She owns MedPet & Cozy Critters Pet Care Services, a Toronto business specializing in care for animals with medical conditions and special needs. For this edition (page 86), Tessa profiles animal-loving actress Emmanuelle Vaugier.

Diana Yousfi is a freelance writer and cat lover. An enthusiastic bibliophile, swing dancer, and gardener, she is passionate about life and animals. When she’s not writing, Diana works in marketing and sales. She lives in New England. Turn to page 66 for her article on feline dementia. Kimberly Button is a journalist and author living in Florida ( For her article on hotels that boast their own animal mascots, see page 26.



Kelly Nelson is a freelance writer and publicist for companies/organizations in the pet, travel and non-profit industries. She lives in Vail, Colorado with her golden retriever/ Newfoundland, Lily, and her cat, Sydney. She loves exploring the mountains of Colorado. Turn to page 46 for Kelly’s tips on snow and avalanche safety for you and your dog. Sandra Murphy lives in St Louis, Missouri. When she’s not writing, she works as a pet sitter. For this edition, Sandra presents an article about Goathouse Refuge, a unique sanctuary for cats (page 68).

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mail bag I picked up a copy of the Oct-Nov 2011 issue and noticed an article on page 42 called “Let them eat cake”. The recipe for Bow-wow delicious brownie cake lists walnuts as an ingredient. Walnuts are toxic to dogs and should never be given (along with onions, grapes, chocolate and large amounts of garlic). Perhaps you should do an article on this if you haven’t already. Cindy McClelland, via email

Editor’s note: We forwarded your concerns to the author of

I was amazed to learn all the different ways a dog could be used for detection (Oct/Nov 2011). A very informative article on the ways these dogs help us. Kudos to the author of the article. J.J. Ordway, via email

Editor’s note: We were also surprised by the many things detection dogs can do! It’s proof positive that canine senses are much more finely tuned than ours, on several levels. No doubt these clever canines will be contributing even more in the future, as researchers continue learning about how dogs perceive the world. Your article “Is she over-grooming?” in your Aug-Sept 2011 issue was helpful to us. One of our elderly cats recently passed away, leaving the other one, who is also elderly, without a feline companion for the first time in his life. I worried a lot about how Dexter would cope without Sinbad, but he seemed to be doing really well, except that he started washing himself a lot more than usual. I didn’t think anything of it until I read your article and learned that over-grooming can be a sign of stress. We also found out that Dexter had fleas – for the first time in his life! We thought that maybe the over-grooming came from that, and feel that it probably does to some extent, but we also wondered if the stress of his loss had made him more susceptible to fleas in the first place. We are dealing with the flea situation, and giving Dexter lots of TLC and using flower essences. Lisa Bristow, via email

Editor’s note: Some cats are expert at hiding their feelings. That’s why it’s important to look more closely, as you did, and take note of any subtle shifts in behavior that might indicate stress, depression or anxiety. 12

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the article, Audi Donamor, who replies as follows: “It is the mold on walnuts (or any nuts) that can cause problems. Wet nuts cannot be eaten by dogs; that is, nuts that are left out and attract moisture, which can then attract mold. In addition, walnut hulls (the shells) cannot be eaten by dogs. The hulls are poisonous (though a tincture is made from them). And any nuts given in large quantities can upset the gastrointestinal system. “This recipe has been used for 15 years with no problems. But again, one must be very careful when selecting the nuts themselves. And you can always make the choice to leave nuts out of the recipe if there are any concerns at all. “Here is an excerpt from Juliette de Baiiracli Levy’s classic book, The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat: ‘Nuts of all kinds are enjoyed by dogs. Many dogs will themselves crack open walnuts and hazel nuts and carefully extract the contents, discarding all the bad pieces. In the main, nuts should be crushed for the dogs (as they would get them in the intestines of their prey). Nuts provide natural oils and many vitamins and minerals. As a tonic for thin dogs and for special pups, I grind the nuts into powder using a small handmill, and mix the flour into milk.’”

I recently received an old back issue of your magazine as a birthday present. I enjoyed Lyn Johnson-Schutter’s article “Top 5 seasonal safety tips”, yet I question some of the advice it conveys from veterinarian Dr. Frank Butts. According to the article, Dr. Butts considers spinach a bad food for pets. I’ve studied canine nutrition for ten years. I’ve made homemade meals and snacks for my almost 13-year-old healthy dog for more than eight years. Nowhere have I read that spinach is a bad food for dogs except, like any other food, in very large amounts or unbalanced proportions to other foods (due to spinach’s high oxalate content). Perhaps the article could have elaborated on this point. I regularly include small amounts of spinach in my dog’s diet and its actual health benefits far outweigh any possible risks. I encourage others to supplement their dogs’ commercial diets with fresh, healthy foods or to feed their dogs homemade meals, as I do. I’m sure other “doggie chefs” look to magazines like yours for helpful information so I felt compelled to write. Thank you for your magazine. Teresa Milanese, via email

Editor’s note: It’s good to know that back issues of Animal Wellness are still making the rounds and being read and enjoyed! While this particular article dates too far back now for us to check with the author, we did some research and learned that you’re right – spinach is safe for dogs. It’s rich in nutrients, including iron, and is apparently good for canines with oxalate crystals or stones. One caution: it can cause diarrhea if fed in high quantities.


From our

I liked reading the article about the concern for the humane treatment of animals used for pet food (Oct-Nov 2011). We can avoid cruelty by going vegan, but cats can’t, so I’m sure that article educated a lot of people. – Jordan Turner Any suggestions on how to get my five-year-old golden retriever to quit eating “poopsicles” from the backyard? He did it last winter, too. I keep them picked up but he always manages to find one frozen. – Jacqui Cameron

Editor’s note: We did an article on this very topic in our Oct-Nov 2005 issue. Here are a couple of tips offered by the author: 1. Make sure the dog is eating a healthy, high quality and nutritionally balanced diet. 2. Take him to the vet to ensure he doesn’t have a condition that could be limiting his ability to break down or absorb nutrients. 3. Adding digestive enzymes to his diet may help.

We’re excited to introduce our new Facebook

It’s your chance to get FREE stuff for your animal buddy. Go to our Animal Wellness Magazine Facebook page for more information. And don’t forget to tell your friends!

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yakkity yak Cancer is number four It’s becoming as prevalent in animals as it is in humans. In 2010, Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) received nearly 40,000 claims for cancer diagnosis and treatment, making cancerrelated conditions the fourth most common type of medical claim. Here are the ten most common forms of cancer: 1. Lymphosarcoma 2. Mast cell tumor 3. Cancer of the spleen 4. Cancer of the eyelid 5. Liver cancer 6. Bone cancer 7. Cancer of the thorax 8. Cancer of the bladder 9. Cancer of the brain or spinal cord 10. Oral cancer Charlotte Ross and friend at the 2011 Genesis Awards

26 years and counting!

Meet the breeds

The Hollywood office of the Humane Society of the United States is gearing up for the 26th Annual Genesis Awards, scheduled for March 24 at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. Every year, this star-studded event honors individuals in film, television, print and the music industry who spotlight animal welfare issues.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) and The International Cat Association (TICA) hosted record-breaking crowds at the third annual AKC Meet the Breeds event on November 19 and 20. More than 1,000 dogs and cats, representing 210 breeds, were at the event. Visitors were treated to interactive displays while learning about each breed.

Launched in 1986 by the late Gretchen Wyler, the Genesis Awards has grown into a gala event attracting hundreds of guests as well as celebrities like Pierce Brosnan, Ellen DeGeneres, Zooey Deschanel, Martin Sheen, Betty White and many more.

“The AKC was pleased to join forces with TICA to once again offer the public this opportunity to meet and play with dogs and cats, including some of the rarest breeds most people may have only read about or have seen on television,” says AKC Assistant Vice President Gina DiNardo.

As of this writing, submissions for awards are still being accepted – watch this space for more on the event in our next issue!

To stimulate a picky appetite, try sprinkling some ground raw meat over your dog’s food. An agility demo at Meet the Breeds


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Rabies campaign in Bangladesh Rabies is a serious problem in many undeveloped countries. Actress Kristin Bauer (True Blood) has announced her support for the WSPA’s Collars Not Cruelty campaign, created to help dogs living in these regions. “I was absolutely shocked when I heard that governments around the world are resorting to poisoning, shooting or gassing dogs as a way to try and prevent the spread of rabies,” she says. The WSPA launched the campaign on World Rabies Day, September 28, by announcing a project in Bangladesh that’s helping the national government implement a large scale rabies vaccination campaign, starting in the country’s principal resort town, Cox’s Bazar. Similar to other successful rabies control projects, such as those in Bali and Sri Lanka, dogs in Bangladesh are being vaccinated and given red collars so communities know they are safe from the disease. “Now, with Kristin’s support and her ability to reach an even wider audience, we are hoping to continue this positive momentum,” says campaign director Ray Mitchell.

Quebec steps up legislation It may be slow, but progress is being made on anti-cruelty legislation. In December, Humane Society International/Canada (HSI/Canada) welcomed the newly proposed animal cruelty penalties announced by Quebec’s Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation (MAPAQ), as part of the updated P-42 (Quebec Animal Health Protection Act) regulations. In 2009, due to massive public outcry over insufficient animal welfare standards in Quebec, the government established a special task force under MAPAQ to improve legislation and enforcement in the province. For nearly three years, this special task force – consisting of experts in animal welfare, veterinarians and industry representatives – has worked to update the P-42 regulations. HSI/Canada is urging MAPAQ to continue improving the Act by addressing animal euthanasia practices, overpopulation, sterilization, and by introducing mandatory jail time for serious cases of animal cruelty. animal wellness


yakkity yak Inner city initiative LA’s inner city communities aren’t a good place for animals. Strays roam the streets, animals are mistreated and abused, and euthanasia rates are high. But help is on the way, thanks to a unique new partnership. After-School All-Stars, Los Angeles (ASAS-LA) is an after school program provider whose goal is to educate, enlighten and inspire thousands of students through activities centered around health, fitness and nutrition, visual and performing arts, youth leadership and community service learning. Now, in partnership with Voice for the Animals, a non-profit animal protection organization, ASAS-LA students will learn about animal rights, safety, spaying and neutering. Bob Ferber, a 32-year veteran prosecutor who exclusively handles animal abuse and neglect cases, will travel to a school site each month to interact with the students, teach them, and assign community service projects to work on throughout the semester. “Voice for the Animals is dedicated to educating the public about the humane treatment of all living creatures,” says Bob. “I view this as a way to potentially end animal abuse and euthanasia by educating the children in the communities where the majority of it originates.” or Thanks to Daniel and his guardian Joseph Dwyer, it’s now illegal to use gas chambers to euthanize animals in Pennsylvania.

Daniel’s Law Last fall, a beagle named Daniel was placed on death row and put inside a gas chamber. Miraculously, he survived his ordeal and was subsequently adopted by dog trainer Joseph Dwyer, who started a campaign to abolish the use of gas chambers to euthanize animals. Thanks to Pennsylvania Senator Andy Dinniman and the passionate voices of Dwyer and other animal advocates throughout the state, “Daniel’s Law” became a reality on December 14, which means it’s now a crime in Pennsylvania for animals to be euthanized in a gas chamber. A listing of states that have banned this form of animal euthanasia, as well as those who still allow gas chambers, can be found at


animal wellness

Students learn about compassion, courtesy of Voice for the Animals

Shards of ice can cut your pooch’s paws – avoid icy areas or get him a set of boots.

Top trends Animal guardians want the best for their companions, and this consumer demand is driving industry trends. The American Pet Products Association’s top trends for 2011 reveal some interesting facts about where we’ve been headed over the past year. These are just a few. • Eco-friendly pet products such as toys, accessories and organic foods are becoming more popular and readily available.

Canine care packages Military dogs work hard, often in difficult and unforgiving conditions. Recently, Move America Forward began a new program that sends care packages to military dogs working with troops in Afghanistan.

• A growing number of hotels, including national chains, are adopting animal friendly policies and offering special packages to pamper our furry friends.

“We did some research and found that dog goggles and protective boots for their paws help the dogs deal with the harsh environment of Afghanistan,” says Danny Gonzalez, the group’s director of communications.

• High-tech products including computerized ID tags, automatic doors and feeders, and touch-activated toys are helping busy guardians take care of their companions with ease and precision.

The care packages include coffee, cookies, beef jerky, Gatorade, deodorant and other helpful items for the troops, along with dog goggles, dog boots, treats and toys.

animal wellness


Take it to heart Cardiac disease can afflict dogs of all breeds and sizes. Find out what the signs are, and how these conditions can be diagnosed and treated using an integrative approach.

by Erin Mayo, DVM, CVA


eorge is a nine-year-old poodle. During a routine checkup six months ago, his veterinarian heard a heart murmur. More recently, his family noticed he was “not his normal spunky self”, and was panting and restless. Radiographs of George’s chest showed a large heart and fluid in his lungs. An echocardiogram revealed a leaky mitral valve. The diagnosis was congestive heart disease. George was given emergency treatment with a diuretic to reduce the fluid in his lungs. His family was presented with several long term treatment options, including drugs, herbs and nutritional therapy. Because George was in heart failure, his people opted to take an integrative approach and use every possible treatment, both conventional and alternative. So he was started on an ACE inhibitor along with Hawthorne extract and a Chinese herbal formula called Wu Ling San. His family also started adding vegetables to his diet.


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Whether you have a Chihuahua or a Great Dane, your dog is at risk of developing heart disease at some point in his life. Unlike humans, dogs rarely have heart attacks or develop heart problems from a buildup of cholesterol in their blood vessels. Most canine heart disease arises from normal wear and tear on the heart structures.

Types of canine heart disease There are two main categories of heart disease – congenital and acquired. Congenital heart diseases are problems a dog is born with, such as a hole in the wall between heart chambers (known as a ventricular septal defect). These diseases are rare and tend to be very severe, limiting the dog’s lifespan. Acquired heart diseases are more common and develop over time. They are frequently associated with aging or physical injury to the heart from trauma (such as getting hit by a car) or certain infections (like heartworm disease).

The location of the problem and the specific tissues involved determines the type of acquired heart disease. • Valvular disease occurs when the valves between heart chambers leak. This leads to abnormal bloodflow in the heart and can result in hypertension and fluid collection outside the blood vessels, commonly in the lungs and belly. The most frequently involved valve is the mitral valve. Older small breed dogs, such as Chihuahuas, miniature and toy poodles, Pomeranians and miniature Schnauzers, are predisposed to this condition. • Myocardial disease involves the heart muscle. It can occur if the heart muscle becomes too thick (hypertrophic), too thin and stretched (dilated), or has been damaged from injury or infection. • An arrhythmia is a general term describing abnormal electrical signals in the heart that cause individual cells in the muscle tissue to contract at different times or at an incorrect rate. This can lead to a heartbeat that’s too fast or too slow, or to a lack of coordination between the different parts of the heart. In any of these situations, the muscle is unable to pump blood effectively.

Further testing may involve electrocardiography, which measures electrical activity in the heart. Signs of a heart problem The symptoms of heart disease in dogs depend on the type of disease and its location in the heart. In general, the signs include: • • • • • • •

Weight loss Decreased appetite Weakness (gets tired easily when playing or with mild exercise) Coughing Breathing heavily Swelling in limbs (edema) Bloated abdomen

The most common reason for a trip to the veterinarian is coughing. It can be a soft, quiet cough that occurs at night or when the dog is lying down, or a loud, hacking cough that occurs randomly. Dogs with arrhythmias can have no signs of disease other than “fainting” episodes. The dog is completely normal, then suddenly collapses for several seconds to minutes. Unlike a seizure, the dog does not twitch or recover completely within minutes of an episode.

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Diagnostic tools and techniques Diagnosis always begins with a thorough examination. The veterinarian will ask about any abnormalities you’ve noticed and check the dog for any telltale signs of heart disease. These may include any of the above signs along with a heart murmur (abnormal heartbeat sound), abnormal sounds in the lungs, weak pulse strength or lack of regularity, and signs of fluid collection in the legs or belly. The next step is imaging. Chest radiographs look at all the organs in the chest, including the heart and lungs. Changes in the shape or size of the heart, and fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) can both readily be seen. An echocardiogram is an ultrasound of the heart that provides more detailed information about the thickness and function of the heart muscle. It can also show abnormal bloodflow through valves and find small abnormalities not visible in radiographs. Further testing may involve electrocardiography, which measures electrical activity in the heart. This is important for diagnosing arrhythmias. The NT pro-BNP is a blood test that measures the level of a protein released when the heart muscle is stretched beyond normal capacity. This test can be useful when it’s not certain whether symptoms are related to the heart or lungs. While it is a useful screening tool, its results cannot be used to make a definitive diagnosis of heart disease.

Treatment options Conventional options include drug therapy and procedures to manage fluid accumulations. Drug therapy is aimed at managing symptoms, such as slowing the heart rate, as well as helping the heart function more effectively. Different types of medication (ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, anti-arrhythmic drugs, diuretics) are chosen depending on which type of heart disease is present. Alternative therapies can be effective on their own or used in combination with conventional treatments. Just remember that when herbs are combined with some cardiac drugs, unwanted side effects or contraindications might occur. Always discuss any herbs or other supplements with an integrative veterinarian before giving them to your dog, especially if he’s already on heart medication.


• Chinese herbal formulas can be very helpful for treating heart disease as well as other problems

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that may accompany it. Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang is traditionally used for blood deficiency and stagnation. Wu Ling San has diuretic properties, so can help resolve fluid accumulations. • Western herbs can also be effective: • Hawthorne (Crataegus oxyacantha) increases heart muscle contractility and reduces the resistance of bloodflow in small vessels. It may, however, enhance the effects of digitalis, so these two treatments should not be combined. • Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) relaxes blood vessels to enhance circulation. • Salvia miltiorrhiza increases bloodflow to the vessels of the heart. • Dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis) is another effective diuretic that helps resolve fluid accumulations. • Nutritional therapy is important. The omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil reduce the potential for arrhythmias and are anti-inflammatory. Carnitine improves metabolism in heart muscle cells. The combination of selenium and vitamin E scavenges free radicals that promote heart muscle cell injury. Supplementation with these nutrients will help decrease further injury to muscle cells and, hopefully, slow disease progression.

For more information on alternative treatments for cardiac disease, check out The Manual of Natural Veterinary Medicine by Drs. Susan Wynn and Steve Marsden.

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) relaxes blood vessels to enhance circulation. Can these diseases be prevented? While there is no specific research on how to prevent heart disease in dogs, there is some evidence that reducing inflammation can improve heart function. The best recommendation is to give your dog a lifestyle that does not encourage inflammation in the body. Do not allow him to get overweight and give him plenty of exercise. Good dental hygiene and a diet rich in antioxidants will also help keep systemic inflammation to a minimum, so brush your dog’s teeth and feed him plenty of fruits and vegetables. Heart disease can be scary, but with the right combination of treatments it can be managed.

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Ayurveda for dogs

by Robert J. Silver, DVM, MS

This ancient holistic healing system was developed in India and can be applied to companion animals as well as humans.

Ayurvedic medicine is based on the principle that each individual has a unique constitution related to the energies within his or her body. A balanced constitution is the best defense against disease. Ayurveda aims to prevent illness by working with the constitution of the individual. It sees body constitution as a balance between three vital energies known as the Doshas, or the Tridosha. These three Doshas are termed Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

What Dosha is your dog? Visit our Facebook page to find out! Vata This Dosha roughly translates as “wind”. It is characterized by the qualities of dry, cold, light, mobile, subtle, hard, rough, irregular, changeable and clear. Vata is the principle of kinetic energy and is concerned with processes that are activating and dynamic in nature. It is considered the most powerful of all The great Dane embodies the Vata constitution the Doshas, as it is Life Force itself. Vata governs all movement in the body, such as respiration, circulation, excretion and voluntary action.

The Doshas represent the three primal metabolic tendencies in living organisms. Every plant, animal and human being embodies one, or a combination of two or three, Doshas. The specific blend of Tridosha in a person or animal is considered to be that individual’s constitution. Each constitution is controlled by all three Doshas to varying degrees, but usually only one, or sometimes two, are dominant.

When out of balance: primary symptoms are flatulence and painful muscular or nervous energy Physical constitution: ectomorphic – thin and wiry with fasttwitch sprinter muscles Typical breeds: include sight hounds such as the Borzoi, greyhound, Afghan, whippet, and other breeds that are thin and lanky, such as the great Dane.


t’s considered by many to be the oldest healing system in human history. Ayurveda is truly holistic in that its goal is to help us achieve balance in our lives – and the lives of our canine companions – and to create and sustain health and wellness. Ayurveda treats disease by supporting the body’s ability to resist illness, and in some cases by treating the disease directly.

The Tridosha


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Pitta translates as “bile”. It is derived from Fire plus an aspect of Water. It embodies the principles of biotransformation and balance. Pitta is the motive force behind all metabolic processes in the body, and also rules all enzymes and hormones. It is associated with the mental process of intellect with clear and focused concentration. Pitta governs the activities of the endocrine organs, and controls body heat, temperature regulation and all chemical reactions. It maintains digestive and glandular secretions, including digestive enzymes and bile. Pitta is responsible for digestion, metabolism, pigmentation, hunger, thirst, sight, courage and mental activity. When out of balance: primary manifestations are acid and bile, leading to inflammation Physical constitution: mesomorphic – very muscular with a “hot” temperament Typical breeds: Rottweiler, pit bull terrier, Chesapeake Bay retriever, golden retriever (right), mastiff


Kapha translates as “phlegm”. It embodies the principals of cohesion and stability. Kapha regulates Vata and Pitta. It promotes properties that are conserving and stabilizing in nature, as well as the anabolic functions of growth and tissue development. Kapha is responsible for keeping the body lubricated, and is essential for maintaining its solid nature, tissues, strength and sexuality. It maintains substance, weight, structure, solidity and body build, and is associated with the mental properties of courage and patience. Kapha integrates the structural elements of the body into stable form. It forms connective tissue and musculoskeletal tissue. When out of balance: manifests disease symptoms associated with liquid and mucus, leading to swelling Physical constitution: endomorphic – stocky and strong, gains weight easily Typical breeds: English bulldog (left), Staffordshire terrier, Newfoundland, great Pyrenees.

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Each constitution is controlled by all three Doshas to varying degrees, but usually only one, or sometimes two, are dominant. Ayurveda in action Diagnostic techniques used in Ayurveda include pulse and tongue diagnosis, urine examination, and visual examination of the skin, nails and other physical features. Another important part of the diagnostic process is a detailed and careful history of the patient’s lifestyle, diet, thoughts, feelings and emotions. The day-to-day practice of Ayurveda involves the integration of herbal supplements with diet, massage, exercise, purification and meditation to create balance among the three Doshas. Although some Ayurvedic practices may not be applicable to animals, such as meditation, many others are easily adapted to our canine companions. By first determining the constitution of your dog, it is possible to then match the appropriate energetics of diet and herbal therapies with exercise, massage and purification or detoxification practices. Ayurveda favors the gradual process of healing over more rapid and instantaneous processes. • Dietary changes are fundamental to the healing process in Ayurveda, as most disease problems are thought to result from dietary indiscretions. • Herbal therapies are directed at restoring balance to the dog’s Tridosha constitution, either by reinforcing or reducing Dosha qualities, based on the Tridosha properties of the specific herb(s) used. • Detoxification, or purification therapy, may be as simple as feeding a purifying diet with herbs and specific nutrients. • Any form of bodywork for animals qualifies as massage in Ayurveda.

Ayurvedic herbal therapies Here’s a list of the most common Ayurvedic herbal remedies that are safe and effective for dogs.

• Neem (Azadirachta indica) is derived from a tree. Different parts of the tree have different applications, but usually the leaves and seeds are used, although the bark is also often used in India. An oil extract of neem is often used clinically. Neem balances Kapha and Pitta. It is good for skin disorders and can also kill and repel ticks, mites and lice, as well as treat


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ringworm. Neem is good for GI complaints and is effective for treating diarrhea. It is also used for respiratory problems, bleeding and fever.

• Olibanum (Boswellia serrata) also comes from a tree. It is a gum resin and is collected from the tree just like maple syrup. Boswellia balances Kapha and Pitta. The extract has potent anti-inflammatory activity. Its use has been studied and reported in research papers as being effective for arthritis, colitis and asthma. It can also help with the inflammation associated with skin allergies.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a commonly used culinary spice but also a powerful medicinal herb that balances the Tridosha. Turmeric is a rhizome (type of root) used topically for abscesses, ulcers, ticks, castration wounds, bleeding, eye disorders and fungal diseases. The list of ailments that turmeric addresses is long, and includes digestive disorders, bacterial infections, inflammation of the tongue (glossitis), threadworms, and loss of appetite. Turmeric is also used for arthritis, respiratory problems such as asthma and pneumonia, tonsillitis, and some renal disorders. Recent research has indicated that it might be of value to cancer patients.

• Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) pacifies Vata and Pitta and is used for a variety of ailments such as coughs and colds, bronchitis and fever. It has been used as a GI tonic and has mild laxative properties due to its soluble fiber content. It is also used to treat gastritis as well as gastric and duodenal ulcers. Licorice root has potent anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce the amount of corticosteroids a dog needs. Licorice root has an effect on sodium retention and blood pressure, and is not recommended for animals that are hypertensive and on medication.

• Ginger root (Zingiber officinale) is a great culinary spice with very useful medicinal properties. It will pacify Kapha and Vata. Ginger root is used most commonly for digestive disorders such as diarrhea and/or vomiting. It can also be used for colds and coughs. It has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, so it’s good for chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis, dermatitis, inflammatory bowel disease and asthma. Ginger root has been found to be effective for car sickness and nausea. Work with an integrative or holistic doctor who is trained and experienced in veterinary Ayurveda. He or she can help you determine which body constitution/s your dog has, where he may be out of balance, and what the most effective treatments will be.

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Sofia of L’Auberge Del Mar

Georgie, a Kimpton Mascot

Peanut frolicking at the Harvest Inn

Woody welcomes you at the Woodmark Hotel, Yacht Club and Spa

Animal ambassadors

Many hotels and resorts now accept four-legged guests, but what if your companion isn’t a good traveler and prefers to stay home? Fill the void left by his absence by checking into by Kimberly Button accommodations with their own friendly resident critters.


o you miss the comforting companionship of your dog or cat when you’re away on vacation or business? Although a lot of hotels, inns and resorts now allow you to bring your animal with you when you’re staying, what if he finds travel too stressful and is better off staying behind in familiar surroundings? Consider looking into accommodations that have their own animal ambassador in residence. It’s not unusual for a hotel or resort to add an animal to its hospitality staff roster. Many accommodation businesses, from small family-owned B&Bs to big international chains, understand that a home away from home is that much more welcoming, relaxing and enjoyable when there’s a furry friend on hand anxious for a belly rub. Among the hotel brands that cater to animal lovers is Kimpton. Located throughout the United States, the chain’s “hosPETality” program includes “Directors of Pet Relations” at several of their properties. These furry four-legged staff members “help” the concierge recommend great spots for guests to take their dogs, and even have their own email addresses for visitor questions about local animal-friendly activities. Treated just like the celebrities they know they are, these Directors of Pet Relations each have their own websites displaying their likes, dislikes, favorite foods and humorous guest stories. They also preside over the hotel’s nightly wine hour, reveling in scratches behind the ears while sipping their own animal-friendly libation.


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Fairmont Hotels and Resorts in the U.S. and Canada have a similar program. Several of their properties have “Canine Ambassadors” who live at the hotel and are eager to interact or go for walks with guests. Several of these Canine Ambassadors were originally trained as guide dogs for the blind, but were found to be better suited for the hospitality industry. In addition to being walking companions for guests, Fairmont’s Canine Ambassadors can be scheduled to socialize with corporate clients during meeting breaks. A few of Fairmont’s Canine Ambassadors have become stars in their own right. Catie, a black Labrador at the Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston, has featured in two children’s books and is a community ambassador, doing outreach programs such as reading with kids at the Boston Public Library. Santol, a dog at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec, also stars in a book and is involved in reading programs. He was trained by the Mira Foundation to be a guide dog, and along with his hotel duties, Santol is often involved in Mira’s fundraising events, thanks to a partnership between the foundation and the hotel. Many animal ambassadors have inspirational stories of how they were rescued from a Humane Society or an abusive situation and given new lives as pampered pooches at posh hotels. At the Harvest Inn in St. Helena, California, in the heart of the Napa Valley, a small dog named Peanut didn’t exactly have a happy start to life, and was malnourished

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and filthy when he was found. All that changed when the inn’s general manager took him in. Now Peanut is well fed and has plenty of guests to dote on him. He spends his days wandering the vineyards, frolicking in the gardens, and getting a few table scraps from the chef. At the Algonquin Hotel in the heart of Manhattan, animal ambassadors have been a fixture in the front lobby since the 1930s, when a stray cat wandered in looking for food. The hotel took him in, named him Hamlet, and began a tradition. For the past 80 years, a succession of cats has been welcoming guests to the property. The first seven were all named Hamlet, and the last three have been called Matilda. In January 2011, after Matilda II decided to retire, a new search for Matilda III began through North Shore Animal League America, a no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization. In August, Matilda III hosted a birthday party with proceeds going to the rescue. She can often be found napping on her chaise longue in the lobby. Sofia came to L’Auberge Del Mar in Del Mar, California after the staff found her mother, Buttercup, wandering lost through the grounds. Buttercup was eventually reunited with her family, but when she had puppies, one was given to the hotel staff who helped her out. Sofie is now the face behind the hotel’s L’Petit Pooch Package, and even has her own Facebook and Twitter accounts. The Woodmark Hotel, Yacht Club and Spa in Kirkland, Washington, is home to a Labradoodle named Woody who scored the coveted title of “Woodmark Hotel Director of Guest Satisfaction”. In addition to his blog, Woody hosts a Yappier Hour for his four-legged guests and friends. These are just a few of the hotels, inns and resorts that have animal ambassadors on staff. If you miss your dog or cat while away from home, staying at a location with a friendly resident animal can ease your loneliness while adding an extra dimension of comfort and pleasure to your stay.

…a home away from home is that much more welcoming, relaxing and enjoyable when there’s a furry friend on hand anxious for a belly rub.

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The latest on


The flu virus that swept the world in 2009, afflicting animals as well as humans, has the potential to combine with other bugs to form hybrids. Help protect your companion by protecting yourself.

by Patrick Mahaney, VMD, CVA


t’s flu season, and most people are doing what they can to avoid catching this year’s viruses. As most of us remember, swine flu was the big bug of 2009 – not just for humans, but for companion animals as well. Currently named North American Influenza, it’s scientifically known as Porcine Influenza A Virus subtype H1N1. Most of us know it simply as H1N1.

entitled Swine Flu – Could H1N1 Infect Your Canine? To my surprise, the veterinary virologists I consulted expressed a lack of concern about possible transmission of H1N1 to animals. At the time, no positive cases of H1N1 had been confirmed in companion animals, but considering the close personal space people share with their dogs and cats, I concluded that a human-to-animal zoonosis seemed inevitable.

H1N1 was first isolated from swine in 1930 and had been previously detected in birds and humans. As swine serve as hosts for multiple subtypes of influenza virus, they’re a veritable melting pot of infectious respiratory diseases. It’s because the epithelial cells lining their respiratory tracts have receptors for both avian (bird) and mammalian (person, swine, dog, cat) influenza viruses. The 2009 H1N1 strain originated in Canadian pigs; people were infected through direct contact with ocular (eye) or respiratory secretions from swine.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the first confirmed cases of H1N1 infection in companion animals in the US occurred in one cat and two ferrets near the end of 2009. The cat and one of the ferrets recovered. Shortly after that, several dogs tested positive and reportedly survived the infection. The presence of H1N1 in these animals was verified via Idexx Laboratories’ Canine and Feline Upper Respiratory Disease (URD) RealPCR Panel, which evaluates ocular and oral secretions for a variety of bacterial and viral organisms.

A look at zoonoses I have a keen interest in diseases that pass between animals and people. These are known as zoonotic diseases, or zoonoses. Prevalent public health concerns are for animal-tohuman zoonoses, such as rabies, tapeworm and toxoplasmosis, rather than diseases that move from humans to animals.

A greater number of dogs, cats and other companion animals may have become sick or even died of H1N1 infection than have been reported. I speculate that thousands of animals were likely never tested for the H1N1 virus, due to lack of awareness of the test or the cost prohibitive nature of laboratory testing.

In 2009, feeling that someone needed to explore H1N1’s potential to transfer from people to animals, I wrote an article

There are no reports of H1N1 spreading from one companion animal to another (e.g. dog to dog). Also, no


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The hybrid has generated concern that additional 2009 H1N1 multi-species viral combinations may emerge in the future.

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humans were reported to have been infected by their dogs or cats. However, I feel this could happen if the necessary biological and environmental situations are met.

Symptoms and treatment A variety of illnesses can cause clinical signs of respiratory disease in animals. Some are infectious (viral, bacterial, fungal, etc.) and others non-infectious (allergies, irritants, etc.). Signs include coughing, sneezing, wheezing, gasping for air, nasal and ocular discharge, light pink to purple gums, and lethargy. Respiratory tract afflictions can also cause decreased appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. It would be realistic to suspect H1N1 infection if the animal was exposed to a human with flu-like symptoms, regardless of the personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s official diagnosis of H1N1. Appropriate treatment for H1N1 can be administered based on test results and suspicion of disease. In veterinary clinical practice, however, respiratory infections are commonly treated with antibiotics and supportive care (fluids, etc.) without achieving an official diagnosis. H1N1 is shed for only a short time post infection, so false negatives can occur even when an animal is sick.

What the future may hold In August 2010, the World Health Organization declared the H1N1 pandemic officially over. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still a life threatening epidemic in certain countries, such as India, and it continued to infect companion animals and wildlife in the US into early 2011. Although the number of American H1N1 infections is no longer on the rise, we may face a potentially more virulent form of this virus in the future. In June 2010, researchers at the University of Hong Kong and Shantou University Medical College discovered a hybrid virus containing genetic material from 2009 H1N1 and other avian and swine viruses. This hybrid virus was found among pig herds in China. Until this discovery, H1N1 was not proven to re-assort with viruses from other species besides animal wellness


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Practice good sanitary habits by washing your hands with soap and warm water after touching an animal (or another person).

swine. The hybrid has generated concern that additional 2009 H1N1 multi-species viral combinations may emerge in the future. The pandemic of 2009 may be just the beginning of a series of organisms that could potentially affect humans, companion animals and wildlife.

Protecting yourself and your animal Do your part in keeping communicable diseases from infecting you and your animal companions. • Practice good sanitary habits by washing your hands with soap and warm water after touching an animal (or another person). • Avoid contact with other people and animals when you’re sick. • Strive for an optimal state of health through a nutritious diet, regular exercise, and minimizing or preventing states of chronic inflammation (obesity, arthritis, etc.). Do the same for your dog or cat. • Be aware of your animal’s well being, habits and behavior so you can recognize signs of respiratory or other illness if/when they occur. • Immediately address any health concerns with your veterinarian and schedule a wellness examination at least once a year.



includes 2 free issues 30

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There is currently no H1N1 vaccine for companion animals, so to help keep your dog or cat infection-free, you need to stay well too. Good hygiene, vigilance and a wholesome lifestyle can do a lot to keep both of you healthy through this flu season and beyond.

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for medications, and upload your dog’s photo with a brief description and list of his characteristics, along with emergency contact numbers.

Apps for ANIMALS

Mobile applications are going to the dogs! Check out the growing number of products designed especially for pooch people.

by Sara Jackson

The app has a services and business directory with over 30,000 listings for dog parks, veterinarians, trainers, daycare and boarding facilities and rescue organizations. The travel guide gives you instant access to a directory of animal-friendly hotels and airlines and their regulations. Each listing is formatted in Apple-standard address book format, which allows you to call or email with the touch of a button. Also included are links to the companies’ websites, business information and maps.

Puppy & Dog Trainer, Jude Novak – $3.99 If you’ve rescued or adopted a puppy or young dog but can’t afford or find the time for training classes, this app helps you learn everything you need to know about housebreaking, socializing and leash training. It walks you through the teaching of basic commands such as “sit”, “stay” and “lie down”. The app also teaches you how to help stop unwanted behaviors such as chewing on furniture, jumping on people, excessive barking and begging at the dinner table.

Good Dog Training Clicker, – free


ong gone are the days when cell phones were just for making calls. Nowadays, we use cell phones and other mobile devices to manage every facet of our lives, and to keep us in contact with the outside world via email, text messaging and social networking. Given the proliferation of apps for everything under the sun, we can use our phones for just about anything you can think of – including managing the lives of our canine companions. Now, with the touch of a button, you can keep track of your dog’s health and veterinary visits, get training information, find up-to-date details on which hotels accept dogs, and much more. Here’s a look at what’s currently available, and what these apps can offer. Just keep in mind that no app, no matter how versatile, can substitute for proper veterinary care.

My Dog, Dog Info USA, LLC – free This app allows you to micromanage your dog’s life by creating a personalized profile that can be emailed to your veterinarian, trainer, daycare or boarding facility, or even a shelter if your dog should become lost You can also keep track of dosage and administration instructions


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This app can be used either as a standalone training tool or in conjunction with the Puppy & Dog Trainer app. It helps you reinforce good behavior by allowing you to use your iPhone as a clicker.

Pocket Trainer, – $1.99 Does your dog obsessively chase his tail? Does your puppy bite when he plays with you? The solutions to these and many other issues can be found in this app. It helps you establish a healthy bond with your canine companion through the use of instructional training videos, tips on caring for a new dog, recipes and breed information.

Doggies Welcome, Ombros Brands, Inc. – $1.99 This app gives you access to a directory filled with thousands of listings for dog-friendly restaurants and hotels. You’ll also find listings for dog parks, doggy daycares and groomers throughout the US and Canada, along with photos, information on fees, ratings and reviews.

Dog First Aid ($1.99) and Dog Symptoms ($2.99), PetMD, LLC Dog First Aid offers advice for common canine emergencies, while Dog Symptoms help you pinpoint why your dog is behaving the way he is, or showing certain symptoms.

This app gives you the choice of either searching specific categories, such as “Behavioral” or “Digestive”, or typing in questions like “What are roundworms?” and “Why does my dog itch so much?” Each article gives complete information on symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment and prevention. These apps are not meant to replace veterinary care.


S TO R A G E T H AT ’ S O U T O F S I G H T !–Adopt Pets, Phunware Inc. – free is a huge online directory of more than 290,000 adoptable animals at over 13,000 shelters and rescue organizations. Now you can download this popular website to your phone and search on the go for your next furry friend. You can search by breed, age, gender and size, and share your favorite picks via Twitter, Facebook and email. The app also provides information about each animal, including a detailed description and photo. Once you have made your choice, you can get directions to the shelter along with its phone number and email address.

Dog Names, Code4Dev, LLC – $0.99 Naming a new dog can be a big decision. Do you give him/her a human name, or a cutesy handle like Fluffy or Sparky? To help with your dilemma, this app provides over 2,000 unique animal names. When you find names that tickle your fancy, you can save them and share them with your friends.

Don’t let runaway pet problems wreak havoc with your bathroom! Simply install a Stowbee dispenser in your wall and keep your toilet paper out of sight. With a few household tools and a few minutes of your time, your pets and bathroom will be safe and secure. No more paper trail... just a beautiful bathroom with no tell tale signs. Made in USA

Given the fast-paced digital world we live in, it’s not surprising that technology and dog guardianship would converge in this way. These apps and others can help streamline your companion’s care by keeping you informed, connected and organized.

Animal Wellness was the first pet publication to come out with a digital issue for computers almost ten years ago. Times have changed and now people want their content on the go anywhere, anytime, which is why mobile apps have taken off like rockets. Animal Wellness is read by not only the general animal-passionate public but also has surging growth with vet students, pet store retailers and animal shelters. As the leader in providing the most educational content in the market, we want to be available in every way possible!

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Mouth matters

Dental problems affect most dogs and can cause serious health issues if left unattended. A wholesome meaty diet along with energetic balancing are two effective ways to help treat and prevent periodontal disease. by Christina Chambreau, DVM


eriodontal disease is a major health issue for dogs. More than 85% have problems with their teeth and gums by the time they reach only four years of age. So doing what you can to help prevent dental disease is an important consideration from an early age. When I had only conventional training, my goal was to eliminate plaque. It forms when bacteria multiply on the teeth and gums, so I would tell people to brush their dogs’ teeth to prevent plaque buildup. I also strongly recommended teeth cleaning every six to 12 months to prevent the problems that can be caused by rampant bacteria. However, I rarely found people willing to brush their dogs’ teeth several times a day, which is what would have to be done to prevent the hard calculus (or tartar) that forms when plaque mixes with saliva. Since calculus can trap even more bacteria, some animals suffer serious


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consequences when the problem is not addressed. Any organ in the body can be infected as a result of periodontal disease.

Moving to a holistic outlook My holistic training gave me an entirely different perspective on oral health. Conventionally, I was focused on the mouth; holistically I focus on diet, keeping the immune system strong, and correcting vibrational imbalances. While I see the benefit of brushing when a dog is not healthy enough to have clean teeth, and I still recommend “babying” his baby teeth, my goal now is to build up his underlying health. When I was a technician and in school, I saw animals react differently to the same treatments. Different dogs had different reactions to the same foods. I saw some live for years with no illnesses, while others developed one disease

after another. Finally, holistic training taught me that each individual has a vibrational pattern unique to him or her. Chinese Medicine calls this energy Qi. Homeopathy calls it vital force and Ayurveda calls it Prana. When this energy is pushed out of balance by a trigger specific to your dog, it tries to reestablish that balance by producing a variety of symptoms that include calculus, weak teeth, infected gums and more.

Feed whole meat and bones Dogs develop tarter for two main reasons. First, they are not healthy enough to prevent the bacteria and plaque from turning into tarter. Healthy dogs do not build up tarter and do not need their teeth brushed. Secondly, people usually assume that commercial dog food mechanically cleans the teeth (it doesn’t), so they don’t brush their dogs’ teeth. The best step you can take to prevent tarter is to feed your dog big hunks of meat, or raw meaty bones, on a regular basis. Physiologically, a dog’s mouth is designed to rip, tear, gnaw and crunch; in the wild, this is so he can get his prey small enough to swallow. Dogs have fangs, one set of bone-crunching molars, jaws that articulate only up and down (ours go side to side as well) and no digestive enzymes in the mouth. Feeding a fresh food diet, especially with local, sustainably raised meats, will both improve your dog’s overall health and will mechanically clean the teeth better than brushing. Giving your dog a bare bone or treat to gnaw on may not really clean his teeth. Watch your dog closely and notice which parts of the teeth are in contact with the “bone”. In addition, over the last ten years or so, we’ve seen dogs break their fangs on bones that are too big for their mouth size. This further indicates that it’s only the tips of the canines and incisors that are gnawing on these big bones – and that won’t help prevent plaque and gum disease. Conversely, big hunks of cooked or raw organ or muscle meat, or whole raw meaty bones (of the right size for the dog), will actually act like dental floss. The muscle meat and skin rub against the teeth and clean them very well.

When a dog’s energy field is pushed out of balance, his body will produce gum and tooth problems, among other health issues, to get back into balance animal wellness


One of my clients, who has Dobermans, says that one of her dogs would start to build up dark plaque on his teeth. She would feed him some turkey necks and within a week his teeth were clean again. Many of my clients have noticed white teeth when they feed their dogs big chunks of meat.

Improving his vibration

Young dogs get their adult teeth by six or seven months of age or earlier. Until then it is important to not give them big bones or hard balls, play pull the rope or any other game that could move the teeth around. Baby teeth that stay in the mouth can be gently helped out with homeopathy or acupuncture.

Some dogs have a weakness in their vibrational patterns that can lead to tartar even when they’re fed a fresh diet or good treats. Tarter can even form when people are properly brushing their dogs’ teeth or using anti-plaque products. When a dog’s energy field is pushed out of balance, his body will produce gum and tooth problems, among other health issues, to get back into balance. These dogs benefit from deeply curative treatments such as Traditional Chinese Medicine (acupuncture and herbs) or homeopathy. These modalities rebalance the dog’s vibrational patterns, so his symptoms resolve. As dogs are deeply healed in this way, the warning signs of energetic imbalance, including tartar buildup, resolve (learn more about the symptoms of energetic imbalance at the Be sure to work with a holistic or integrative veterinarian who is well versed in TCM and homeopathy. Along with balancing your dog’s energy field, you can also use one of the following dental health products. There are basically four approaches and types of product:

1 Toorthbrushes/finger cots/cloths to use alone or with toothpaste. 2 Products you squirt in the mouth. 3 Drops to add to the dog’s drinking water. 4 Dental treats. Choose only quality products and read labels carefully to avoid hidden sugars and chemicals. Remember that regular dental checkups are important for your dog. But by strengthening his overall well being and immunity by feeding him a whole meat diet, keeping his energy field in balance, and either brushing his teeth or using a no-brush dental product, you can help guarantee that he’ll go through life with healthy teeth and gums and a pain-free mouth.


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DENTAL HEALTH DentaSure 100% Natural Oral Care Spray & Gel for Dogs & Cats Contains no harmful alcohol. According to the ASPCA, “Alcohol, even in small amounts, is harmful to dogs and cats.” Removes plaque & tartar, whitens teeth, reverses gingivitis, fights cavities, freshens breath. Contains organic grapefruit seed extract, grapeseed extract, propolis extract and Stevia. 4 fl oz spray or gel. Visit: dog-dental.html Phone orders welcome:


The Honest Kitchen The Honest Kitchen’s all-natural human grade diets for dogs and cats are made with dehydrated whole foods, and are free of the highly processed simple carbohydrates usually found in kibble. A whole food diet like The Honest Kitchen results in a reduced risk of plaque and tartar buildup. Email

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Leba III Leba III cleans the teeth by stimulating the good flora in the saliva. It’s very easy to use as you just spray in the mouth. The herbal ingredients cause no side effects or enamel damage. It contains no chlorides and no grapefruit seed extract. Keep your pet’s mouth healthy for his entire life. Tested by university and used by veterinarians since 1994. Call toll free


Walk In Sync™ Humane Dog Walking and Training System. Walk In Sync™ Humane Training and Walking System is the Mercedes Benz of training tools. Never choke your dog or pup again. Easy to use, works in minutes in 3 Easy Steps, great harness fit, leash handles are so comfortable and offer better control, training videos with your purchase. or for a free sample. or 1-866-437-9729.

Oral Care made easy!

Periodontal disease is the number one disease among pets, yet less than 20% of pet owners routinely brush their pets’ teeth. This new generation of safe, natural products fight periodontal disease without brushing. 1-800-542-7387

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What’s your breed

Boxer – a quiet dignity by Charlotte walker

Name your favorite dog! Is it the Labrador retriever, the dachshund, the beagle? This new column will highlight a variety of popular breeds and tell you about their backgrounds and characteristics, along with other fun facts and some of the rescues, clubs and associations specializing in them. Our goal is to help educate our readers about specific breeds, and help dogs in need find a good home. Let’s start with the boxer.


few years ago, some friends and I visited an acquaintance who shared her home with no fewer than seven boxers. I wondered how the dogs would react with so many guests in the house, but I was impressed at how calm and well-behaved they all were. They mingled comfortably with us, sitting or lying quietly on the living room floor while we talked, and even maintaining their cool when we did some loud circle drumming. According to the American Kennel Club, boxers as a breed are known for their dignity, patience and self-assurance – traits our friend’s dogs displayed in full the night we visited! On the other side of the coin, they’re also courageous, protective and watchful. Cousins to the bulldog, boxers originated in Germany in the late 1800s and was traditionally used for dog fighting and hunting, and later as couriers and pack carriers during wartime – hence their powerful, athletic and agile build. Although some people believe they were named for their ability to stand on their hind legs and “box” with opponents, the jury is still out on the true origins of the name. They are sturdy,

“See the full list of Boxer Rescue groups at”. 38

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The character of the Boxer is of the greatest importance and demands the most solicitous attention. He is renowned from olden times for his great love and faithfulness to his master and household. He is harmless in the family, but distrustful of strangers, bright and friendly of temperament at play, but brave and determined when aroused. His intelligence and willing tractability, his modesty and cleanliness make him a highly desirable family dog and cheerful companion. He is the soul of honesty and loyalty, and is never false or treacherous even in his old age. — 1938 AKC Boxer Breed Standard

strong dogs, with males standing 23â&#x20AC;? to 25â&#x20AC;? at the withers, and females 21½â&#x20AC;? to 23½â&#x20AC;?. Boxers were first brought to North America after World War I, making them a relatively recent arrival on this side of the Atlantic. They began gaining favor in the 1930s, and are today one of the most popular breeds in both the US and Canada. They make intelligent, loyal, playful and sociable companions, have a lot of patience with children, and are good guard dogs. They also respond well to positive training, often participate in agility, obedience, flyball and tracking events, and are frequently used as search and rescue, therapy, seeing-eye and even police dogs.

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Like most breeds, boxers are prone to a few health conditions. You need to be aware of these if you are thinking of adopting one. They include hip dysplasia, corneal ulcers, bloat, dilated cardiomyopathy (a disease of the heart muscle) and a condition called aortic stenosis, a narrowing of the outflow channel between the left ventricle of the heart and the aorta. Sporting a very short, smooth fawn-colored or brindle coat, sometimes with white markings, boxers donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need much grooming, which adds to their attraction as a companion animal. They do require regular exercise and mental stimulation, however, so they arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t an ideal choice for apartment living, and shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be left alone all day. A lack of activity can lead to boredom-based behaviors such as chewing or digging. Some boxers can become headstrong if left untrained, or trained using negative or inconsistent methods.

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Given enough exercise, socialization and training, boxers make wonderful household companions. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no surprise theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve become one of the top ten most popular breeds in North America.

Rescues and associations Adopt a Boxer Rescue, American Boxer Club, American Boxer Rescue Association, American Kennel Club, Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue, Boxer Club of Canada, Boxer Rescue Canada, Boxer Rescue L.A., Boxer Rescue Ontario, Second Chance Boxer Rescue, United States Boxer Association,

* See the complete list at animal wellness


Ready, set, smile!

What actually happens during a veterinary dental cleaning? Knowing what the procedure BY ANNA O’BRIEN, DVM involves can help relieve any anxiety you might feel for your dog. When Patty’s elderly dog became lethargic and lost his appetite, she feared he had developed cancer or heart disease. As it turned out, the problem was in Zen’s mouth – he had severe gingivitis and a bad tooth that was causing him a lot of pain and discomfort. Patty had avoided having Zen’s teeth cleaned because she was nervous about the procedure. But when she saw how quickly he bounced back to his usual energetic self after some dental work, she realized how important canine oral health is. Just like humans, dogs regularly develop plaque and tartar on their teeth. If these deposits are not removed, they lead to periodontal disease, which has become the most common clinical condition diagnosed in dogs. If left untreated, progressive periodontal disease can lead to bad breath (halitosis), bleeding gums, loose and eventually lost teeth, and even degradation of the jaw bone itself.

This Terrier had severe halitosis from a heavy accumulation of tarter


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Bacteria from the mouth can also enter the bloodstream, causing systemic problems. Studies have shown that oral bacteria can cause pathologic changes in the kidneys, liver and heart. Fortunately, periodontal disease is preventable with proper oral healthcare, and dental cleaning should be a routine part of the plan. Performed at your veterinary clinic under general anesthesia, this prophylactic treatment is now one of the most common procedures performed on healthy dogs. If you’ve put off having your dog’s teeth cleaned because you feel uneasy or anxious about it, this article should put your mind at rest.


The first step

Most dental cleanings begin with a brief oral exam before the actual cleaning begins. As your vet looks into your dog’s mouth, s/he will evaluate the extent of

The same dog after a thorough scaling and polishing.

periodontal disease based on how inflamed the gums are and the amount of tartar buildup on the teeth. The vet will also look for any obvious signs of disease, or any problem areas you might have noticed yourself.

2“Does he have to be put under?”

A complete and thorough oral exam and cleaning cannot be done unless the dog is under general anesthesia. For many people, this is the most common cause for anxiety, but it is imperative for a proper, safe and thorough procedure. Advances in veterinary medicine over the past few decades have made general anesthesia very safe, and the increased use of extensive monitoring equipment makes it a highly controlled and closely observed practice. The veterinarian will usually perform routine blood tests in order to evaluate internal organ function before the dog is placed under general anesthesia. [For more on anesthesia, see page 90 in this issue.]

3An in-depth exam

gingival recession, and signs of tooth decay. Intraoral dental radiography is also sometimes used, depending on the equipment available at the clinic, to more thoroughly evaluate the underlying tooth and bone structure.

4Time to clean

After completing the exam and charting the findings, the actual teeth cleaning will begin. Firstly, large accumulations of calculus are removed from the surface of each tooth. After this is done, an instrument called a scaler is used to further remove the plaque and tartar that binds closely to the tooth’s outer enamel surface. Plaque is the sticky film formed by oral bacteria that helps them adhere to the surface of a tooth. Tartar is formed when minerals in the saliva combine with plaque, forming hard deposits (calculus) on the teeth. Tartar can be seen on the tooth surface, while plaque cannot. Both ultrasonic scalers and hand currettes are used for this part of the cleaning. These tools are exactly like the ones used in a human dentist’s office.

Photos courtesy Dr. Robert Baratt, Salem Veterinary Clinic, Salem, CT

Once your dog has been placed under general anesthesia, your veterinarian will take another look inside his mouth, this time for a much more detailed exam. S/he will use a sterilized stainless steel periodontal probe to explore under the gum line around each tooth, checking for deep pockets,

The tools are exactly like the ones used in a human dentist’s office.

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The mouth is then thoroughly rinsed with water and the spaces between the gums and crowns of the teeth are irrigated with a disinfectant solution. A topical application of a fluoride product to prevent plaque buildup is then usually applied to the newly cleaned teeth.


All done!

An intraoral radiograph of a nine-year-old Jack Russell terrier reveals advanced periodontal disease of the first and second upper left premolars. These teeth required extraction.

5Dealing with deeper disease

While supragingival tartar (above the gum line) causes inflammation of the adjacent gingiva, the real damage happens below the gum line, or subgingivally. There, the bacterial infection results in degradation of the periodontal ligament (the structure that holds the tooth in place) and bone surrounding the tooth. This is called attachment loss. Without intervention, progressive attachment loss results in tooth loss. Radiographs are used to assess the degree of attachment loss and guide the treatment of periodontal disease.


Polish and rinse

After scaling, the teeth are polished. Although many people believe this is done strictly for cosmetic purposes, polishing actually removes the microscopic scratches that result from scaling. This smoothes the enamel surface so that plaque is less adherent.

The length of a routine dental cleaning depends on the extent of cleaning required, and if any extra procedures need to be done, such as a tooth extraction. Cleanings without complications can usually be performed in about 20 to 30 minutes.


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After the dog’s mouth is irrigated, cleaned and dried, he is ready to wake up and recover from anesthesia. After the endotracheal tube has been removed (the device that delivers the inhalant anesthesia), the dog is placed in a quiet, clean kennel where he will slowly regain consciousness. Anesthetic recovery is closely monitored and the dog is kept warm in a quiet environment for several hours prior to discharge.


Follow-up and aftercare

When you pick your dog up, your vet will go over his/ her findings during the exam and cleaning as well as offer you tips to help keep your dog’s teeth clean at home, which will include brushing with a pet toothbrush and animal toothpaste (not human toothpaste) three times weekly. When you bring your dog home, he may still be a little unsteady for the rest of the day and his mouth may be tender. Follow your veterinarian’s advice for aftercare and if you have any questions or concerns, remember to call the clinic rather than wait and see. Keeping your dog’s teeth and gums in good condition should be a big part of his overall preventative healthcare plan. A healthy mouth is a major step in maintaining a healthy, happy dog.

Good dental care also includes feeding your dog a quality diet, among other things. See page 50 for more on preventing periodontal disease using an integrative approach.

For Comfort A quest

How improving her arthritic cat’s quality of life inspired this businesswoman to give up her banking career and start a pet bed company. BY ANN BRIGHTMAN


ebra Holte felt helpless when she saw how much pain her elderly arthritic cat was in, so she set out to find some solutions that would help him feel more comfortable. “That’s when I came across memory foam,” she says. “It’s the only material known to man that completely eliminates all painful pressure points. That is huge for an arthritic animal. “When an animal is sleeping or resting on a ‘regular’ bed, the pressure points restrict the flow of blood through a joint,” Debra explains. “Blood lubricates the joint, just like oil in a car. That’s why when an animal gets up from sleeping on a bed that creates pressure points, he’s often stiff until he gets moving and the blood begins to flow again.” Using memory foam, Debra designed an orthopedic bed that would help her cat, as well as other animals suffering from joint problems and related issues. At first, she found that using memory foam alone meant the animal would sink into the bed until he reached the floor, thereby creating pressure points. Gluing the memory foam to a layer of supporting foam eliminated this problem. “Finally, I wanted to protect the porous memory foam from possible accidents,” Debra adds. “That’s how I got the idea to create a waterproof liner to enclose the foam, and then put an outer washable cover on the bed.” Debra was so pleased with her unique bed design that she patented it. In 2004, she founded Buddy Beds so she could help other animals in need of an extra comfortable place to rest and sleep. “Prior to this I was an investment banker and money manager. You can imagine everyone’s chagrin when I quit to ‘sell dog beds’!”

Debra enjoys a winter outing with her dog, Webster.

Based in Denver, Colorado, her company today offers a whole line of memory foam pet beds in a variety of sizes and styles, including a comfy bolster bed. Buddy Beds also makes memory foam crate pads, travel beds, and accessories such as extra bed covers, waterproof liners and even bed warmers for the ultimate in comfort. “We are always working to develop new covers in a myriad of colors and fabrics,” adds Debra. “Something to fit everyone’s taste, lifestyle and decor. For those who love to take their dogs along in the car, we also offer plush travel blankets.” Debra has always loved animals, so Buddy Beds is a “true labor of love” for her. In her spare time, she also serves on the Denver Humane Society’s Board of Directors. “Buddy Beds donates both money and a considerable quantity of our products to needy dogs,” she says. “Our animal companions give us so much with their unconditional love, so my goal is to give them the utmost and highest quality of life possible. Do what you love…and love what you do.” animal wellness


Product picks Kiss bad breath goodbye! Everyone loves being kissed by their dog or cat – unless their breath smells bad. Pet Kiss Plaque & Tartar Water Additive can help freshen your companion’s breath while cleaning his teeth and reducing plaque and tartar, with no brushing required. The product is odorless, tasteless and simple to use – just add it to your dog or cat’s water dish and watch it work naturally! 8 oz – $10.99 16 oz – $20 Gallon – $44.99

It’s a puzzle Dogs need mental as well as physical stimulation. Zanies Interactive Puzzle Dog Toy from Pati’s Paws is a great way to keep your pooch’s brain cells firing. Treats can be placed under the standing pegs for one challenge, or under the sliding pegs for another. In order to get the treats, your dog has to figure out how to move the pegs. A great way to focus his attention and channel his energy. $24.10

Sleep in luxury Doesn’t your beloved companion deserve a warm, comfortable bed? Creative Organization has launched a line of hand-crafted luxury beds for animals. Enchanted Home Pet beds are made from natural wood frames and high quality fabrics and trim. They come in a variety of attractive styles and designs to complement any décor. Furniture grade construction is used and the beds feature feet to lift them off the floor for easy cleaning. $99.99


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Neem cream If your dog suffers from skin allergies, itchiness and hot spots, he’s not alone. But soothing help is available. Kramer’s Salve for Dogs is a safe and natural approach to alleviating canine skin problems. It’s made from organic fair trade ingredients including an exclusive high quality blend of Ayurvedic neem. This comforting salve not only heals and soothes hot spots and itching, but also prevents bacterial and fungal infections. 4 oz – $30

Mobility plus Rear leg mobility problems are common in many dogs. The Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair from is the ideal solution. With one simple measurement of your dog’s height, your pooch’s new wheelchair can be ordered online and will ship the same day. Walkin’ Wheels is veterinarian approved and easily adjusts to fit different sizes of dog. Available in pink or blue. $249 to $499

Tripe treats Tripe is the stomach lining from ruminants and is rich in digestive juices as well as Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids. PetKind’s Tripe Treats for Dogs include two healthy choices for your canine companion – Green Beef Tripe and Green Lamb with Chicken. The latter is ideal for dogs with beef allergies. These unique treats are highly palatable as well as healthy. 1 bag – $11.99

The old “one-two” Arthritis pain is tough, and relieving it is often problematic. The Dog Arthritis Double Power Pack from Natural Wonder Pets involves two separate drug-free treatments to deal with arthritis. Primalix Arthridia uses the TCM herb Rehmannia Root with three additional herbs to reduce pain, inflammation and swelling, and increase mobility. FlexaSure flushes toxins from tissue cells, then delivers hyaluronic acid to rejuvenate the synovial fluid cushioning your dog’s joints. 1 pack – $79.90

Sample this superfood Does your companion need a health boost? Do you? Green Mush is a raw, vegan, bio-compatible, alkalizing, organic superfood formulated with large quantities of CoQ10 (an antioxidant involved in energy production and longevity) as well as spirulina, aquatic vegetables, enzymes, probiotics and more. It’s good for all mammals, including humans. It has even helped some animals with hind leg paralysis. 10 oz – $39.95

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Snow Safety


Winter offers you and your dog lots of opportunities for outdoor fun and exercise. Just remember to keep his well being (and your own) in mind, especially if you live in or are traveling to avalanche country.


ew things are more peaceful and invigorating than hiking, snowshoeing or skiing through an unspoiled winter wilderness. Sharing these experiences with your dog makes it even better, and most canines welcome a winter adventure in the fresh snow. But those who are closest to nature also know its power. Depending on where you live or are traveling to, frostbite can be a hazard, and poor visibility during snowstorms can cause disorientation. And if you live or vacation in a mountainous region further north, avalanches can be a serious risk, especially in recent years, when climate change seem to be causing more of these events. Here’s how to enjoy winter outdoors while keeping yourself and your dog safe.

Wherever you go…. The following tips are important no matter where you take


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your dog during the winter, whether it’s a stroll through the park, a vacation in ski country, or a trek into the mountains.

1 Don’t let your dog wander off without you, especially if you’re in a rugged mountainous region. If he were to stray into dangerous territory, it would put you both at risk. The same rule applies when you’re near a body of water – not all ice is safe to walk on. If your dog obeys you perfectly, you can allow him to feel the exuberance and freedom of being off leash. Otherwise, equip him with a good harness and leash.

2 Know your dog’s limitations. Not all breeds are suited for long treks in the cold and snow. Small dogs, those with thin coats, or those prone to respiratory issues, should stay home on severe days.

Avalanches are more likely during a storm and for 24 hours afterwards. 3

If you’re snowshoeing or skiing and your dog is running, remember that you’re gliding across the top of the snow while he’s sinking in with every step. He’s getting twice as much exercise as you, so by the time you’re feeling tired, he may be truly exhausted. Snow that’s too deep can even result in injury. “A very common injury we see in the winter are torn ACLs, which are caused from dogs bounding through the snow and tearing a ligament,” says Tricia Mines, a veterinary technician at Aspen Animal Hospital in Aspen, Colorado.

4 Give your dog regular breaks and make sure he stays hydrated by bringing along extra water and a collapsible dog bowl. A lot of people think dogs can eat snow, but snow does not have a high water content, and doesn’t give them the hydration they need.

5 If the snow is too deep, consider leaving your dog at home. Yes, he’ll be eager to go with you, but you need to ask yourself this animal wellness


If you’re snowshoeing or skiing and your dog is running, remember that you’re gliding across the top of the snow while he’s sinking in with every step. question: “If he becomes too exhausted, will I be able to get him home safely?”

Avalanche awareness If you’re planning to take your dog into mountainous backcountry, be sure to constantly evaluate avalanche risk, as conditions can change fast. • Avalanches are more likely during a storm and for 24 hours afterwards. The weight of the new snow can cause a slab of existing snow to break off. This is more likely when new snowfall is over 6”, and especially if it’s over a foot. • Try to plan your adventure on the side of the mountain where the wind has “scoured” the snow – usually the westfacing slopes – rather than the side onto which the snow has been blown.

• Stay informed about how the snow pack has been developing in the region throughout the season. A stable snow pack means lower avalanche risk.

Preparation checklist


In addition to water, take along some food or good quality treats. A portable shovel made of plastic and aluminum will help you dig out if you and your dog are caught in an avalanche. Digging with a shovel takes less than half the time as digging by hand. Collapsible probes or ski-pole probes are also good to take along.


Bring first aid supplies for both you and your dog. “With dogs, the main injuries we see are cuts, whether from skis or something sharp hidden under the snow,” says Tricia. “Some of the cuts can be serious, severing tendons or ligaments. It’s a good idea to carry an ace bandage to wrap a foot/leg if necessary.”


If you are venturing into potentially dangerous territory, don’t go alone. Take a buddy or two, and always have a mobile communication device with you so you can call for outside help if needed. Keep in mind that cell phones may not work in mountainous or remote regions.

Stay informed about how the snow pack as been developing in the region throughout the season


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Dress yourself accordingly. Consider your dog’s comfort as well. Breeds that don’t have a thick wolf-like coat are not prepared by nature for cold temperatures, so a good set of quality boots and a weatherproof coat are just as important for him as they are for you. In the event of an avalanche or other accident, they can make a big difference in helping you and your dog stay warm and dry while you wait for help.


Wearing a beacon or “transceiver” is critical in an area where there’s avalanche danger. Many dog parents choose to put a beacon on their companions too – just keep in mind that in the event of an avalanche, rescuers might find your dog before they find you, if they hone in on his beacon first.

holding – including your dog’s leash – and drop your pack to make yourself as light as possible. Use swimming motions to keep yourself closer to the surface. Once you know you are safe, use extreme caution when locating your dog. If you are alone, call for additional assistance. By taking steps to protect yourself and your dog, you can safely enjoy the peace and beauty that winter has to offer, no matter where you are.


Before venturing into unknown territory, consider taking an avalanche training course. It will help you better recognize avalanche danger, select less risky routes, and improve your chances of surviving an avalanche.

If the worst happens Remember how airlines insist you give yourself oxygen before trying to help someone else? The same principle applies in the event of an avalanche. Focus on keeping yourself as close to the surface of the snow as possible. Let go of anything you are

animal wellness


Attack plaque!

There are several main areas to consider when caring for the 48 adult teeth in your dog’s mouth – good nutrition, natural remedies, regular brushing and veterinary cleaning. by Cindy Kneebone, DVM


ven though your dog’s mouth looks very different from yours, canine dental diseases are similar to those that afflict humans, and we often share the same bacterial populations. Conditions such as caries, plaque, calculus, gingivitis and periodontal disease are preventable in both species – but that prevention requires commitment. Plaque-induced disease is the main cause of tooth loss and systemic illness in dogs as well as people. Chronic dental disease is a smoldering low grade inflammatory illness that affects the


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whole body through the release of cytokines that can affect the joints, heart, kidneys, liver and spleen. Healthy salivary pH in the dog varies from 7.34 to 7.8. Plaque and calculus form on the tooth surface through interactions between saliva, food and oral bacteria. The formation of plaque is called a biofilm disease, something that’s been studied extensively in humans but has only been recently recognized and studied in animals. This bacterial biofilm allows for the buildup of tartar on the tooth and under the gum or gingival area, and results in

a local alteration of the pH toward an acidic, oxygen-depleted environment. The best way to encourage dental health is through brushing and diet. Veterinary intervention is also crucial for picking up poor dental health early on. The general recommendation is to have your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned every 12 to 18 months if the teeth are healthy, and every six to 12 months if there is ongoing dental disease.

According to ‘Gospel’...

Canine Light Therapy

Open wide Tooth brushing is important for dental hygiene but not always easy to perform. Starting a dog at a young age and in a relaxed manner is ideal, but an older animal can be trained to accept brushing if it’s done correctly and without stress and anxiety. If the dog insists on biting your fingers, then an alternative needs to be considered. Bites from dogs with plaque disease can result in serious infections in humans. The first case of human pasteurellosis came from a dog bite. Begin with a soft bristled toothbrush. It can be a small child’s brush or one provided by your veterinarian. You can also use a clean sponge as long as it has not been impregnated with cleaning agents. Apply an appropriate dentifrice, angle the bristles 45º to the gum line and brush in a gentle circular motion.

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Red, inflamed or bleeding gums may respond to Arsenicum Album or Phosphorus. A number of veterinary dental pastes are available. Some include enzymes to dissolve plaque and are often flavored with poultry, beef or malt, which makes them more acceptable to the dog. My favorite natural dentifrice is a paste made from baking soda, a 50:50 dilution of 3% hydrogen peroxide with water, and a drop of essential oil such as lavender, eucalyptus or rosemary. You can also add a few drops of concentrated beef stock or the water from a can of fish. This paste addresses the acidic pH and bacterial population, and provides some oxygen to the anaerobic environment under the plaque and gum line. Aerobic oxygen products can be used in place of hydrogen peroxide – they are designed to provide stable oxygen attached to a chlorine molecule. Avoid human toothpaste. Although there are some excellent toothpastes containing lactoferrin, which is very beneficial to gum health, xylitol is added to most of them because it helps animal wellness


control bacteria. Xylitol can be toxic to dogs, affecting the liver and causing a drop in blood glucose. There is also too much fluoride – a toxic halogen – in human toothpastes. After brushing, open a capsule of a high quality probiotic containing lactobacillus. Place some on your finger and rub the gums. This may provide some normal flora to compete with the plaque-promoting bacteria, and reduce their numbers. If your dog’s teeth are clean and healthy, you can brush them three times a week. If there is dental disease, daily brushing is recommended.

Alternatives to brushing If used daily, herbal spray or gel products can help reduce plaqueforming bacterial populations. [See sidebar for a few companies that offer these products.] Using a concentrated solution of green tea as a mouthwash has been shown to reduce bacteria. It also contains catechins and polyphenols, antioxidants that improve gum health.

• Homeopathy can play a big role in easing dental problems. Use the remedy three or more times a day. If the gums are bleeding, dose every few minutes and stop once the bleeding stops. o Dental abscesses may respond to Hepar Sulf, Pyrogenium, Thiosinamonum, Silica and Gun Powder. o Try Mercurius Solubilis if there’s a foul odor coming from the mouth. o Red, inflamed or bleeding gums may respond to Arsenicum Album or Phosphorus. o For painful teeth, try Aconite, Belladonna, Bryonia Chamomile or Hypericum. •N  atural herbal washes applied with a cotton ball are my preferred antibacterial therapies. These are very important because antibiotic resistance is increasing around the world and is known to develop quickly in a biofilm disease. Herbs such as coptis, neem, fennel and chamomile can be applied to a cotton ball in a dilution of one to two drops of herbal to 50 drops of water, and dabbed on sore gums. Honey is also an effective antimicrobial. These herbals must be used several times daily to be effective.

Meat and bones For good dental health, try a raw meat, ground bone and vegetable fiber diet. The addition of soft young bones allows your dog to use his teeth the way they were designed to be used, and aids in keeping them clean and healthy. This diet, on its own, can prevent dental disease. Bones need to be introduced under your supervision. They should be immature bones from lamb or chicken feet to prevent choking or breakage of the larger back molars. Leave some meat on the bone. I often advise people to boil water and submerge the meaty bone for five to ten seconds before feeding. This kills off some bacteria without changing the protein matrix of the bone.

Natural therapies Although the following therapies have not been studied, they are used by many integrative veterinarians to help control or treat dental disease. Work with a veterinarian who is trained and experienced in these types of therapy, so you can ensure correct use and dosages. • The complete 12 Schuessler tissue salts are used to encourage proper tooth maturation and calcification. You can use an individual salt but I prefer to use them all so the body has access to all the physiological mineral elements required for tooth building.


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• The following antioxidants have been found helpful for gingival disease in humans, and although studies have not yet been done in animals, they can be used for dogs as well. o Vitamin C (such as the scorbatate form) can improve collagen production for improved gum health. o Cracked cell wall chlorophyll can help clean the mouth and reduce odors. o Coenzyme Q 10 reduces gingival disease in a number of human studies and can benefit dogs as well.

•C  rab Apple is a Bach Flower remedy that can cleanse the teeth. Dilute it with water and apply it with a cotton ball to reduce plaque-forming bacteria. Taking a well-rounded approach to your dog’s dental health will help ensure his teeth and gums stay in good condition throughout his life. It’ll add immeasurably to his well being and quality of life.

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warm & Fuzzy A lesson about


by Nancy Stordahl


Sophie and Elsie help the author maintain a positive attitude.

envy the optimism with which my golden retriever,

the tails begin to wave in happy good morning salutations –

Elsie, and my English springer spaniel, Sophie, greet each

one long and fluffy with a gentle majestic wag, and the other

new day. I know many people would say I imagine it,

short and stubby, moving non-stop in frantic jerky motions.

but it seems to me as if my dogs welcome every morning with enthusiasm and an expectation of good things. Is this

After the shaking and stretching, Elsie and Sophie happily

optimism? I think it is, even if only of the canine kind.

begin to bounce and prance their way to the front door where they know the next step in the routine is to go outside, sniff

The very first thing both dogs do upon rising is to shake, as if

the fresh morning air, and tend to their “business.”

literally shedding the night’s veil of slumber from their bodies. Next, they slide forward on their front paws and stretch their

When finished outside, they bound with eager anticipation

bodies into the longest, leanest contortions possible. Then

back into the house and head straight to the kitchen where animal wellness


they both patiently sit, drooling, and wait for breakfast,

Dogs can teach us much about the value of living each day or

which they know will be momentarily served up. They

even each moment. All we have to do is stop and take notice.

know it will always be there. They know I will always

Dogs don’t worry about the mistakes or missed opportunities

provide for them. They know they can count on me. They

of yesterday, or fret about problems that may or may not

are truly creatures of habit and fine-tuned routines.

arise tomorrow. They are simply ready to grasp and enjoy the present. They don’t hold grudges or act disappointed

Elsie and Sophie approach every new day as a fresh start.

when we fail at something or raise our voices at them. They

It doesn’t matter if we stayed up too late the night before.

immediately forgive us and move on. Some would say dogs

I might rise tired and cranky, but not Elsie and Sophie!

aren’t capable of deeper thoughts or worries, that they’re just

Regardless of what time we went to bed or what time the

being dogs. I disagree, but I don’t think that even matters.

house begins to stir in the mornings, they are both ready. In

Dogs still “do what they do” and observing them “do what

fact, they are more than ready; they are eager to take on the

dogs do” just makes me feel better.

new day. They seem delighted just to see me. Just seeing Elsie and Sophie’s happy faces, thumping tails, They have few expectations, few demands and therefore few

wiggling bodies, boundless fresh energy and eagerness to

disappointments. They don’t need the day planned out with

begin every day makes me stop and marvel, if only for a

activities, events or tasks to be completed, as I too often seem

moment. After my recent breast cancer diagnosis, (Elsie and

to require. If we have big things planned, they are more than

Sophie were actually the ones with me when I received the

eager to participate. But they are equally content to linger or

news), I truly appreciate their remarkable ability to live in

lounge around the house, letting the day quietly unfold with

the moment.

all its certainties or surprises. They are ready for either. I intend to try and learn to do the same. I will try to live more Likewise, at the end of the day, Elsie and Sophie never

in the present. I will try to worry less about what I did or

lament the things they failed to accomplish as I sometimes

did not accomplish yesterday or today. I will try to worry less

do. Instead, as dusk surrounds us all once again, they happily

about tomorrow. Instead, I will try to savor each moment and

plop down on their dog beds and simply go to sleep, never

each new day. I may not always be successful, but at least I’ll

worrying about what tomorrow may or may not bring. They

know where to look when I need a gentle reminder. Thanks,

instinctively just know how to begin and end each day.

girls, for your optimism, whether I am imagining it or not!


animal wellness

feline wellness Hip, cool and healthy!

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These antibody tests are a viable alternative to annual booster shots

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A place for needy cats to call home

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10 ways to cope with feline dementia



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animal wellness

cat chat has just released its list of the top ten most popular cat names in 2011. Many of them have been on the list for a couple of years, and they’ll no doubt continue in popularity through 2012 too! 1. Lucy 2. Smokey 3. Bella 4. Charlie 5. Tiger 6. Oreo 7. Daisy 8. Molly 9. Max 10. Midnight

Photo courtesy of Gary Kalpakoff – Best Friends Animal Society

Top names for 2011

Tangier Island Mayor James Eskridge is also a waterman, and his cat Sam Alito is part of his crew. The kitty helps scare otters and birds away from James’ daily catch.

TNR on Tangier Island An island off the eastern seaboard is providing a unique opportunity to demonstrate the effectiveness of the trap-neuter-return (TNR) method of controlling cat populations. Last spring, Best Friends Animal Society launched a TNR project to stop the breeding of free-roaming cats on Tangier Island, a remote area off the coast of Virginia and Maryland. With a population of approximately 500 people and around 400 community cats, the island is proud of its felines – but the cats’ uncontrolled breeding was becoming problematic.

How much did you spend? Unless you keep a tally of how much you spend on your kitty each year, you might not have a clear idea of exactly where the bucks go. According to the American Pet Products Association’s National Pet Owners Survey for 2011/2012, basic annual expenses for cat guardians include: Surgical vet visits: $425 Routine vet visits: $219 Food: $220 Kennel boarding: $166 Vitamins: $43 Travel expenses: $48 Groomer/grooming aids: $34 Treats: $41 Toys: $21

“When Best Friends learned of the situation, we contacted the mayor and other key people on the island to ask if they would like help with spay/neutering their community cats,” says Holly Sizemore, director of Community Programs and Services with Best Friends. “The islanders wanted the help, but there was no animal clinic on the island, so the logistics necessary to fix hundreds of cats was more than the residents could handle on their own. Best Friends made arrangements to make use of an older, unused medical facility on the island.” “Before [Best Friends] came we had problems with cats spraying and fighting, and they just were everywhere,” says island resident Pastor Patricia Stover. “Now, even though I know there are just as many cats, you don’t seem to see as many. I think it’s because they are more content. They are friendlier and happier. Cats that you could not pick up before now want to be picked up. I’ve always believed in TNR, and with this project we have seen a huge difference.”

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cat chat The wrong approach

Mickey has recovered very well from his pacemaker surgery

While it’s true that free-roaming cats pose a risk to wild bird populations, there are better ways of dealing with the situation than the one chosen by Nico Dauphine. Last October, the former Smithsonian bird researcher was convicted of attempted cruelty to animals after she tried to poison feral cats near her home in Washington, DC. Dauphine was sentenced to 180 days of suspended jail time, 12 months of probation and 120 hours of community service. She is also prohibited from contact with cats, both in her employment and in community service, during the period of her probation. “We remain grateful to the prosecutors for taking on this case and treating it with the seriousness it warrants,” says Becky Robinson, president and cofounder of Alley Cat Allies. “Far too many animal cruelty crimes involving cats go unpunished. We hope this case serves as a standard to be upheld by law enforcement across the country.”

A pacemaker for Mickey When you have an arrhythmia or other heart condition, a cardiologist will often recommend a pacemaker to regulate your heartbeat and improve the flow of blood and oxygen through your body. Board Certified Veterinary Cardiologists implant pacemakers in animals as well, most commonly in dogs. But recently, specialists in the cardiology practice at the VRCC Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Hospital in Englewood, Colorado were introduced to a cat that needed a pacemaker. His name is Mickey, and he was diagnosed with a disease that was causing an abnormally low heart rate, according to veterinarian Dr. Karen Sanderson and her team. The found it would be too dangerous to go through Mickey’s jugular vein for implantation, so his pacemaker was implanted in his belly and attached to his heart. Mickey has been doing well since the operation, and is back home in Denver with his person, Betsy Forrest.


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Photo courtesy Ryan Shude/Guinness World Records Photo courtesy Guinness World Records

Fizz Girl, a Munchkin cat, is the world’s shortest feline at just 6” high.

Smokey has the world’s loudest purr.

Record-breaking kitties All cats are unique, but these ones are especially so, according to Guinness World Records! Trouble, for example, is the world’s tallest cat, measuring 19” at the shoulder. Believed to be 25% African serval, Trouble and his guardian, Debby Maraspini, recently made an appearance at the annual Jazzy Cat Show in Sacramento, California. And the world’s shortest cat? Standing just 6” tall, she’s a Munchkin named Fizz Girl, who hails from southern

A full 19” high at the shoulder, Trouble is the world’s tallest cat.

California with her guardian, Tiffani Kjeldergaard. Through three years old, she’s often mistaken for a kitten. Meanwhile, the record for the loudest purr (67.7 decibals!) goes to Smokey, a domestic shorthair who lives in Northampton, UK with his guardian Lucinda Ruth Adams. feline wellness


Let’s talk

Titers Want to avoid over-vaccinating your cat? These antibody tests are a viable alternative to annual booster shots. by W. Jean Dodds, DVM


eannie recently adopted a three-year-old cat from her local shelter. Determined to give her new friend a healthy life, she decided not to have him vaccinated every year. She’d heard that vaccine titers were a good alternative to annual boosters, so she found a veterinarian who offers this option and asked him for more information. Compelling evidence implicates vaccines in triggering various immune-mediated and other chronic disorders (vaccinosis). In cats, for example, aggressive tumors called fibrosarcomas can occasionally arise at the site of vaccination. While some of these problems have been traced to contaminated or poorly attenuated batches of vaccine that revert to virulence, others apparently reflect a genetic predisposition in an animal to react adversely when given the single (monovalent) or multiple antigen “combo” (polyvalent) products routinely administered to animals. Certain susceptible breeds or families of animal appear to be at increased risk for severe and lingering adverse vaccine reactions.

What is titer testing? Titer testing for a particular infectious agent measures the presence and level of antibodies in an animal’s blood. These antibodies reflect the combination of any natural exposure and vaccination, and were created when the animal’s immune system responded to the antigens introduced into his body.


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The presence of a measurable serum antibody titer indicates the presence of “immune memory”, and signifies protection from disease. Titers do not distinguish between immunity generated by vaccination and/or by exposure to the disease, although the magnitude of immunity produced just by vaccination is usually lower. When an adequate immune memory has already been established, there is little reason to introduce unnecessary antigen, adjuvant and preservatives by administering booster vaccines. If titer levels are adequate, your cat has protection against future exposure to the infectious agent, and revaccination is not needed. By measuring titers every three years, or more often if desired, you can determine whether your cat’s circulating immune response has fallen below levels of adequate “immune memory”. In that event, an appropriate vaccine booster can be administered.

A “motion picture that plays for years” Some veterinarians have challenged the validity of using vaccine titer testing to assess whether individual animals are protected against common, clinically important infectious diseases. With all due respect, this represents a misunderstanding of what has been called the “fallacy of titer testing”, because research has shown that once an animal’s titer stabilizes, it is likely to remain constant for many years. It is often said that the antibody level detected

by a titer test is “only a snapshot in time”. That’s simply not true – it is more like a “motion picture that plays for years”. A cat with an adequate antibody level doesn’t need to be revaccinated, especially when the vaccine could cause an adverse reaction (hypersensitivity disorder). You should avoid vaccinating cats that are already protected.

Positive versus negative results A positive titer test result is fairly straightforward, but a negative titer test result is more difficult to interpret, because it’s not the same thing as a zero titer and doesn’t necessarily mean the cat is unprotected. A negative result usually means the titer has failed to reach the threshold of providing protective immunity. For the clinically important panleukopenia in cats, a negative or zero antibody titer indicates the animal is likely to be unprotected against feline panleukopenia virus.

High efficacy More than a decade of experience with vaccine titer testing demonstrates this procedure is effective. Published studies in refereed journals show that 90% to 98% of cats that have been properly vaccinated develop good measurable antibody titers to the infectious agent being measured. Using titer testing as a means to assess vaccine-induced protection means you can avoid giving your cat needless and unwise booster vaccinations. So next time you set up a veterinary appointment for your cat, do as Jeannie did and ask if they offer titer testing.


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Prevent dementia

The best method for coping with dementia is to prevent it before it starts. Begin early by keeping your cat’s brain healthy as she gets older. Dr. Lore Haug, a Board Certified Behaviorist with Texas Veterinary Behavior Services, encourages people to implement an environmental enrichment program as early as possible. This includes regularly but carefully introducing new stimuli into your cat’s environment. Try different kinds of toys and encourage your cat to play every day. Don’t let her get lazy.


Use reward training

Is she feeling

foggy? Feline dementia is a very real issue in most senior cats. Here are 10 ways to help you and your kitty cope. by Diana Yousfi

Even if your cat already has signs of dementia, try teaching her to do something new, even if it’s just a simple trick. It will help her mind stay active. Dr. Gary Landsberg, a Board Certified Behaviorist and diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, has done extensive research studies on feline dementia. He suggests training your cat to come for food or to jump up on a particular furniture on command. Use some healthy training treats to help her learn. You might even want to try a clicker (yes, many cats respond to clicker training!). Your cat may or may not be able to learn the new behavior you’re aiming for, but it’s worth a try because, if nothing else, it will challenge her mind.


Reduce stress

Did you know that most cats over the age of 11 are at risk for feline dementia? It’s one of the most common conditions in elderly cats, and can be difficult to deal with if you don’t understand what’s going on. Feline dementia is caused by lesions that appear on your cat’s brain as she ages. The symptoms vary between felines, but in general, they include: • Disorientation • Abnormal social behavior • Loss of appetite • Anxiety • Inability to recognize people • Alterations in sleep patterns • Increased vocalization • Loss of litter box training or other learned activities These ten steps can help make living with feline dementia easier and more comfortable for your kitty.

Cats with dementia frequently get disoriented. 66

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Cats with dementia have high anxiety. Find out what’s contributing to your cat’s stress and find ways to remove or lessen it. It may be that she has arthritis and is having trouble getting up on the furniture. In that case, try installing ramps to make moving around easier. Similarly, if your cat is having trouble finding or getting to the litter box, move it to a more accessible location. Cats with dementia frequently get disoriented. You may be able to lessen this disorientation by confining her to one area of the house, where there is less space to get lost in. Make absolutely sure, though, that she isn’t isolated from you, and that the confinement isn’t actually generating more stress.


Evaluate nutrition and supplements

It’s important to re-evaluate your cat’s diet as she gets older. The nutritional needs of a kitten and a 12-yearold cat may not be the same. Many older cats need food they can easily digest. Both Dr. Haug and Dr. Landsberg also recommend supplements to improve your cat’s brain function. B vitamins and good quality fish oil, which contains Omega-3 essential fatty acids, can help keep her brain sharp.


Observe her behavior

Closely observe your elderly cat and let your vet know of any changes in her behavior, even if it seems small. It’s important to catch feline dementia as early as possible so you can begin steps to slow it down.


Use a harness

If your cat already experiences disorientation and can’t be trusted outside, don’t give up on outings altogether. It’s vitally important for your cat to have changes in her environment to stimulate her mind. That includes new scenery. Try training her to use a harness and leash, and take her outside on an excursion every so often. If she won’t accept wearing a harness, consider investing in an outdoor cat enclosure.


Stimulate her sense of smell

Scent is a huge part of how a cat experiences life. As she gets older, her senses will start to dull. Introduce new scents into her routine environment to shake things up a bit. It will keep her on her toes and her sense of smell sharp. Just be careful what you use. Synthetic perfumes, air fresheners and essential oils are not good for cats. Items offering safe, cat-friendly scents include fresh catnip or cat mint, canned fish, cat grass, etc.


Give her regular checkups

Even if your cat appears healthy, you should still take her for regular visits to the vet. Dr. Haug stresses that older cats should have a thorough physical exam at least once a year, perhaps even twice. This is because there are many physical problems that can cause dementia-like symptoms. Don’t jump to the conclusion that your cat has feline dementia until you have ruled out all other health problems common to older cats, such as kidney failure, arthritis, diabetes and hyperthyroidism.


Make big changes slowly

If your cat’s environment is going to shift in any major way (new home, furniture rearrangement, new family members, etc.), make sure you introduce the changes slowly and cautiously. Sudden dramatic changes in your cat’s environment will cause her additional anxiety and will only propel the dementia forward.


0Keep her socialized

Don’t leave your cat alone for long periods. It will only increase her anxiety and lead to antisocial behavior. If you have to be away for long stretches, get a kitty sitter if necessary. You can make living with feline dementia easier, and even help prevent it if you start early. Remember to keep your kitty’s mind stimulated. Encourage anything that will make her concentrate and think. Focus on reducing stress, and don’t let her become a couch potato!

B vitamins and good quality fish oil, which contains Omega-3 essential fatty acids, can help keep her brain sharp. feline wellness


by Sandra Murphy

A place to call home

Nestled amid 16 acres in North Carolina, this refuge for needy cats is an idyllic sanctuary Siglinda Scarpa has been a cat lover since her early childhood in Italy. It all started when her father brought home an abandoned kitten for her one night. Siglinda warmed the cold, wet orphan in her bed, fell in love with him, and named him Muci. Although his time on earth was short, Muci changed Siglinda’s life. “That cat started my dream of a sanctuary,” she says. “It would be another chance, a safe haven for cats.” Years later, that dream became a reality when Siglinda, who is also a successful artist and sculptor, founded Goathouse Refuge (, a cage-free non-profit sanctuary for cats near Pittsboro, North Carolina. It may seem an odd name for a cat sanctuary, but it was named after the old goat who came with the dilapidated plantation house and 16 acres Siglinda originally purchased for her pottery studio. Unfortunately, the house and studio burned down after she had the building renovated, but Siglinda wasn’t deterred. She started over, and this time her plans included a sanctuary for cats. Today, more than 200 cats and kittens call Goathouse Refuge home. They have 1½ fenced-in acres to roam and play in during the day, as well as a “cat house” with lots of places to sleep, and a screened-in area for the kittens. They are all fed twice a day so Siglinda and her volunteers have the opportunity to monitor the cats’ health and social skills. The cats at Goathouse come from a variety of situations. Some are rescued from abuse or neglect, found injured or abandoned, or come from feral colonies. Local shelters send photos of cats in need of a home, strays are brought to the


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refuge and people sometimes are forced to give up their cats. “For me, the worst thing is to say no,” says Siglinda. “But we can only have 250 cats, maximum.” Arriving cats stay in an intake room for evaluation before being introduced to the others. They are nursed back to health, spayed or neutered, given lots of TLC and then placed for adoption into loving permanent homes. “There are 47 cats who are too feral to be adopted,” says Siglinda. “They are shy, like Amber who might bite or scratch if a stranger tried to pet her or pick her up. They’ll live out their lives at the sanctuary. But there are many other cats available for adoption!” Another of the “lifers”, along with Amber, is Ranocchio (Italian for little frog). When he was about two weeks old, he was thrown from a moving car. Another driver saw it happen, stopped and rescued him before he could be hit. He had to be bottle fed and monitored because he choked when eating. Surgery followed and he now eats eight small meals a day. “He walks a little funny, like a frog,” said Siglinda. “We still have to watch him when he eats. He is a sweet boy.” Needless to say, running a sanctuary for so many cats is very

Goathouse has a high adoption rate because the cats are healthy and well socialized once they’re ready for their new homes.

Siglinda cuddles one of her feline residents (left). The cats enjoy a spacious outdoor enclosure in good weather

expensive. “Food and veterinary bills are the biggest costs,” Siglinda explains, citing the case of a cat named Lucky Boy. “He was found in a foreclosure home, covered in ticks and fleas, and had no hair at all. His treatment cost about $5,000.”

continuing her work as long as she’s able. Her volunteers share her passion. “A shelter should be a refuge. It should let a cat be himself, safe and secure. He should have fresh air and kindness, not be just an animal in a cage, afraid and separated from others. A shelter should be about the cats.”

In order to feed and house all her feline residents, Siglinda has had to become an expert fundraiser. Events held in the gardens around the house, proceeds from Siglinda’s pottery sales, and even selling eggs from a rescued flock of chickens all benefit the cats. “If someone wants to help but can’t adopt a cat, they can become a Coffee Cat,” she adds. “For about the cost of a coffee a day, you can sponsor a cat.” Siglinda is eager to share that she recently met a fundraising goal that allowed the sanctuary to receive a matching grant. The funds are being used to build a wheelchair accessible bathroom and ramp for visitors with physical challenges; to implement a Seniors for Seniors program that will adopt out older cats to older people; and to add educational programs for special-needs children. Goathouse has a high adoption rate because the cats are healthy and well socialized once they’re ready for their new homes. During last November alone, for example, ten cats were adopted, making room for ten more to come to the sanctuary. “No cages mean they are used to seeing us and each other,” says Siglinda. “They get fresh air and lots of exercise. They get to do what cats should do. They meet and charm adopters and get a new home.” Though now 70 years old, Siglinda has every intention of feline wellness



by Ann Brightman

Home health checklist


Cats are good at hiding pain or illness. Keeping an eye on your kitty’s well being can alert you to potential problems so you can get him to the vet before they become serious. Sphinx is a rather unsociable cat. Although he’s affectionate towards his family, he’ll only come for a cuddle on his own terms. He spends most of his time outdoors or in the basement, stalking mice and sleeping in a sunny rec-room windowsill. His person Zoey was taken completely by surprise when she one day found Sphinx curled in a dark corner of her closet, looking miserable. Veterinary tests revealed he had a gastrointestinal infection, probably brought about by eating something bad. “Because he spends so much time outside, I had no idea he’d probably been suffering from diarrhea and vomiting for a day or two,” Zoey says. Luckily, antiobiotics and probiotics brought Sphinx back to health in a few days, but Zoey resolved to keep a closer watch on her feline friend from then on. Cats tend to hide discomfort well, so it can sometimes be hard to tell when they’re not feeling up to par. Taking the time to check in with your cat’s well being on a regular

All cats vomit now and then, but if your cat starts throwing up more than normal, it may mean hairballs, illness or some form of food intolerance.

basis can help catch problems before they become major. This checklist will help you determine when something might call for a vet visit.


Cats are creatures of routine. Any unexplained deviation from your cat’s normal behavior, such as hiding in strange places, restlessness and pacing, excessive vocalization or aggression, can be cause for concern.


Any changes in your cat’s litter box habits can signal illness, stress or pain. These include eliminating outside the litter tray, urinating more or less than normal, blood in the urine or feces, and a change in stool frequency or consistency.


All cats vomit now and then, but if your cat starts throwing up more than normal, it may mean hairballs, illness or some form of food intolerance.


Watch for fluctuations in your cat’s appetite. A picky feline that suddenly becomes a hearty eater could indicate diabetes or thyroid issues. Similarly, a good eater that has lost his enthusiasm for food needs a veterinary check up as soon as possible.

continued on page 72


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Any unexplained weight changes indicate that something is going on with his health.

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Over-grooming, scratching and biting usually indicate fleas, but can also be signs of stress or skin allergies.

pTake a look inside his mouth. If his gums are red, his breath is bad, and there’s tartar on his teeth, he has periodontal disease. Another way to detect dental problems is to watch for signs such as difficulty eating, drooling, dropping food, and pawing at the mouth.

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pMany cats sleep up to 18 hours a day, but if your cat suddenly becomes unusually lethargic and is sleeping all the time, it’s time to call the vet. This is especially vital if he tires easily, his breathing seems labored, or he starts panting after exertion.

pWatch your cat as he walks, runs, jumps and plays. If he is limping or has any difficulty moving, he could be injured or developing arthritis.

pLook into your cat’s eyes. They should be clear and bright, with no discharge. His third eyelid will sometimes come partially across when he’s sleepy, but if it’s visible all the time, there’s something wrong.


Check your cat’s claws. If he’s an indoor cat, he will likely need them clipped from time to time. Claws that are too long can catch in carpeting and upholstery and cause injury. If you can’t do the clipping yourself, ask your vet to do it. By keeping tabs on your kitty’s normal habits, behavior and appearance, you’ll be able to tell right away when something changes. Report anything unusual to your veterinarian as soon as you notice it, and you’ll have an excellent chance at averting serious health problems!


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the scoop First hospice conference

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The International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC) held its first annual conference in Fort Worth, Texas last October. The conference was designed to educate animal care professionals on hospice best practices. Animal hospice care is a growing field, and that means more people will be able to keep their companions comfortable and at home during the last weeks or months of their lives. IAAHPC is dedicated to promoting knowledge about and developing guidelines for comfort-oriented care to companion animals as they approach the end of life.

Just like humans, dogs are prone to developing eye diseases than can affect their vision. Ocu-GLO Rx was designed by board-certified veterinary ophthalmologists to support canine eye health. It’s a nutraceutical comprised of 12 natural antioxidants including grape seed extract, lutein and Omega-3 fatty acids as well as lycopene, EGCG, CoQ10 and alpha lipoic acid. It can slow the progression of numerous eye diseases and support your dog’s general health and immunity.

No more tear stains Those brownish stains on your dog’s face can be very unsightly, and may even emit a foul odor. The Cry Baby Tear Stain Remover Combo Kit from Pet Kiss can eliminate the problem, safely and naturally. The kit includes a topical powder, topical spray and an oral formula that work in concert to get rid of tear stains. The oral formula helps destroy the bacterial, viral and fungal infections that can contribute to tear staining, while balancing your dog’s body systems.


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Keep him mobile Healthy pain-free joints contribute so much to your companion’s physical and emotional well being. TriActa H.A. is a comprehensive joint supplement that helps reduce inflammation and pain and improve mobility. It contains hyaluronic acid, which supports the normalization of synovial fluid viscosity in articulating joints. This product is intended for the long term support of intensive joint problems such as arthritis or injury.

Enter nutrigenomics

Be my Valentine

Nutrigenomics is an exciting new area in the field of nutrition. Basically, it looks at the relationship between diet and an individual’s genetic makeup, and how that relationship contributes to either health or disease.

Earth Heart Inc., a manufacturer of natural remedy mists for dogs, is launching a non-profit partner program to enhance fundraising efforts for dog related organizations. The program starts on Valentine’s Day and allows nonprofit organizations to purchase specially discounted product packages for as little as $20, including free shipping and an extra bottle for a demo or raffle. These organizations then have an opportunity to sell the products for a 200% profit. “We have …found that our products are beneficial for use in the shelters, and to help rescue families make an easier transition to life in the new home,” says company owner Vicki Thorne.

Hemopet recently secured its fourth patent in the field of nutrigenomics, establishing it as the gatekeeper for nutrigenomic pet food technology in North America. The organization is planning to launch nutrigenomic pet food supplements this year – the formulas are currently being tested in Europe. They’ll complement Hemopet’s Nutriscan saliva food sensitivity testing, which allows animals to be diagnosed and tested for food sensitivities on an individual basis. “Not all dogs are metabolically and genetically alike and our technology provides for individualized care,” says veterinarian and Hemopet president Dr. Jean Dodds.

A recipe for trouble? A recent research study conducted by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) offers a troubling snapshot of the state of animal health and wellness in Canada. For example: • Fewer than two in 10 (18%) animal guardians feed their dogs or cats the amount recommended on pet food packages, and only 17% closely review ingredient information. • On an average weekday, animal guardians spend nearly twice as much time surfing the internet (48 minutes) and three times as much time watching TV (79 minutes) as they do playing with/exercising their animals (25 minutes). Read more at

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My furry

Valentine Show your canine companion you care with these heartfelt gift ideas. by Nadia Ali


ed hearts, candy and flowers can mean only one thing – it’s Valentine’s Day! Whether or not you have someone special in your life, why not include your dog in your expressions of love and appreciation? After all, he loves you unconditionally, no matter what, something we can’t always say about our family and friends. The American Pet Products Association reports that more than nine million people buy Valentine gifts for their dogs. And according to the National Retail Federation, people spent approximately $681 million on their animals (not just dogs) for Valentine’s Day in 2011, as compared to only $310 million in 2008.

The American Pet Products Association reports that more than nine million people buy Valentine’s gifts for their dogs. 76

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There are many ways to show your canine you care, but keep safety in mind when considering gifts. You might love receiving a box of chocolates, but chocolate is toxic to dogs, so strike that idea off the list right away. Other types of candy are also a no-no. And think about what your dog would really want. Flowers may be a traditional Valentine gift, for example, but they aren’t much use to your pooch, especially as some plants are poisonous to him. Look at life through your dog’s eyes, and choose something he’ll understand and enjoy.

Quality time is number one “Dogs are social, emotional beings,” says veterinarian Dr. Clare Wilson, who is also a member of the Association of Pet Behavior Counselors. “Companionship is far more important than any material object. Interact with your dog, play with him or take him for a walk.” On Valentine’s Day, weather permitting, how about treating your dog to some unleashed running time in a big open space? You get to play with him and he gets to enjoy nature and socialize with other canines. My own

dog can’t wait to get to our local park, and once he’s there and unleashed, he literally runs wild. Ensure your park allows unleashed dogs, which means it should meet certain criteria such as being fenced in.

• Carrots: Bite sized baby carrots or 2” carrot sticks make an excellent treat and most dogs love them. They’re healthy, low in calories and all natural.

These gift ideas may sound overly simplistic, but dogs adore extra attention, activity and fun, so a day of play, interaction and exercise might be the Valentine present he’d love most. Spending quality time together is relaxing and good for both of you, and it doesn’t cost anything.

• Baked canned dog food: Buy a tin of your dog’s favorite premium canned food, bake it, cool and serve. If your dog could read this, he would be begging you to try it! • Popcorn: There is nothing harmful in popcorn, but don’t use any seasonings like butter or salt. Try your pooch with a few kernels and see how it goes.

Tasty treats Dogs love to eat! Some pet food and treat companies offer special gift boxes of treats for various holidays, including Valentine’s. Be sure to pick a premium product made from whole food ingredients free of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Alternatively, serve your dog some crunchy nutritious goodies right from your own kitchen:

• Green beans: This treat comes highly recommended by vets, especially if your dog is a bit on the heavy side.

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•F  rozen bananas: They make a naturally sweet treat that’s packed with nutrition. Dr. Wilson also suggests a feeding toy as a great Valentine gift. “Instead of gobbling a meal in seconds, your dog can have hours of fun working for his food,” she says. A feeding toy will increase thinking skills and generate some rewarding fun for your dog. The Kong is the most obvious example of a feeding toy, and there are numerous other products on the market now too.

Pamper your pooch Here are some additional gift ideas for your furry loved one: •H  ow about a cozy new dog coat or sweater, or a set of quality boots, to get him through the rest of the winter? There are all kinds of colors and patterns to choose from – for Valentine’s Day, consider red (for boys) or pink (for girls), or select a style that features a heart motif.

Find Valentine ideas here Better Buddies, Buddy Beds, Calming Collars, Emerald Halo, Enchanted Home Pet, Pati’s Paws, Pricillas Kitty Grass, Woodrow Wear,


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•D  ogs love comfort and warmth, so you might consider a luxurious new dog bed, again available in a wide variety of styles, colors and designs. As with anything else, be sure to opt for a quality product. •A  snazzy new collar decorated with a heart pattern might be just the thing your dog needs. Buy a model that’s well made and will be comfortable for him to wear. •M  any people buy charms or crystals for their dogs’ collars. They look sharp and can have a healing effect – for Valentine’s Day, consider rose quartz, the stone of love. This particular crystal has a soothing, nurturing effect. •W  hat dog wouldn’t adore a new toy for Valentine’s Day? If you opt for something that’s heart shaped, be sure it’s made from durable materials that will stand up to a lot of chewing and roughhousing. A heart shaped decorative pillow is not a good choice for a dog toy. • I f your dog enjoys being pampered, treat him to a special spa day at the groomer’s. Or give him some special treatment at home with a good brushing, a soothing bath in natural shampoo scented with a drop or two of essential oil (think lavender, geranium or rose) and maybe a pedicure. There are countless ways to let your dog know how much your love him this February 14th!

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The devastation left by Japan’s horrific earthquake last March didn’t deter LCA’s animal rescuers.

A catalyst for change For nearly 30 years, this organization has been rescuing dogs, cats and other critters from dire straits, while going the extra mile to end animal abuse and neglect. by Barbara Nefer

Thanks to rescuers willing to enter the nuclear exclusion zone, many animals’ lives were saved, including Chuppy, who was subsequently reunited with his delighted family.


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ogs and cats stuck in breeding mills seem doomed to lives of misery. Those that fall into the hands of lab animal dealers, or get lost or abandoned during natural disasters, may have little chance of a happy ending. Fortunately, there’s an organization called Last Chance for Animals (LCA, that truly lives up to its name. During its three decades of dedicated rescue work, investigations and campaigns, the Los Angeles-based group has saved thousands of animals from seemingly hopeless situations, while striving to prevent the exploitation and abuse of dogs, cats and other animals.

paid staff and numerous wonderful, dedicated, conscientious volunteers,” says senior investigator Bryan Monell. The organization runs on donations and online merchandise sales. LCA members often travel long distances to aid animals in need – one of their most recent efforts was helping animals in the aftermath of the terrible earthquake that devastated Japan last March.

“Our rescue mission resulted in over 100 dogs and cats being rescued,” says Bryan. “In addition, we went into the nuclear zone and fed several cows and horses. Our rescuers had to sneak past the cops to get in, as they had forbidden everyone to LCA was founded in 1984 by Chris DeRose, a former Hard Copy go there. LCA will do whatever it takes to save the animals. Our correspondent. Chris originally wanted a Hollywood career, rescuers risked arrest and their but instead of going into acting, own health by being exposed to he moved into other areas of the “Our rescuers risked arrest and their increased levels of radiation.” business and melded his talents with a crusade against animal own health by being exposed to The rescue of Chuppy, an Shiba abuse. He did 150 animal-related increased levels of radiation.” Inu dog left behind in the nuclear stories for Hard Copy, and when zone, was one of the most the show left the air in 1999, he memorable stories to come out of the crisis, says Bryan. “Two brought Hollywood Animal Crusaders to the fledgling Animal of our lead rescuers found her tangled up in a fishing net next Planet cable network. This early animal reality show, the first to an abandoned home,” he explains. “She was lethargic and of its kind to be aimed at a general audience, paved the way for probably within a day or so of dying. Our rescuers were able the genre’s popularity and the wave of current television series, to cut her free and give her food. We have no idea how long from Animal Cops to Pit Boss, designed to bring awareness to she had been trapped, but it was apparent she had been there animal abuse and rescue work. quite some time.

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“She waited patiently as we cut her free and then gave us a kiss with her tongue as we carried her to the SUV for some water, Bryan adds. “She had a collar on with a number, and

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To this day, Chris’s main focus with LCA is to continue helping dogs, cats and other animals of virtually any species, wherever and however that help is needed. “LCA is made up of a small


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we were able to contact her people and reunite her with her family, who thought she was lost forever. Tears were flowing all around. It was a wonderful moment that none of us will ever forget.”

Puppy mills and Class B dealers LCA is also active in the battle against puppy mills. “I have been to over 100 puppy mills,” Bryan says. “We’ve done investigations in New Jersey, Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Indiana.” The organization has also been instrumental in getting many stores that sell mill-bred animals to devote adoption space to shelter dogs and cats, and in convincing them to halt animal sales altogether in favor of exclusively promoting adoptions. Many towns are even banning the retail sale of dogs and cats, says Bryan – several communities in California, including Hermosa Beach, South Lake Tahoe, West Hollywood, Glendale and Irvine now have laws against such sales.

investigator into Baird’s Arkansas kennel for six months to document dog abuse. The investigator’s findings and video footage eventually led to the revocation of Baird’s Class B license along with stiff civil fines. Baird also had his property seized and was placed on probation to settle federal charges stemming from the sale of dogs and cats that were criminally obtained. This particular story was the basis for the HBO America Undercover documentary “Dealing Dogs”, which first aired in 2006. LCA has successfully pursued other dealers and aims to end the trade altogether. “When we started, there were over 100 Class B dealers selling to research labs,” Bryan says. “Now there are fewer than ten, and they will be a thing of the past in the relatively near future. They are a moral stain on our society and our history. Our descendants will look back and wonder how we could have ever let this abomination occur in the first place.”

“When we started, there were over 100 Class B dealers selling to research labs. Now there are fewer than ten.”

The organization also works against other types of abuse, such as animal hoarding, a problem that’s getting a lot of attention thanks to shows like Animal Planet’s Animal Hoarders. In one dramatic rescue, LCA worked for two months to rescue over 230 dogs and 25 cats in a hoarding situation in California’s Mojave desert.

In addition, LCA crusades against Class B dealers who supply animals to research laboratories. These dealers operate as middlemen, getting their dogs and cats from the street, shelters, through “free to good home” ads, and even by stealing family animals. Many do not treat their “merchandise” humanely.

The diverse nature of all this rescue work is an integral part of LCA’s goals. “Our main mission with regard to cats and dogs is to alleviate their pain and suffering in all situations,” says Bryan. “It is that simple and that complex. LCA will not stop fighting until every last puppy mill and cat mill cage is open and empty. We will never stop pursuing those who abuse animals. If you harm a cat or dog, know that LCA does not have a statute of limitations. We will pursue you until justice is served.”

One of the group’s biggest successes was getting longtime dealer C. C. Baird charged with multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act in 2004. LCA placed an undercover

This mother cat and her kittens were rescued from beneath a house in Aizuwakamatsu.


animal wellness

An LCA volunteer comforts Chuppy after cutting him free from the fishing net he was tangled in.

walks He

his talk

Not too many busy entrepreneurs go out of their way to add philanthropic work to their already lengthy to-do lists. Here’s one that does. by Ann Brightman

Bud (right) presents a check to AHVMA president, Dr. Rick Palmquist.


hen Bud Groth and his former business partner, David Petersen, founded PetzLife nearly ten years ago, their main mission was to offer safe, non-toxic dental care products for dogs and cats. These products are formulated to remove plaque from an animal’s teeth without the need for brushing or scaling. The company has more than succeeded in that respect, and has continued adding further products to its line, such as shampoos, aromatherapy sprays, flea and tick repellents and more. But Bud, who purchased his share of the business from David, hasn’t stopped at formulating and selling products. His love for animals inspired him to do what he can to help dogs and cats, beyond providing them with healthy, natural products. One of his initiatives is helping veterinary students attend the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association’s annual conference. The AHVMA explores and supports alternative and complementary approaches to veterinary healthcare, and the annual conference features dozens of seminars on topics ranging from chiropractic and acupuncture to homeopathy, nutrition, massage, Reiki and more. ‘The very first veterinarian who came on board with us was Dr. Susan Maier,” explains Bud. “She invited me to attend the AHVMA conference in 2006, saying it would

be a great way to meet many of her contemporaries. It was at the second conference that I was really moved by the dedication of the students who were in attendance.” However, Bud noticed only five students were there, so he vowed to do something to help more of them afford to attend. “I got up with tears in my eyes and dedicated $10,000 as a fund to help more students attend.” Thanks to this annual fund, many veterinary schools now have a holistic chapter that sends one or two student representatives to the AHVMA conference every year. “This year, I think 26 or even more students were able to attend, largely because of our financial help,” says Bud. “The feedback has been phenomenal. At the conference we often get a standing ovation and again I tear up just for the privilege of being able to help. The dedication of these students to take up veterinary medicine is a challenge in itself, but to accept the additional challenge of specializing in a particular alternative field takes courage, and they need all the support offered by the AHVMA.” PetzLife also supports shelters and rescues. “We are strong advocates for no-kill shelters and are working closely with one of the greatest right here in Minnesota – Animal Ark. We also have a special section on our website where shelter/rescue facilities are listed – in many cases, we offer them free product to get started, then continue with special pricing so they can raise money for their organizations.” animal wellness



Ange r management by Sue Becker, BFRP, BRFAP, CTTP

Animal communication can help resolve many issues, but can it do anything for serious problems like aggression? The answer is yes. Shayne is a five-year-old female American Eskimo who has been with Annamarie since puppyhood. Annamarie and her partner Chris love her very much. She’s energetic, excitable – and very protective of her family. Annamarie called me when Shayne grazed the hand of a neighbor’s child with her teeth. She told me that Shayne routinely responds to strangers with frenzied lunging and growling, and she was terrified her dog might do more harm. She and Chris admitted their dog was sometimes more than they could handle, and that it was time to get Shayne some help.

Getting to the root with communication I initiated a communication session with Shayne, who shared that she felt tense and impatient. She had little opportunity to run, and was bored. She loved to explore but rarely had the chance. Because she was lonely and understimulated, she had an almost obsessive need for attention from Annamarie and Chris. Shayne’s frustration – even desperation – explained her out-of-control behavior. Annamarie admitted that Shayne was confined to a basement room while the couple was at work. If left free in the house, Shayne would shred plants, chew furniture and generally


animal wellness

create havoc. After work, Annamarie released Shayne into the fenced backyard, but only for a few minutes because Shayne would frantically race around barking, then dig holes in the lawn trying to escape under the fence. Shayne didn’t get walked much anymore because of her aggression towards strangers.

Quality of life is key I explained to Annamarie what life looked like through Shayne’s eyes. As a high energy dog, it was hard for her to be confined to a small room most of the day and then have such limited outdoor time in the evenings. She needed to move to work off energy, to use her muscles and release tension. Intelligent and inquisitive, Shayne also craved mental stimulation. In addition, Shayne’s poor socialization and suspicion of others meant her family had become the center of her universe. Shayne was emotionally suffocating. Annamarie and Chris needed to step up and make a commitment to their dog. They started walking Shayne twice daily and a friend was enlisted to visit her midday, walk her again and play with her. Annamarie found a nearby field where Shayne could safely run free and release her pent-up energy – visits to the field became part of their evening walks and Shayne loved it.

Shayne shared that she felt tense and impatient. I recommended Bach Flower Remedies to support Shayne emotionally – Sweet Chestnut for desperation, Chicory for territorial possessiveness, Holly for suspicion and Mimulus to deal with known fears. Annamarie also took Shayne to a positive reinforcement trainer and worked hard to socialize her.

Six months later, Shayne is happier and more relaxed, able to meet new people calmly, and enjoying a lot more quality time with her family.

Sherlock’s story Sherlock is a handsome three-year old domestic shorthair cat who lives with Lorna in western Canada. Lorna adopted Sherlock at eight months of age as a companion for her other cat, Miss Austin. The two cats got along well. About a year ago, Sherlock landed awkwardly from a leap and broke four metatarsals in his back foot. Although a grumpy patient throughout his convalescence, Sherlock’s emotional state improved considerably with Bach Flower Remedies. Lately, however, Sherlock seemed angry and had a very quick temper. He wouldn’t tolerate children anymore and had recently bitten Lorna, quite badly. He wouldn’t play, was getting rough with Miss Austin, and his claws were almost always out. There were no apparent medical issues. This behavior was uncharacteristic for Sherlock. What was going on? Sherlock confirmed to me that he was feeling angry and edgy but didn’t understand why. Nothing was bothering him, and he loved his home and family. But he was feeling very tense. I then communicated with Miss Austin, who indicated that Sherlock hadn’t really been the same since his injury. Thanks to this insight, I suggested to Lorna that we start working on releasing the emotions related to Sherlock’s accident.

Strategy and success Lorna agreed to keep Sherlock safe in a separate room when children came to visit so he wouldn’t feel stressed, and to try her best to entice him to play with a new assortment of toys. When the children came over, I suggested Lorna spray Rescue Remedy and remind Sherlock he would be safe while they were there. Lorna also used a Feliway diffuser and we resumed the Bach Flower Remedies – this time Rock Water for flexibility, Beech to promote tolerance, Star of Bethlehem to heal trauma associated with injury and convalescence, Holly to release anger – and most important, Honeysuckle to help Sherlock move on from his injury and release the emotions associated with it. Lorna emailed me about five weeks later. “Sherlock is doing so much better and I think the essences are really the key,” she told me. “Lots of interactive play is also helping. No more grumps and growls and he lets me rub his tummy more.” Later still, Lorna reported, “[Sherlock] is cuddling at night and cuddles with Miss Austin, too.” He is even tolerating the children. When dealing with behaviorial and emotional issues, animal communication can bring forward information that can’t be gleaned in other ways, and points the way to solutions that can turn even aggressive animals around.

animal wellness


Emmanuelle Vaugier A passion for helping

by Tessa Kimmel

Improving the lives of animals in need is high on the list of priorities for this ambitious Canadian-born actress.


animal wellness


here’s a saying in Hollywood that you should never share the stage with animals. Actress Emmanuelle Vaugier loves nothing more than being surrounded by furry four-footed creatures. Sporting an impressive roster of credits in film and television, including her role as The Morrigan on Lost Girl, premiering on SyFy this January, and a starring part in an upcoming movie with Carrie Fisher, Emmanuelle is a very busy lady. But speak of animals in need, and she stops in her tracks. “I always had dogs as a child,” says the Vancouver-born actress. “I’ve loved animals all my life. I wanted to be a veterinarian but didn’t feel I could manage the emotional aspect of the profession.” As so often happens, a person’s passion will eventually catch up to them. For Emmanuelle, it happened four years ago when an invitation to a Hollywood charity event led to an introduction to Best Friends Animal Society. Located in Kanab, Utah, Best Friends is well known as the largest no-kill animal sanctuary in North America, and has been widely profiled on National Geographic Channel’s DogTown series. Their goal is to end animal homelessness. Through this chance introduction, Emmanuelle learned of the hundreds of abandoned and displaced animals living at the sanctuary, including the 22 dogs involved in the infamous Michael Vick dog fighting scandal. As heartbreaking as it was for Emmanuelle to hear the stories, it fueled her desire to help by visiting the sanctuary and learning all she could about it. “My first visit was in 2009, when I toured the facility and volunteered to walk the dogs. I returned again in 2010. During that visit I fed the pigs, which was so much fun!” Emmanuelle was then asked by Entertainment Tonight Canada to return with them for a third visit in May 2011. “While there, I worked with the horses and birds and had the chance to bring one of the sanctuary dogs to agility classes. What I love about Best Friends is their visibility and how they’ve become an umbrella for smaller animal welfare organizations. Best Friends gives people in cities across North America an opportunity to get to know their local rescue groups through various community events such as cat and dog adoptions. Through association with Best Friends, the smaller organizations become known, resulting in more animals receiving the help they need and deserve.”

“Celebrities, or anyone in the public spotlight, have a responsibility to set a positive example.” Emmanuelle didn’t stop with visiting and helping at the sanctuary. She is also the brainchild of the annual Winter Fluffball Charity, founded in 2010 to raise funds for Best Friends. “It started in my home as an intimate gathering of guests to bring awareness and support to the sanctuary,” she explains. It was so well publicized that in 2011 the event was held at the home of Creative Artists Agency’s managing partner, David O’Connor and Lona Williams, with 200 guests in attendance. “This second event raised more than triple the amount raised the year before!” says Emmanuelle, who is now preparing for her third Fluffball, which will be “bigger and better than ever”. Emmanuelle is an Acclaimed Ambassador for Best Friends Animal Society. “I would love to see stricter penalties for the abuse of animals,” she says. “Celebrities, or anyone in the public spotlight, have a responsibility to set a positive example.” Always thinking of ways to put to work her celebrity status, passion for animals, and her desire to help any living being, Emmanuelle has her sights set on the Clare Foundation, in the hopes of working with them in the near future. The California-based nonanimal wellness


profit organization provides treatment and recovery services to people suffering from alcoholism and substance abuse, and helps them return to sober, independent living. Emmanuelle envisions a program which would bring people in recovery together with shelter animals. She feels the benefits of animal therapy are both a learning and healing experience for patients. Meanwhile, the animals receive care, affection and socialization, so when they return to the shelter they are more adoptable. “I would love to set something up so the two organizations can work together for the greater good of both causes. It would be a win-win situation!”

“Now he’s like a totally different dog, and has since been adopted into an amazing ‘forever home’.” Emmanuelle’s door is always open to those in need, and she fosters dogs whenever she can. She works tirelessly to ensure their care and rehabilitation, but most importantly, she reunites these dogs with how it feels to be truly loved. One of the dogs who has benefited from Emmanuelle’s compassion is Elmo, a bearded collie that was taken in by Best Friends after being hit by a car and receiving extensive injuries including a fractured hip. Elmo went to finish his recovery at Emmanuelle’s home, with the help of a friend, in April 2011.

“He was still a bit of a mess,” she explains. “He was full of matted hair since he couldn’t be groomed due to the stitches. He still needed medical care, and he had some behavior issues. He was shy, skittish and food aggressive.” However, with the help of a good friend who shared in the fostering responsibility, love and patience prevailed. “After a few months, you could see a real change in Elmo,” Emmanuelle says. “Now he’s like a totally different dog, and has since been adopted into an amazing ‘forever home’.” In June 2011, the tables turned and Emmanuelle found herself as an adoptee instead of an adopter. “I was filming Covert Affairs in Toronto, and a puppy named Jack firmly planted himself next to me and subsequently into my heart. I joked with the person he belonged to by saying I would take him off her hands. Turned out, he actually needed a new home because she didn’t really have the time the puppy needed. It was a difficult decision for her, but we have an ‘open adoption’ policy. We see each other every time we visit Toronto.” Emmanuelle is virtually unstoppable when it comes to the plight of animals in need. Her drive, commitment and compassion for all animals are profound. She wears her heart on her sleeve, and is compelled to do anything she can to help. “Please spay and neuter your animals,” she advises. “Education is key to people learning the importance of being responsible.”

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animal wellness


5 myths about anesthesia If you feel nervous about having your dog “put under” for veterinary procedures, you’re not alone. While there are risks involved, anesthesia is safer than you might think. by Shawn Messonnier, DVM


animal wellness


renna adopted an elderly poodle from a relative who could no longer care for him. She took him to the vet for a long overdue checkup and discovered he would need some extensive dental work requiring anesthesia. Because Meister was 12, Brenna was concerned about the effects of putting him under. “I thought he was too old,” she says. “I was convinced he’d die on the table.” Brenna is not alone in her fears. Many people have postponed or even declined important veterinary procedures for their dogs because they don’t want their companions being anesthetized. Like everything else in life, anesthesia does carry some risks, but advances in technology have rendered it much safer than it used to be.

Myth #1:

Anesthesia is dangerous Anesthesia was first used in 1799. Original anesthetic drugs included ether and chloroform, both of which proved toxic and often fatal, not only to the patient but also the doctor administering them! Modern anesthetics have come a long way since those days, and are now very safe if used properly. In general, there are two types.

1. Injectable anesthetic drugs can be divided into short acting and long acting medications. Short acting medications tend to be used for the induction of anesthesia (getting the dog to become anesthetized very quickly) or are given continuously throughout anesthesia to keep the animal asleep during the entire procedure. Long acting injectable medications may be used as the sole anesthetic drug and will usually keep the dog asleep during the entire procedure. 2. Inhalant anesthetic drugs (gases) are used in place of injectable drugs to keep the animal asleep during the entire procedure, although short acting injectable drugs may be given to quickly anesthetize the dog before he is placed on gas for maintenance. animal wellness


I can honestly say I have never had a single anesthetic problem or death in an older or sickly animal, using our carefully chosen holistic anesthesia regimen. Both injectable and gas anesthetics can be safely used if dosed properly and chosen with the dog’s medical condition in mind. Some drugs should not be used in animals with certain health problems, such as xylazine in those with heart disease. Proper monitoring of the dog while anesthetized is also imperative It should include careful observation of the dog’s respiration and heart rate, and the use of an electronic monitor to check his heart rate and oxygen saturation through pulse oximetry. Thanks to modern dugs and monitoring equipment, anesthesia should no longer be considered dangerous as long as it is properly administered.

Myth #2:

My dog will be groggy following anesthesia One of the most common complaints I hear from people is that their dogs are groggy for several hours or days following anesthetic procedures. While this frequently occurred many years ago when anesthetic drug choices were more limited, in my opinion it should never occur today. I believe it is malpractice to send an animal home if he is barely awake following anesthesia or surgery. In general, this hangover or groggy effect occurs when injectable ketamine and xylazine (or similar) drug combinations are used for anesthesia. These drugs, while safe when used properly, are often given by injection for discount or low cost spaying and neutering procedures because they’re much less expensive than gas anesthesia or other injectable medications. A very common side effect of these medications, especially when given under the skin or in the muscle, is a prolonged recovery period. Many of these animals are groggy for 24 hours or more, and I’ve seen some that required hospitalization for supportive care because it took them several days to fully recover. In my opinion, a safer (though slightly more expensive) approach is to use a short acting anesthetic followed by gas anesthesia for maintenance during surgical procedures, including spaying and neutering. Using this regimen, dogs wake up quickly following surgery and can be sent home fully awake. If sedation is needed at home to keep the dog from becoming overactive, oral sedatives can be used. In my practice, I’ve performed what I call holistic anesthesia. It involves careful monitoring and low doses of anesthetic drugs properly chosen for the patient’s condition, so he can wake up immediately following surgery without any hangover effects.


animal wellness

Myth #3:

My dog shouldn’t be anesthetized too often Some people become concerned if their dogs require several anesthetic procedures over a short period, perhaps for cleaning severely infected ears or changing bandages or splints following fracture repair. Once again, if the proper drugs are chosen, they quickly leave the body and do not require extensive metabolism by the liver or kidneys. This is especially the case with gas anesthetics, since they leave the patient while he continues to breathe following the procedure. While it is true that we never want to anesthetize a dog more than necessary, some procedures such as those I mentioned above require more frequent sedation or anesthesia. Rest assured that as long as the proper anesthetics are chosen, there is no increased risk to your dog.

Myth #4:

Sick dogs can’t be anesthetized Ill dogs can be safely anesthetized as long as the proper drugs are chosen and the animals are carefully monitored, although it is always preferable to get them healthy first. However, this is not always possible. For example, in my practice I often see older dogs with very bad dental disease. These dogs are not eating and are feeling pretty crummy. It is often hard to determine if the dog has stopped eating because of the dental disease, or because of another underlying illness. In these cases, the dog must be anesthetized for teeth cleaning so we can determine which disease process is causing lack of appetite. The good news, once again, is that properly chosen modern anesthetics, antibiotics, fluid administration, additional supportive care, and careful monitoring ensure these dogs rarely have anesthetic problems. And they feel much better following the procedure!

Myth #5:

My dog is too old for anesthesia I don’t believe any dog is too old for proper medical care. If that care includes anesthesia, then it must be done in order to help the animal. Some people may choose not to have an anesthetic or surgical procedure done for a dog they deem too old (for example, a total hip replacement for a 15-year-old Labrador with arthritis) but this is the person’s choice and is made after careful discussion of all the available options. It is true that older animals don’t metabolize some drugs as well as younger ones. For this reason, the correct anesthesia

must be chosen for the dog’s age, and more importantly, his state of health and/ or the presence of medical problems at the time of the procedure. I see far too many dogs who have not been given proper care (especially dental cleaning and tumor removal) because their current veterinarians deem them “too old” for anesthesia and refuse to do the procedure. In my area, I’m known as a veterinarian who anesthetizes old and often sickly animals on a daily basis, and people seek out my assistance because they want these procedures done and recognize their health benefits. I can honestly say I have never had a single anesthetic problem or death in an older or sickly animal, using our carefully chosen holistic anesthesia regimen.



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Older animals and those with illness deserve proper medical care and can receive it safely if the veterinarian is comfortable performing anesthesia and carefully monitors the animal during the procedure. Myths like these are based on fear or inaccurate information. As you’ve now learned, anesthesia can be safely done thanks to modern drugs and monitoring equipment. If your veterinarian is not comfortable performing anesthesia on your dog, s/he should not do so. Likewise, it’s important that you’re comfortable with it before consenting to the procedure. Ask questions and make sure you understand the answers before submitting your companion to any anesthetic, surgical or medical procedure.

Proper monitoring should include careful observation of the dog’s respiration and heart rate, and the use of an electronic monitor to check his heart rate and oxygen saturation through pulse oximetry. 1-800-665-2139 animal wellness



Teeny Buddy by Mia McGregor

Teeny Buddy (left) with “girlfriend” Kiki and brother Latte


n my lifetime, I’ve had plenty of good teachers. Some of the greatest have been animals, including one I recently lost – a special toy poodle named Teeny Buddy. I’ll never forget the day we got him. He sat huddled close to his much larger brother in a wire cage with some food and water, a soggy towel, and a ripped, dirty chew toy. Lonely and forgotten, seen only as a money-maker, he pulled at my heartstrings. We took them both. Like most dogs, Teeny Buddy soon forgot his rough start and focused on the present. He lived the average happy life of a puppy, complete with a whole menagerie of toys, daily outings, warm laps to sit on, cozy beds to curl up in, and most importantly, a family that loved him. His sunny life couldn’t have been better.

His world goes dark But one day, when he was still very young, a shadow was cast on Teeny Buddy’s seemingly perfect life. During a routine vet visit, we found out he was developing cataracts, a common affliction for his breed. We had started to notice his eyesight didn’t seem as sharp, but now it was official. His eyesight would only get worse in the coming years. Teeny Buddy continued to live a normal life, but slowly


animal wellness

I noticed changes. From the time he was little, he would sometimes lift up both ears, earning him the nickname “Bat Ears.” As his blindness progressed, this bat ear routine became a fulltime affair. He started carrying his ears up all the time, relying on sound instead of sight to guide him through his dark little world. Playtime became different. When he fetched his favorite ball, instead of watching where I threw it, he listened for the light “thud” as it hit the floor, then used his sharp sense of smell to sniff it out. Despite the difficulties, he still loved the game. Each time I got ready to throw the ball, he waited excitedly with head cocked to the side and his tail quivering in anticipation.

A natural performer When it came to dog tricks, Teeny was a natural performer. In only ten minutes, he learned to roll over. He could dance, spin and speak. He could jump through a hoop, even when he couldn’t see. He would feel with his paw for the hoop, hop through, then proudly wait for his treat. Later in his life, he learned to sneeze on command – and sneezed at the table for scraps from then on! Blindness may be seen as a weakness, but Teeny Buddy saw himself as strong. Like many animal lovers, I had other critters, including guinea pigs. When they were out, Teeny Buddy “watched” them like a hawk, growling at the other dogs to stay away. Halfway through his life, we got our

Later in his life, he learned to sneeze on command – and sneezed at the table for scraps from then on! Labrador retriever, Blanca, who Teeny also protected – until she got big and started teasing him.

Navigating the outdoors Being outdoors was one of Teeny’s favorite activities – and also one of the scariest. Every morning and late afternoon, he would trek down the porch stairs until he finally found his way onto the lawn where he could do his “business.” Luckily, his older brother, Latte, stayed close by to lead the way, but when Latte died, Teeny Buddy’s life got harder. A couple of times, he lost his footing and fell in the pond, or wandered over to the chickens and ended up getting pecked on the nose. But hazards aside, Teeny loved his time outdoors, barking with excitement whenever the door was opened, and using his nose to follow me through the yard. During the last year of his life, Teeny Buddy became a little less adventurous, and his hearing started to go. Sometimes he had to be called two or three times before he took notice. Indoors, he no longer jumped off the bed, afraid he would fall and get hurt. On his daily jaunts outside, he didn’t go far, often doing his business then going straight back to the porch where he felt safe.

A sudden passing One pleasant morning, Teeny went outside then came back to wait by the porch, just as he always did. When we opened the door to bring all the dogs in, he was lying motionless on the rug in front of the door. Teeny Buddy had quickly and unexpectedly passed away, probably from a heart attack. He was 12 years old. We buried him in the yard among the flower bushes. It was a pleasant little ceremony, but the loss nearly ripped my heart in two. Teeny’s absence took a toll on everyone. My sleeping companion was gone. Dad’s TV companion was gone. Teeny’s special bed by the piano had no occupants. His handmade tuxedo outfit hung in the closet unworn. His “girlfriend”, Kiki, lost her love. Slowly, we learned to cope. Time has passed, and the sorrow and desperation have been replaced by joy as I reminisce about the good times and the lessons this amazing little dog taught me. Teeny Buddy faced each day with a happy spirit, reminding me there’s always something to be grateful for and excited about. Even though he was blind, he always saw the good in things. His was a way of life we would all be wise to follow.


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Book reviews Title: Every

Dog Has a Gift

Author: Rachel


Dog lovers know about the healing influence canine companionship can have on us. Rachel McPherson, founder and director of The Good Dog Foundation, a dog-assisted therapy organization, explores this aspect of the human/canine bond in Every Dog Has a Gift. This touching volume features dozens of true stories about dogs that helped people by giving them healing, support and unconditional love. There’s Frankie, a disabled dachshund in a doggie wheelchair who assists children in dealing with their own life challenges; Sunny, a fear-filled rescue dog that came from an abusive situation and who taught his new guardian how transforming patience and love can be; and many others.

Every Dog Has a Gift is practical as well as inspiring. McPherson includes advice on adopting a rescue or shelter dog, how to choose the best canine for your family, and how to ensure your new friend fits in smoothly and happily. There’s also a section on therapy dogs and what you need to know to get your own pooch involved. Publisher: Tarcher/Penguin

Title: The

Secret Language of Dogs

Author: Heather For Dogs and Cats

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Pet First Aid participants will learn: • Early signs of illness • Prevention of injury • Emergency response skills • Choking, airway, and CPR skills • And much, much more!

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animal wellness


When we’re upset, scared or angry, we speak up to make our feelings known. Dogs don’t have that option. Instead, they rely on body language, barks and whines. In The Secret Language of Dogs, author Heather Dunphy explores the different ways canines communicate, and teaches you to better understand what your best friend is trying to tell you. Learn how dogs interact with humans, other canines and their environment, and what growling, whining, barking and howling really mean. There are chapters on canine body language, and how breed characteristics provide insight into a dog’s personality. There are also sections on how to properly interpret behaviors such as aggression, chewing and digging – and, conversely, on how and why dogs sometimes misinterpret our own actions and messages. Filled with beautiful color photos and plenty of helpful tips and facts, The Secret Language of Dogs also offers training suggestions so you can further strengthen your mutual bond of understanding and respect.

Publisher: Thomas Allen Publishers

Title: 101

Fun Things to Do With Your Dog

Author: Alison


Regular play and activity are an important part of your dog’s overall well being, physically, mentally and emotionally. Author Alison Smith offers an exciting variety of games, tricks and sports you can share with your canine companion in her colourful new book 101 Fun Things to Do With Your Dog. Teach your dog how to play basketball, tag, or hide and seek, and check out the range of imaginative tricks and canine sports such as agility, dancing or flyball. The Training Games section helps your dog learn while he plays, while Boredom Busters keep him busy and stimulated on bad weather days. There are also activities designed for the whole family to take part in, or that are ideal for the backyard. This is a fun and inspiring book that will help both you and your dog stay fit, active and engaged, whether you’re indoors or out.

Publisher: TFH Publications

ancient wisdom modern solutions Dr. Rose’s Remedies Skin Treatment is an all-natural herbal salve that promotes rapid and complete healing of skin ailments. It can be used on a wide variety of animals including dogs, cats, and horses. ÝÛ?]YdkÛogmf\k•ÛZmjfk•ÛZjmak]kÛ and lacerations ÝÛ?]dhkÛkh]]\Û`]Ydaf_Ûg^Û surgical wounds ÝÛI]da]n]kÛafyÛYeeYlagfÛYf\ÛajjalYlagfÛ associated with inter-digital infection ÝI]da]n]kÛal[`qÛkcaf ÝDgaklmjar]kÛkcaf ÝKj]YlkÛjYafÛjgl ÝKj]YlkÛ`glÛkhglkÛÛ 610-558-4610 |

Title: Who

Will Care When You’re Not There?

Author: Robert

E. Kass, JD, LLM & Elizabeth A. Carrie, JD, LLM

Do you know who would look after your beloved dog or cat if something ever happened to you? “Most pet owners have no plan at all, or an ‘implicit’ plan they may not even have discussed with their proposed caregiver, without detailed, written care instructions, and without funding,” says attorney Robert E. Kass, co-author with Elizabeth A. Carrie of Who Will Care When You’re Not There? Their new book about estate planning for animals stresses the importance of making proper arrangements for your dog or cat in case you fall ill or die. The attorneys explain the various options available, help you decide which is right for you, and provide useful checklists to make sure you’ve covered off everything that will ensure your companion’s continued care in the event of your death or incapacitation. Kass and Carrie teach you that there’s a lot more to taking care of your animal’s future than just asking a friend or relative to take him on after you die. Proper estate planning is vital to his well being.

Publisher: Carob Tree Press, LLC

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through the communion this connection can provide. Share your love, laugh, cry, grow and expand the depth of your understanding with your Animal Friends. Extend your connection with those who are in spirit and Restore Harmony and Balance through energy healing.” Phone Consults (315) 329-0116 CAROL SCHULTZ – Animal Communicator/Interspecies Life Coach. Interactive, compassionate and insightful Consultations and Healing for all animal species. (815) 531-2850 Founder/Director of online learning institute, Animal Healing Arts Education and Professional Development. JANET DOBBS – WORKSHOPS AND CONSULTATIONS. Animal communication, Animal/human Reiki. Deepening the bond between animals and humans. For information about hosting a workshop in your area. janet@, (703) 648-1866 or

LOVING ANIMAL COACHING & CONVERSATIONS through End of Life situations, Missing Animals, Training & unique Personal Messages just for you. Inspiring your Brilliance to Connect & Understand your animals too. Priceless Wisdom. Contact: Morgine (360) 247-7284 SHIRLEY SCOTT – Internationally known Animal Communicator & Clairvoyant connects with your pets here or in spirit. She reads emotional/behavior/health problems, provides classes & workshops in animal communication & training. (509) 526-5020 SUE BECKER – Interspecies Communication, Registered Practitioner of Tellington TTouch and Bach Flower Remedies. Resolve problems and stress, improve behavior, deepen understanding and your relationship. Emotional healing, animals in spirit. Consultations by phone/in person, lectures, workshops. Call (519) 896-2600

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Holistic Veterinarians EAST YORK ANIMAL CLINIC HOLISTIC CENTRE – Dr. Paul McCutcheon, Dr. Cindy Kneebone & Dr. Anya Yushchenko. We provide a wide variety of integrative diagnostic and therapeutic methods. Please visit our website to explore our services. (416) 757-3569, 805 O’Connor Drive, Toronto, ON, M4B 2S7 ESSEX ANIMAL HOSPITAL, REHAB & K9 FITNESS CENTRE – Dr. Janice Huntingford practices integrative medicine for optimal pet health. Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Physical Rehab, Therapy pool and underwater treadmill, Alternative Medicine, Chinese Herbs, Holistic Consults. Please visit our website and facebook page. (519) 776-7325 Essex, ON. GUELPH ANIMAL HOSPITAL – Offers a full range of conventional veterinary services as well as acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, herbal and nutritional. Dr. Rob Butler is certified in veterinary acupuncture and is also trained in Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine. By integrating conventional and complementary therapies, treatments can be tailored to the individual needs and preferences of the animal and client. Guelph Animal Hospital (519) 836-2782 ROCKLEDGE VETERINARY CLINIC – Thoughtful, Compassionate, Veterinary Care. Conventional Medicine & Surgery, Classical Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Cold Laser for Arthritis, Vaccine Titers, Home Prepared Diets, Hospice. (215) 379-1677, Rockledge, PA

Natural Product Retailers HOLISTIC PET INFO – Your source for vitamins, supplements, herbal and homeopathic remedies for dogs and cats. We carry Thorne, Vetri-Science, NaturVet, Animal Essentials, InClover, PetAlive, and others. Visit:

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Reiki HEALING WITH LOVE – NOT DRUGS – Gentle Reiki treatments for animals and their people by an Usui Master. “Amazing!” –RR, NYC. “Purrcival hasn’t been this lively in ages.”—DKA, NJ (201) 288-8617 Distant treatments available.

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Schools & Training ANIMAL HEALING ARTS TRAINING & CERTIFICATE STUDY PROGRAMS – Animal Spirit Healing & Education® Network provides distance learning and on-site courses in Animal Communication, Shamanic Animal Healing, Animal Reiki, Grief Support Skills, Flower Essences, Aromatherapy, Species Behavior, and Holistic Animal Health. Learn more at or contact Founder, Carol Schultz, (815) 531-2850 BRANDENBURG MASSAGE THERAPY, LLC – Hands on Training and Certification Program for Equine and Canine Massage Therapy. Small class size. (740) 633-6639 or INTEGRATED TOUCH THERAPY, INC. – Has taught animal massage to thousands of students from all over the world for over 17 years. Offering intensive, hands-on workshops. Free Brochure: (800) 251-0007 PETMASSAGE (FOR DOGS) TRAINING AND RESEARCH INSTITUTE – Toledo, OH USA. Learn the PetMassage Method of Canine Massage. Hands-on Foundation, Advanced and WaterWork (canine water massage) workshops, online modules for anatomy and marketing. Resource books and DVD’s. Complete children’s K9 massage program for families and educators. FREE Online newsletter. WALKS ‘N’ WAGS PET FIRST AID – Natural Leaders in Pet First Aid Certification Courses for dogs and cats. Learn preventative skills and practice emergency bandaging with live wiggly pets. Distance Learning also available. or (800) 298-1152

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Events Animal Teleclasses with Sue Becker Starts January 2012 International Teleclasses Are in-person workshops too far away? Join us for internationally available telephone classes including: Introduction to Animal Communication; Animal Communication Level 1; Animal Communication Level 2; Bach Flower Remedies for Animals and Humans; Thunderstorms & Fireworks - Help For Your Dog; Mysterious, Magnificent Cats; Think Like Your Pet; Individual and Group Mentoring; Litter Box Solutions; All About Pet Foods. Number of weekly classes vary from one to eight, depending on the course. Visit for more details. Your email and telephone enquiries are welcomed. Sue Becker is an internationally known animal communicator and consultant, instructor and author. She has worked with thousands of animals of many different species and holds recognized practitionerships in Bach Flower Remedies both for animals and humans, Tellington TTouch Method, Reconnective Healing, and has extensive experience in many other physical and energy modalities. ~ Advancing Human-Animal Relationships through Understanding, Empowerment and Compassion ~ For more information: Sue Becker, BFRP, BFRAP, CTTP 519-896-2600

AR206: Adapting Reiki for Animals Instructor: Linda Epstein Wednesdsay evenings (3 weeks), beginning February 8, 2012 Internationally available teleclass This three week teleclass series is for those who are attuned to Reiki/other energetic modalities, and want to learn how to adapt these concepts and techniques for use with animals. For more information: Carol Schultz 815-531-2850 Toronto Cat Rescue Petsmart Adopt-a-thon Weekend February 10 - 12, 2012 Petsmart Toronto Cat Rescue will be having an adopta-thon February 10th-12th at the following Petsmart locations: Brampton: Petsmart 9065 Airport Road Mississauga: Petsmart 3105 Argentia Unit T-2 HWY 4 Vaughan: Petsmart 7575 Weston Road Kitchener: 655 Fairway Road South We will have lots of kittens and cats waiting for their forever families to adopt them at the adopt-a-thon! Please come and adopt your new best friend(s) REMEMBER: When you adopt a kitty from Toronto Cat Rescue you save two lives; the one you adopt and the one you make room for! Our adoption fee will be reduced to $100 for all cats and kittens at the Petsmart adopt-a-thon only, payable by cash only. This ensures that the cats that come into our care receive the medical attention they need, are spayed or neutered, vaccinated (and receive a rabies vaccination if age appropriate). Our fee also includes 6 weeks of free pet insurance.

For more information: Alison 416-538-8592 AR102: Level 1 Animal Reiki Teleclass Instructor: Linda Epstein Tuesday evenings (5 weeks) beginning March 6, 2012 Internationally available teleclass series Enter the world of Reiki, where the Universal Life Force, also known as; Chi, Ki, Prana, Holy Spirit, Orgone, and Huna work to bring balance and harmony to the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies of human and animal. This class will merge Science and Healing through discussion of the theories of Quantum Physics, applying conscious thought and intention to healing. Reiki is both powerful and gentle and can be used as an aid in promoting the natural healing process of all living beings. Animals are very open to the healing energy of Reiki, which can be used alone or as a complementary therapy along with traditional Western and veterinary medicine. These classes will teach you the basic concepts of working with energy. You will learn to perform exercises that will awaken you to your own electromagnetic force field. You will learn to tap into your consciousness, imagination, and intention to guide energy flow and transformation. These simple exercises focus on body awareness that will build your confidence and help you to stimulate and develop your capabilities of channeling energy to yourself and others. For more information: Carol Schultz 815-531-2850

Post your event online at: 104

animal wellness

Tail end

Whimsical Wrigley by Lisa Mackinder

Wrigley has successfully established her place in her family’s hearts. The two-year-old great Dane is completely in love with her two people (my sister and brother-in-law) and loves all of us too. And our friends. And the squirrels, bugs and birds in the backyard. Wrigley loves everyone. She has also made herself the resident comedian. My sister and her husband recently purchased a space heater for their living room. Nothing special. No bells, whistles, rocket boosters or time travel buttons. But on plugging it in, Wrigley resembled the spellbound humans in War of the Worlds beholding unearthly spacecraft as they emerged from the crumbling ground. Mesmerized by the magnificent orange glow, Wrigley parked herself in front of the captivating machine and stared into its radiance. As if hypnotized, her focus didn’t stray until the heater’s thermostat shut it down. When the heater clicked on again, Wrigley scrambled, re-assuming her position and acting as if she awaited a secret message, or orders from a round-noggin extraterrestrial in a 1950s sci-fi movie: “Take me to your leader.” While family visited my sister’s house for a few days, Wrigley still awaited instructions from the heater. Then, after everyone left, my sister announced the vigil had ended. One night, while they were watching television, Wrigley abruptly dashed away from the heater. Tucked safely behind their couch, she suspiciously eyed the device. Maybe she received a command that just didn’t sit right? Whatever the case, Wrigley and her mechanical commander have since come to an understanding, and she once again awaits its directive.

proud mother of a toy dinosaur. Parent and child look nothing alike. Wrigley has lengthy legs akin to a small pony. Her pudgy baby stands a few inches high and looks like a long-necked Pillsbury Doughboy. Wrigley is fawn colored. Her baby is orange. But the differences don’t matter. It was love at first sight. Wrigley wrapped the dinosaur in her massive paws, nuzzling and cooing, as if talking to a baby. To her delight, the dinosaur talked back. Wrigley quickly discovered her bundle of joy squeaked. And squeaked and squeaked and squeaked, until her humans took the dinosaur away. Now the two have timed play dates. There is one thing Wrigley is not – a heroine. My sister discovered this one morning after an ice storm. Taking Wrigley out to use the facilities, she fell and slid down the hill in their backyard. No Swiss Alps disaster responder, Wrigley raced to the house and bumped open the door. As my sister clawed her way back up the hill, Wrigley simply jumped up and down at the entrance. But anyone who knows Wrigley understands that she has a heart of gold. In fact, she’d make the perfect party hostess. Er…almost perfect. Should any guest plummet into a snowdrift, no gallant rescue would ensue – because in cases of emergency, it’s every Dane for herself.

If you have an amusing story you’d like to submit, send it to: Tail End,

Besides taking orders from a space heater, Wrigley is the

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Animal Wellness Magazine ~ Vol. 14 - Issue 1  

Animal Wellness is North America’s top natural health and lifestyle magazine for dogs and cats.

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