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Volume 3 T Issue 4

Complimentary

I t’s H e ro fo r Z e ro Ti m e Fo o d R e c a l l 101

Yo u r D o g E ats W h at ! ?

Winston’s Waiting for You!


The Triangle Dog

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PUBLISHER'S NOTE

Brehmer Barks I feel like I say this every time I write a Brehmer Barks, but where has the time gone? This is already the last issue of The Triangle Dog for 2013. The next time we meet, it will be a new year. So while we have some time in 2013, let’s enjoy it and create a better life for our dogs! To help you do that, we are sharing many great articles with you in this issue. These great articles include what 10 potential hazards to avoid as the holidays approach in “The T-Dog Ten”; what essential oils are effective in “Natural Dog”; and what to look for in a recall in “Safety 101.” This issue also has a focus on lost dogs: how to make sure your dog does not get lost and what to do if the unthinkable ever happens. In addition, check out our two articles focusing on two very important topics—puppies as Christmas presents and what you need to do to be a “Hero for Zero.” In addition to the great issue we’ve put together for you, we want to remind you that if you have not seen our new website, you should stop by www.TheTriangleDog.com and check it out. While you are there, be sure to sign-up for the digital issue of The Triangle Dog and have it delivered straight to your email inbox. And last but not least, be sure to visit us on Facebook and “like” our page. We can never say this enough: with so much happening at The Triangle Dog, we want to remind you that we love to hear from you and welcome any and all comments and suggestions so that together we can create a better life for your dog. Sincerely, Chuck & Angie Brehmer (and Millie, Elsie, and Cindy Lu) Publishers/Editor-in-Chief

Millie

Cindy Lu

Elsie CORRECTION NOTES: We regret that we listed the city of Everest out of a Pit therapy dog’s reading program city incorrectly in the Summer issue. We listed Riverview Elementary school in Murfreesboro, TN, and we should have listed it in Murfreesboro, NC. Our sincerest apologies to Everest and all of his fans! In our Breed Basics column, we failed to mention InBetween the Blinks as the photo credit and listed two email addresses. The correct email address is gsdrescue.org. 4    Volume 3 • Issue 4

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“Helping You Create a Better Life For Your Dog”

Publisher

Volume 3 • Issue 4

Founders: Chuck Brehmer and Angela Brehmer

Cover Photography

Chuck Brehmer

InBetween the Blinks Photography

Editor-in-Chief

Art Director

Angela Brehmer

Michele Sager

Editor

Advertising Director

Allison Bennett

Betty Schomer

Distribution Manager

Website Designer/Manager Michele Sager

Mary Price On The Cover: Courtesy of: Details: Cover Photography By:

The Triangle Dog 6409 Fayetteville Rd, Suite 120-376 Durham, NC 27713 919-249-8364 (TDOG) info@thetriangledog.com

Winston Tina Musslewhite “Son of a Baker” InBetween the Blinks Photography

“Like” us on

Follow us on TheTriangleDog.com

Submissions: Please send all editorial material, advertising material, photos, and correspondence to The Triangle Dog magazine, 6409 Fayetteville Rd, Suite 120-376, Durham, NC 27713, or via email at editor@thetriangledog.com We welcome previously unpublished material and color pictures either in transparency or disc form at 300 dpi. We cannot guarantee that either the article or the photos will be used or that they will be returned. We reserve the right to publish all letters received, as well as all Facebook and Twitter posts left at The Triangle Dog sites. Advertising Sales: Send requests to Angela Brehmer at 919-249-8364 (TDOG) or abrehmer@thetriangledog.com The Triangle Dog magazine is published 4 times per year. Entire contents are copyright 2013. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means without prior written consent from the publisher. Publication date: October 2013. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. However, the publisher makes no warrant to the accuracy or reliability of this information. Views expressed by editorial contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher.

The Triangle Dog

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Table of contents Volume 3 • Issue 4 Departments: 4 Publisher's Note 5 Masthead 6 Table of Contents 7 Bark Back! 8 Contributors 24 Ask the Groomer 28 The T-Dog ‘Round Town 32 Ask the Vet 39 Picture This!

Cover Story: 14 Son of a Baker by Tara Lynn

38  Safety 101: Handling Pet Food Recalls 45  Training: Is Your Dog an Escape Artist? 46 Tails from the Heart: Finders Keepers

Columns:

11  Breed Basics: Poodles: More than

Features:

Just a Fancy Hairdo

12 Shelter Spotlight: Carolina Poodle Rescue 13 Adoptable Dogs: Carolina Poodle Rescue 22 Dogs @ Play: All Work and No Play? No Way! 26  The T-Dog 10…Holiday Household Hazards 30  Nutrition: What to Look for in Pet Food 34  Natural Dog: When it Comes to Oils, Know the Essentials

36  Animal Health & Wellness: Dining on a Less-than-Desirable Dinner

10 Helping Fifi Find Her Way Home by Donna S. Elliott

17 Be a “Hero for Zero”! by Jada Jarillo

20 Think it Through! Considerations Before Giving a Puppy as a Christmas Gift by NC Vet Medical Association

40  I Pick You! by Erin Crenshaw

42  Registering Your Pet’s Microchip by Laura Lankford


Bark BAck! Tell us what you think and see the response in the next issue of The Triangle Dog!

Will you be dressing up your dog for the holidays? A. Yes = 14% B. No = 43% C. Maybe, if I find a cute outfit = 43%

“I was just at Woof Gang Bakery an hour ago and picked up a few of the new issues. I really think this is your best one yet! Such great content and we know this is not easy to pull everything together in your ‘spare’ time.” Wendy W.

“I just of the got my copy looks g current issue re a articles at. Really nic nd it e a some o nd I like th variety of ec f what a the layout yo hanges to u’ve ni love th ce tribute to done. And e ac Mor him, to companying rie! I photos o.” of Barbar a S.

ptions group o d A & e u c t es Shepherd R w wonderful we though n a m r e G l a o ou h f the loc was also a te to tell y i e r h w d o “I'm part o t n a d e s t o hot or is rg). I wan og in the p e-your auth d c n e h la t a (gsdrescue.o b w o t n h rig was! We k as just the w r o m u your article h d honesty an nd rescue. The ofessional a r p a h c u ! s d e nd te very talent ful article, a Lovers really apprecia r e d n o w a in for such riangle Dog Thanks aga ine and website! We T Lynn R. z a g a 9!” well-run m all things K o t n o i t o v e your d The Triangle Dog

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CONTRIBUTORS

Holly Hough Holly Hough is a lifelong animal lover who currently resides in Chapel Hill with her four cats Neo, Luca, Maryl, and Magic, and Rowan, her eight-year-old Rottweiler. Dr. Hough received her doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and worked as an academic administrator in integrative medicine programs and centers. She is currently self-employed as a writer and editor, and is in the process of completing her first book on healing with integrative medicine.

Brian Lapham, DVM Dr. Brian Lapham received his veterinary degree from the University of Florida in 1999. His true passion lies in preventative care—preventing disease before it can manifest itself as cancer, osteoarthritis, epilepsy, or the like.

Photo by Lindsey McDaniel

Outside of the hospital, Dr. Lapham is often occupied spending time with his family, woodworking, completing home improvements (which never seem to end!), and running. Included in the mix are his menagerie of pets, currently including two cats, Pia and Kitten, and Elizabeth the guinea pig. Dr. Lapham’s daughter is still vying for a puppy— coming soon!

Dana Lewis, DVM Dr. Dana Lewis is a small animal veterinarian serving the Triangle since 1997. She is honored to assist her clients by providing end-of-life care with dignity, compassion, and love for their pets. Hospice care improves quality of life and enables the animal maximum comfort to enjoy life in familiar surroundings in the company of loved ones. This setting allows the family to prepare for the loss of their beloved family member. Dr. Lewis believes that every being deserves a comfortable end. Visit www.LapOfLove. com, http://www.facebook.com/lapoflove, or http://lapoflove.blogspot.com/ for more information

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CONTRIBUTORS

Clare Reece-Glore Clare Reece-Glore is owner of YAY dog!, a Durham company that provides in-home coaching services for people and their dogs, as well as dog care seminars. Clare holds an M.S. in adult education and has worked in a veterinary clinic and volunteered with animal rescue organizations for many years. A lifelong equestrian, she brings her knowledge of natural horsemanship techniques to her work with dogs. YAY dog!’s spokesdog Andy came from the Animal Protection Society of Durham.

Barbara Shumannfang, Ph.D., CPDT

Photo by Kristen Beck

Barbara Shumannfang shares dog training tips and lessons we can learn from dogs at VeryFetching.com. Her new book is Puppy Savvy: How to Raise Your Dog without Going Bonkers. She is also the author of Happy Kids, Happy Dogs: Building a Friendship Right from the Start and is a Canine Life and Social Skills (C.L.A.S.S.) evaluator. Her teachers include a bossy, extremely adorable terrier mix and a Border Collie that makes a sound like a vuvuzela. She can be reached at barbara@veryfetching.com.

Karen Smith

Photo by Diane Lewis

Karen Smith is a Triangle-area dog trainer at All Dogs Allowed, Inc. Training. Since 2000, she has counted not only dogs as her students, but also horses, sharks, and tigers, just to name a few! If she can train an 800 lb. male tiger to stretch on command with a clicker, she can train your pint-sized pup. Smith specializes in obedience training, fun sports, and canine activities. She is recommended by area veterinarians and rescue groups. She loves snuggling one of her five dogs, three cats, or assorted other menagerie members—husband included—and tromping through the woods with a handful of dogs in tow. Visit her at www.AllDogsAllowedInc.com.

The Triangle Dog

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Helping Fifi Find Her Way Home by Donna S. Elliott

For 15 years, Donna S. Elliott was blessed to love a little brown dog named Reason, and now she shares her love with her two dogs Jules and Luna, who continue to teach her how to live with an open heart and a happy tail and to be grateful for every smile. Elliott volunteers with animal welfare causes and strongly supports making low-cost spay and neuter available to low-income families as a means of reducing pet overpopulation and ending the unnecessary euthanasia of pets in shelters. She serves on the board of directors for AnimalKind, a local nonprofit dedicated to the spay/neuter cause.

opefully, every dog has a collar and tag with his or her owner’s number listed. Additionally, identifying information can be found in microchips and even from a rabies tag. However, don’t depend on someone finding you and making you aware that your dog has been located. If your dog is lost, start your search immediately. The same is true if you have found a dog. One of the first places to check is the local animal shelter. Report a lost or found dog to the shelter. Most shelters keep a list of lost animals. Take a photo and a description of your lost dog or the dog you have found to provide for the staff. Keep in mind that shelters stay quite full and are required to keep a stray dog for mere days before they are allowed by law to euthanize a stray dog. Act quickly to find a lost dog, and go to the shelter in person to search for your dog. Visit the shelter at least every couple of days to check for your dog. Keep in mind that you will be required to provide proof of ownership to claim your dog, so go to the shelter prepared. In case a dog has traveled out of the county of residence, check surrounding county shelters as well. Check local vet offices or after-hours vet hospitals in case your dog has been injured and taken for treatment. Make vet offices in your area aware of a dog you have found. Provide them with a flyer to post in the office. Post signs with a photo of your dog in your neighborhood and surrounding streets, or if you’ve found a dog, walk or drive around to see if there are any signs posted by that dog’s owner. Make your neighbors aware if you have lost or found a dog. There are several online resources dedicated to assisting lost dogs find their way home. TriangleLostPets.org is 10    Volume 3 • Issue 4

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one popular website. It is free to use the website whether to search for a lost dog or post a found dog. If you have found or sited a stray dog, you can place that information in the online database for those who’ve lost a pet to search. Triangle Lost Pets encourages those who have found dogs to withhold some identifying detail to prevent anyone other than the owner from claiming the dog. The database provides search filters for breed, color, county, and city. The website asks that each user update any listing that is no longer needed in order for the database to be efficient. Petfinder.com, PetHarbor.com, and FidoFinder.com are additional websites that list lost or found dogs. If you are a member of Facebook, there are several Facebook pages that post lost and found dogs. Lost Found Dogs NC and Lost and Found Pets of Raleigh Durham Chapel Hill NC are two examples. Also check the Craigslist website and the lost and found ads in local newspapers. Always keep in mind that there are, unfortunately, people out there who want dogs for the wrong reasons. Pay attention where you share your information and to whom you provide details. If you have found a dog, ask the person claiming the dog to provide proof of ownership. The reality of a lost pet is not one many hope to ever experience, but unfortunately, it is a possibility that all responsible pet owners must be aware of.


Breed Basics

Poodles: More than Just a Fancy Hairdo Poodles are a versatile breed, and these dogs are highly popular around the world. They are intelligent and seem to have a sense of humor. Though the Poodle is often associated with France, the breed was developed as water retrieving dogs in Germany in the late 16th century. Poodles are a breed with three distinct and monitored sizes, but they are all the same breed of dog. From largest to smallest, these sizes are: Standard, over 15 inches at the shoulder; Miniature, 10-15 inches; and Toy, under 10 inches. Poodles are also a cornerstone breed of designer dogs—there are lots of Poodle crosses such as cock-a-poos and “doodles” (retriever/Standard Poodle crosses).

Some people’s only image of this dog is a show dog with the amazing, “extreme” hairdo. In truth, the origins of this “do” were actually practical— tufts of hair were kept on joints to protect the dogs as they retrieved from water. Poodles grow hair, not fur. Hair keeps on growing and fur sheds out. For this reason, Poodles are called hypoallergenic (though they may not be allergen-free) and may be the right dog for someone with pet allergies. Part of owning a Poodle is spending money regularly on grooming or learning to do some of it yourself. If the hair becomes badly matted, it has to be shaved to the skin. The least expensive way to maintain grooming is to keep a Poodle in the “puppy cut”: the hair is shaved with clippers and grows back out. Poodles’ ears may need hair plucked to protect infections. There may be tear marks under the eye to keep clean. Another aspect of having a Poodle is training the dog

by Clare Reece-Glore owner, Yay Dog!

to accept the noise and feel of the clippers and the confinement of all this grooming. Poodles are ranked as one of the most intelligent breeds, so you may either adore or dislike them for that reason. This dog will keep you busy, as they need to be kept physically and mentally occupied. Poodles can learn all sorts of tricks and commands, and they need to be challenged mentally or they will make up their own “fun.” They can bark when they are excited, but they are so trainable, you can teach the dog what is best for your lifestyle, whether that is hunting, agility, therapy work, etc. Owners and trainers need to recognize that many of these dogs have a sensitive nature, too. They should not be pushed, but positive reinforcement with a playful focus (good for any dog) is especially effective. Poodles are also often quite protective of their owners, and I have seen how attuned they are to their owners’ health and moods. I’ve worked with a number of Poodles and I love the challenge of staying a couple of steps ahead of them as a trainer. (Well, maybe just one step.) I do love their outlook on life. I knew a little elderly Poodle who had a lot of hair loss from terrible care, had bad teeth, but stepped out each morning like a disheveled matron with a Gucci purse on her shoulder. She was a doll, and she enjoyed every day. As with any popular breed, there may be health issues such as Addison’s disease, bloat (with Standards), epilepsy and thyroid issues. You need to be aware of these issues. But the bottom line is, as one owner stated, “The absolute best things about Poodles is they can take a bad day and turn it into the best day ever.” The Triangle Dog

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shelter spotlight by Jeremy L. C. Jones

An elegant white Poodle trots along the fence line with nose down and tail high. Dew soaks her long legs and dampens her top-knot. Nearby, a Border Collie sprints past a boxer mix to join a game of chase with a Labradoodle. The sun is low and the trees cast shadows along the far side of the field. Up until now, it’s been just a regular morning for the dogs of Carolina Poodle Rescue (CPR)—rise with the sun, wait while the staff clears debris from the fields and kennels, and then, at last, race out into the rolling fields to romp in the open air. The staff has grouped the dogs by size and temperament so that the members of the play groups are well suited to each other. Wayne and Donna Ezzell founded CPR from their home in Spartanburg, SC in 2000. They moved the organization to its permanent site at Dreamweaver Farms in 2006. Since then, the Ezzells and the CPR family have found homes for 3,200 dogs. Currently located on 50 acres in Pacolet, SC, CPR is home to more than 150 dogs, mostly Poodles and poodle mixes, 10 rescued horses, and 1 spoiled cat. CPR strives to rescue, rehabilitate, and offer either permanent sanctuary or new, permanent homes for Poodles and small dogs. CPR promotes activities that serve to bring animals and their people closer together. Lastly, CPR supports the efforts seeking to end euthanasia as a means of population control. Out in the “bigs” field, the white Standard Poodle 12    Volume 3 • Issue 4

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stops mid-lope and watches with sparkling eyes as a silver car enters the front gate of the farm. Today is adoption day. Adopters will arrive steadily to meet the dogs. Some of them have adopted from here before. Some are here for the first time. All of the adopters have been screened. The screening process includes personal references, interviews with the adoption counselors, and vet checks if the potential owner already owns other pets. Approved adopters will wait in the adoption center while a CPR adoption counselor brings dogs to them. Some of the adopters have seen a particular dog on the website that they’d like to meet; others just want to meet the dogs. While adopters meet the dogs and the staff focuses on adoptions, volunteers work with the dogs. CPR is a no-kill/limited entry private rescue group that believes in and supports the No More Homeless Pets and spay/neuter initiatives. All animals adopted from CPR are spayed or neutered before being placed. Dogs come to CPR from around the country. Back inside the adoption office, a family bonds with their newest member. Out in the field, the white Standard eagerly dashes toward the kennel for lunch and a nap. She will be back out in the field after the heat of the day gives way to the cool of dusk. That is, of course, unless she goes home with her new family before then.


adoptable dogs Beau is a Standard Poodle and was born in 2007. He weighs about 55 pounds and is good with other dogs, especially females. He is house, crate, and leash trained and would benefit from a fenced-in yard. He is one of our newest additions to our Save our Seniors and Specials dogs. Beau was rescued in June of 2013, released by his owners after they could no longer care for him. Beau has sebaceous adenitis. This condition can be controlled but not cured. Beau must have a special bath 1-2 times per week and is on vitamin A daily.

Beau

6 years old

Beau has always been gentle with children and not so gentle with cats. He also has a tendency to bark at semi-trucks and motorcycles. He can be a little shy at first. We have high hopes he will be adopted one day, but it will take a special person with an understanding of skin care, and one who is not intent on his or her poodle having a perfectly coiffed, long and flowing coat.

Sarah, a Standard Poodle, was born in 2007 and came to us in June 2013. She weighs 67 pounds, but could stand to lose a little weight. She is house, crate, and leash trained. Sarah needs a fenced-in yard. Sarah has Addison’s disease; a disorder of the adrenal gland and needs to take an injection of a drug called Percoten once every six weeks and takes Prednisone by mouth every other day. As long as she receives this medication and has regular checkups, she can live a normal life. If you are interested in Sarah, we suggest that you call your vet to find the cost of this medication. Keep in mind that there are support groups in existence that can help you get Sarah’s medications down to lower doses than they are now. Sarah also has some allergies and her CPR foster mom is experimenting now with different foods to see which bother her the least. Her feet are very sensitive, so for now the groomer does not clip her feet close. She looks a bit like she’s wearing bedroom slippers!

Sarah

Sarah is very affectionate and happy toward all types of people. She can co-exist peacefully with other dogs, but really does not care to play, and she will compete for her share of attention. She likes to take long walks and also loves to ride in the car.

6 yea

rs old

Razi is a Poodle/Shih Tzu mix and is about 4 years old. He weighs roughly 14 pounds and is good with other dogs. He’s in the process of being house trained, but is crate and leash trained. He does not require a fenced-in yard. Razi came to us in February of 2012; he was one of 140 dogs found in a U-haul, traveling from California to Virginia in a rescue effort that was not well-planned. Razi was seized and sent to the Knoxville, TN shelter, where we got him from. He gets along great with all other dogs and is very playful— especially with tennis balls! He loves to roll over on his back and beg for a belly rub.

Razi

about 4 years old The Triangle Dog

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Son of a Baker

hen you walk through the doors of Gourmutt’s Bakery, the air is filled with the smell of sweet sugary goodness. There are iced cookies and cakes that look so delicious you’ll be tempted to eat them. But they aren’t for you. And your first clue about that will be Winston, a fouryear-old Landseer Newfoundland. See, Winston’s been waiting for you—waiting to greet you when you walk in. He won’t jump on you. He won’t even lick you. But in his own soft and gentle way, he’ll smile as he gives you a close sniff and basks in the glory of your ear rubbing and petting. Owner of Gourmutt’s Bakery, Tina Musselwhite says she wasn’t looking for a dog when she met Winston. The store owner already had two Golden Retrievers, Zoe and Brady, at home. It was friend and founder of Saving Grace animal rescue Molly Goldston who knew Musselwhite and Winston would be a match. Goldston called Musselwhite in 2010 and said she had found the perfect dog for her. Goldston thought Winston, affectionately known as “Winnie,” would be an ideal dog to bring to work because of his calm temperament. She was right. After seeing a photo of Winston and meeting him in person, Musselwhite said “I looked into his soulful eyes and there was an immediate connection.” Perhaps in the beginning, though, that connection was a little too strong. Winston had severe separation anxiety. If Musselwhite left the house to run an errand, 14    Volume 3 • Issue 4

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by Tara Lynn owner InBetween the Blinks Photography

Winston would find a way to squeeze all 59 pounds of his nine-month-old self through the corners of his collapsible crate. One time, Musselwhite didn’t even make it to the end of the street before Winston found his way out of his crate. Over time and with training, Winston realized Musselwhite always came back, and his natural calm demeanor began to shine through. Part of Winston’s training earned him the title of a Certified Canine Therapy Dog in 2012. Winston shows off his training and brings smiles to the faces he visits two to three times a month at assisted living facilities and to children with cerebral palsy. Musselwhite explained that Winston has a special sense and always seems to know when somebody needs a little love. He also brings delight to the customers who come in to Gourmutt’s Bakery. You will usually find Winnie sitting at the front door waiting for you. Sometimes he’s behind the counter greeting you with a bark, or he’s curled up eating a big knuckle bone. Being the dog of a baker can be pretty exhausting with all the attention he receives. Sometimes, customers will call the store before venturing out, just to make sure Winston will be there. You would think that Winston would be the official “cookie tester” at the bakery and might pack on the pounds being surrounded by all of these sweet treats, but he much prefers his post as the official welcoming committee. He’s actually small


Photo by Jeff Reeves

Tara Lynn is a news reporter with WRAL. She is also a local pet and family photographer and owner of InBetween the Blinks Photography. Lynn spends most of her free time volunteering with the SPCA of Wake County, where she takes photos of the adoptable dogs for their online gallery and for the SPCA Pit Crew. Lynn and her husband adopted their beagle-mix Baxter four years ago after seeing his photo on an online adoption site. Baxter is Lynn’s inspiration behind her photography business and volunteer service.

for his breed. At four years old, he weighs in at 110 pounds. Most male Newfoundlands are 135 to 150 pounds. Winston can hang out in the bakery all day and not jump up on the cookie decorating counter nor force his way into the cookie display counter. He has a much more sophisticated way of earning his treats. It seems that he learned not only how to be trained, but to train others. If you are a regular customer, chances are that he may have trained you and you don’t even know it! Musselwhite noted that Winston will recognize familiar customers when they are in the parking lot and start crying for them because he is so excited to see them! Once they are inside, he offers a warm, gentle greeting and then follows the customer to the counter, where he sits patiently. He will look at the customer and then look at the treat jar, look at the customer and then look at the treat jar. If you don’t notice this pattern, he’ll give

you a soft growl to let you know you are clearly missing something. There’s yet another perk of being a baker’s dog: special birthday cakes! Gourmutt’s specializes in custom doggie cakes and Musselwhite makes sure each of her three pups have a special cake each year to celebrate. Normally, Winston would enjoy his cakes in chunks, but during our visit, he was allowed to dig in. He is so well-trained that he simply sat down and licked the icing off very gently, somehow managing not to get the orange icing all over his nice clean black and white coat. After a round of visitors and excitement at the store, Winston returns to one of his usual spots: the middle of the store. He collapses down on the cement to relax, but always keeps an eye on the parking lot to see who is coming in next!

The Triangle Dog

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Be a “Hero for Zero”! Reduced-Cost Pet Spay/Neuter Options in the Triangle

by Jada Jarillo, Spay/Neuter Program Manager, AnimalKind

Jada Jarillo is a native of North Carolina who was born in Lincolnton and raised in the foothills near Morganton. She attended Appalachian State University and graduated in 2007 with a dual focus in English and Spanish. After graduation she spent a year in Mexico teaching English as a second language and honing her Spanish-speaking skills. She enjoys spending time with family and friends and being crafty. Jarillo has lived in the Triangle and worked as a staff member of AnimalKind for the past four years. She is currently the Program Manager of AnimalKind and resides in Apex, NC with her husband Fernando and their cat Leasha.

“All of my pets are fixed,” we animal lovers often proudly announce. That’s great (really, it is), but do you know that our job as “Heroes for Zero” only begins with our own pets? To “get to zero”—that is, to end the unnecessary deaths of cats and dogs in our local animal shelters—we must look well beyond our own backyards and litter boxes. We must be champions for spay/neuter assistance programs and champions for the unsung heroes who reach for assistance to alter their animals. A Hero for Zero understands the importance of spay/ neuter assistance, expresses support of these programs as a taxpayer, contributes financial support personally, and respectfully helps residents in need access assistance to alter their pets. Don’t get me wrong; we applaud you for sterilizing your own pets. And, hopefully, you now have a great relationship with one of the Triangle’s excellent full-service veterinarians who knows your pets personally and will address the wide variety of health needs they encounter throughout their long, happy lives. That is ideal. But compassion knows no economic bounds. We hear proof of this compassion every day as we listen to the residents who reach out to AnimalKind’s SpayNC Helpline. For many pet owners in North Carolina (and maybe even for you), an animal in need chose their doorstep at the same time that financial hardship chose their household. Other callers live right by a favorite “dumping ground” for unwanted cats and dogs, and the family’s financial limitations don’t keep the children from falling in love with these helpless abandoned animals. Still others call SpayNC Helpline on behalf of struggling family members or neighbors who love their pets and want the best for them, but have been postponing spay/neuter because of competing expenses.

For these compassionate residents in the community, the network of reduced-cost spay/neuter providers and subsidy programs is truly a life-saver. Among them, these important providers and programs offer a viable spay/ neuter option for virtually every situation. It is critical that we as a community are there with the resources (and without judgment) every time a resident reaches for spay/neuter assistance. Each of these unsung heroes that requests our help is saving lives through prevention—preventing surplus cats and dogs from ever entering the Triangle’s streets, shelters, and “euthanasia rooms.” So, you have made a great start as a Hero for Zero by ensuring that your own pets are sterilized in a timely manner! Is it time to take your job to the next level?

• Spay or neuter your own pets. (A great start!) • If you need financial assistance to spay or neuter your pets, contact AnimalKind’s SpayNC Helpline for information about the resources available to you: Phone: 1-888-NC-FIX-EM (1-888-623-4936) Email: SpayNCHelpline@animalkind.org Online Search Map: http://animalkind.org/map.html. • Commit to memory the SpayNC Helpline toll-free phone number (1-888-NC-FIX-EM) and AnimalKind’s website address (www.animalkind.org) so no matter where in NC you happen to be, you can help residents find the spay/neuter resources available for their particular situation. •  Download the SpayNC Helpline poster from the AnimalKind website (www.animalkind.org). Politely ask businesses (especially in high-need neighborhoods) for permission to hang The Triangle Dog

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the poster to help their customers access the spay/ neuter assistance available to them. • Thank your county’s Animal Services Director, County Manager, and County Commissioners for their humane and fiscally-responsible decision to support pet spay/

neuter assistance for low-income families. (Chatham County, Durham County and Orange County are fully on board with spay/neuter assistance. Wake County has made a start, but needs your encouragement to commit further.)

Reduced-Cost Pet Spay/Neuter Resources for Statewide referral service

Mobile Spay/ Neuter Veterinary Clinics

Voucher Programs in Multiple Counties

In Chatham County

Also in and near Durham County

Also near Orange County

SpayNC Helpline from AnimalKind

Information about spay/neuter options for all of NC.

1-888-NC-FIX-EM (1-888-623-4936)

http://animalkind.org/map. html

All Walks of Life Mobile Veterinary Services

Serves Harnett, Lee, Johnston, and southern Wake counties

919-567-2965

www.allwalksoflifemobile vetservices.com

SNAP-NC (Spay/ Neuter Assistance Program)

Serves Caswell, Cumberland, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Harnett, Johnston, Lee, Orange, Person, Vance, Wake, Warren, and Wayne counties

919-783-7627 or 919-553-1705

www.snap-nc.org

Friends of Animals

Participating vets in Benson, Durham, and Raleigh

1-800-321-PETS (1-800-321-7387)

www.friendsofanimals.org

THE $20 FIX program from AnimalKind

Serves low-income residents of Caswell, Durham, Orange, Person, and Wake counties

1-877-870-1660 or 919-870-1660

www.animalkind.org

Chatham County Animal Control

Voucher program for lowincome county residents

919-542-7203

http://www.chathamnc.org/ index.aspx?page=109

Lillie’s Fund from Chatham Animal Rescue and Education (CARE)

Voucher program for lowincome county residents

919-542-5757

http://www. chathamanimalrescue.org/

Pittsboro Animal Hospital

Full-service clinic offering discount on spay/neuter surgery

919-542-5712

http://www. pittsboroanimalhospital.com

Affordable Animal Care Spay/Neuter Clinic

Reduced-cost spay/neuter and veterinary clinic

1-888-622-7729 or 919-620-7729

Carolina Animal Hospital of Creedmoor

Full-service clinic offering discount on spay/neuter surgery

919-528-0606

www.carolinaanimal.com

Spay and Neuter Clinic of Alamance County

Reduced-cost spay/neuter clinic

336-570-6767

http://www.ci.burlington. nc.us/index.aspx?NID=1054

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Be a “Hero for Zero”! Reduced-Cost Pet Spay/Neuter Options in the Triangle (continued)

Chatham, Durham, Orange, and Wake counties:

Also in and near Wake County

Resources Specific to Feral and FreeRoaming Cats*

5 County Spay/ Neuter Clinic

Reduced-cost spay/neuter clinic

919-269-4564

http://www. fivecountyspayneuter.com/

Alley Cats and Angels

Voucher program for cats

919-303-3500

www.alleycatsandangels.org

Carolina Crossing Veterinary Clinic

Reduced-cost spay/neuter and veterinary clinic

919-934-7729

http://carolinacrossingvet. com/

SAFE Care Feline Spay/Neuter Clinic

Reduced-cost clinic, also accepts dogs weighing 2-15 lbs.

919-872-1128

www.safehavenforcats.org

Saving Lives Spay/ Neuter Clinic

Reduced-cost spay/neuter clinic

919-772-0211

www.spcawake.org

Alley Cats and Angels, in Apex

Loans humane traps, offers guidance and spay/neuter vouchers for cats

919-303-3500

www.alleycatsandangels.org

Chatham Animal Rescue and Education, in Pittsboro

Loans humane traps and offers guidance

919-542-5757

http://www. chathamanimalrescue.org/

Humane Society of Granville County, in Butner

Loans humane traps, offers guidance and spay/ neuter vouchers for feral cat caretakers

919-691-9114

Independent Animal Rescue, in Durham

Loans humane traps and offers guidance

919-403-2221

www.animalrescue.net/ feral_cat

Operation Catnip, in Raleigh

Loans humane traps, offers guidance and provides lowcost spay/neuter clinics for feral and free-roaming cats

919-793-6632

www.operationcatnip.org

SAFE Haven for Cats, in Raleigh

Loans humane traps, offers guidance and provides reduced-cost spay/neuter for feral and free-roaming cats

919-872-7233

www.safehavenforcats.org

*Please be familiar with NC animal law and local feral cat ordinances, as well as practices for safe handling. The Triangle Dog

T Volume 3 • Issue 4      19  


by The North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association

Think it Through! Considerations Before Giving a Puppy as a Christmas Gift

Y

ou have probably dreamed of waking up Christmas morning to an adorable puppy sitting under your tree. Countless commercials show the perfect picture of a puppy joining its new family amidst wrapping paper and boxes, with a decorative red bow and jingle bell around its neck.

Make the puppy feel safe. It is important to remember that puppies are young and impressionable, especially between 7 and 12 weeks. Unfortunately, this is also the time that most puppies are ready to leave their moms and meet their adoptive family. Thus, it is best to introduce the puppy to his or her new home in a calm, relaxed setting. With lots of excitement on Christmas morning, a time other than the holidays is much better for your puppy to be introduced. Good breeders and shelters know this factor, and will not send a new puppy home with you on Christmas Eve.

When to adopt your puppy.

The trouble with this picture is that it is just an image. In reality, many puppies given as Christmas gifts end up at shelters by Valentine’s Day because the new owners are unable to take care of them. Before giving a puppy as a Christmas gift, here are a few things to consider:

Who is the recipient? Make sure the recipient has expressed serious interest in a dog. A pet should only be given to someone who can make a long-term commitment to it. Additionally, make sure that the new pet owner can care for the puppy. If he or she works crazy hours or travels often, for example, a new puppy may not be the best gift. Pet ownership is expensive, so it is important to give someone a puppy only if he or she can afford to feed it, take it to the vet, and provide for it financially. It is also essential to get the right breed of puppy. A recipient might have allergies and need a non-shedding breed, or may live in a place that only allows small dogs. Although puppies are little, most dogs grow very quickly. A darling Labrador Retriever puppy can grow to 70-100 pounds in no time at all. Puppies are not returnable, so the right dog must be selected the first time. 20    Volume 3 • Issue 4

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Think of how frequently the “perfect” Christmas gift loses its appeal and is forgotten by Valentine’s Day. As one of many presents, puppies can get lost in the excitement, and even get stepped on or hurt because they are so small. They must be properly looked after and given their own safe space, like a crate, and should be properly adopted when your family has time to select the right breed and make a thoughtful decision. If your puppy absolutely must be a Christmas gift, consider wrapping up some of the supplies it will need—a collar, leash, or crate—and putting those under the tree instead. Puppies are wonderful additions to families that are ready for them. Make your puppy’s adoption a special day, and you are sure to have a happier dog and owner.

The North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association (NCVMA) is a professional organization of veterinarians dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality medicine. For more information, visit www.ncvma.org, follow us on Twitter at @NCVMA, or call (800) 4462862 or (919) 851-5850.


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DOGS @ PLAY

by Karen Smith, owner, All Dogs Allowed, Inc. Training

All Work and No Play?

No Way!

Sharing our lives and homes with dogs for several hundred years, we humans have often taken our dogs’ genius for granted. These furry counterparts choose to live with us, they protect our children and our homes, seem to “know” when we are sick or sad, and can learn the most amazing tricks, with our help and sometimes, seemingly, without. How many stories have you heard about dogs that can open doors, bring someone a beer from the fridge, or pull someone out of a burning building?

Cognition Center, or DCCC for short, is the site of some of the leading canine research being done today. Pet parents from around the Triangle can volunteer their pets online and, once chosen, can travel to Duke to allow their dogs to play fun, science-based games that give the researchers answers to some very important questions related to how dogs learn, solve problems, gage risk, and much more. DCCC studies even bring insight into how service, search and rescue, and bomb detection dogs can be successfully chosen and trained.

We may all agree that dogs are special. “Smart,” even. But what exactly is it that makes them the pet companion of choice for so many people around the world? What exactly is the genius of dogs?

A few years ago, Dr. Hare was at one of the biggest canine seminars held each year in the US, and he gave a talk on all the fun research they were discovering about dogs in his lab. The room filled with raised hands, but when he called on each person, they all had the same question:

Welcome to Dognition. Dognition is a new Durham-based company that is not only answering that question, but allowing pet parents all over the US to answer it for them. After all, who can be a better source of information on how dogs work than the people who share their lives with them from day to day? Dognition is the brain child of Dr. Brian Hare, Duke University’s evolutionary anthropology professor and head of the Duke Canine Cognition Center, where the idea for Dognition was first created. The Duke Canine 22    Volume 3 • Issue 4

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How do we play these games at home? Some planning, some hard work, and a few brilliant minds later, Dognition was born, and finally, it allows folks to do just that—play fun, science-based games at home with their dog. But why would anyone want to do that? Well first of all, who DOESN’T need something fun to do with their dog on a hot/rainy/cold


DOGS @ PLAY

day? Folks who purchase a Dognition membership are given a series of fun and easy games to play right at home that require little more than a few plastic cups to complete. Many studies show us that mental exercise is more tiring for dogs than physical, and I can attest firsthand that dogs love these games. But it gets even better. When you’ve completed your first big set of games, pet parents are given a profile on their dog that helps them understand their dog’s cognitive style based on the game results. Is your dog an ace? A maverick? A charmer? The results are fun to read, but also give moms and dads insight into the way their own dog sees the world. Turns out dogs aren’t just “smart” or “not so smart.” Instead, canine intelligence is seen as strengths or weaknesses in various cognitive areas, such as cunning, smell, and memory.

Profiles can be used to strengthen training programs or understand your dog’s behaviors and quirks, and pet parents get new monthly games, insights, and fun as Dognition members. And all the information goes back into something called “citizen science,” meaning that each dog that signs up for Dognition is helping researchers all over the world understand dogs in an even more profound way. To get started, check out: www.dognition.com And be sure to read the new best seller The Genius of Dogs by Dr. Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods. What are you waiting for? Go find out if YOUR dog is a genius!

The Triangle Dog

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ask the groomer Beth Johnston Owner, Beth’s Barks N Bubbles, LLC in Durham.

Q: Molly Shivers, Chapel Hill, NC

How about advice on dewclaws—whether to trim them, have them removed, or just leave them be?

A:

Well Molly, that depends on what the dog’s ‘job’ is. For working dogs that may be asked to do performance events, herd sheep, or scale fences or hills, dewclaws are oftentimes left for added traction or grip for the dog when turning or climbing. However, many breeders opt to remove them when the puppy is very young. This removal may be for cosmetic reasons or to avoid an injury to the dewclaw later in life. Dewclaws, at the very least, should be trimmed regularly because that claw is not bearing any weight, and it is not going to wear down like the other nails on a dog’s foot. Additionally, they could curl under and cause a painful ingrown nail if left untrimmed. Dewclaws are prone to getting caught on objects, like carpeting. When caught, the dog is usually not aware and will continue to move, resulting in pain, thus causing the

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dog to pull even harder to get free. A painful injury, bleeding, and/or broken nails, or even a complete separation of the dewclaw from the dog may result. Injuries like this are very painful and prone to infection, so you must take your dog for immediate veterinary care. Keeping the dewclaw trimmed does help minimize the risk of getting caught on objects, but there is no guarantee. So we have yet another good reason to carefully examine our beloved furry friends each and every day!


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T-Dog 10... by Dana Lewis, DVM, owner of Lap of Love

While the holidays can be joyful, they can also be stressful for you and your pets. Knowing what can be dangerous for your pet and eliminating it from the environment or being cautious might help relieve some of that anxiety.

1. Christmas trees Christmas trees are all fairly benign. The most common clinical signs after ingestion of the needles are vomiting, anorexia, abdominal pain, and depression. 2. Poinsettias The toxicity of poinsettias is generally overexaggerated. Most pets just experience mild, self-limiting vomiting that resolves with little to no treatment. 3. Christmas Cactus The Christmas cactus is considered to be non-toxic. Ingestion may cause mild gastrointestinal upset. Most pets will not require care for vomiting. 4. Christmas tree preservative Most pets that drink water containing Christmas tree preservative develop no signs. Occasionally we can see mild GI signs, and, rarely, bacterial/fungal contamination of the water may lead to more severe signs. 5. Mistletoe Most ingestion of mistletoe causes just a mild gastritis. If purchased in a store, the berries frequently have been removed and replaced with plastic “berries,” which can be a foreign body. Large ingestions may require decontamination and cardiovascular (heart and blood pressure) monitoring. 6. Chocolate Chocolate is a mixture of cocoa beans and cocoa butter. It contains theobromine and caffeine, which are both classified as methylxanthines. Unfortunately, pets are sensitive to the effects of methylxanthines. Depending on the dose, methylxanthines can cause hyperactivity, increased heart rate, tremors, and potentially death. Other effects seen with chocolate overdose include vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, increased urination, and lethargy. 26    Volume 3 • Issue 4

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The amount of methylxanthines present in chocolate varies with the type. The general rule is the more bitter the chocolate, the more toxic it could be. In fact, unsweetened baking chocolate contains almost seven times more theobromine as milk chocolate, while white chocolate (a combination of cocoa butter, sugar, butterfat, milk solids, and flavorings without cocoa beans) contains negligible amounts of methylxanthines. Cocoa hull mulch, which smells intoxicating, is also toxic if your dog ingests it. Early treatment, including decontamination procedures such as emesis (inducing vomiting) and activated charcoal, cardiovascular monitoring, and supportive care, is extremely helpful with chocolate poisoning. In addition, fluid diuresis may help enhance elimination. 7. Rising Bread Dough Ingestion of rising bread dough can be life-threatening to dogs. The animal’s body heat will cause the dough to rise in the stomach. Ethanol (alcohol) is produced during the rising process; high levels of salt in the dough can cause imbalances of body fluids and minerals in the bloodstream; and the dough may expand several times its original size. Signs seen with bread dough ingestion are associated with ethanol toxicosis, salt toxicosis, and foreign body obstruction and may include severe abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting, incoordination, and depression. Treatment in cases of recent ingestion in asymptomatic dogs involves inducing emesis. In some cases, dough removal may necessitate surgery. 8. Moldy Foods Moldy foods may contain certain tremorgenic mycotoxins. Tremorgenic mycotoxins can induce muscle tremors, ataxia, and convulsions that can last for several days. Intoxications have been reported in many species; however, dogs that roam or have access to spoiled foods are more at risk. Treatment

goals

following

tremorgenic

mycotoxin


T-Dog 10...

ingestion include minimizing absorption through decontamination procedures, such as emesis, lavage (flushing the stomach), and activated charcoal, controlling tremors and seizures with methocarbamol, and providing supportive care. With early aggressive treatment, prognosis is good. 9. Trash Trash ingestion can cause intestinal blockage and perforation as well. 10. Bones Bones are not good for your pet. They can break the pet’s teeth, they are choking hazards, they can obstruct and perforate the intestines, and they can have nasty bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella on them. Don’t give them intentionally, and don’t let your dog fish them out of the trash. 11. Ethanol Due to their small size, cats and dogs are far more sensitive to ethanol than humans are. Even ingesting a small amount of a product containing alcohol can cause significant intoxication. Ethanol is rapidly absorbed orally and signs can develop within 30-60 minutes. Alcohol intoxication commonly causes vomiting, loss of coordination, disorientation, and stupor. In severe cases, coma, seizures, and death may occur. Pets who are inebriated should be monitored and given supportive care by a veterinarian until they recover. 12. Ice Melts Many brands of sidewalk ice melts are on the market. The most common ingredients in these ice melts are sodium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, calcium carbonate, and calcium magnesium acetate. A few ice melts contain urea. Pets may be exposed by walking on the ice melts themselves or by ingesting granules brought inside on the owner’s shoes. Ingestion of sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium salts can lead to vomiting and electrolyte abnormalities, and pets may require appropriate fluid therapy.

13. Liquid Potpourri Liquid potpourri is commonly used during the holiday season. Pets are often exposed to liquid potpourri by direct ingestion from simmer pots or spills, or by rubbing against leaky bottles or simmer pots containing the potpourri, or from spilling the containers upon themselves. Oral exposures result following grooming. Exposure of pets to some types of liquid potpourris can result in severe oral, skin, and eye damage. In addition, potpourri can cause systemic toxicity including depression, coma, seizures, hypotension, muscular weakness, collapse, pulmonary edema, and blood mineral imbalances. Medical care depends on what systems are being affected. 14. Electric Cords Chewing electric cords has appeal for some pets. The pet may receive a life threatening shock, have thermal burns in the mouth, and develop edema (fluid) in the lungs or other potential complications. Seek medical care if your pet has chewed a cord. Unplug the tree and other cords when you are not at home or are asleep. Cover cords with protectors when possible. There are deterrents that you can apply to cords that taste bitter, and there is something called a ScatMat that you can place around your tree to keep the pet away from the hazards associated with the tree. 15. Curly Ribbon, Tinsel, Garland, Balloon Ribbon, Easter Basket Grass, and Craft Threads These items may initially be dangly fun for the spunky pups, but once ingested they act as a saw and cut through the intestines. ‘Nuff said! Keep them out of the spunky puppy household! When someone brings a present over, say thank you, then cut off and discard the ribbon immediately. The Triangle Dog

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The t-Dog 'round town Photos by InBetween the Blinks Photography

Cat Banjo Puppy Party!

There was nothing but ooooh’s and aaaah’s to fill the room at Cat Banjo on August 2nd. The Raleigh retail shop, which regularly fosters pets and promotes adoptable dogs, hosted a puppy party! Several litters of dogs available through Pawfect Match Rescue and Rehabilitation were available for cuddling, and many cuddled their way into a new home. Being cute sure is exhausting. When the pups weren’t playing, they were piled up snoring.

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The Triangle Dog

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nutrition

reprinted with permission from NC State University CVM Original WRAL report by Debra Morgan

CVM Nutrition Expert on What to Look for in Pet Food Some pet owners worry the food they feed their dogs will make them sick. Many end up calling the nutrition lab at the North Carolina State University’s Veterinary School. “There’s a lot of misperceptions out there,” N.C. State nutrition expert Dr. Korinn Saker said. Dr. Saker and her team have heard from pet owners concerned about contamination in dog food, and some have even asked if commercial dog foods contain roadkill. Dr. Saker advises people not to believe everything they read. “There may be some little bit of truth in that but usually not,” she said. The nutrition lab gives out advice, develops diets, and evaluates labels on dog food. “Labeling is very clever,” Dr. Saker said, noting that it is important to read the fine print. “The nutrition claim on the label can be very difficult to find.” Consumers should look for a label that says the food has been tested by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. “If it goes through animal feeding tests, you know that not only is the formulation appropriate, but the ingredients are going to be safe,” she said. Another concern from dog owners is the use of by-products in dog food, but Dr. Saker said owners shouldn’t be afraid.

“There’s no hair. There’s no hoof. There’s no hide, anything like that in there,” she explained. Overall, Dr. Saker and her team have looked at a lot of 30    Volume 3 • Issue 4

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dog food. “We haven’t yet, I don’t think, come across a diet that’s going to be dangerous to the pet,” she reassured. Veterinarian Dr. Diane Deresienski believes it’s not the type of food, but rather how much, that can be the problem for animals. “The main thing you can do for your dog when you’re feeding them is keep them on the thin side,” she said. “That’s actually been shown to increase their lifespan by a year to a year-and-a-half.” Dr. Deresienski said dogs involved in the testing of food get two hours of exercise a day. Most dogs don’t get that much exercise, so they need less calories than what is recommended on the bag, she said. Dr. Saker said owners don’t necessarily have to purchase the most expensive bagged food for their pet. She said it is important to get the right food for the stage in the dog’s life. She also recommended looking for the first ingredient in the food to be meat. Some dogs don’t eat bagged food at all. Fran Ferrell feeds her dog a homemade diet consisting of steamed broccoli, a carefully measured amount of chicken, raw carrots, rice, and fruit. Ferrell switched her dog, Lucky, to the diet after he had years of skin problems and seizures. “That was one of the main things when we switched to this diet, I mean. We know exactly what’s in it,” she said. The danger of a homemade diet is that it might not be balanced with the right vitamins and minerals. Ferrell sprinkles a supplement on Lucky’s food to make sure he stays healthy. At 11 years old, he’s thriving. “[He’s] very energetic, as energetic as a somewhat older man can be,” Ferrell said. Homemade diets are growing in popularity and NC State’s nutrition lab helps dog owners balance those diets. Dr. Saker said that while some owners worry that their dogs get bored eating the same food every day, a dog’s gastrointestinal tract does better on a regular diet. So while we may enjoy variety in what we eat, make sure you keep your canine’s diet consistent.


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ask the vet

Q:

Dear Dr. D., My dog Buddy has arthritis in his hips and spine. Do you think acupuncture would help him? ~ Dave from Garner, NC

A:

Dear Dave,

That is an excellent question! I am going to have one of my colleagues, Dr. Shana Silverstein from Bowman Animal Hospital answer it for you. She has studied acupuncture at the prestigious Chi Institute.

Dr. Diane Deresienski , VMD, DABVP A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Diane Deresienski has been with Bowman Animal Hospital since 1993. She has also been an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Clinical Sciences at NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine since 1997. In 2011, Dr. D. became Medical Director of Bowman Animal Hospital. She enjoys surgery, internal medicine, and dermatology cases. She is certified in PennHIP radiographic technique and in Canine/Feline Practice through the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners since 2000. She has also been featured on Animal Planet’s “Pets 101.” As an exotic animal veterinarian, she sees a variety of pets ranging from birds and reptiles, to small mammals such as rabbits, ferrets, and guinea pigs.

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Dave, I’m sorry that Buddy is facing health challenges. However, I’m thrilled that you are interested in exploring alternative modalities within veterinary medicine to help him. You may or may not be aware that veterinary acupuncture is at least two thousand years old. Although the effectiveness is not well-understood by modern scientists, acupuncture points have been recognized to correlate with high densities of nerve endings, tiny blood vessels, lymphatic vessels (part of the immune system), and specific inflammatory cells. When stimulated, acupuncture points can offer pain relief, stimulate the nervous system (important for patients with weakness or paralysis due to spinal disc issues), and aid with immune regulation, reproductive regulation, and gastrointestinal regulation, to name a few. The first step in helping determine therapeutic options for Buddy is to have what we call a definitive diagnosis. It is important that we know if what is presumed to be arthritis is truly arthritis or something else (like a tumor in his bones). I encourage you to seek that definitive diagnosis with your primary care veterinarian or work with an integrative veterinarian (one who practices Eastern and Western medicine) to obtain as much information as possible. Turning to Eastern medicine for options does not have to mean rejecting Western medicine. At your initial appointment, your pet will have a physical exam performed a little differently than what you are used to seeing.


In addition to a traditional “Western” exam, the doctor may also look at Buddy’s tongue and feel his pulses to explore more information on his Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) diagnosis. A TCM pattern is then identified and treatment recommendations made, which may include acupuncture and herbs. If you are wondering if pets tolerate having acupuncture needles placed, you are not alone! Most of my clients are amazed at how patient their pets are during needle placement. Some get very obviously relaxed. Once the needles are in, many pets just lay down on a mat and some even take a nap. There are a few different ways for an acupuncturist to stimulate an acupuncture point. The techniques chosen depend on the condition and the patient (and what the pet may or may not tolerate). Dry needles can be placed in specific points and are often left in for about 20 minutes. They may be twisted or flicked periodically for extra stimulation. Electroacupuncture is performed by placing needles at two different acupuncture points

and attaching them to a machine that runs a low current. Running this low current has been scientifically proven to release pain-relieving beta-endorphins. This practice is also commonly used to help draw energy through areas that appear to have a blockage of flow, such as a spine with a ruptured disc causing weakness or paralysis. Aquapuncture is the injection of a liquid, often Vitamin B12 solution, into an acupuncture point so that pressure is applied continually at that point for the next 1-2 days. Gold beads are used by some practitioners to apply permanent, long-term stimulation at a point—for control of seizures, for instance. I encourage you to seek a veterinary acupuncturist to get Buddy examined and discuss your options. Most practitioners will suggest a commitment of three sessions before making a decision on whether the treatment is helping or not, as it can take a few treatments before noting a difference. Schedules vary from more than once a week for acute conditions to every 1-2 weeks for more chronic conditions. Other complimentary medicine such as chiropractic, cold light laser therapy, usage of herbs, or concurrent work in physical therapy or rehab may be offered to help with Buddy’s soreness. The most important point to recognize is that there are many options out there to explore. You can ask your primary care veterinarian for a referral or check out listings with organizations online such as www.tcvm.com, www.ivas.org, or www.ahvma.org. Best of luck to you and Buddy! Dr. Shana Silverstein

The Triangle Dog

T Volume 3 • Issue 4      33  


natural Dog by Louise Freeman

When it Comes to Oils, Know the Essentials

Your K-9 is not just a number; he or she is part of your family and is unfortunately under the same toxic load as you. Stress is a major contributor and builds up from poor diet, lack of exercise, work, family, and other obligations. Our four-legged companions are right there with us, suffering similar symptoms from it all. To help them ease those annoying aches and pains and cope with the stresses of an urban environment, they need something safe and powerful. Essential oils can do the trick! Even the celebrity “dog whisperer” Cesar Milan has found that essential oils really do work. Essential oils can offer relief effectively and without unwanted side effects. Does Fido have anxiety? Or does his temperament seem a bit out of sorts? Try a few drops of lavender oil in the palm of your hand, gently rub it on his muzzle, the top of his paws, and between his toes, as well as on the edges of his ears. For dermatitis or any damage to the skin, rub the affected area with melaleuca (commonly known as tea tree oil) to stop infection, kill germs, and provide relief from itching and scratching. Have a tick or bug bite? Apply purify™ (essential oil blend) directly on the tick or wound. If your pet suffers from seizures or epileptic fits, try rubbing a few drops of frankincense between the pads of each paw, or along the spine. Many dog owners have witnessed the relief that these essential oils can provide. For older pets who may suffer with arthritic joints, blend equal parts rosemary, lavender, and ginger, then dilute with fractionated coconut oil and apply topically on affected joints.1 34    Volume 3 • Issue 4

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There are a few aspects to remember when using essential oils on your pets. Dilute the essential oils in a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil, and start with just a drop or two. When using these volatile aromatic compounds, remember that “less is more”! Because of their extremely acute sense of smell, your dog should first sniff the oil you intend to use, so they may be accepting of it as an aid to healing. What smells good to you and I may be intensely irritating to your dog, especially if he or she can’t get away from it. Apply to the bottoms of the paws, the back of the ears, or on the neck until you are sure it is a pleasant experience for them. Also, avoid the areas directly around the eyes and nose. Most importantly, use the purest oils you can find. We recommend CPTG (Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade™) oils from doTERRA International. They have no fillers or diluting agents and are completely guaranteed to be beyond organic with no pesticides or synthetic chemicals. You can also diffuse the oils into the air to kill airborne pathogens and toxins, to increase atmospheric oxygen, and to help control odors, mold, and other bacterial growth. They also fill the air with a fresh aromatic scent, making it nicer for both you and your pet. Purchase doTERRA Essential Oils online at www.mydoterra.com/healthforlifenc or contact Louise Freeman, doTERRA Independent Product Consultant in the Triangle area, at 919-608-0281 for more information.

1

Aroma Tools, Inc. Modern Essentials. 4th ed. 2012: 145.


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ANIMAL HEALTH & WELLNESS

by Brian Lapham, DVM of Southpoint Animal Hospital

Dining on a Lessthan-Desirable Dinner You know I love you, but your breath is atrocious I can’t quite figure out why it is so ferocious. You like to dine in the chicken coop And eat other dogs’ poop. You are not particular on whose stool you dine Cat, duck, rabbit – it is all divine! --Ruby Lapham Sound familiar? Of course, we never mention this little dilemma amongst polite company, but I promise I won’t tell anyone. It actually affects more pets than you might think. We even have a scientific name for it: coprophagy. And believe it or not, it is even normal, and necessary, in some animals such as rabbits. There are lots of theories as to why dogs practice coprophagy (cats almost never do). These theories include nutritional imbalances, stomach upset, bad genes, compulsive disorder, taste (blech), or simply a training issue. I don’t know that anyone has ever been able to say for sure what causes this behavior, but I can say that I have seen dogs on every diet and from every health aspect, training background, and breed with this condition. The problems with coprophagy are numerous. I certainly worry about intestinal parasites, bacteria, or toxins that can be found in domestic and wild animals’ feces. 36    Volume 3 • Issue 4

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There are some parasites—zoonotic parasites—that can affect people, which I also worry about. Stomach upset and bad breath are more immediate concerns. And, well, there’s also the gross factor! In reality, most pets consume some amount of stool without any health concern, in particular if it is their own or a housemate’s stool. So let’s get to the treatment portion of this discussion, what everyone (or at least the pet owner dealing with coprophagy) has been eagerly waiting for. There are lots of options, and I would encourage you to try several at the same time, and eventually even go through them all. This process can take some time and patience, but it will work for the majority of pets. • Training. Yes, this takes time and effort but it is worth it. Training a “leave it” command can be very helpful. Check out www.dog-obedience-training-review. com/leave-it.html for some detailed information on how to train this command. Although it sounds counterintuitive, not reprimanding or scolding pets while they’re eating stool can also be helpful. We don’t want to reward them with our attention. The correlative of this practice is to reward them with a high value reward (food, praise, ball-whatever their favorite is) when they do not go for their stool dessert. • Medications. Or rather, supplements. Pet stores sell various types, but the majority


ANIMAL HEALTH & WELLNESS

contain MSG. Yes, the same supplement used to enhance the flavor of food. The theory is that it makes stool taste bad. (As my daughter would say, “Really??”) But it does seem to work for some pets. I don’t know that this supplement is very healthy to use, however. I have anecdotal information about crushing breath mints into their diet, or adding pineapple juice/meat tenderizer to their diet for the same purpose. • Booby Trap. You can make the stool itself distasteful by adding hot sauce (really, really hot sauce) or bitter apple sprays to the stool. Unfortunately, you have to alter the stool every day, to every stool out there. This approach does not work when you go to the park or with rabbit/ deer/other dog’s stool.

• Pick It Up. Certainly the most fool-proof method is to simply pick up after your pet immediately after it goes to the bathroom. Of course, this approach again does not work in other environments. However, having them on a leash when outside of their normal territory will prevent most exposures. Generally, it will take all of the above: rewarding the behavior you want (leaving the stool alone), passively discouraging the ingestion (bad flavor), and reducing the exposure to the tasty treats (picking up the stool). As with most behavioral training methods, it also takes time. If a dog has been eating stool for three years, you cannot change this behavior in three weeks. In the meantime, use lots of dog tooth paste—in particular before their next visit to Southpoint Animal Hospital; I don’t want to smell that!

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T Volume 3 • Issue 4      37  


safety 101 by The North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association

Handling Pet Food Recalls Avoid Future Recalls Though recalls are not completely avoidable, the best step is to choose a reputable pet food manufacturer. You can obtain information by calling the toll-free number on the package to find out where ingredients are sourced from, where the food is manufactured, and what kind of quality control testing is in place. Food that is manufactured in-house is generally more closely monitored than food that is produced at a third-party location.

The number of pet food recalls has steadily risen over the past two years to the point that it seems as if a new recall is issued every week. With all of these safety issues, what is a pet owner to do? Stay Informed The first step to prevent unnecessary illness is to be aware of food recall lists in the news. The Food and Drug Administration keeps an updated registry on their website, so if you see that your pet’s food has been recalled, stop feeding the food to your pet immediately. In addition, consult your veterinarian if your pet has consumed any of the recalled products, even if he or she is not showing any symptoms. Know the Symptoms The most common reasons for recalls include contamination (usually salmonella) and excesses or deficiencies in nutrients. Salmonella is especially dangerous because it can be transferred to humans through contact with infected animals or contaminated food. The symptoms of salmonella poisoning in pets are often similar to the symptoms in humans, so watch for fever, signs of dehydration, diarrhea, and vomiting. Regular checkups are important regardless of recalls. Your veterinarian can examine your pet during these visits for dietary deficiencies, as well as symptoms of excessive nutrients, and monitor changes over time. 38    Volume 3 • Issue 4

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Reading the label on the food is also an effective way to gauge safety. Avoid anything with “by-products” on the ingredient list and look for specific meats to ensure that it comes from a safe source within the animal. By-products are the waste parts of an animal, including feet, lungs, brains, intestines, and other organs that are not meant for consumption. In the nutrient analysis on the package, look for 23 to 30 percent protein, 10 to 15 percent fat and 3 to 4 percent fiber to provide optimal nutrition. A food should have 10 percent moisture or less to avoid bacterial growth. Finally, it is also important to keep in mind that a recall is a step taken by reputable pet food companies to maintain their reputation and minimize the danger to consumers. A recall is a sign of good faith that the company stands by its products and intends to rectify any potential problem, so a company should not necessarily be avoided if one of its products is recalled. By taking these steps and being aware, you can keep your pets safe from recalled products and prevent illness in the future.

The North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association (NCVMA) is a professional organization of veterinarians dedicated to compassionate animal care and quality medicine. For more information, visit www.ncvma.org, follow us on Twitter at @NCVMA, or call (800) 4462862 or (919) 851-5850.


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* If you want to submit your dog’s photo for one of our next issues, visit us on Facebook and post your picture, or send it to info@thetriangledog.com.

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T Volume 3 • Issue 4      39  


“I Pick You!”

by Erin Crenshaw Certified Trainer/Animal Behavior Consultant/ESMT

Photo by Portraits by Laurie Gayle Portraits

Erin Crenshaw owns and operates Hoof and Paws Pet Care, LLC, a Raleigh company that provides in-home pet care, private and group training for dogs, cats, and horses, and animal massage therapy. A graduate of Western Carolina University, Crenshaw established her company in 2004. As a practicing trainer and animal behavior consultant, her professional goals are to provide excellent care for four-legged clients and to teach owners how to establish consistent, repeatable communication with their four-legged companions. Visit Crenshaw at www.HoofandPawsPetCare.com.

I

t started as a typical referral for a new client but with a twist. A client’s neighbors were going away and they had a Border Collie, Snow, with some aggression issues. Countless trainers had tried to help and the only solutions were to muzzle the dog when out in public or home with guests, train the neighbors to stay on the other side of the street, and never let the dog look at anyone. I thought, “What am I getting myself into?” I knocked on the door and went through the standard introduction, but there was no dog to meet because she was in the basement. I was quickly told that the neighbor who was brave enough to care for her one time forgot about her for a whole weekend. I was a few years into my business and I had a reputation for success with difficult situations. I told them to let me meet Snow. She flew up the stairs, sat squarely in front of me, put her paws up and said, “I pick you.” I proceeded with the interview, totally perplexed. I was shown the house and all the accommodations they had made for this dog. Believe me, these people were doing the best they could to implement every suggestion all the experts gave them. They were sad that her life was so restrictive beyond the basement. Meanwhile, this dog followed me around, behaving perfectly. What the owners didn’t know was that Snow and I were having a conversation that went something like this: “I am supposed to be your dog.” “No, you have a family.” “But I am supposed to be yours.” “Listen, your family leaves in two days and I will be back to finish this discussion after I make some sense of it.” Little did I know that this new client interview would alter the course of my career. Just a few months after 40    Volume 3 • Issue 4

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I started caring for Snow, the owners approached me about rehoming her. I knew she was misunderstood and they knew they wanted the best for her. So I agreed with the understanding that if I found a home that was better for her than my own I would re-home her as long as they accepted that re-homing didn’t indicate failure on their part. Instead, they were creating an opportunity for her to succeed. I worked hard to help Snow overcome many obstacles and she worked even harder to reward me for my efforts. She was 6 years old when she came to me in a muzzle and almost 14 when she left me an AKC Certified Canine Good Citizen. She was a living example of change. The transformation I witnessed in her is the reason I am now a Certified Dog Trainer and Animal Behavior Consultant. Today, fur clients come to me for many reasons, and no matter what those reasons are, Snow’s legacy reinforces my belief that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.


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Registering Your Pet’s Microchip

by Laura Lankford

Photo by Tracy Lankford

Laura Lankford started out as an audiologist, but pursued her passion for animals by becoming a veterinary assistant. She currently teaches agility classes at Teamworks Dog Training. She lives in Durham with her husband Tracy, 4 dogs, and 2 cats. She actively competes in agility with 3 of her dogs (Gryphon and Cadence, Australian Shepherds, and Brio, a Border Collie), and has also competed in flyball and dock diving. She and Piper, her 13-year-old terrier mix, are currently learning about the new sport of K9 Nosework. When not practicing agility, Lankford enjoys learning about dog behavior, reading, and training and walking with her dogs.

T

he American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) estimates that approximately 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter shelters in the US each year. Of these, only 15-20% of lost dogs and less than 2% of lost cats are returned to their owners, most of whom were reunited because they had some type of identification, such as tags, tattoos, or microchips. Having a pet implanted with a microchip has become an ideal way among pet owners, veterinarians, and rescue organizations to provide permanent, tamperresistant identification. Implantation of a microchip (or just “microchipping”) is a quick, relatively painless procedure that can be done during a routine visit to the veterinarian. Microchip booths are even being set up at pet expo events as a way of providing this service at a discounted rate to large numbers of pets. The popularity of microchipping is evident in the long lines that tend to form during such events. Even many breeders and rescue groups are microchipping the animals in their care before the animal goes to a new owner.

Despite the popularity of microchipping, however, there appears to be a gap in the system. According to a 2009 nationwide survey of microchipped pets turned into shelters1, 74% of the owners were found. Of these pets, 58% of the microchips were registered to a specific owner, while 35% percent of the pets’ owners could not be contacted due to missing, incorrect, or disconnected contact numbers. If having a microchip is such a reliable way of getting a lost pet back home, then what is going wrong? Why aren’t 100% of the lost pets with microchips being reunited with their owners? The conclusion of this study was that while microchipping was an effective way to identify an animal, “issues related to registration undermine its overall potential.”1 As the contact person for microchip information in the 42    Volume 3 • Issue 4

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veterinary office where I work, I could not agree more. There have been numerous cases of lost pets whose microchips were traced back to our office, but whose owners could not be found or effectively contacted. In some cases, the pet was lost many years after the initial implantation. The pet could not be returned to the rightful owner because either the microchip itself was never registered, it was registered but the contact information was no longer valid, or it had been so long since we had seen the pet that the owner’s information was no longer in our computer system. Clearly there is a need for education on how the microchip process works to bring a pet home. A microchip can be an excellent way to provide a pet with permanent identification, but without registration of the chip to a specific owner, the chip itself is essentially useless.

What

a microchip is and is not

The microchip itself is encased in a small capsule that is implanted between the shoulder blades with a needle, just under a pet’s skin. Once implanted, the microchip remains in place for the life of the pet. Within the chip is a unique serial number, assigned to the animal that receives it. The chip requires no internal power source, but does require a hand-held, battery-operated device in order to read the serial number. Microchips themselves, however, are not GPS tracking devices. They cannot determine a pet’s location and do not contain complete identification information. The chip stores only a serial number. Once the chip is given to a pet, the chip’s serial number then must be registered to the owner with the company who supplied it. Should a microchip be discovered in a lost pet, the original manufacturer is contacted to see if a record of the owner exists, and the owner is then contacted. Without an owner to contact, the pet’s fate is uncertain.


How

Why

should

I

microchip my pet?

Having a pet wear a collar with an identification tag is still the easiest and most efficient way to identify a lost pet. But relying solely on this method to bring a lost pet home can result in heartbreak. Collars and ID tags can be removed, broken, or fall off. The tragic reality is that as careful as owners try to be, pets can be stolen or wander out of a yard if a gate is unintentionally left open. Pets can escape a house by darting out of an open door. Pets can also be frightened by something and run away. Natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes also have a way of separating pets from their owners. In each of these events, an implanted microchip will always be with a pet.

My

pet has a microchip—now what?

Having the chip implanted is only half of the microchipping process. The serial number that is housed in the chip must somehow be linked to the pet owner. Registration of the chip number into a central database has been unintentionally disregarded or neglected. Pet owners either overlooked this step or simply did not know it needed to be done. Registration information typically includes the pet’s name and description, owner’s name and contact information, and a secondary contact person, veterinarian and/or rescue name. This information allows the owner of a lost pet to quickly be identified, contacted, and reunited with the pet. Many veterinary offices and rescue organizations are now including the registration with the microchip implantation or pet adoption to ensure that the serial number—and therefore the pet—is linked with the new owner. It is then up to the pet owner to update his or her contact information, should anything change.

do

I

register my pet’s microchip?

Each microchip manufacturer offers registration of its chips on its company website (see inset), as well as 24/7 assistance for reporting a lost or found pet. Use of the American Animal Hospital Association’s (AAHA) Universal Pet Microchip Lookup website (inset) allows users to discover if a chip is already registered and with whom. Initial registration of a chip can be completed online or via a mail-in application and usually costs about $17 to $20. In most cases, this cost is a one-time fee that does not need to be paid annually. For some companies, however, maintaining annual membership offers added benefits, such as sending out lost pet alerts to area rescuers and veterinary clinics, or offering lost pet travel assistance to help get a pet back home. Once the registration is complete, pet owners should keep this information updated. If an owner should move or change phone numbers or other contact information, this should be updated on the registry. Outdated information may impede—and possibly prevent—a pet from returning to the rightful owner. A simple phone call or logging into the account online should be all that is required. While there may be a small fee involved with updating this information, hopefully the possibility of getting a beloved pet back home outweighs any fees involved! Microchips are most often registered with the company from whence they originated. However, a microchip number can be registered with any other company’s registry. As a result, owners have the option of registering a microchip with more than one database. Likewise, owners with multiple pets that may

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Registering Your Pet’s Microchip (continued)

have microchips from differing companies may find it helpful to be able to register all their pets into one central registry. There may even be a multi-pet discount on registration fees. A microchip can be registered at any point in the pet’s life. However, for a change of ownership, the previous owner will need to contact a registry and give permission for this change before the information is updated. If this contact is not possible, discuss the matter with a customer service representative from the company. All of the companies have a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page that covers their policies on registration. When in doubt, call the company. Ask any pet owner and most will acknowledge that the animals in their household are not just “pets” but members of the family. Many pet owners will say that the emotional bond they feel to their pets is often just as strong, or even

stronger, than they have with other people. Having a lost pet can be a devastating experience. It is up to us as pet owners, then, to do all we can to ensure their safety and welfare. This responsibility includes making certain that a pet is supplied with appropriate identification to make sure it can be returned safely back home with its family. If your pet is already microchipped, please take a moment to determine not only if that chip is registered, but also that your contact information is current and correct. If the chip is not registered, please consider registering it. And if your pet is not currently microchipped, please consider getting one and make sure you register it!

Lord LK, Ingwerson W, Gray JL et al. Characterization of animals with microchips entering animal shelters. J Amer Vet Med Assoc 2009; 235: 160-167. 1

U.S. Microchip Manufacturers and Registries: AKC Companion Animal Recovery (CAR)

www.akccar.org

Avid www.avidid.com Bayer resQ

www.petparents.com/show.aspx/products/resq

Found Animals

www.microchipregistry.foundanimals.org

HomeAgain® www.homeagain.com InfoPet www.infopet.biz 24 Pet Watch

www.24hourpetwatch.com/US/

PetLink.net www.petlink.net Save This Life

www.savethislife.com

SmartTag Micrcochip

www.idtag.com

AAHA Universal Microchip Lookup

www.petmicrochiplookup.org


training

Is Your Dog an Escape Artist? Dogs sometimes discover the joys of bolting out the front door (or the gate). They learn they can zoom around, explore new scents, and have a grand old time. But door bolting can be a dangerous and inconvenient habit. The dog risks being lost or hit by a car, and the human risks the aggravation of pursuing the dog while haplessly rattling a treat container. You can prevent door bolting by using the following solutions. Start with a Quick Fix to get things under control right away, and then choose from the Make It Stick solutions so door bolting becomes a thing of the past.

Quick Fix Keep the door or the gate locked. Tie a ribbon or bandana to the handle to remind all family members to lock the door, and to check where the dog is before opening it. Install a storm door, screen door, or self-closing gate. This installation is especially helpful for households in which young kids may forget to shut doors behind them.

by Barbara Shumannfang, Ph.D., CPDT

Train your dog to touch your hand with his or her nose so you can point his or her head away from the door just by cuing this touch to your hand. You can also teach him or her to touch a plastic lid you’ve affixed nose-level to a wall. As guests enter, cue your dog to run away from the door to go touch the lid. Play the Gotcha Game, which teaches your dog to love being grabbed and held by the collar. Touch the collar, and then pop a treat in your dog’s mouth. This activity will make her eager to be controlled at the door. Provide daily backyard action (fetch, hide and seek, and tug) and engaging activities in the house (food puzzles, find it, and tricks) so that your dog is not in desperate search of adventure out the front door. As an added precaution, train your dog to come when called not only in the backyard, but also out front (using a long line). No matter which solutions you choose, your dog should wear a correctly fitted collar with identification tags…just in case opportunity knocks.

Ask your guests to call or text you from your driveway when they’ve arrived so you’ll know it’s time to prevent doggie escape. Crate your dog or position him behind a baby gate (do so again before your guests depart). While he’s confined, offer your pooch a treat-stuffed Kong so he’ll enjoy a new habit away from the door. Crate or baby gate your dog during the morning rush, when your kids first come home from school, and when workers need access to your house or yard. These are prime door bolting opportunities that are easily thwarted with temporary confinement.

Make It Stick The following games provide an alternative to your dog gallivanting through the neighborhood. For step-by-step instructions, see the book Puppy Savvy and view how-to videos at veryfetching.com. Teach your dog to go to his or her spot on cue, so that when there is a knock at the door, you can send your dog away from the door to lie on a mat. The Triangle Dog

T Volume 3 • Issue 4      45  


tails from the heart by Holly J. Hough, Ph.D.

Finders K eepers Less than a mile from her house, my sister Robin and I saw a dog lying beside the road. She thought he might belong to one of the neighbors, so we kept driving. Two hours later, we returned and realized the dog had not moved. I stopped the car. The dog was wobbly, but stood up. He was emaciated. I opened my door, planning to get a blanket out of the trunk to spread across the back seat, but the dog jumped in and put his head on Robin’s shoulder. He had a large 3” sore on each hip and his ears were scraped and cut. It was Saturday afternoon and most veterinary offices were closed; however, I found a vet who agreed to see him. By the time we arrived, the dog had diarrhea. Weighing only 56 pounds, he tested positive for heartworm. The vet looked at the sores on his hips and told us that he had cancer. She led us to believe that he would not live another six months. I left with anti-diarrhea medication and the assumption that I would be helping him die. I took the dog home with me, which was a twohour trip. He still had diarrhea, so I stopped every 30 minutes to let him out. It was almost 11 p.m. when I reached Chapel Hill, NC and I began having doubts about caring for the dog. I drove to where I thought a shelter was located. I reached the parking lot, but there was no shelter (it had evidently moved). I took this as a sign that the dog was supposed to go with me. 46    Volume 3 • Issue 4

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I named the dog Rowan and put him in my sunroom to separate him from my cats. Sometime around 3 a.m., the diarrhea wasn’t any better. I called the local emergency vet and told the receptionist I found a dog that needed putting down. She asked several questions and stressed that we really didn’t know he had cancer. She asked if he had drunk water. I replied, “Yes.” She indicated that diarrhea could last for 2-3 days and said that if he was drinking, he was not ready to go. I knew she was right. The woman told me to give Rowan another dose of medication and pointed out that, since I brought him home, I must have wanted to give him a chance. I thanked her, hung up the phone, and gave Rowan his medicine. Within two hours, the diarrhea stopped. I called my vet, John, for a second opinion. Following an examination, John said that Rowan would have died of starvation within 48 hours if he had not been found. After further exam, we found out the sores on his hips were not cancerous but rather bedsores, thankfully. I continued to feed him 4-5 small meals every day, gave him herbs and a few necessary prescription drugs, and he slowly healed. Today, Rowan gets along beautifully with my cats and is now a 90-pound Rottweiler in training to be a therapy dog.


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T Volume 3 • Issue 4      47  


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