Page 1

Volume 5 •Issue 2

Summer 2014

Walking in a Winter Wonderland



Demystifying Spinal Injuries in Dogs “Khristoff” is seeking his forever home through the Middleburg Humane Foundation.

Holiday Gift Guide Inside (details on Page 44)

Sitting Up & Living Longer: A Great Invention for Dogs Living with Megaesophagus Matters of the Heart Is your Dog on the Ball? A Little Training Goes a Long Way

Any Breed, Any Age, Any Size.

Go off leash with your dog this summer!

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Volume 5

Issue 2

Volume 5 •Issue 2

contents Summer 2014 Walkin g in a W inter Wonder land Demys tifying Spinal Injuries “Khristin off”Dogs home thro is seekin g his fore Holiday ugh the ver Middlebur Hu G maift g ne Fou Gnda uition de. In (details on side Page 44)


departments 18

Weekend Getaway: Health:






Sitting Up A Grea & Living Lon Living w t Invention for ger: ith Meg D aesoph ogs agus M atters of the Hea Is your rt Dog on the Ball? A Little Training G a Long oes Way

On the Cover…

Blue Mountain Majesty



“Khristoff” is available for adoption through the Middleburg Humane Foundation (See Page 44 for details)

Life-Saving Questions and Answers About Heart Disease in Dogs And Cats

10 Tips for Staying Active and Keeping Cool in the Summertime Heat

A Little Training Goes A Long Way


Stories Within The Bond:


Ask Dr Katy


Giving Back


Rounding up Rover


Seeking A Forever Home

The Case of Fertile Freddie

Photo by Fuzzypants Pet Photography

features 9

Laryngeal Paralysis:


Get on the Ball!


Why Bones Are Bad


All Creatures Great and Small—and Kind

with Dr. Katy Nelson

Chew On This!

When Old Dogs Have to Catch Their Breath

How Certain Devices Help Dogs Build Strength and Balance

special feature 14

Sitting Up and Living Longer A Great Invention for Dogs Living with Megaesophagus

Summer 2014 |


{ contributors }

contributors Kimberly Artley

Katy Nelson, DVM

Kimberly Artley is Founder of PackFit: Body + Mind for Human + Canine. PackFit is dedicated to helping humans + their faithful canine companions achieve stellar health + wellness through various integrated modalities. Creating our best version of self + becoming the leader our dogs need us to be.

Cathy C. Bennett, Online Publicist Cathy C. Bennett enjoys writing about life with her two Goldendoodles and the world they continue to introduce her to. Author and Editor for The Chronicles of Life with Harley & Leo, The Doodle Daily and Doodle*Licious, Cathy writes because so many people ask her “what’s it like with two?”

Bruce Coston, DVM Doctor Coston owns and operates Seven Bends Veterinary Hospital in Woodstock, Virginia. He is the author of two books: The Gift of Pets and Ask The Animals. He is owned by a mixed breed dog named Starr.

Krisi Erwin, DVM, CVA, CCRT Dr. Erwin, a life-long Loudoun County native, owns a house call practice called Wholistic Paws Veterinary Services that focuses on offering in-home acupuncture, rehabilitation, pet hospice, and euthanasia for her clients. Dr. Erwin is a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist and a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist.

Bonnie Lefbom, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology) Dr. Bonnie Lefbom is passionate about cardiology for pets. Her vast experience allows her to remain focused on the emotional and financial needs of owners while achieving optimal treatment for each pet. Dr. Lefbom’s home life is joy-filled with three teenagers, two spoiled dogs, and one very friendly cat.

Laurie Luck, M.A., KPA CTP Dog lover and professional trainer, Laurie knows the joy that dogs bring to our lives. Smart Dog University specializes in dog-friendly, positive training. From pups to dogs, Laurie makes training fun for both ends of the leash!

Patrick Miller Patrick graduated from Bishop O’Connell High School in 2008, and is currently finishing his undergraduate degree in English Literature at Virginia Commonwealth University. Outside of school, Patrick sings and plays guitar for the band Amateur Thieves, and can be found at any Richmond venue giving lectures on why people should not bring their dogs to punk shows.


Dr. Katy Nelson is a veterinarian and the host of “The Pet Show with Dr. Katy” on Washington DC’s News Channel 8 - the show airs at 11am on Saturday mornings. An ardent advocate for pet rescue, Dr. Nelson works with numerous local and national rescue organizations to promote pet adoption. Dr. Nelson is known as “Dr. Pawz” on Washington DC’s All News Radio Station WTOP live on air every two weeks. You can also catch her on her online radio show called “Pawsitive Talk with Dr. Katy” on the all positive radio network HealthyLife.Net. Dr. Nelson is a Certified Veterinary Journalist (CVJ), accredited by the American Society of Veterinary Journalists (ASVJ). Catch her every Friday morning on News Channel 8’s “Let’s Talk Live,” and you can even find her reporting on animal health topics every week on WJLA ABC7 News. A prolific writer, you can follow her on The Pet Show’s blog and find back episodes of The Pet Show there, as well.

Anne Stoneham, DVM, DACVECC Dr. Stoneham is an emergency and critical care specialist at VCA Veterinary Referral Associates in Gaithersburg, MD where she is Director of the Emergency Department. Dr. Stoneham completed her veterinary training at three different institutions: veterinary school at Cornell University in NY, internship at the Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital in Oregon, and residency at Tufts University in Massachusetts. Dr. Stoneham’s interests include emergency surgery, acute kidney failure, sepsis and hypoadrenocorticism among others.

Drisko von Pfeil, DVM, ACVS, ECVS After graduation from the University of Berlin in 2001, Dr. von Pfeil obtained the American DVM, was accepted for a 1-year internship at Kansas State University (KSU), followed by a 3-year surgical residency, and 1-year surgical fellowship at Michigan State University (MSU). Supported by an international scholarship he completed his dissertation in orthopedic implant biomechanics. He became double-board-certified in 2008. After returning to KSU as assistant professor, teaching orthopedic, soft- tissue, oncologic- and neurosurgery, he worked for 5 years at Veterinary Specialists of Alaska. He joined Veterinary Surgical Centers in 2014.

Ginger, Warder Ginger Warder, the author of Fido’s Virginia and Fido’s Florida, is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers, specializing in luxury travel and travel with pets. Her current canine research assistants are her German Shepherd, Tipsy, and her Daschund, Max.

Anne Wills Anne Wills is the founder of Dogs Finding Dogs, K9 Search & Rescue for Missing Pets, a 501c3 Non-profit organization. In addition, Anne is a Professional Dog Trainer and Private Investigator, as well as the owner of Dogs Finding Drugs, K9 Narcotic & Firearms Detection. She is also an HLN and Fox News Consultant.

The Virginia–Maryland Dog

Frederick, Howard, Carroll & Montgomery Counties

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{ department }

Publisher/Editor in Chief Pamela Wahl

{ publishers note }

a note

from our publisher

Director of Operations Gene Wahl

“Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished.” – Dean Koontz

Art Director Kim Dow, Kalico Design Graphic Designer Jennifer Tyler, Kim Dow, Kalico Design

As we enter into the much-awaited summer season, the activities that we have available for us to share with our four-legged best friends seem endless. From visits to the beach, hikes in the woods, to the countless events sponsored by the many canine organizations, we have it all.

Social Media Cami O’Connell Kristin Carlson Senior Editor Kimberly Holmes Photographer Fuzzypants Pet Photography Copy Editor Matt Neufeld Advertising Director Pamela Wahl Production Coordinator Diane Weller Web Site Manager Kalico Design, Kim Dow Business Manager Cathy Wahl Contributing Writers: Kimberly Artley Cathy Bennett Bruce Coston, DVM Krisi Erwin, DVM, CVA, CCRT Bonnie Lefbom, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology) Laurie Luck, KPA-CTP, CNWI Patrick Miller Katy Nelson, DVM Anne Stoneham, DVM, DACVECC Drisko von Pfeil, DVM, ACVS, ECVS Ginger Warder Anne Wills The Virginia-Maryland Dog Magazine 1 College Avenue Frederick, MD 21701 Tel: (301) 514-2804 Fax: (301) 576-5079

Just like the varied list of activities available to us and our canine companions, our summer edition is full of in-depth articles, including stories about keeping your dog fit, and what to do if your dog is running loose and won’t come back to you. We are grateful and honored to have such a well-respected group of veterinarians, trainers, fitness experts and other canine professionals to provide our readers with the latest advances in canine technology. We are often told by our readers that particular articles within our publication have offered valuable education for them when dealing with their own canine-related issues. And readers also note that issues of our magazine are often kept archived for future use. We would like to extend a warm welcome to Dr. Dirsko von Pfeil, DVM, ACVS, ECVS. Dr. von Pfeil has authored many scientific publications and book chapters, and he is an adjunct professor at Michigan State University. Some of Dr. von Pfeil’s academic achievements include research resulting in the development of the I-LOC (interlocking nail), an orthopedic implant used for fracture repairs in minimally-invasive manner, and descriptions of modified approaches for TPLO-, laryngeal paralysis- and salivary gland surgeries. As a sled-race veterinarian in Alaska, he investigated orthopedic injuries and the genetics of congenital laryngeal paralysis in sled dogs. In addition, we would also like to welcome Kimberly Artley, the owner of PackFit. Kimberly will be providing a new section within our publication with an emphasis on fitness and nutrition. We at The Virginia-Maryland Dog hope that you have a safe and happy summer!

Pamela Wahl Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

Copyright 2014 No part of this publication may be reproduced without expressed written permission of the publisher. No part may be transmitted in any form by any means, including electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher. Publisher accepts no liability for solicited or unsolicited materials that are damaged or lost. Views expressed by editorial contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher.


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{ feature } Figure 1: Labradors are predisposed for development of laryngeal paralysis. This is a disorder of the voice box, resulting in breathing difficulties. In the worst cases, a dog could suffocate.

Laryngeal Paralysis:

When Old Dogs Have to Catch Their Breath As summer arrives, dogs, like humans, also see increased activity. However, elderly dogs may show some signs of possible illness, including coughing, gagging, voice changing, or raspy breathing sounds. These could be signs of laryngeal paralysis—a disorder of the voice box. When this ailment occurs, a dog does not receive enough oxygen to his body.

What is Laryngeal Paralysis?

By Dirsko J.F. von Pfeil, DVM, Diplomate ACVS, Diplomate ECVS

Why Does it Occur?

The voice box, or larynx, is located at the beginning of the wind pipe. Specific nerves control the muscles of the voice box. With laryngeal paralysis, these nerves do not work normally, and the voice box does not open appropriately. Affected dogs cannot get enough oxygen into their body. Labrador Retrievers are overrepresented (Figure 1). The usual age of the onset of clinical signs of the disease is 10-12 years old.

For most dogs with laryngeal paralysis, there is no obvious cause. Recent research suggests that it may be only one symptom of a generalized breakdown of numerous nerves, at the level of the voice box and at other areas of the body.

Summer 2014 |


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Figure 3: Model of the voice box. Placement of sutures (dashed lines) during laryngeal tieback. Pulling two cartilages together (arrow) results in an opened airway.

What are the Clinical Signs?

One of the first signs of laryngeal paralysis is noisy and difficult breathing. Some dogs exhibit voice change and exercise intolerance. Other clinical signs include coughing, a hoarse bark, and choking or gagging. When the dog becomes short of breath due to exercise or overheating, but cannot get enough air into his body system, a cycle starts: additional anxiety and stress set in that causes the dog to work harder to breathe, which leads to additional anxiety and stress. The dog’s tongue and mucous membranes can turn blue from the lack of airflow into the body. Dogs can also collapse or die from the disorder. If a dog shows warning signs, an owner should have the dog examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

How is it Diagnosed?

Besides physical and neurological examinations, blood work and X-rays of the chest and neck are recommended. The definitive diagnosis is made under direct visualization, with the dog lightly sedated. The affected voice box does not open normally during inhalation (Figure 2). Â


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

What is the Treatment?

In mild cases, decreasing body weight, limiting activity level and preventing exposure to high temperatures may be sufficient. In more severe cases, cooling, sedation and oxygen delivery can provide relief. Medical management of the disease is at best a stop-gap measure to allow definitive surgical treatment. The common term used for this surgery is tieback, in which two cartilages of the voice box are pulled together, or tied back. This results in airway opening, allowing the dog to breathe more easily. The surgery is technically demanding and must be performed correctly to assure am acceptable outcome (Figures 3, 4).

What to Expect After Treatment?

After surgery, doctors usually see rapid, pain-free recoveries, significant and immediate improvement of breathing, and an improvement in the quality of life. With a less invasive modification of the conventional tieback surgery, improvement of clinical signs and owner satisfaction was recorded

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Serving Frederick City & Frederick County

Figure 2: View of the inlet to the voice box in a dog. Normal movement of the voice box inlet while breathing is depicted by the white arrows and black dotted line. In dogs with laryngeal paralysis, there is no such movement. Compare with Figure 4.

We offer a wide variety of services including: • Daily dog walking and pet sitting • Overnight pet sitting • Pet transportation • Farm sitting • House sitting • Yard pick- up and more!

P.O. Box 451, Jefferson, MD 21755

ph. 301.473.8188 | fx. 301.358.3799

Figure 4: View of the laryngeal inlet after tieback. Note the opened airway in comparison with Figure 2. Surgical treatment is recommended, as the procedure provides fast, long-standing, improved quality of life.

Empowering people to transform the lives of pets™

in approximately 95.5 percent of dogs, according to one medical study. However, as the larynx is permanently opened following treatment, food or water can accidentally enter the airway. As a result, an infection of the lungs can develop. This is called aspiration pneumonia. Fortunately, most patients suffering from this complication recover well with appropriate treatment. It is generally accepted that the benefit of surgery, which is preventing suffocation, outweighs the risk of this complication. The median survival time has been reported to be close to five years after surgery.

Dirsko J. F. von Pfeil is a veterinarian, staff surgeon for Veterinary Surgical Centers and an adjunct professor for small animal surgery at Michigan State University.

Summer 2014 |


{ feature }

Get on the Ball!

How Certain Devices Help Dogs Build Strength and Balance By Krisi Erwin Dogs, just like humans, have what is known as the core, which are muscles in the trunk that DVM, CVA, CCRT wrap around the back, hips and abdomen; connect the upper and lower body; and provide support for most tasks. A strong core can help improve athletic ability, prevent injury and maintain balance. And, just like with humans, dogs also can do exercises to build up good core strength. One good device for such exercises is stability balls. They come in round and peanut shapes. The peanut shapes are more useful for dogs. The devices fit with a dog’s body shape; provide an adequate surface for a dog to train; and they allow the pet owner to stabilize the ball more easily. These balls are useful for stretching your dog’s back; working on gentle balance; and conducting exercises for weight shifting. They can also be used for teaching tricks, such as sitting and standing on the ball.


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

BOSU balls are like a round stability ball cut in half with a rigid, flat, plastic bottom. They can be used to help advance the difficulty of tricks; for exercises such as sitting, standing and high fives; encouraging weight shifting to build strength for the front or back legs; or as a wobble board, if the device is turned upside down. BOSUs can be purchased through most general stores or online.

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Fitterfirst Classic Sit Discs are shaped like a pancake filled with air. They can be used similarly to stability balls and BOSU, but they might provide an easier work-out for earlier phases of rehab post surgery, or for more arthritic animals. They may also be better for less-confident dogs, or those dogs who are just learning about these exercises. The discs are more stable on the ground.

Working with a ball can be a bit scary for the novice—so go slowly! Make sure that the ball is well-supported to prevent falls— this may take two people, initially.

These tools are great to help your dog work out in novel ways. If you are interested in adding them to your pup’s repertoire, consider seeking a rehabilitation professional in your area to help you learn how to do this safely. There are also educational DVDs, known as the “Get on the Ball” series, by Debbie Gross Saunders, who is a pioneer in the veterinary rehabilitation field. Working with a ball can be a bit scary for the novice—so go slowly! Make sure that the ball is wellsupported to prevent falls—this may take two people, initially. Use a large amount of positive reinforcement to help the dog build confidence. These exercises are difficult, and the dog may get tired quickly. Start slowly, and give a day of rest between sessions, so any muscle soreness can subside. Be extra careful with dogs who have had surgery or who have arthritis.


With the proper introduction, consistent use and some creativity, dog owners can use these tools successfully to improve their dogs’ fitness. So go out there, have some fun—and get on the ball!

For more information:

Summer 2014 |


{ special feature }


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

{ special feature }

& LIVING LONGER A chair provides a bridge to a longer life for dogs with life-threatening condition Story By Cathy C. Bennett Canine megaesophagus is a condition in which the muscles of the esophagus do not function properly. Normally, when the animal’s esophagus is functioning properly, it acts as a muscle and pushes the food down the esophagus into the stomach. However, when an animal has megaesophagus, the esophagus stays enlarged and does not push the food down to the stomach. Therefore, the food fails to enter the stomach and often stays in the esophagus, and is eventually regurgitated, or enters the lungs through breathing, or decays in the esophagus. One of the primary dangers to a dog with MegaE, as the condition is also known, is aspiration pneumonia. Because the food stays lodged in the throat, it can often be inhaled into the lungs, causing aspiration pneumonia. One way to avoid this is to make sure that every time the dog eats or drinks

anything, the dog sits for at least 10 minutes or is held in a sitting up or begging position. This requires that all food and liquid intake be closely monitored and administered in regular intervals--sometimes as often as two to three hours--in smaller quantities.

Summer 2014 |


{ special feature }

Although MegaE is difficult to detect and diagnose, and the medical options are few, dogs are leading relatively normal lives. One incredible invention that has saved many MegaE dogs, allowing them to live a somewhat normal life, is the Bailey Chair. This special chair was designed for dogs to eat while remaining in a vertical position, allowing gravity to help pull the food to their stomachs, since the muscles cannot. Some dogs remain in their Bailey Chair for up to 45 minutes after each feeding. The chair has helped countless dogs for many years.

Willie quickly outgrew his first chair at the age of 7 months, and the regurgitation returned. Susan has since sent Willie his big-boy chair. Now, at nearly one year old, he is once again regurgitation free. The financial aspect of this condition is challenging. The need for the Bailey Chairs are essential to the survival of these dogs. Susan and her husband state clearly on their website that they “are not a business.” “We build these chairs out of our garage in my husband’s spare time,” they say. “We build them at cost for those who can afford them and try to raise money to give them away free for those who cannot.”

The Bailey Chair was originally created for a dog named Bailey. When Bailey was diagnosed at 12 weeks of age and given a poor prognosis, Donna Koch found a way to manage his disorder and later, in collaboration, co-designed the Bailey Chair. Bailey lived for 13 years after his diagnosis, thriving despite his disorder. A new chance at life came true for a dog named Gremlin, thanks to a chance encounter through social media between Chrissy Wilson, Gremlin’s owner, and a woman in California named Susan Sanchez. Susan and her husband built a bed for her service dog Gigi. Enamored with this bed, Chrissy contacted Susan and jokingly asked if they could build a chair for Gremlin. Susan inquired, learned about Gremlins MegaE challenges, and a Bailey Chair was built for Gremlin. Kate Singleton has two adorable Goldendoodles, who are named Willie and Stetson, and both live with MegaE. At first, Kate had no idea what it was, she did some research, and she later learned about Susan and the Bailey Chairs. From across the country, Susan guided and coached Kate and her husband as they built Willie’s first Bailey Chair. Kate has been returning the favor ever since. Handmade collars, leashes, keychains, bracelets, and necklaces made from paracord can be purchased online through her Facebook page: Paracord for Pets, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to supplies for Bailey Chairs.


Susan’s goal is to eventually supply every dog who needs a lifesaving Bailey Chair for free throughout their donation site. Until they have generated enough funds to do that, they are providing low cost Bailey Chairs for purchase. For every $200 they raise, they’re able to supply a dog suffering from MegaE with a life-saving Bailey Chair. The chairs are said to provide dogs with years of comfort and support.


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

To purchase a Bailey Chair, or to support the cause through donated funds, please visit:

For additional information: Facebook pages: Canine Megaesophagus Support Upright Canine Brigade Paracord for Pets

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Pictured Previous Page: Willie in his Bailey Chair at a MegaE seminar & fundraiser sponsored by the Groovy Goldendoodles Harley & Leo Pictured This Page: Willie in his Bailey Chair Photos courtesy of Mareta Creations

Summer 2014 |


{ weekend getaway }

Blue Mountain Majesty Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountain Region Is A Perfect Summer Destination For Dog Owners By Ginger Warder Photos Courtesy of Ginger Warder & Roanoke Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau

Pictured Chateau Morrisette


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

{ weekend getaway }

If dog owners have an outward hound in the family who loves to hike and explore mountain trails, Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains may be the perfect summer destination. Even if a pooch is not athletically inclined, this region has many opportunities for pet owners and their dogs to enjoy fine food, wine and shopping; and socialize with local residents and their canines.

Roanoke Star Cam

Salvage Dawgs Warehouse

Located between the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Appalachian Trail, Roanoke is the metropolitan hub of the Southwest region, and the city is a great location for exploring the natural abundance of outdoor adventures in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. In town, take the dog for a hike on Mill Mountain to get a live shot of yourselves on the Roanoke Star-Cam, or explore more than 22 miles of greenways, and an off-leash dog park. Mountain adventures are a short drive away: At the Peaks of Otter, the circular path around the lake is an easy and relaxing walk, while athletic dogs may want to try the more strenuous hike to Sharp Top. Pet owners can take their leashed dogs on segments of the Appalachian Trail, and there are several pet-friendly stops along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, including one of Virginia’s largest wineries, Chateau Morrisette. With a black Labrador Retriever as its official emblem, and several canine tour guides on the property, Chateau Morrisette is all about the dogs: Their URL is, and they have a line of wines that benefit service-dog groups. The gorgeous gift shop and tasting room has a black paw print path, and visitors are welcomed warmly by human and canine staff. Black dogs seem to go hand-in-hand with the Blue Ridge. At Black Dog Salvage in Historic Grandin Village, Sally, one of the stars of the HGTV/DIY Network show “Salvage Dawgs,” greets visitors and escorts them through the 40,000-square-foot warehouse of architectural treasure. During the summer months, catch the annual Woofstock Dog Festival in Elmwood Park in downtown Roanoke, or cool off at nearby Smith Mountain Lake, a popular resort destination for water sports and lakeside fun.

Summer 2014 |


{ weekend getaway }

Chateau Morrisette Black Dog Wine Boxes

For More Information: state-parks/cabin-rentals. shtml

Shopping at Square & Market Streets

Once known as Big Lick, Roanoke was the headquarters for the Norfolk & Western Railway. The arrival of the railroad in the 1850s transformed the little town into the metropolitan city that exists today. Railroad buffs will love the Virginia Museum of Transportation and the O. Winston Link Museum of spectacular train photography. Dog owners and their pooches can walk along the Rail Walk to play with the working signal lights. The newly-renovated Center in the Square and Market Street feature museums, boutiques, gourmet food shops and an outdoor farmers market with a pedestrian-only zone for stress-free strolling. There are plenty of pet-friendly accommodations as well, from the upscale Sheraton Roanoke Hotel & Conference Center to a cozy cabin on the lake. The Sheraton welcomes dogs up to 80 pounds with no additional fees, and amenities such as indoor and outdoor pools, a fitness center, and on-site dining


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

at Shula’s 347 Grill. Amenities for canines include a Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Dog Bed and food and water bowls in the rooms. The grounds have several pet stations for easy clean-up. Visitors can camp out or rent a cabin at Smith Mountain Lake State Park. This area has the state’s second-largest freshwater lake, hiking trails, a fishing pier, boat rentals and water activities. Music lovers who want to explore the Crooked Trail will enjoy the Hotel Floyd, a Virginia Green Hotel that was built and furnished with sustainable materials. The hotel sponsors a free concert series at The Floyd Country Store on Thursdays. Dogs are welcome with no additional fees in the two special Floyd Humane Society Pet Friendly Suites.

{ health }

Matters of the Heart

Life-Saving Questions and Answers About Heart Disease in Dogs And Cats By Bonnie Lefbom DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)

Our beloved pets deserve optimal health and well-being. Heart disease in pets is both common and many times, well - hidden. If your primary care veterinarian suspects heart disease, a timely visit to a veterinary cardiologist could save your pet’s life.

How will I know if my pet has a heart problem?

Most often, the only sign is a heart murmur found during a wellness examination by your veterinarian. Some dogs and cats may exhibit symptoms such as coughing, fainting, developing a weakness, or a swelling of their belly. Tragically, there may be no outward signs at all until the disease is fairly advanced.


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

What is a board-certified veterinary cardiologist?

Just as in human medicine, veterinarians specialize in a field by completing four years of additional training after veterinary school and passing two sets of rigorous examinations. Seeing a board-certified cardiologist means you are giving your pet the highest level of care through accurate diagnosis and ideal treatment.

Seeing a cardiologist at the earliest sign of heart disease ensures that your pet will have a longer, healthier life through early and accurate diagnosis.

What is my veterinarian’s role?

As your primary care provider, your veterinarian works closely with the cardiologist to ensure your pet receives the best treatment tailored to the needs of your family. In human medicine, having a specialist and a primary care provider work together significantly improves outcomes and quality of life in patients. This is also true in veterinary medicine.

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When should I see a cardiologist?

Any pet with signs of heart disease should be fully evaluated before having anesthesia for procedures such as dental cleanings, spaying, neutering or growth removal. Seeing a cardiologist at the earliest sign of heart disease ensures that your pet will have a longer, healthier life through early and accurate diagnosis.

Helping Dogs

How is heart disease diagnosed?

Heart disease is diagnosed by a board - certified veterinary cardiologist via non-invasive echocardiogram, a state of the art pediatric ultrasound of the heart. At some animal health care centers, doctors perform this test with the pet owner present to, calm the pet and show the family what is going on inside the pet’s heart. The board-certified cardiologist performs and interprets the echocardiogram immediately, which ensures an accurate diagnosis before you leave the appointment.

What kind of heart disease do pets get?

Animal Therapist Animal Whisperer Christina Montana

Dogs and cats rarely have heart attacks. Instead, they get diseases of the valves or heart muscle. This can be present from a young age, or this may develop over time. Pets also can be born with defects of the heart, some of which can be readily repaired with surgery or catheterization.

How is heart disease treated?

The vast majority of heart disease in pets is managed with inexpensive medications, while some heart defects are correctable with surgical or catheterization procedures. Proper treatment regimens and follow-up care can significantly improve the length and quality of life in most patients.



With early intervention and proper care, many pets with heart disease live long, healthy lives as much-loved members of your family.

For more information: Bonnie Lefbom DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology) CVCA Cardiac Care for Pets

Summer 2014 |


{ fitness }

It’s Here…the Dog Days of Summer 10 Tips for Staying Active and

Keeping Cool in the Summertime Heat. By Kimberly Artley

Exercise should be a non-negotiable, top issue on peoples’ priority lists, but sometimes during the summer and winter months, with extreme hot and cold weather, exercise can end up last on to-do lists. “It’s too hot” is often heard as an excuse not to exercise during the summer months. However, no matter the excuse—or the temperature—dogs rely on, and depend on, people to make the choices that will protect and improve their quality of life, their health, and their well-being. One of those choices that have to be made is getting dogs to exercise—even during the summer and winter months. Daily exercise is crucial for people and dogs, as humans and canines are built to be in motion—not to sit on the couch. When a dog owner suffers from laziness and does not exercise, there could be a chance that his or her dog is suffering from laziness too. People and dogs have physiological needs to stay active and burn excess energy. If this energy does not get released in a structured and safe manner, such as walking, jogging, hiking or playing sports, this can lead to physical, psychological and behavioral problems.


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

Thus, as summer appears, here are some tips to keep dogs on the move, healthy, happy and balanced.

1. Exercise earlier in the day or later in the

evening. Outside temperatures are at their highest between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. So earlier and later hours are best for exercise.

2. Use a treadmill. Training dogs on a treadmill

is an effective method to provide owners and dogs with an exercise alternative when the weather or schedules present a challenge.

3. Swimming. Swimming is a low impact exercise

for dogs to move their limbs, burn off excess energy, and, of course, have some traditional outdoor summertime fun. Bring a ball for the dog to fetch, and jump in the water with the dog to make the exercise more enjoyable.

4. Sprinklers. Play a game of chase, fetch or kick-


Healthy ways lead to healthy days for dog owners and their dogs.

ball with your pup--and keep a sprinkler running.


Hike smart. If one is going for a hike, walk or jog, pick a spot that has a good supply of shade and a clean, natural water source like a lake, creek, stream or brook. Dogs can jump in the water and lap up the water if the dog becomes overheated. There are two water rules to remember, though: Don’t drink the stink, and if it’s clear, have no fear. If outdoor water has a peculiar odor, is stagnant or if there is anything questionable in the water, don’t use it. If water is clear, moving and appears to be supporting a healthy ecosystem, then it should be good to use.


Bring water. When heading outside for exercise, a walk, a hike, a jog--bring along some bottled water.

7. Mind the paws. Just as people’s feet can be

uncomfortable on hot pavement—dogs can feel the same. Be aware about the location of outdoor exercise and the time of day. A good rule is to stick to dirt paths, trails and grassy areas during the periods of peak temperatures during the day.


Several short exercises. Since dog owners may not be able to take longer walks or runs with their dogs, exercise in shorter bouts. Four 15-minute walks or five 10-minutes walks are just some suggested methods.

9. Doggie daycare. Take dogs for a day, or for an hour or two, of fun at a local dog daycare facility. These centers offer exercise, socialization and fun for the dog at a central location.


Go shopping. There are several stores, including Home Depot, Lowe’s, Pet Smart and Petco, and local dog boutique and supply stores, that will permit dogs. Check with the store before you go, of course. Larger stores such as Home Depot and Lowe’s offer more space to roam and they provide an opportunity to work with your dog on basic socialization skills and training in a public space.

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Summer 2014 |


{ training department } }

A Little Training Goes A Long Way By Laurie Luck, KPA-CTP, CNWI

Some folks don’t entertain the idea of training their dog because their dog is “just a companion, not an obedience dog.” They think a trained dog takes too much time, too much precision, and too much effort. That logic is unfortunate because most, if not all, dogs could use a few lessons in good manners. A trained dog is one we can live with comfortably; a dog who knows the rules, who cooperates with the humans in the household and is a welcome member of the family. Most people don’t want or need a dog that sits exactly the “correct” distance from them or at precisely the right spot. Most of us simply want a dog that listens when we speak to him, that’s all.


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

Good manners are easily taught and are worth every minute spent teaching them. Think of the skills that a well-mannered dog should have: walks well on a leash, knows sit and down, doesn’t jump on people, comes when called, and isn’t destructive around the house. These aren’t hard skills to develop, nor do they require any exactness or precision.


{ training }

When comparing the time it takes to teach a new, preferred behavior versus putting up with an annoying habit, the choice is easy—teach the dog what you want him to do!

Too many dog owners fit their lives around the habits of their dog, when it really should be the other way around. We’re actually doing our dogs a disservice, not to mention a disservice to ourselves as well, when we tailor our routines around our dogs instead of just teaching them the things we’d like them to know. Examples of changing our habits to accommodate the dog include: ƒƒ Not eating in front of the dog to avoid begging or barking;

ƒƒ Sleeping on the floor with the dog so he won’t bark all night; ƒƒ Making sure someone is always home so the dog won’t have to be crated; ƒƒ Taking the dog outside every time he wants to play to avoid being pestered; ƒƒ Petting the dog every time he solicits attention.

on good manners, that is taught with positive reinforcement is a great way to teach dogs the manners they need to live harmoniously. Not only does a good-manners class teach dogs to behave, it also gives the dog and his owner the chance to have a little fun together.


For more information: Laurie Luck, M.A., KPA CTP Smart Dog University 240.394.1112


In the time it takes a dog to help develop this habit, he could be well on his way to learning how to: ƒƒ Lie quietly during dinner; ƒƒ Relax and enjoy the crate; ƒƒ Entertain himself; ƒƒ Ask for attention, instead of demanding it. Teaching a dog the right way to do things doesn’t take much time. When comparing the time it takes to teach a new, preferred behavior versus putting up with an annoying habit, the choice is easy--teach the dog what you want him to do! For instance, those dogs that pull their owners around the block on evening walks can easily be taught that pulling gets them nowhere fast. It will take about a week or two of focused training, but even if it took double that, wouldn’t it be worth the investment? The dog will likely be around for years--a few weeks time spent teaching the dog how to behave is a wise use of time. Dogs aren’t dumb--they are capable of learning how to walk on a loose leash, come when called, and sit to greet people. A well-run class, focused

Summer 2014 |


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{ stories within the { feature bond }

The Case of Fertile Freddie “Doctor, I think something has gone wrong with the surgery you did.”

By Bruce Coston, DVM

These are words that no surgeon likes to hear. It had been a simple procedure to remove the small growth on the margin of his eyelid. I had done scores of these procedures with never a single problem. “Then it might not be due to the surgery at all, Mrs. Croft. But let’s not take any chances.

“Tell me what’s happened, Mrs. Croft.” “Well, for the last four or five days Freddie’s eye has been red and running like crazy with greenish goo. Something you did is really causing him problems.”

Can you get him in yet this afternoon?”

“Mrs. Croft, I see on the record that Freddie’s surgery was almost six weeks ago. But he did okay till just the last little bit?”

As soon as I walked into the examination room, I could tell Freddie’s right eye was bothering him terribly. He looked up at me through a squinting, blinking and tearing eye. It was rimmed with red and had a greenish, thick, mucoid discharge gathered in the corner. The surgical site had healed nicely and was not causing the problem. But what was?

“Yes. It’s only been the last four or five days that he‘s been uncomfortable.”

I carefully evaluated the clear outer corneal surface. It appeared normal to the naked eye. I placed a

I pulled Freddie’s record and looked over my notes. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

Summer 2014 |


{ stories department within} the bond }



I could hardly believe my eyes. Somehow Freddie had gotten a small grass seed down deep in the pocket behind the third eyelid where it had sprouted.

a shoot which was easily an inch in length and still growing. The eye had responded to the irritant with a dramatic foreign body reaction and inflammation. Freddie’s relief was apparent immediately. He turned to me with apparent surprise and sniffed cautiously at the offending object before trying to eat it. He then blinked his eyes, wagging his tail when he realized he could do it without intense discomfort. To settle the residual inflammatory response, I prescribed some eye ointment, confident that Freddie’s discomfort would soon be completely gone. couple of drops of dye in the eye to evaluate for scrapes, scratches or ulcers. But the stain revealed no abnormalities. Freddie’s lids, too, were fine. I could see no problems with the colored iris or the outer chamber of the eye between the cornea and the iris. There were no cataracts. Tear production was fine. Examination of the inner chamber of the eye and the retina was also normal. Freddie was tiring of my evaluation. “Only one more thing, Mr. Freddie,” I reassured him as I placed some anesthetic drops into his eye. With tweezers I gently grasped the third eyelid and pulled it away from the eye so I could see behind it. I caught a quick glimpse of something that shouldn’t be there; an unmistakable flash of green down in the deepest pocket behind the lids. With my assistants holding Freddie still, I again pulled the third eyelid out and carefully grasped with tweezers at the foreign object with tweezers. Easily and gently I began to pull it out. I could hardly believe my eyes. Somehow Freddie had gotten a small grass seed down deep in the pocket behind the third eyelid where it had sprouted. From the base of that seed it had sent out


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

Freddie’s case became a source of discussion around the office. For days my staff and I shook our heads in bewilderment. But soon the novelty of the case gave way to the pressing demands of other patients. So I was rather surprised to walk into an exam room three weeks later and again find Freddie to be evaluated for an ear problem. As Mrs. Croft and I talked, Freddie sat on the floor compulsively scratching at his right ear, shaking his head and whining softly. “That’s just what he’s been doing. And pawing too. He even cries while he’s doing it. And if we touch that ear, he’ll squeal as if we’ve skewered him.” As I examined him, I absentmindedly joked about how odd the eye problem had been and how much we had talked about it around the office. It often helps to relieve the owner’s anxieties about the problem at hand to banter on with them as I look at their pet. Sure enough, his right ear was indeed bothering him. Just touching it elicited a low warning rumble from deep in his throat. And yet, there was surprisingly little discharge present, and externally the ear appeared normal. There was no tell-tale odor emanating from the ear that occurs so often

{ department }

with bacterial or yeast infection in the ears. Just intense redness and sensitivity. I needed to get a good luck down into the ear canal, but knew that Freddie would not appreciate that one bit. With Lisa holding tightly, I looked through the otoscope cone down deep into the ear canal. My rambling discourse stopped suddenly short. From a small knot jammed right up against the ear drum emerged a familiar looking shoot of green plant material. Not again! Using a special instrument I was able to grasp the end of the shoot and pull it out, complete with a tiny grass seed attached. It had germinated in Freddie’s ear just like the one in his eye. Mrs. Croft nearly fainted when I showed her the inch-long plant I had removed. She didn’t find it quite as ironic as I did, however. So shaken up was she that she didn’t seem to hear my suggestion that we weed the rest of Freddie’s body orifices before she left. She was somehow able to ignore my recommendation to stop watering the plants. She even seemed a bit put off when I compared my job to that of a horticulturist. Perhaps there just wasn’t fertile ground for my humor.


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a k ? ??? Dr. K { ask dr. katy }

? ? ?

? ? ? ?



By Katy Nelson, DVM

Dear Susan:

Dear Dr. Katy:

My question is in reference to the Lyme Vaccine. I have a 14 year old mix breed dog that gets extremely stressed when visiting the Vet. I obviously want to be proactive and keep him up-to-date on all vaccinations, however, given the amount of stress that he endures during each Vet visit, coupled with his age, I am really hesitant to expose him to any type of stressful environments. He only goes outside to relieve himself and barely ventures off of the patio. In your opinion is it necessary to obtain a Lyme vaccine based upon his age and lifestyle?

Susan, I’m not quite sure why your question focuses just on the Lyme Vaccine alone, when what you’re really talking about is the stress your pet endures on a veterinary visit. Regular check-ups are as important for our pets as food and love, and as they age, they should be seen more frequently. Things change quickly in aging bodies and in order to catch emerging issues that could be happening under your nose, it’s important to cultivate that relationship with your veterinarian. At 14 years old, your pup needs to be going to the veterinarian at least twice a year for a wellness check, regardless of the stress he endures for that couple of hours. If the visit is truly that difficult, consider finding a house call veterinarian to come to your home for these checkups. Regardless of who you see, during your visit, your veterinarian that knows your pet and your lifestyle (much better than I do) can advise you on whether the Lyme vaccine is appropriate for your pup or not. For more information on why regular check-ups are necessary, you can visit www.healthypetcheckup. org. Hope this helps!

– Susan B, Alexandria, VA



Do you have questions for Dr. Katy?

You can follow her on Twitter @drkatynelson, on Facebook or send her an e-mail at


The Virginia–Maryland Dog


Dear Dr. Katy:

Dear Dr. Katy:

With the Summer season in full bloom I will be taking a lot of hikes and extended walks with my two dogs. I am very leery of allowing them to drink from ponds of water. I always bring along a fresh supply of water and offer it to them on a frequent basis. Unfortunately if they are off leash they sometimes get to the pond before I do and start drinking before I can pull them away. Could you confirm if any dangers exist in my dogs drinking from pond water?

I have an elderly dog that is starting to experience some minor kidney issues. My veterinarian mentioned to me that protein is rough on kidneys and that I need to be cognizant of the protein level in the food that I am feeding him. When I asked her how much protein he should be receiving she gave me some prescription based food to try. When I offered it to my dog he rejected it. Could you clarify what would be considered a percentage of protein in food that I could safely provide to my dog?

– Kevin O, Virginia Beach, VA

– Kristin T, Richmond, VA

Dear Kevin:



? ?

Treatment of renal disease (and recommended dietary protein levels) varies depending on which stage of the disease process your pup is in. On the website there is a 40-page treatment protocol for treatment of renal disease in dogs. If you look through this document, you’ll see the extraordinarily complex protocol that veterinarians use to evaluate and treat kidney disease in dogs. This is why it’s so important to work closely with your veterinarian throughout this process. If your pup isn’t enjoying the food, ask to try another, and perhaps opt for the canned version versus the dry. There’s no perfect diet out there, but there may be a diet that’s a perfect fit for your pet. Just ask your veterinarian to help you find it, she’ll be more than happy to! Best of luck!




Dear Kristin:


? ?


? ?

Good for you for getting out and about and taking your pups with you! You are correct to assume that there are some dangers for our pets associated with drinking from unknown water sources. From Giardia (a protozoal parasite that can infect the GI tract) to Leptosporosis (a bacterial infection that can be fatal), to toxicity due to chemicals in the water, it’s always safer to provide your pets with clean, fresh water. Giardia and Leptosporosis, by the way, can both be transmissible to people. Unfortunately there’s truly no way to guarantee that your pets will not drink this water when they’re off leash, but you can talk with your veterinarian about whether a Lepto vaccine is appropriate for your pups and make sure to have regular fecal exams done on your pets to rule out Giardia and treat it if necessary. And of course, if they seem ill after one of these walks, make sure you bring them in to your vet immediately!



? ?


? ?

{ ask dr. katy }

Summer 2014 |


? ? 33

{ feature}

Why Bones are Bad By Anne Stoneham He got into the garbage almost two weeks before we met him. It was not intentional (on his DVM, DACVECC owner’s part, anyway). The garbage bag was sitting next to the front door; closed and ready to be taken outside. Tucker, an extremely sweet, fluffy, grey yorkiepoo very quietly nosed his way into the bag and ate his delectable find, including the chicken bones that would cause him so much trouble. He vomited right after his feast and over the next couple of days, his energy and appetite waned. He began trembling as if he was uncomfortable. He was examined by his veterinarian (Dr. David Handel). He knew that something was not right but none of the examination findings nor lab tests gave him any clues as to the reason. Two days later, Tucker was worse and went back to see Dr. Handel. This


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

time, he had a fever and was dehydrated. When Dr. Handel took x-rays of Tucker’s chest, he identified a small volume of fluid around the lungs. He immediately started antibiotic therapy and transferred him to VCA Veterinary Referral Associates because he knew that Tucker required further diagnostics and round the clock care.


{ feature}

Passing an endoscope down through Tucker’s mouth and into his esophagus, she was able to see that there was a piece of a chicken bone sitting right in the esophagus.

At VRA, Dr. Prantil was able to collect a small sample of the fluid that was around his lungs and diagnosed a bacterial infection in his chest (pyothorax). This is a very serious infection and most animals that have it are even sicker than Tucker was. These patients usually have so much fluid in the chest that they have trouble breathing and require tubes to be placed in their chests to allow drainage of the infection. Tucker was not following the “rules”. There was not enough fluid in his chest to drain so we treated him with intravenous fluids and antibiotics. His fever resolved and he was feeling so well that he went home after three days in the hospital. Our only concern was that he was not eating. We all know that some dogs just don’t like to be in the hospital so, when we sent him home, it was with the caveat that if he did not start eating well, he would need to come back for a recheck And fortunately, the Weintraubs were very attuned to their little dog. They really must have had a sixth sense about him because even though he finally started eating on the third day after leaving the hospital, they brought him back in for a recheck. The main problem I could see when I examined him was that his breathing was just a little labored. We took x-rays of his chest and saw that there was still a little bit of fluid around his lungs and now, there was a small abnormality visible in his lungs as well: a spot that was a smidge too grey in an area that should have been black. So the treatment we were using was not working; Tucker seemed to be getting worse. Our next step was to go to surgery and explore the chest for the cause of the infection. And it was lucky we did. During surgery, Dr. Snakard (surgeon) found that a small portion of the esophagus felt abnormal: very firm and irregular. Because of its location (way down in the chest beneath the constantly beating heart and the always moving lungs), she couldn’t really get a good look at it so we decided to look at it from another perspective. Dr. Conway (internist) came in and “scoped” him. Passing an endoscope down through Tucker’s mouth and into his esophagus, she

was able to see that there was a piece of a chicken bone sitting right in the esophagus. Actually, it was sitting both in and out of the esophagus because on its way down, the bone had torn right through the wall. This was the source of the pyothorax and without fixing it, Tucker would never get better. One of the amazing things about this, and the main reason no one had been able to diagnose it sooner, was that the bone–a fairly large piece of bone - was too thin (only a millimeter or 2 in width) to show up on x-rays. Bones normally show up very well on xrays. Poor Tucker! No wonder his appetite had been poor! Dr. Snakard went to work. She removed the bone, repaired the esophagus and removed a piece of the lung that had been terribly infected because it was sitting against the esophageal wound. Tucker recovered slowly from surgery and ten days later (almost 3 weeks after getting into the garbage), he left the hospital with his tail held high. Having a bone lacerate the esophagus is bad enough but, unfortunately, it might not be the end of Tucker’s problems. As the esophagus heals, there is a danger that it will scar down and stricture, resulting in a passage that is too narrow for food to pass. If this happens, Tucker will have a lot of trouble holding food down and will have to undergo additional medical procedures to dilate the stricture. There is no preventative measure that we can take or medication that we can give; we just have to see what Tucker’s body does as it heals. He is doing well now and I very much hope he stays that way!


For more information:


Anne Stoneham, DVM, DACVECC VCA Veterinary Referral Associates 301.926.3300 veterinary-referral-associates

Summer 2014 |


{ feature }

All Creatures Great and Small— and Kind Documentary remembers a little girl’s kindness to animals

Jenny Hubbard working with the documentary crew at the proposed site for the Catherine Hubbard Animal Sanctuary in Newtown, CT


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

{ feature }

Watching Catherine Hubbard chase butterflies outside of their home, her parents Matt and Jenny could see in their daughter a deep affection for all living things. Catherine’s love, however, was not limited to her pet dog and rabbit, but to all inhabitants of the natural world, from birds to worms, to the butterflies she decided one day to stop chasing. Choosing

By Patrick Miller Photos Courtesy of Sit.Good Girl Productions & Jenny & Matt Hubbard

rather to let them come to her, she would whisper to them, “tell your friends that I am kind,” with the hope that more would fly by and pay her a visit. With such a simple act, it was clear that, even deeper than her love for all creatures great and small, was her desire to share that love with others, a responsibility that fell upon Jenny Hubbard when, on December 14, 2012, Catherine’s life was cut short at the age of six. The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary left Jenny Hubbard, like many, angry and confused, but far from hopeless. Catherine, who used to dream of operating a shelter—she made business cards designating herself “Care Taker” of “Catherine’s Animal Shelter”--will have her memory honored and her dream realized later in 2014 when her parents break ground on The Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary in Newtown, Connecticut. By building the sanctuary, Jenny and Matt hope to share with other children their daughter’s love and respect for animals and the natural world. The couple plans to share their own experience with the world in an upcoming documentary titled “Tell Them I Am Kind,” which is scheduled to be completed later this year.

A year will be documented in “Tell Them I Am Kind,” with the story starting in November, 2013. In the documentary, the filmmakers follow Matt and Jenny to Hartford, where they negotiate the transfer of 32 acres of state park land. The filmmakers also attend planning meetings with architects, which result in the groundbreaking ceremony. That ceremony is scheduled to occur on November 20, 2014. The documentary is scheduled to air on public television in Connecticut With this story, Nelson, Plavnik, and Matt and Jenny Hubbard will tell the world of Catherine’s kindness.

For more information about the documentary, go to Pictured below: Catherine Hubbard; Jenny Hubbard working with the documentary crew

Katy J. Nelson, an associate veterinarian at the Belle Haven Animal Medical Centre in Alexandria, Va., and the host of “The Pet Show with Dr. Katy” on Washington, D.C.’s News Channel 8, first met Jenny Hubbard when Jenny was a guest on Katy’s show. Catherine’s story was so inspiring, Nelson and her filmmaking partner, Emmy Award-winning producer Judy Plavnick, were moved to action. They soon started production on a documentary about the sanctuary. “Everyone should have the privilege of meeting Jenny Hubbard,” says Plavnick. “Because she has a way of turning the worst tragedy into hope, and a dream into a reality.” She adds that, “if our documentary can do that by following this process and introducing her and her dream to a larger audience, then we will have done what we set out to do.” The Washington-based Sit. Good Girl Productions began filming on “Tell Them I Am Kind” in November, 2013, shortly after Catherine was named ASPCA Child of the Year.

Summer 2014 |


{ giving department back }}

Carol Plescia Owner of Acadia Antlers with her Canine Companions. Photo courtesy of Acadia Antlers.


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

{ giving back }


Maine Moose Antlers Help Out Domestic Dogs, Military Dogs Overseas and Animal Groups Nationwide The aisles of pet stores and supermarkets and drug stores are lined with standard-issue dog treats, but there’s one particular dog treat that stands out these days, not only because of its unusual source, but because of the concurrent social cause attached to them: Acadia Antlers, made from naturally-shed Maine moose antlers. That’s right, Maine moose antlers. Acadia Antlers, a family-owned New Jersey business run by Carol Plescia and her two sons, Ryan and Kyle, sells moose antler dog chews made from the antlers. And the family has been donating antlers to the U.S. War Dog Association since the Plescias started their business three years ago. Their antlers travel to Afghanistan and Kuwait for the military dogs working overseas. The family’s travels take them across the country, working at all types of pet expos and dog events. The family became impressed by the people they meet from rescue organizations and other animal groups. Touched by these organization’s dedication and determination to rescue and rehabilitate animals and to send animals to new homes, Acadia Antlers created a teaming-up strategy. This program helps animal workers accomplish their goals of giving homeless and abused animals a safe home and needed medical attention and care.


Acadia Antlers donates back 25 percent of its sales directed to their website from the non-profit organizations that they team up with. These donations are noted at the time that an order is placed. “We really wanted to just give a little bit of an extra cash flow to these groups to help to pay their medical expenses, food and other unexpected day to day emergencies,” the company states. Acadia’s work has generated repeat customers who like the donation aspect of buying the company’s products. Customers can choose which charity or rescue organization they help by noting the organization’s name in the Order Notes section when they make a purchase. Acadia’s charity work also helps offset prescription costs for retired war dogs. The organization works with other groups such as Shorty’s Charities, which works on animal welfare issues, and Dogs on Deployment, which finds temporary homes for military members who are called to active duty.

“We really wanted to just give a little bit of an extra cash flow to these groups to help to pay their medical expenses, food and other unexpected day to day emergencies,”


For more information: Rescue and charity organizations can sign up to team up at the Teaming Up Application on Acadia Antlers’ philanthropy page, also at

Summer 2014 |


DFDogs_Ad_qtrpage_DFDogs_Ad_qtrpage 1/27/2014 3:36 PM Page 1

Explore Virginia with your favorite four-legged travel companion!

Highlighted on... Anderson - Baltimore Sun Good Morning America - MSNBC - Fox News CNN - ABC - CBS - Washington Post - and more...




{ rounding up rover }

Fido is Running Loose and Won’t Come When Called! Why? A dog has the natural instinct to want to roam freely. They jump fences, dig holes, and some

By Anne Wills

are crafty enough to flip the gate latch. Pet owners are constantly trying to keep their dogs contained. When they finally break loose, why does their behavior seem so different? Remember that your dog is an animal. Pet owners tend to humanize dogs. Canines behave like humans in many ways. They show happiness, sadness, and are easily taught new tasks. But when dogs are on their own, they become more fox-like. Dogs, who are descended from wolves, will act like wolves or foxes when they are lost.

Photos courtesy Anne Willis

When a dog is running around the neighborhood, a pet owner should think like they are trying to catch a fox. What should the pet owner do to lure a fox to a location where it can be caught? There are two major strategies pet owners can use to get their dog back.

Summer 2014 |


{ rounding up rover }


When a dog is running around the neighborhood, a pet owner should think like they are trying to catch a fox. What should the pet owner do to lure a fox to a location where it can be caught?

Footprints of a Lost Dog.

First, the pet owner should set up trails made from items that smell like them, and then place those items where the dog is being seen. Pet owners should take old bath towels and rub them on their bodies. Cut them into strips. Then, drop these strips on the trail every five feet. This should get the dog to look for its owner in a certain area. Second, set up feeding stations along the scented trails. Use a piece of cardboard to establish a flat surface. Take flour and make a solid, filled-in area on the cardboard that is large enough to have wet food in the middle and an area large enough where your dog can step in the flour and leave footprints. The pet owner will then start to see when the dog comes to the cardboard to eat. Dogs travel more often at night and in the early morning. This is a prime time to watch for them. Resist the urge to move towards the dog. Do not yell his name or squeak a toy. This will only scare him off. Drop to the ground immediately to appear submissive. Do not make direct eye contact. This is a challenge to a dog. Instead, toss some treats, and call his name gently. Your dog has to smell you


to understand who you are. The pet owner may look and sound like mom or dad, but until a dog can smell a person, he will not come to you. Ninety-five percent of all lost dogs will run from their owners. This is the hardest behavior to understand. Dog rescuers often hear pet owners say that their dogs know them and will come to them, but that is not always the case.


The Virginia–Maryland Dog


When pet owners understand that a dog on the loose is in a survival mode, that will help the owner be more successful with getting the dog back.

For more information: Anne Wills Dogs Finding Dogs 410.908.6374



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{ seeking a forever home }

Seeking A

Forever Home


Photo by Fuzzypants Pet Photography

Khristoff and his three siblings were seized from a neglectful owner in January 2014. All four puppies were severely emaciated and did not have adequate shelter. Their owner had left them in a pen during the extremely cold weather and they were at-risk. Thankfully, they were not abused and were raised with children and other animals. Khristoff and his brother Sven are available for adoption. The other two siblings found their forever homes! Breed/Mix: Pit Bull Male/Female: Neutered Male Approximate Weight: 45 lbs Approximate Age: Born July 25, 2013 Activeness: Medium Good w/Other Dogs: Yes, introductions with other family dogs encouraged prior to adoption Good w/Children: He is a clumsy puppy not aware of his size. As such, adoption in a home with young children is not recommended. Housebroken: Crate Trained Medical Issues: None Feeding Issues: Due to his past life of starvation, he is fed in a Brake Fast Bowl to help him slow down. He takes treats gently by hand. Special Needs: None Vaccinations: All current: Distemper, Rabies, Bordetella, Heartworm negative, and dewormed Microchipped: Yes Fun Facts: Khristoff loves to play! He will entertain himself for hours playing with his toys. A fun-loving goofball!

Middleburg Humane Foundation Middleburg Humane Foundation 540.364.3272

The Middleburg Humane Foundation (MHF) operates a private, non-profit, 4.5-acre farm shelter located in Marshall, Virginia. It is their goal to provide a safe haven for abused, neglected, and “at risk” animals, both large and small. MHF specializes in the rescue and rehabilitation of animals that come to their shelter from a vast variety of abusive situations. After much needed nurturing and medical care, animals are placed available for adoption. MHF depends solely on donations from individuals, businesses, and foundations, as well as funds raised at various events throughout the year. MHF also operates a Grooming Salon at their shelter in Marshall, in addition to a Thrift Shop in the town of Middleburg, Virginia.


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

Read. Share. Donate. On December 14, 2012, six-year old Catherine Hubbard lost her life at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Her dream was to care for all living things.

Help us to preserve her legacy of kindness. Help us to tell her story. “This is a story about turning tragedy into hope. About turning a dream into a reality. But we can’t make it happen without help.” Jenny Hubbard working with the documentary crew at the proposed site for the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary in Newtown, CT.

B O DY + M I N D F O R H U M A N + C A N I N E




CARE is a Four-Legged Word Emergency Services & Board Certified Specialists 24/7, 365 Days a Year + + + + + +

Emergency Services & Urgent Care Intensive Care Internal Medicine Pain Management Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation Therapy Surgical Services

24/7 EMERGENCY HOSPITAL 1080 W. Patrick Street, Frederick, MD 21703 PHONE 301-662-CARE (2273) WEB

“Benevolent, instructive stories of the bonds between animals and humans.”

-Kirkus Reviews

If You Love to Fly If You Love Animals Join Us!

Make your next Flight TAX Deductible!! Your Gift of Flight... Can Transport a Rescue Animal to a New Home! @PilotsNPaws

The Gift of Pets is a featured title on the 2012 LA TIMES Summer Reading List and in the 2013 Virginia Festival of the Book. Available from all major book retailers, Amazon. com and in ebook format for both Kindle and Nook. Get a signed copy from Dr. Coston’s website.

Coconut Oil has many benefits

for dogs and is commonly used to help a dog’s skin problems, improves a dog’s coat, helps reduce weight, and relieve sore joints. It can also be used for a variety of ailments and disease prevention. Visit our website at:

Doesn’t your loyal pet deserve the same Love and Compassion they give you? You know that only the very best medical care will do for your family. At Veterinary Surgical Centers, we understand your pets are family too. VSC is a specialized small animal surgical practice, dedicated to providing world-class surgery and exceptional care. We do this by providing the same level of treatment options that you have come to expect for yourself. Our experienced staff is made up of board certified surgeons, neurologists, and certified canine rehabilitation practitioners with expertise in: • Orthopedic Surgery • Neurology/Neurosurgery • Soft Tissue Procedures • Physical Rehabilitation • Minimally Invasive Surgery • Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

Conveniently Located in Leesburg, Vienna, Winchester & Woodbridge


We know the time right after a pet is injured or sick is stressful. That’s why we encourage you to remember that, when in your time of need, you can always call us directly or tell your family veterinarian you want to be referred for the best care possible at Veterinary Surgical Centers.

To learn more about our practice, please visit us at

The Virginia Maryland Dog Summer 2014  

The Virginia-Maryland Dog is provided as a quarterly print magazine, as well as an extensively designed website www.thevirginia-marylanddog....