The Virginia Maryland Dog Summer 13

Page 1

Volume 4 •Issue 2

Summer 2013

Stop Your Separation Anxiety



“Drake” available for adoption at

the Middleburg Humane Foundation. Details on Page 42

Summer Fun with your Canine Companion The Click is Quick! Minimally Invasive Surgery

Any Breed, Any Age, Any Size.

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Volume 4

Issue 2

Volume 4 •Issue 2

contents Summer 2013


departments 22




available the Mid for adoptio dleburg n at Humane Foundation Details on Page 42 .

Weekend Getaway:

Stop Yo Separa ur tion An xiety Su

mmer Canine Fun with your Compa nion The Clic k is Qui ck! Minima lly Surgery Invasive

On the Cover…

It’s A Shore Thing: Virginia’s Favorite Summer Destinations

“Drake” awaiting his forever home at the Middleburg Humane Foundation, Middleburg, VA. Additional information found on Page 42.


Weekend Getaway:




Legal: Buon Appetito With Furry Friends


The Biggest Winner




Medial Shoulder Instability:


United for Change:


To Kill A Rat


Ask Dr. Katy:


A Portrait Speaks A Thousand Barks


Seeking A Forever Home

Canine Osteoarthritis



Just Doodling


Minimally Invasive Surgery:

Photo by Fuzzypants Photography

Salamander Resort & Spa

Summer Fun with your Canine Companion

The Click is Quick!

Meet the Photographer

with Dr. Katy Nelson

features Getting to Know About Rotator Cuff Injuries in Dogs

When Less is Better

special feature 14

Stop Your Separation Anxiety

Summer 2013 |


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contributors 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?”

Sherman O. Canapp Jr., DVM, MS, CCRT, Diplomate, ACVS, Diplomate, ACVSMR Sherman Canapp is the owner and chief of staff at the Veterinary Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Group (VOSM) in Annapolis Junction, Md.,where he practices orthopedic surgery, sports medicine and regenerative medicine. He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. Canapp is also the president and chief executive officer of Orthobiologic Innovations and a consultant for national canine performance and sporting organizations, regional working dog organizations and universities.

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.

Laura Semonche Jones Laura Semonche Jones is an attorney and freelance writer and editor. She lives with her husband, two adored pit bull mixes and two tolerant cats in Charlottesville. Fallout Shelter, one of the stories in Breaking and Entering, her debut collection of short stories, was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Jones is also working on her first novel, and yes, there is a dog in it. More information and samples of her work are at

Charlene Logan-Burnett When not writing, Charlene Logan Burnett devotes most of her time to animal advocacy and rescue. She is a service professional member of HeARTs Speak and a member of Dog Writers Association of America.

Faith Lotsikas, DMV, CCRT Dr. Faith Lotsikas is a certified canine rehabilitation therapist. She is the director of CARE Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine in Frederick, MD. Dr. Faith enjoys caring for patients from all walks of life, companion, geriatric, and the elite canine athlete. She a mom of three little girls, and her hobbies include being an amateur artist and learning herding with her border collie Kelsea.

Laurie Luck, KPA-CTP, CNWI

Amanda Meighan, Intern Amanda is a recent graduate of Virginia Tech where she received her Bachelor’s degree in English with cum laude honors. She is a current graduate student of Virginia Tech pursuing her Master’s degree in English Secondary Education. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering at local animal shelters and humane societies, hiking, and traveling.

Katy Nelson, DVM 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.

Gary Norman, Esquire Mr. Norman is a visible attorney with a disability, gifted in brokering relationships and in designing engagement strategies. Notably, two influences have informed Gary’s goal of bringing people together: the example of his mother and her hospitality as well as the Cleveland institution called the City Club. As such, he has co-founded the Mid-Atlantic Lyceum, and its publication arm the Mid-Atlantic Journal, to heighten public discourse and public policy.

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.

Jim Taylor, DVM, DACVS Dr. Jim Taylor, a Board Certified Veterinary Surgeon with Veterinary Surgical Centers, has been practicing veterinary medicine since 2004. His areas of clinical interest include minimally invasive surgery, trauma, oncologic and reconstructive surgery. Dr. Taylor lives with his wife, two dogs, and three cats in Paris, VA.

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.

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!


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

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Publisher/Editor in Chief Pamela Wahl

{ publishers note }

a note

from our publisher

Director of Operations Gene Wahl

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring – it was peace.” ~ Milan Kundera ~

Art Director Kalico Design, Kim Dow Social Media Director Laurel Weetall Senior Editor Kimberly Holmes Photographers Fuzzypants Photography, Carina Thornton Copy Editor Matt Neufeld Advertising Director Pamela Wahl Production Coordinator Diane Weller Web Site Design/Manager Kalico Design, Kim Dow Business Manager Cathy Wahl Contributing Writers: Cathy Bennett Sherman O. Canapp Jr., DVM, MS, CCRT, Diplomate, ACVS, Diplomate, ACVSMR Bruce Coston, DVM Krisi Erwin, DVM, CVA, CCRT Laurie Luck, KPA-CTP, CNWI Laura Jones Charlene Logan-Burnett Faith Lotsikas, DVM, CCRT Amanda Meighan, Intern Katy Nelson, DVM Gary Norman, Esquire Anne Stoneham, DVM, DACVECC Jim Taylor, DVM Ginger Warder The Virginia-Maryland Dog Magazine 1 College Avenue Frederick, MD 21701 Tel: (301) 514-2804 Fax: (301) 576-5079 Copyright 2013 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.


Summer offers a great opportunity to participate in the many canine-related events available throughout the Virginia and Maryland areas. Rather it’s a black tie affair, or a 5K walk or run, there is something for everyone. Many of these events are hosted by non-profit canine and animal-related organizations as a means by which to continue their efforts necessary to rescue, house and care for the many homeless animals. We encourage you to seek out these events in order to provide much needed assistance to these wonderful organizations. The Virginia-Maryland Dog is growing as is our team of exceptional writers! And, we could not be happier. We pride ourselves on providing our readers with a serious publication for the serious dog owner, and we have our contributors to thank for allowing us to continue our mission. Speaking of our contributors, we would like to welcome Dr. Jim Taylor, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons, Veterinary Surgical Centers (VSC) located in Leesburg, Vienna, Winchester and Woodbridge, Virginia. We are grateful to Dr. Taylor and the staff of VSC for his article found in this edition, as well as future editions of our publication. We would like to welcome Laurie Luck of Smart Dog University. Laurie is a Certified Canine Trainer with extensive experience in working with dogs of all types to include ones with extensive behavior issues. We look forward to extending Lauries’ expertise in dog training to our readers. Additionally we would like to extend a warm welcome to Ginger Warder. Ginger is our new Weekend Getaway and Travel contributor. Ginger is the author of two beautifully designed books - Fido’s Florida, and the newly released – Fido’s Virginia. We would also like to announce a new section added to our magazine called “Just Doodling” by Cathy Bennett. Cathy’s articles about the antics associated with her two adorable, active and very comedic Goldendoodles – Leo and Harley will add a snippet of humor to our otherwise serious publication. We are extremely excited and grateful to have such a fabulous group of contributors included within our publication bringing you the best possible information with regard to our beloved canine companions. Enjoy! Pamela Wahl Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

The Virginia–Maryland Dog

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The Biggest Winner By Bruce Coston, DVM My first impression of Mrs. Mueller was that she seemed a severe woman. She bore a stern expression on her heavily lined face, an overly formal bearing and a serious demeanor that was evident in the way in which she eyed me warily through the thick lenses of her dark-rimmed glasses, with barely the hint of a smile in greeting. The obvious gold fillings in her teeth and the abundance of shining jewelry seemed incongruous with the stern creases on her face. Even the dog by her side was a serious specimen of a German shepherd whose eyes followed me around the room even while his giant head remained still and suspicious. Neither Mrs. Mueller nor Fritz, the shepherd, was overtly threatening; just wary in a shifty kind of way. During the next several months, as she brought her dog to see me, I was relieved to find a different Mrs. Mueller lurking behind her facade. Despite her harsh demeanor, she had proven to be warm and generous, even displaying a dry sense of humor that had quite taken me off-guard. What had become apparent was her unwavering commitment to Fritz. It was a characteristic that, for me, excused a host of idiosyncrasies. It was a good trait for Fritz, too. He was a dog that benefitted mightily from such attentions. When he first came to me, he was suffering from a bout of pancreatitis that left him nauseous and unable to keep his food down. It was a problem from which he recovered uneventfully, though not until he spent a few days in the hospital on IV fluids and medications to soothe his aching stomach. What followed during the succeeding months, though, was a flare of arthritis which made it difficult and painful for Fritz to get up and down; infections in the folds of


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

his skin which were terribly irritating for him; decreased lung capacity which robbed him of his energy and stamina and gave him an annoying cough; and as care when blood work suggested early diabetic changes. None of these problems was life-threatening by itself, but the confluence claimed an awful toll on Fritz’s well-being and left him overdrawn in his quality of life checkbook. They were, every one, maladies which arose from the unfortunate collusion between an exercise deficiency and a caloric excess. There are plenty of euphemisms for the truth, but the reality was simple: Fritz was just plain fat! This was an incontrovertible fact, beyond all rational argument. One just needed to look at Fritz to know it. His back was broad and flat, like the top of a coffee table. From the edges of his back flowed rolls of bubbling flesh down his sides, like the sheets of a waterfall flowing over the edge of a precipice, a fatty Victoria Falls. His abdomen ballooned expansively, swaying like a suspension bridge from sternum to hind legs and almost brushing the floor as he walked. The base of his tail was thick and flat, rhinoceros-like, and with about as much energy. Poor Fritz even carried excess weight in his neck, a too-short and too-thick support that made his head appear diminutive in comparison. It’s hard to imagine more globoid contours on any frame, even one as large as his. Fritz weighed in at 135 pounds. He should have been no more than 95. Although I knew Fritz meant so much to Mrs. Mueller, her response to my urging to take some of his excess weight off was an enigma tome. It had surprised me the first time she had brought him to me; and each successive weight-related issue with which he presented met the same steely-eyed indifference.

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“You know, Mrs. Mueller,” I had said at that first visit, “Fritz is a bit broad in the beam. His pancreatitis is likely related to his carrying a bit of extra tonnage. We’re going to have to turn this ship around! As long as he’s this large, we run the risk of having recurrences of this problem.” I thought the tongue-in-cheek shipyard references quite witty. Apparently, Mrs. Mueller did not. Her expression changed in an instant from grateful and relieved to irritated. The differences in facial configurations between the two were surprisingly subtle. She turned to me with glacial coldness in her eyes. “Are jou soojesting dat my doag ees fat, sir?” Her heavy German accent was more pronounced when exacerbated by the sharpness of emotion.“Jou should not discuss vat jou don’t understand.” And she had turned and walked out of my office without another word. I was flabbergasted! I have always found it dicey to discuss the obesity of a pet with its besotted owners. First, the generous body contours of the former often mirror those of the latter. Many dogs resemble their owners; and Mrs. Mueller was an ample woman. Most comments I make about the dog apply equally to the one on the other end of the leash as well. Second, careful investigation into the diet of most portly dogs focuses in quickly on the poor eating habits of its owner instead. So few discussions of medical issues with owners are more awkward than the ones regarding canine obesity; but this one had turned out worse than I could have imagined. As uncomfortable as it was, though, I knew it was my responsibility as Fritz’s doctor to circle back to this foundational issue. Unfortunately, the discussion at Fritz’s next visit with arthritis was no tan improvement, despite a different tack. “Fritz will always fight arthritis as long as he is carrying so much weight. If we could get maybe 20 or 30 pounds off those diseased joints, he would be a lot happier. There’s no secret to weight loss, you know. You just have to eat less and exercise more! You don’t want to love him to death, do you?” Again I was met with the flare of cold eyes, a cryptic phrase,and a definitive end to the subject. “Ees better to hev too much fat than not enough muscle, yes? Ve vill not discuss dis more.” Broaching the discussion went no better when Fritz’s weight caused skin fold infections or when the pressure of his weight resulted in respiratory issues. I tried a final time when blood work showed his blood glucose had approached the fringes of diabetes. “Mrs. Mueller, I know you don’t want to talk about this, but I have to stress the importance of getting Fritz’s weight down. If

we don’t,he’ll soon develop some obesity-related disease that he won’t recover from. I know you don’t want to lose him. I know how much he means to you. I don’t understand why you won’t take me seriously about this!” I expected another short dismissal, but I noticed Mrs. Mueller’s otherwise controlled face soften and the harshness give way to a tired sadness. “No, jou vould not understand, young man.” There was a long pause during which her eyes left mine and trailed slowly back to Fritz. They took in his morbid obesity for a moment; but then they wandered from him to places in her memory closed to me, through years and miles and memories that defined the hardness on her face, over the yawning gulf between her life in the Shenandoah Valley and what it had been in times past. It was the journey of only a moment, yet one that spanned eternity. Then the eyes turned back to me, rimmed with tears. “Dohktor, jou are too young to remember; but I remember. I remember every awful day viz only a crust of dry bread and colored vater too thin to call soup. Jou see, I am a survivor of Auschwitz. Juden they called me. Dey said I did not deserve even enough bread to keep me alive. My face vas hollow; my arms toothpicks. The dogs that guarded us in the concentration camp ate better than ve did. Notheeng - no one - deserves to starve like zat.” I stood in shamed silence, my head bowed, not daring to meet her eyes, the quavering intensity of her voice riveting me to the floor. The room was quiet for a long while as I listened to her breathing slow and watched her hands involuntarily clench and relax, fingering the rings on her fingers. When she spoke again, her words were measured and controlled, but whispered with an intensity that shook me. “So please forgive me, Dohktor, for being so stubborn about dis. No, eet ees not good for Fritz, I know. But I vill never, ever withhold food from somezing I love ven it is in my power to provide eet - fat orothervise. Jou must not breeng dis up again.” And I did not. Fritz suffered from his arthritis, his respiratory diseases, and his skin issues the rest of his life. He died from the congestive heart disease that resulted from his tired heart trying unsuccessfully to supply blood to too much bulk. But he never knew hunger. Nor did he know loneliness or evil or loss. He did not experience prejudice or hate or cruelty. Yes, Mrs. Mueller loved Fritz to death; no doubt about it. But there are no better ways to live and much worse ways to die.

Summer 2013 |


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Medial Shoulder Instability:


Getting to Know About Rotator Cuff Injuries in Dogs


Happy summer and welcome back to the next installment in our “Vetside” Chats! For this issue, I was fortunate to interview not one, but two, talented veterinarians in our community: Drs. Peter and Faith Lotsikas. The Drs. Lotsikas have recently joined Crossroads Animal Referral and Emergency (CARE) hospital in Frederick, Md., to join the surgical staff and head up the rehabilitation program. They have much experience in diagnosing and treating shoulder injuries in dogs. Let’s settle in, now, and learn a bit about medial shoulder instability (MSI), or the rotator cuff injury, in dogs.

Q: Congratulations on joining your new practice! Can you tell us a bit about it? A:Thank you! We are so thrilled to be working in collaboration with each other as husband-wife, as well as surgeon-rehab therapist. Peter brings his orthopedic and sports medicine expertise to the surgery department, and I [Faith] am the director of a new department, CARE Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine. We are loving being a part of a great hospital in our own community. CARE offers: internal medicine; orthopedic surgeries including arthroscopy; MSI treatment; knee stabilization and total hip replacement; soft tissue surgery, including use of laparoscopic guided techniques; cardiology in conjunction with CVCA; 24-hour emergency care; and, just recently, the new Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Department. We are also excited to announce that CARE has also acquired a second hospital location that will allow us to further expand our Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Department, and offer additional specialty groups. We anticipate being able to offer our clients and referring veterinary community access to at least two more specialty groups. Our new location will house a canine gym for various exercise stations and training, as well as a lameness exam area. We will also eventually be offering Underwater Treadmill-Hydrotherapy in the new location.

Q: Why did Peter become a surgeon and you rehabilitation therapist? A: For both of us, there is the need to “fix and create” with our hands, of course in addition to

caring immensely for the well being of our patients. Peter wanted to be a carpenter as a child--but now he fixes bones. His mind is able to see the best repair for a difficult fracture. It makes perfect sense to him. I am an amateur “artist,” and as a child was the “healer” of all injured creatures found outdoors. I continue to feel a strong connection between my hands and what I am able to provide for my patients. As a veterinarian I became frustrated at offering “rest and an anti-inflammatory” only to patients that were lame or in discomfort from soft tissue injuries, whether from trauma or old age changes. It was a natural progression to obtain further education in rehabilitation. The sports medicine aspect of what we do entails much the same as it does for humans--bone and soft tissue diagnostics, surgeries, and of course rehabilitation to recover from injury or surgery with the best possible outcome.

By Krisi Erwin, DVM, CVA, CCRT

Q: What are the most common forelimb injuries that you see? A:Sports related injuries can occur in the canine athlete or any active canine companion. Conditions of the shoulder are common, with the most frequently diagnosed conditions in our hospital being subscapularis tendinopathy (which is part of MSI), biceps tendinopathy, and supraspinatus tendinopathy. Injuries of the elbow and wrist (carpus) are less common, but do occur, and include traumatic fragmentation of the medial coronoid process in the elbow and hyperextension injuries of the carpus.

Summer 2013 |


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Q: How common is MSI? What are the causes? A: MSI is the most common sports-related injury of the forelimb we see. It is typically the result of overuse or repetitive chronic stress on the ligaments and tendons of the shoulder. Sport or activity that requires pivoting on the shoulder is probably the biggest contributing factor. Sports like agility, fly ball, herding, and Frisbee create such a scenario.

Q: What breeds are most affected? Dr. Peter Lotsikas, DVM, Dipl. ACVS. Photo courtesy of CARE.

A: For MSI, over-represented breeds are those mostly likely to participate in such activity. In agility, that breed is the Border Collie and, for the general population, the Labrador Retriever. However, any breed that is active can develop these conditions.

Q: How is MSI diagnosed? A: A presumptive diagnosis of MSI is made from the history and physical examination findings. Typically, these patients will exhibit discomfort on abduction (movement of the leg away from the midline of the body) of the shoulder and muscle spasm upon abduction and flexion of the shoulder. Confirmation of the condition requires either advanced imaging either in the form of an MRI or direct visualization with an arthroscope.

Dr. Faith Lotsikas, DVM, CCRT Photo courtesy of Dr. Faith Lotsikas.

Q: Does medial shoulder instability always require surgery? A: No. In fact, the majority of cases seen in our practice can be managed conservatively with rest and rehabilitation. However, success with conservative management requires proper diagnosis, appropriate patient selection according to severity of the condition, and a rehabilitation therapist familiar with how to treat and progress the patient. The therapist must have an understanding of the job the dog does to create a plan so that he or she can return to athletic ability. Also, owner compliance is very important to conservative management! Conservative/Rehab management entails use of manual techniques (i.e. massage and stretching), laser, ultrasound, and therapeutic exercise programs coordinated to the various stages of healing. Many patients also benefit from use of specially-made shoulder stabilization system (hobbles). You can learn more about hobbles from

Q: If it is a surgical case, what does surgery entail? A: In our hospital, surgery is performed arthroscopically. We use the most sophisticated arthroscope on the market (Arthrex Synergy HD3) to visualize


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

and assess the structures of the shoulder. Depending on what we see, the injury can be repaired by tissue shrinkage via radio frequency, tissue repair using suture and bone anchors, or replacement of ligaments with a prosthetic material.

Q: How successful is surgery? Will my pet recover well? How long will it take to recover? A: Surgery is generally very successful. While the recovery is long (typically 16 weeks until the pet is allowed to return to full activity), we expect 90 percent of dogs to return to sport at a preinjury level.

Q: Would pet rehabilitation help my dog to recover from surgery better? A: Rehabilitation is not only imperative to a proper recovery, but a requirement for all of our patients that are treated surgically for this condition.

Q: How can I prevent my dog from having a shoulder injury? A: The canine that is playing or working hard could be viewed the same as a human athlete. Proper warm ups and cool downs, conditioning and fitness, and maintenance of good body mechanics and suppleness all play a role in injury prevention. Regular visits with a rehab therapist to learn proper warm up and stretching techniques, as well as an at home conditioning exercise program will also be helpful. Knowing “normal” for your dog (i.e. “What does my dog’s shoulder extension look like?”) can allow for earlier detection of a problem, even before overt lameness is evident.

Q: Just for fun, what hobbies do you have outside of surgery? A: We moved to Frederick to raise our three daughters on a small hobby farm. My Border Collie, Kelsea, and I are learning herding together (Kelsea is the teacher). Peter can be found on his tractor or fishing in the pond with the girls at any spare moment. We both feel so fortunate to be raising our girls in a rural area with a great education. We have truly found balance in our personal and work life!

1080 W. Patrick Street Frederick, MD 21703

CARE has expanded and acquired Frederick Emergency Animal Hospital (434 Prospect Boulevard). Emergency services will be consolidated. All emergencies will be seen at CARE’s main hospital on Patrick Street/Route 40.

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your separation stop

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By Laura Jones

Olde Towne Pet Resort Photo courtesy of Olde Towne Pet Resort


With Great Options for Boarding and Day Camp The Virginia–Maryland Dog

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Maybe you are planning a vacation or a business trip, or you work long hours, or you have a very sociable dog, or a dog who needs socializing, or you’re travelling with your pet but you can’t take her into that museum you’ve been dying to visit. These are just some of the reasons that we seek out great boarding facilities and day care options for our dogs. At many of the best ones, you can also get your canine companion a bath and a haircut and maybe even a massage. Still, it is hard to leave our beloved dogs with strangers. The solution? Don’t be a stranger! It’s worth investing the time to get to know a great boarding facility in your area and in the areas you wish to visit. The editors of The Virginia-Maryland Dog Magazine selected three great facilities from across our region so you can learn more about what goes on behind the scenes when you leave your pet for a few hours or a few weeks. Each facility profiled below has back-up generators, smoke and fire detection, good fences, and attention to cleanliness and safety. They all require current vaccinations and provide overnight and day boarding for dogs and cats. At each place, special feeding requests are accommodated and encouraged as well. Your dog would be comfortable at these great facilities, where each pet is treated as an individual.

Olde Towne Pet Resort

Olde Towne Pet Resort has two locations in Virginia. The facility in Springfield opened in 2002 and the Sterling location, near Dulles Airport, followed in 2011. Olde Towne has impressive amenities; boarding in suites, an indoor pool, overnight staff, a full service grooming and spa, and 24-hour pet cams. They also offer obedience and agility training, several optional activities, and a variety of plush accommodation options similar to those found in human hotels. The hotel reference is appropriate because Dixie Eng, the general manager of the Springfield location, came to the pet care business with a background in running high-end boutique hotels in Washington, D.C. Eng says one reason Olde Towne employs a night shift is because pet parents have piece of mind knowing that their pets are never left alone. “Always a pet owner-she currently has a 14-year-old Doberman, she says her new career has been a perfect transition that has “unleashed the pet whisperer in me.” “Even as general manager, I still interact daily with our dogs and owners,” she says, clearly enjoying that part of her job. Olde Towne’s two pet resort locations are each large facilities capable of accommodating 300 pets and together employ over 100 employees. Just like travelling is different for different people, Eng knows that “the boarding experience is different for

every dog.” She says the staff is made aware of dogs who, for example, don’t like thunderstorms or who have specific walk instructions. “It helps when clients are specific about their dog’s needs so we can provide those services. Whatever the request is, we can accommodate it,” Eng says. She offers the story of a dog who was anxious and not eating. The staff spoon fed him baby food at each meal to ensure he got proper nutrition and attention. She also feels that one of their specialties, due to the staff’s expertise and the design of the facility, is providing safe and enjoyable experiences for more challenging dogs and cats. Day Camp at Olde Towne is just like “human daycare but for the four legged.” Eng emphasizes that their Day Camp counselors are adept at reading behavior and regularly monitor dog guests to ensure safe play. They have three separate day camps going at the same time with indoor and outdoor play areas. The groups are divided by play style and temperament. Eng says dog owners are just like parents of toddlers going to preschool for the first time. “It is hard no matter what on the first day, but once they see their dogs are having fun, everything is good the second time and thereafter,” she says. “People and dogs like a clean, problem-free stay,” Eng says. And Olde Towne Pet Resort is committed to making that happen for each and every pet that comes through their doors. Olde Towne also helps the community’s homeless pets and focuses some of its outreach on supporting local shelters, charitable events and various rescue organizations. Learn more at:

Pampered Pets

Pampered Pets is located in Charlottesville, Virginia. The magazine paid a recent visit and talked with owner Jim Brown; Dawn Ryan, who manages the day care; and Crystal Davis, the guest services manager. “I love animals,” Brown said, explaining why he bought the business in 2006. He has had dogs his entire life, and a yellow Lab shares his home now. “When we bought the place, the outside of the glass door was

Summer 2013 |


{ special feature } smudged with nose prints, meaning the dogs were eager to come IN. I am proud to say it still is.” Sometimes Brown has to share his office with a shy dog who may be having trouble adjusting to boarding. He doesn’t mind, and the staff can more easily destress the dog with extra love and attention. They will use all available options to make a dog more comfortable. The staff can relocate dogs to another one of their 94 run accomodations if they aren’t thriving in an area because it may be too noisy or because they may not care for their neighbor. They get a lot of repeat business, as do all the good kennels.

Top Image: Dogs explore at Weeping Willow Kennels Bottom Image: Pampered Pets Staff

“One family has lodged overnight with Pampered Pets 121 times and another has day lodged over 500 times in the last two years,” says Brown. The award for most pets from a single family boarding at one time goes to a man who rescues coonhounds once brought in 22 of the lucky dogs. All their success with dogs comes down to the people, says Brown. “Staff that knows the individual dogs are critical to the level of care we provide our guests.” They have paneled accommodation runs for dogs reactive or aggressive dogs and are able to accommodate a variety of dogs. They also have day boarding for visitors to Monticello and for folks attending University of Virginia sports events. Day care is in an adjacent building with indoor and outdoor play areas, rubber floors inside and soft Astroturf with a built-in drainage system outside. Ryan is very focused on accepting dogs who will succeed in the environment. There is an application process, followed by a conversation and an evaluation. “It is not an environment that suits all dogs, but it is great for many dogs. Social dogs, dogs with good communication skills, can thrive.” She and her staff divide dogs into groups by play styles and limit the numbers to twelve per group, with two handlers for all but the small dog group. They give the dogs an hour nap time in the middle of the day in individual kennels Ryan says the day care staff gets continuing education and evaluation on the best prac-

tices for handling dogs so they are happy and healthy. Pampered Pets also offers grooming services to local shelters, and the facility recently started a monthly Adoption Saturday event with local shelters and rescue groups. Learn more at:

Weeping Willow Kennels

Weeping Willow Kennels is located in Salisbury, Md., and is owned by Ola and Steve Meadowcroft. Located not too far from Ocean City, this could be a great place to have your dog spend the day if you don’t want him or her to stay alone in your hotel or condo while you’re at the beach or doing other no-dogs-allowed activities. You can drop your pets off as early as 7a.m. and pick them up by 7p.m. Weeping Willow Kennels opened their doors in 2000. “We’ve always been dog people,” says Ola. The Meadowcroft’s currently have a rescue dog who is a mix of pit bull and lab. In the past, they have enjoyed living with Rottweiler’s, American Staffordshire Terriers and Greyhounds. But she never boarded their dogs because she didn’t like the way “dogs disappeared in the back” of other places. So Ola spent a couple of years researching available facilities and decided what was most important was “safety and security for the children.” So they built a maximum security and maximum comfort facility from the ground up. They are a small facility with 33 indoor-outdoor kennels and a separate Little Paws area that can accommodate 23 dogs. They have options for multi-family dogs to stay together, but be separated for feeding if necessary. Boarders in the Little Paws area can play together during Social Hour, Ola says, but the larger dogs get play time in one of the outside areas. Weeping Willow does not offer official training classes, but “we offer suggestions and work them while they are here boarding,” says Ola. Boarding at a good place is a natural and gentle way to do “courage training” for timid dogs to help them overcome their shyness, Ola adds. Steve is Ola’s husband and partner in the business. He used to be a boat captain, but now devotes most of his time to the dogs. “I love being on the water, but I also love the dogs. I spend a lot of my time trying to figure out what the dogs need and who they are. I want everybody to have a good time when they are here.” The kennel has three separate outdoor fenced areas, and Steve is still careful to put dogs who get along outside in the separate areas, because the fences are chain link and they can see each other. He doesn’t want an old dog being annoyed along the fence line by an energetic dog. Some dogs like playing ball, so he’ll play with them. They are devoted to making sure the dogs get enough exercise, and they try to get each dog out in a play yard three times in the morning and two in the afternoon with a nap in between, depending on the weather and the dog’s desires.


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

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More Tips From the Experts

Jessica Dolce is a professional dog walker and pet sitter and creator of the blog and the website When bringing up your dog’s needs to a facility you have chosen, Dolce says don’t be shy. “It’s really not that unusual for dogs to have varying social needs, so go ahead and start the conversation by finding out how a facility handles dogs who have special medical or behavioral needs. Be up front with the staff. If your dog is aggressive with other dogs or people, ask if they have experience with these sorts of issues and find out how they work with the dogs in those scenarios. Good boarding facilities have options and plans for dogs that need space and will want to work with you to create an enjoyable, safe experience for your dog. Taking care of the dogs – including their quirks and challenges – is part of the job. Professionals take this in stride and enjoy working with dogs with varying needs. If they are afraid or frustrated, it’s probably not the right place to board your dog. “Visiting a new place and creating a positive association is always a good idea. Then plan to do a trial run and board your dog for one to two nights. Short stays will help your dogs get used to the facility, give the staff

Bruce Coston, DVM and author of several books, including “The Gift of Pets: Stories Only A Vet Could Tell,” says that dogs who are brought in to a boarding and vet facility just for a fun visit to say hello or get weighed or have a treat in addition to their yearly physical filled with vaccines and other unpleasantness do much better with boarding. They don’t only have negative associations with the facility. “Boarding can be a stressful event,” Coston says. “This can be diminished by bringing in the dog’s own bed or a towel or T-shirt with home smells on it. Bringing in the dog’s own food may also help. A diet change is just another stressor for a boarded dog. Taking the dog to a place with which it is already familiar will be helpful as well--especially one where cleanliness is a high priority. If the facility is hesitant to show you its kennels, then be concerned that it might not be as clean as you’d like. The ability to have some unrestricted play time out of the kennel is a plus for a boarding dog as well.”


separation anxiety

Weeping Willow Kennels is another good canine community citizen. Steve says they help on an as-needed basis with a local rescue group when dogs need a place to stay for a few days between transports. Learn more at:

a chance to learn more about your dogs, and, if your dog is having trouble, you can come get them! And in the end, trust your gut. If you sense that your dog is really uncomfortable or that the staff isn’t taking your concerns seriously, it’s ok to keep looking for the right facility. If your dog is really struggling, despite the staff’s good efforts, boarding might not be the right option for your dog.”


“Well-trained and well-mannered dogs are the easiest to manage, but we have a great reputation with local vets for being able to handle more difficult dogs,” says Steve. “The reason we do it is for the dogs. The dogs never do anything wrong.”


The bottom line is that if you are concerned about boarding your dog, do your research, find a place with a good fit, be

available if the staff needs to contact you, then try not to worry and look forward to your happy reunion with your dogs.

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To Kill a Rat By Anne Stoneham, We heard her coming. Harley sounded like an old fashioned train huffing and puffing up a hill: DVM, DACVECC her breathing was that raspy. She was wheeled into the VRA’s emergency room on a gurney with her neck extended and her mouth open as she panted. She was a beautiful, 5-year-old Labrador Retriever with a sleek black coat and an intelligent, very worried look in her eyes. Very early that morning, she had suddenly started having trouble breathing. Unfortunately, her mom lived in a nursing home and was not able to drive herself. She had to watch Harley struggle for several hours while she waited until her daughter could drive her. So this poor, sweet dog had been doing her train impersonation for far too long by the time the daughter arrived. While I kept an eye on Harley in the emergency room, Dr. Vinson spoke with the owner. Had she eaten anything unusual? Could she have gotten any of the owner’s medications? Had any of her toys disappeared? For people who love and accept Labradors for who they are, these questions are not only reasonable, they are expected. People who have grown up with Labs know that a typical lab will eat anything he or she could cram in her mouth before owners could take it away. But Harley’s owner told us that she could not think of anything that Harley could have eaten. The way she was breathing, and specifically that noise, was typical for an upper airway obstruction, or at least a partial obstruction. Had she inhaled an object that was lodged in her upper trachea? Vets have seen a pug that

inhaled an acorn and a few Labs that have gotten balls lodged right in their airways because they tried to swallow them. Or had Harley suddenly developed paralysis of her larynx? This is not typically a disease that has an acute onset. Since Harley could breathe, albeit with a bit of extra effort, we decided to get some radiographs first. Her lungs looked normal but the tissue at the back of her mouth, which is right in front of her airway, was extra thick. Whenever we see things like that, we think cancer. But cancer is usually a bit more insidious, as the tissue gradually gets thick and I would have expected that she would have had some noticeable breathing noise before it interfered so drastically with her ability to breathe. The other things that causes thickening of tissues and can do so rapidly are anaphylaxis and hemorrhage. With these results, Dr. Vinson went back to speak with the owners again. Did they have rat poison in their home or was there a possibility that the nursing home had recently been treated by an exterminator? No, but about ten days earlier, the owners had visited friends who had rat poison in their home. There are several types of rat poison and the most common is the anticoagulant form. This type of rat poison interferes with the animal’s ability to form blood clots and results in uncontrolled hemorrhage. Vets have seen dogs hemorrhage into their lungs, around the lungs, into the abdomen, under the tongue, and the list goes on. To diagnose it, we check clotting times. If the results are off the scale, it is almost always caused by rat poison ingestion. Harley’s clotting times were so high they did not register. She had eaten some of the rat poison! We immediately started the treatment, which is an injection of vitamin K and a transfusion of plasma. Within two hours,


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

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Harley’s breathing was better and she was more than happy to eat-- food, that is! She went home the next day and spent the next month taking vitamin K tablets. Her owner had no trouble giving her the pills. Harley happily ate them straight out of her mom’s hand without any coaxing. It is not unusual for us to see cases like this. In fact, just the day before I wrote this article, I saw Sobe Latte, a normally high-spirited, chocolate-colored miniature pinscher. She had become listless and stopped eating after breakfast the day before. Her veterinarian (Dr. Margaret Hollis of DuPont Circle Veterinary Clinic) had seen Sobe earlier in the day and had determined Sobe was hemorrhaging around and into her lungs from rat poison ingestion. Without her rapid diagnosis, Sobe would have become much more ill and might have died. She sent Sobe to us for treatment and the next day, Sobe pranced out to her owner on her spindly little legs. Of course, given that the preferred method of transport for many tiny dogs is not their own legs, she left the hospital securely tucked into her owner’s arms! Sobe might need more temptation to take the vitamin K tablets than Harley did, but she went home with the same treatment. Bear with me while I preach from my pulpit: First, there is no rat poison that is safe for dogs. Anything that is poisonous to a rat, mouse or mole is poisonous to any animal. And second, there is no place in the house that is safe from the curiosity of a cat or a dog. You can hide it as high as you want or tucked as deep under something as possible and it will not prevent your pets from getting it somehow, someway. There is a double fence between Sobe Latte’s back yard and the neighbor’s back yard but, apparently the rats carried the poison from their yard to hers. The inability to prevent your pet from accessing rat poison will become even more important in the very near future. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently instituted new regulations banning the use of anticoagulant rat poisons to reduce the number of accidental poisonings of children, pets and wildlife. This is overall a good thing, but all of us who have pets need to be aware that the other types of rat poison available (Bromethalin and Cholecalciferol) have no antidote. That means that once you are seeing signs of toxicity, the prognosis could be very, very poor.

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360.264.7526 | Summer 2013 |


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A Portrait Speaks A Thousand Barks Cabell Gorman’s Dog Portraits Capture the Personality of Pets

By Amanda Meighan As many dog-owners are aware, dogs possess a remedy that is unlike any other. They can motivate us to stay active, they are loyal in their affectionate companionship, and they can bring us happiness on even our worst days. For Cabell Gorman, dogs became a therapy for her to deal with the grief of the death of her 17-year old son in 2010. Patrick Gorman was a talented young man making a name for himself in his Richmond suburb community for many of his proud accomplishments. Beyond his artistic talents, Patrick was also making headlines as the first deaf student to be mainstreamed in his county in Virginia. He was able to overcome his disabilities, and he excelled in the classroom—particularly the art room. He was selected to attend a prestigious art program in the county. It was through her son’s passion for art that Cabell began to find her own calling in the art world. “We got into art together,” she says. After the devastating loss of her son in 2010, it was hard for Cabell to pick up the paintbrush again.

Cabell Gorman Photo courtesy ofCabell Gorman


“He was my best friend. We worked together in our art,” Cabell says. A few months later, the loss of the family dog added to her misery. “It was hard for me to find happiness again,” Cabell explains. However, her acceptance into a prestigious art show at The University of Virginia forced her to put together a collection to showcase. Though she had been in a bit of an art slump and contemplated giving up the show, Cabell began to paint portraits of two puppies that she welcomed into her family months before the show deadline. When friends saw her work, they clamored for Cabell to paint their own pets. Soon, her commissioned dog portrait business was extremely popular, and the word spread. Cabell now had a series of dog portraits to show—and people loved them. At the university art show, the portraits sold well. Cabell had found her new calling.

If you are interested in seeing more of Cabell’s


work, or would like to request a commission, please visit her website at


Since the art show, Cabell has continued to be successful with her dog portrait business. She has many clients eager to have her capture the beauty and personality of a pet through her oil paintings. When a client contacts Cabell to create these portraits, the artist likes to set up an appointment where she can meet the pet and its family. Cabell prefers to meet a dog in an open, neutral space, such as a field. She prefers this because she can best gauge the animal’s behavior, quirks, and colors. It is in these natural moments that Cabell can really see the true personality of a pet shine. She snaps photographs during this appointment to ensure that she captures the dog’s unique traits. Although she prefers faceto -face appointments where she can take her own photographs, Cabell is also able to create paintings from photographs when circumstances do not allow a meet-and-greet. Besides painting her commissioned portraits of pets, Cabell enjoys spending her free time in various elements of the dog world. A personal interest in the world of sporting dogs draws her to request opportunities to tag along on hunts to photograph these dogs, which are mainly hounds and Labradors, in action. Cabell also volunteers with shelter dogs, is involved with fundraising for the Richmond Humane Society, and she volunteers with other organizations devoted to dogs. Since Cabell Gorman has found her calling painting dog portraits, she has continued to create and impress others with her oil paintings. Creating art is more than just a business for her—it is therapeutic. Cabell gets great pleasure from her painting. Pets bring a pure happiness and vibrancy to life, and that is what Cabell captures in her art. After the loss of her son, Cabell gave up oil painting completely. When she was ready to begin oil painting again, she found comfort in working with dogs. For Cabell, dogs were an avenue for healing.

The Virginia–Maryland Dog

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“Jake” a local Virginia Beach resident loves his morning run on the beach. Photo by Ginger Warder.

Charter a boat or take a sailing lesson at the Tides Inn Marina. Photo courtesy of Tides Inn.

It’s A Shore Thing:

Virginia’s Favorite Summer Destinations By Ginger Warder

Pack the pooch for a relaxing sojourn on the river in the Northern Neck or sink your toes and paws in the sand at Virginia Beach! Virginia is not only one of the most historic states in America, but also one of the most pet- friendly. You won’t have to leave the four-legged family members behind for a relaxing week by the water, whether you choose the sun and surf of Virginia Beach or life in the slow lane in tranquil Northern Neck.

R & R on the River The 90-mile peninsula surrounded on three sides by the waters of the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers and the Chesapeake Bay is known as the Northern Neck, and the quaint town of Irvington is one of the region’s most popular resort areas. With a farmer’s market on the town commons for you and Fido to browse (don’t be surprised to see the local chefs shopping for your dinner!) and several pet friendly wineries for a taste of local produce in a glass, you won’t have to leave your pal in a hotel room. This historic region was the birthplace of George Washington, James Monroe and James Madison. The Tides Inn is a serene waterfront resort offering a full service spa, championship golf course and private marina, but the hallmark of this Virginia favorite is stellar service in a casually elegant setting. Thoughtful details like complimentary lemonade and cookies on the portico, loaner bicycles, a croquet lawn and s’mores around the fire pit will make you feel right at home. Take a sailing lesson, charter a fishing excursion, or bike into the quaint town of Irvington to peruse the charming boutiques and bountiful farmer’s market. The resort’s Pampered Paws Program welcomes members of your furry family up to 75 pounds with a one-time $35 fee, and includes amenities like a


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

comfy bed, barrel of doggy treats, water bowl and waste bags. Grab your morning latte on the patio of The Local, or treat yourself to dinner at Nate’s Trick Dog: legend has it that rubbing the dog statue in the foyer will bring good luck. Take your pal on a wine-tasting tour of award-winning local vineyards: at Athena Vineyards. The owner’s Yorkie often holds court in the tasting room, while the two resident Labs at General’s Ridge Vineyard will give you and your pooch a tail-wagging welcome on this 100-acre estate. Pets are welcome in the tasting room at General’s Ridge and Ingleside Plantation Vineyards, one of Virginia’s oldest wineries.

Sun and Surf at the Shore Virginia Beach offers 28-miles of oceanfront fun for you and your pooch. Just north of the public beach, First Landing State Park, the most visited park in Virginia, offers miles of wooded trails for you and your pal to explore, as well as pet friendly camping and accommodations. Stroll past the oldest lighthouse in America at Cape Henry (1791) and walk in the footsteps of America’s original colonists, who landed here before settling in Jamestown. The north end of the beach tends to be more laidback and less crowded than the main resort strip:

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dogs are not allowed on the resort area beach during high season (Memorial Day to Labor Day), but are welcome to frolic on the shoreline north of 42nd Street. For a mouth-watering excursion for you and your pooch, visit the Virginia Beach Farmers Market to pick up locally grown produce, enjoy a homemade ice cream cone, or treat your buddy to a delicious dog bone from the butcher shop. He can enjoy his gourmet treat while you enjoy dinner at Zoë’s Steak & Seafood. James Beard food award nominee Chef Jerry Weihbrecht is famous for his blue crab mac ‘n’ cheese, and the Clams D’Asti, with sausage and scallops in a white wine sauce, are worth the trip alone. If you prefer a hotel to the pet-friendly cabins and campgrounds of First Landing State Park, two good choices are the Marriott Residence Inn Oceanfront and the Sheraton Oceanfront, both on Atlantic Avenue. The Marriott is the only pet-friendly extended stay hotel in the resort beach area. Each suite has a balcony and a full kitchen, and living and sleeping areas, with added perks that include a complimentary hot breakfast and a weekly barbeque. Expect a $100 non-refundable pet fee per room, but no size or weight limits and up to two pets per room. The Sheraton sparkles with its recent multi-million dollar renovation. Here, you’ll find a new outdoor pool plaza, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and completely refurbished suites and rooms. Their signature Sweet Sleeper beds are also available for your four-legged friend, but be sure to reserve one in advance. There are no additional fees and dogs up to 90 pounds are welcome, with a two-pet per room limit.

Fits into your car’s cup holder!

For More Information First Landing State Park 2500 Shore Drive, VA Beach, VA 23451 Tel: (757) 412-2300 The Marriott Residence Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront 3217 Atlantic Avenue, VA Beach, VA 23451 Tel: (757) 425-1141

Organic Doggie & Kitty Products

The Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront 3501 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA 23451 Tel: (757) 425-9000 www.starwoodhotels/sheraton The Tides Inn 480 King Carter Drive, Irvington, VA 22480 Tel: (804) 438-5000 For information on Virginia tourism


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Salamander Resort & Spa By Ginger Warder Photos courtesy of Salamander Resort & Spa

Bring your horse, your dog and the whole family to this new pet-friendly luxury resort in bucolic Middleburg, Virginia Until now, only a privileged few of Virginia’s cognoscenti have enjoyed the understated, yet elegant, country lifestyle in the 18th-century village of Middleburg, nicknamed the “nation’s horse and hunt capital”. An easy drive from Washington, and just 35 minutes from Dulles International Airport, the new Salamander Resort & Spa offers all visitors the chance to experience the sporting life and stellar service that the well-heeled enjoy, including authentic wine and culinary experiences, an exhilarating equestrian program, and an innovative spa and wellness concept. Sheila Johnson, the dynamic entrepreneur who is the founder and CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, took inspiration from her own country estate in designing the luxury resort. Johnson says, “A decade ago, I stepped onto 340 beautiful acres in the historic village of Middleburg, VA, and promptly fell in love. And, when Salamander Resort & Spa opens in August, I believe you will, too.” Located on the former horse farm of Washington socialite Pamela Harriman, Salamander is stunning in its attention to every detail. Chef Todd Gray,


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

owner and Executive Chef of Washington’s highly acclaimed Equinox Restaurant, oversees the culinary creations at the resort’s outlets, including the Piedmont-centric menu at the 110-seat equestrianinspired restaurant. With golf, tennis, hiking, birding, and a vast array of activities from guided nature tours to culinary classes, along with exquisite guest rooms, suites and amenities, Salamander will be one of the premier retreats in the U.S. All 17 suites and about half of the 151 guestrooms feature gas fireplaces, and all accommodations boast bathrooms with marble jetted showers, pedestal tubs and LCD televisions. The Salamander Spa features an exclusive Couple’s Suite with its own private terrace, whirlpool and shower, a secluded courtyard with an infinity-edge pool and private cabanas, and 14 deluxe treatment rooms. BYOH (bring your own horse) and stable it in the 22-stall barn to explore the extensive riding trails or take classes in everything from steeplechasing to dressage. Man’s best friend is welcome as well, with a non-refundable cleaning fee of $150 per room and no weight limit.

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Opening August 2013; reservations accepted online For More Information Salamander Resort & Spa 100 West Washington St. Middleburg, VA 20117 Tel: (866).938.7370

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Summer Fun with your Canine Companion Tips to Help Prevent Injury and Over-Heating By Dr. Faith Lotsikas, Summer is just about here after a long, cold winter, and for many of our canine comDVM, CCRT Photos courtesy of Faith Lotsikas

panions, and a few humans perhaps, being cooped up may translate into being less fit and potentially not prepared for warm weather activities. Have you ever headed off on that first gorgeous day for a little hike, only to find you went too far before turning for home? The next day you find yourself sore, or worse, with a strained muscle. Or, do you recall when you decided to jump into a pick up game of hoops or volleyball with no warm-up time, and you quickly realized your body wasn’t ready for the sudden demand you were asking of it? Well, our canine partners can and do suffer those same consequences. However, they don’t verbally complain about it. Pet owners must take into consideration what their current abilities are and be willing to invest the time to get their fitness up and weight down before venturing into summer fun. Human and canine athletes typically follow a rigorous year-round training schedule. They have a pre-exercise warm-up and post-exercise cool-down routine. Human athletes are hyper-aware of their hydration and fatigue levels as well, as all of these factors play a role in competitive performance ability and injury prevention. This article presents a cooldown routine that should be followed every time a pet owner intends to take their dog for a hike, play Frisbee or fetch, or engage in other activities. A local facility that helps dogs, Canine Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine, does more than just care for dogs recovering from surgery. The center cares for dogs in sports, working police dogs, and active, hard-playing companion dogs. If a pet owner is unsure about their dog’s current fitness condition, or if the dog does not seem as comfortable this year heading outdoors, the pet owner may consider a consultation with a certified canine rehabilitation therapist. A therapist can evaluate your companion and make you aware of any physical limitations. Owners can also be taught proper stretching and exercise techniques with the goal of helping your dog perform and feel their best.


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

Warm Ups Human athletes no longer focus on static or in place stretching before their training. It makes sense that before your muscles and tendons are warmed up, literally, that they will not stretch as readily, and could even become damaged with over-zealous efforts. The same principle applies to your dog. It is not recommended to manually pull or stretch your dogs muscles for them prior to exercise. You should, however, wake up your dog’s body by rubbing from head to tail, and then down the legs to the toes to send the signal that it is time to go to work. Allowing for three to five minutes of brisk walking in straight and curved lines, followed by one to two minutes of jogging, and then three to four active stretch exercises will make a difference in how good your dog will feel. Warm-ups allow for increased oxygen and energy availability to the muscles, faster conduction of nerve impulses, and easier gliding of soft tissues and bone, thus reducing the chance of a sprain or strain. The active stretches you choose to do with your dog should be tailored to mimic a smaller scale version of what you are about to do. For example, jogging and hopping across a few low obstacles would help prepare the muscles for jumping to catch a Frisbee. If during the simple warm-up routine, your dog seems off or lame, you should not proceed with more strenuous exercise.

Active Stretches For Warm Ups: Treat Stretches: Have your dog focus on a favorite meat-based low calorie treat. Lure your dog to turn the neck and spine towards the treat while standing in place with your other hand supporting at the opposite hip. Hold the treat to the shoulders first, and then move back to the hips, and down the legs. You should also use the treat to lure the head down between the chest, and to look straight up. Repeat, with two to three repetitions on both sides. Don’t forget to let your dog have the treat! This exercise increases flexibility of the neck and spine and is also good for balance. Paws Up: Ask your dog to stand up on their rear legs and place the front paws either on your waist if a large dog, your knee if a smaller dog, or onto a stable raised surface such as park bench. Try to have them hold the position for 10 to 20 seconds, and then repeat several times. Keeping a treat just in front

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and above the head will help your dog stay focused to stand and stretch upwards. This helps stretch the shoulders forward, and rear limbs backwards. It is a great exercise for dogs with hip dysplasia and is also a pelvic limb strengthening exercise. Play Bow: Often dogs assume this position to initiate play, or after rising from a nap to stretch out their front limbs and toes. This position can be achieved by asking your dog to lie down, but then catch under the rear quarters to keep them elevated while luring the front end down and stretched forward for the treat. Some dogs may prefer to have their rear paws placed onto an elevated surface instead. This is a front limb and spine stretching exercises, as well as core activating. Tug: Allowing your dog to pull straight backwards a few feet on tug toy with a bungee-type rope attached. This exercise involves the neck muscles (so not advised for neck pain or neck injury dogs). It also engages the pelvic limb muscles from a strength perspective, and enhances range of motion in various joints. If you do not want to teach tugging, you can substitute this exercise with walking backwards up and down a hill.

Cool Downs An equally important consideration, often overlooked, is the cool-down routine. Avoid taking your dog from high-energy activity one minute to riding home in the car the next without taking cool down steps first. This creates the potential for stiffened edematous muscles and discomfort later. At the end of exciting or strenuous exercise take a slow relaxed five- to ten-minute walk on a loose leash or good heal. Your body language does affect your dog’s attitude and willingness to relax. By changing the mind-set to relax, the body will convert back to energy storage versus energy usage mode. You may repeat the active stretches again, but in a slow, causal manner. If you have been instructed by a rehabilitation therapist in how to perform range of motion and specific muscle stretches, you would perform these at this time. Be sure to provide plenty of water during and after exercise.

elongate and hang further from the mouth with the tip widened and flipped upward. This is a sign to stop the activities and seek fresh water and cooler conditions. If this happens repeatedly, this is an indication that your dog is not ready for the level of exercise you are engaged in, or that there could be an underlying health concern. The hair coat on various breeds also affects heat exchange. In general, the coat is actually necessary for skin and surface blood vessel cooling. Your veterinarian can make specific grooming recommendations regarding your specific breed of dog. Puppies, small breeds, and breeds such as pugs and bulldogs (brachycephalic breeds) are more susceptible to heatstroke. Plan to carry fresh water with you at all times, but avoid drinking ice water or soaking your entire dog in ice water to cool them down. You can saturate the armpits, underbelly, and groin area where there is naturally less coat thickness. It is very important to have your dog gradually brought up to peak fitness level during a minimum three- to four-week period. This may sound extreme, and you may be thinking that your dog is a companion, not an Olympic superstar. However, dogs suffer weekend warrior syndrome much the same way people do. It is advisable to consider health check-ups with your veterinarian or veterinary rehab therapist to identify any concerns prior to beginning a new exercise program. Dogs benefit from combining different types of activity and levels of intensity in their exercise routine. There are four main types of exercise to consider and trying to strike a balance of each will keep your dog well-rounded and able to play at their best.

Conditioning Having your dog gradually achieve fitness will help prevent injury and hopefully untimely veterinary visits. It should also help prevent overheating, a big concern for pet owners as the weather changes. As you know, dogs do not have sweat glands in the skin as humans do. They rely mainly on panting to exchange heat through evaporative cooling. If your dog is excessively hot and starting to struggle to maintain normal body temperature, the tongue will

Summer 2013 |


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Skills: This would involve learning obedience commands, and tricks. Strength: Retrieving uphill, coming in and out of water repeatedly, and specific exercises (like doggie sit ups) will target building muscle mass and strength. Proprioception: To your dog this means where are my paws? Walking your dog over the rungs of a ladder laid flat on the ground, or across a narrow plank, will increase awareness of paw placement. Indoors, having your dog standing and walking on couch cushions or partially inflated air mattress challenges their balance as well. Endurance: Cardio for your dog. They can walk on treadmills. Continuous trotting for 20 minutes, or continuous swimming for five minutes and up, will increase exercise tolerance. If you decide this summer means getting your dog and perhaps yourself in better health, consider mixing up the activities to incorporate these exercises. You should always be conservative and build up

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The Virginia–Maryland Dog

the routine slowly. A good rule is to start an activity at five minutes, or less if your dog appears overlyfatigued, over-heats, or does not recover quickly at the end of the exercise. Each week you can try adding an additional three- five-minute increment of time if appropriate for your dog’s health status. Ideally, try for three days a week for endurance work (running together), and three days a week shared between skills (Frisbee), strength (water retrieves) and proprioception (a trail hike with uneven surfaces). Depending on your dogs health and age, a day off for relaxed walking should also be incorporated. In general, you can head outside and have fun with your pet, but always be cognizant of the amount of time and intensity of your activities together. The mental and physical benefits of being active outdoors is immeasurable.

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Buon Appetito With Furry Friends

By Gary C. Norman, Esq. L.L.M.

Restaurateurs are dusting off and arranging patio tables in many charming cities in Virginia and Maryland in preparation for summer tourists. Citizens and tourists in the Mid-Atlantic region may want their dogs—either companion dogs or assistance dogs--to accompany them on one-tank trips or Saturday nights out at seaside bistros. Good food can be enjoyed even more when dogs accompany their owners. As the general population ages, as people with disabilities become more mobile and as service members with disabilities return from overseas, it becomes more important for businesses and restaurants to accommodate dogs. Handlers of companion dogs prefer to have their dogs near them at a Saturday brunch. For establishments that have the ability to allow the presence of companion dogs, increased profits may be their result. Through the years at many places, companion dogs have not been typically allowed in public venues, unlike their assistance dog counterparts Community ordinances have customarily prohibited companion dogs at establishments because of health and behavioral concerns. Some establishments have attempted to flout local laws, marketing themselves to the handlers of companion dogs. In Baltimore, an establishment in the Federal Hill neighborhood found itself at odds with the city government because of its pro-companion dog policies. With most U.S. households having at least one pet, often a companion dog, legislators are finally becoming aware of the positive reasons to allow greater access of companion dogs.


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

In 2011, a piece of legislation concerning dogs at restaurants, known as the Dining Out Growth Act, House Bill 941, passed in the regular session of the Maryland General Assembly. The sponsor of the bill initially found himself the subject of teasing by his colleagues. However, the bill has not only been beneficial to dogs, but has also been a revenue source for the business community. As a consequence of the legislation, which has been in effect since the fall of 2011, a restaurant with an outdoor dining area may allow a patron’s companion dog to accompany the patron in the outdoor dining area during hours designated by the restaurant. Virginia has many dogfriendly restaurants across the state. Although access for companion dogs at public venues is increasing in the region, this is a recent development. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice updated Americans with Disabilities Act regulations. According

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to the regulatory update, “Service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.” In the preamble, or the explanatory overview section, the department stated, “The Department is compelled to take into account the practical considerations of certain animals and to contemplate their suitability in a variety of public contexts, such as restaurants, grocery stores, hospitals, and performing arts venues, as well as suitability for urban environments.” The Justice Department limited the coverage of the definition to dogs, and excluded exotic species like monkeys. The department also excluded emotional support dogs from the coverage of the disability rights law, seemingly echoing the concern of some quarters of the assistance dog community that emotional support dogs do not perform specific tasks; and if allowed to be covered by the law, would erode the acceptance of the public to working animals. The department also stated, “Public accommodations have the ability to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether a particular service animal can be excluded based on that particular animal’s actual

behavior or history--not based on fears or generalizations about how an animal or breed might behave.” Because of the access allowed by civil rights protections, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, many guide dog owners have subsequently had their dogs present at memorable dinners with public figures and world leaders. There are still instances in which public venues do not know that disabled people and their dogs can enter the front door. There are still not enough establishments that allow companion dogs to accompany their handlers when assistance dog teams find access a challenge on occasion. However, there are many restaurant owners who do understand disability rights. Many restaurants will try to be the kind of great hosts demanded of service-related businesses, asking if guide dogs may have a bowl of water, or even dog bones. When establishments interact in a positive and welcoming way, their profit margins benefit, of course. Companion dogs and assistance dogs can be assets to the dining industry. And they can be assets to their owners, of course, while everyone, people and dogs, enjoys a good meal on a dog-friendly patio at a dogfriendly restaurant.


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Summer 2013 |


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The Click is Quick! By Laurie Luck, KPA-CTP CNWI

It teaches good manners. It fixes problem behaviors. It cements a terrific relationship with your dog. It’s something you and your dog both understand and love. What is it? A clicker! What’s a clicker? It’s something you hold in your hand that makes a little “tic-tak” noise. That noise means to the dog: “Correct! You’ve earned a reward!” The dog loves to hear the sound (he’s getting a treat), and you love to make the sound (yay, you’re dog is a good dog!). In our world, a ringing doorbell means someone’s on your doorstep, and a ringing phone means someone’s on the line. In the dog’s world, the click means a treat is on the way. Here’s what’s really neat, and fun for the dog: the dog actively works to figure out just how to earn another treat. The click gives him that information instantly, and aside from being fun and easy to use, it helps the dog learn new things quickly.

Laws of Behavior All of us adhere to the laws of behavior. Simplified, the laws of behavior state that dogs and people do what works. Dogs do what gets them what they want. They don’t do things that don’t work. It’s pretty simple. In the human world, consider this scenario: Your old route to work has become congested due to construction. On a whim, you take a back road and you get to work 15 minutes earlier than normal. Because the new route worked so well, you’ll take that route again tomorrow morning. You found a new; better way to accomplish your goal, which is getting to work without traffic.

Here’s how it works in the dog world: Your dog gets ignored when he’s jumping. You teach him to sit and then ask him to sit before he jumps. Sitting results in lots of love and attention. Bingo! He’s found his shortcut to work – he’ll be sitting now instead of jumping because that’s what gets him what he wants.

How it Works Now that you understand what clicker training is, let’s talk about how it works. When your dog does something good, click the clicker while the behavior is happening and give your dog a pea-sized delicious treat. Clicker training tells your dog exactly what he’s doing to earn that treat – and how he can earn another. Teaching your dog with the clicker is extremely clear for the dog. In addition to being clear, clicker training is also fast, fun, easy, and it opens up two-way communication between you and your dog. Clicker training has a really cool side effect as well – you and your dog develop a deep relationship that will last for the life of your dog.

Rules There are a few rules, of course. When you click, you must treat. Click ONLY for things you want to see again -- not to get your dog to stop doing something or to get his attention. Treat hand is still until after the click – reach for the treat after you click. The dog gets to choose the reinforcer -- meaning: use what the dog loves, not just likes. A quick word about reinforcers: ideally, the dog will have limited access to the reinforcer. That means that you’re not leaving the food bowl down for the dog to snack on all day. He gets 20 minutes to eat, then the food bowl goes up until the next feeding. For instance, if I cleaned your house and you gave me $20, I wouldn’t come back and do it again. However, if you gave me $2,000, I would be calling you to see if could come and clean for you again!

The Nitty Gritty There are three easy steps to teaching your dog. First, you get the behavior you want. Then, name the behavior -- give it a name or cue. Finally, you need to real-life the behavior, or make sure it works with


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

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distractions around, for a set period of time, and from a distance. While a dog sitting in your foyer is nice, it’s even better if the dog can sit when the doorbell rings (distraction), for 30 seconds while people enter the house (duration) and about 10 feet away from the door so he doesn’t crowd the visitors or get too close so he can run out the door (distance).

Let’s Break this Down into Smaller Steps: Getting The Behavior The click makes it really easy for the dog to figure out what to do to earn another click (and treat). To teach your dog what you’d like him to do, simply click it when you see it. Future articles will give detailed information on how to get specific behaviors, such as walk politely on a leash, sit to say hello to people, settle down, and other similar actions. Name the Behavior After your dog is doing what you like regularly, you need to give that behavior a name. Old fashioned trainers call it a command, and clicker trainers call it a cue. We always name the behavior after we already have it, not while we’re teaching it.

Real Life the Behavior In order to be useful, you need to be sure the dog can do the behavior when there’s a lot going on (distracting conditions), for a set period of time (many people call this a “stay”), and at a distance from you. Clicker trainers work on one element at a time until the dog has mastered each element individually. Once each element has been mastered, then you can start putting them all together, and you’ll then have the behavior you need when you need it. Clicker training focuses on what your dog is doing right. Remember that one of the laws of behavior is that dogs do what work. The more often your dog is clicked and treated for sitting, the more often he’ll sit. Instead of paying attention to him when he jumps, notice when he’s sitting – and click and treat! Paying attention to those good behaviors will get you farther faster. In future issues, I’ll write about specific problems you can solve with the clicker. This article gives you a sturdy foundation on which you can start to build your dog’s good manners.

Summer 2013 |


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ited for change Meet the Photographer By Charlene Logan Burnett

Fuzzypants Photography—the name says it all. Carina Thornton specializes in playful, candid pet photography. When Carina works with clients, one of the first things she asks is where their dogs like to play. “Individual dogs come with their own challenges that are as unique as their personalities,” she says. “Some are curious and spend lots of time with their little wet noses on the lens, while some are shy. Some react to food, some don’t.” “Any place where a dog is comfortable and you can get the most natural reactions from them is the best choice for location,” she says. Carina’s business is named after her rescue kitty, Mr. Samwise Fuzzypants. “One day, he was all stretched out on his belly, and I looked at his back legs and said, ‘You sure do have some fuzzy pants.’” Samwise and Carina moved from New York, where she earned a degree in commercial photography from the Fashion Institute of Technology. This training honed her technical skills, but she discovered production photography didn’t suit her. She traded in her long commute and days in the office for a homebased business, where work sometimes requires rolling in the grass to get the next great photograph. Carina Thornton Photos by Jen Adams Segrist, JAS Photography

The Virginia-Maryland area also suits her. “So many places are pet friendly. Town centers have water bowls on the sidewalks, parks have off-leash play areas, and restaurants and cafes have pet-friendly outdoor seating,” she says. “Even our inns and hotels welcome your pet. It’s wonderful to see so many places understanding that pets are family members.” In addition to her client-based business, Carina provides no-cost photography for shelter and rescue animals who desperately need families of their own. She loves this work. “Watching animals break out of their shell and put all the events that brought them into rescue behind them is so inspiring.


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

Seeing their personalities take shape, getting them to ‘smile’ for my camera, watching them get the love and care they so freely give, makes this work so incredibly rewarding.” She photographs dogs with Lab Rescue of the Labrador Retriever Club of the Potomac (LRCP), as well as an assortment of animals with Middleburg Humane Foundation, whose volunteers she met while photographing Honey for the Summer 2012 cover of The Virginia-Maryland Dog. Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Pamela Wahl is thrilled to have Carina’s gorgeous photography grace the covers and pages of The Virginia-Maryland Dog. “Her expertise, talent, and love for animals are certainly reflected in her photography,” Wahl says. It might take several hundred shots, but Carina has the patience and dedication to make sure she captures each dog’s personality and soul. “She has helped so many animals obtain their forever homes,” Wahl adds. This issue features Carina’s sixth cover for The Virginia Maryland Dog. All dogs are rescue dogs looking for a family and home. Carina is a service professional member of HeARTs Speak, an organization whose vision is to unite the efforts of animal artists and animal rescues into collective action for social change. “There is no greater feeling than being part of the solution,” Carina says. “You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be inspired, you will inspire.” To learn more about Carina and Fuzzypants Photography, visit To learn more about HeARTs Speak, visit

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? ?

a?kDr. Katy ???


Dear Steven:

This is a really good question! Dogs definitely enjoy this, but it can have dangerous consequences. There is a risk of debris flying into their eyes at a high rate of speed, and of them falling out the open window, but these aren’t the only things that can happen. In order for them to stick their heads out the window, that typically means that they are unrestrained in the car. Many states have already passed laws requiring people to restrain their pets in the car, and those who haven’t yet are recommending it. Not only can our pets become projectiles in an accident, they also serve as a huge distraction when running around the car. So, if you are going to bring your pets with you on road trips, make sure they are properly restrained in the car to not only protect them, but the humans in the car with you, as well.

Dear Dr. Katy: I recently purchased a new home, as well as adopted a nice little mixed breed dog from a local shelter group. I am very excited about all of the potential that my new yard has to offer. I can’t wait to get outside and start planting; however, I am very concerned with my selection of plants based on any potential harm that could be put upon my dog. Do you have any basic information that you could share prior to the start of my planting frenzy? –Aimee L., | Charlottesville, VA


Dear Aimee:



My wife and I like to take our dog with us whenever possible. Whether it is a quick trip to the dry cleaner, or an overnight stay at a dog-friendly hotel. When the weather allows, our dog likes to have the back window rolled down so that he may stick his head out of in order to take in the scents, sights and sounds. I have heard several schools of thought on this subject, both positive and negative. Could you please provide me with your professional opinion? –Steven G. | Vienna, VA


? ?

Dear Dr. Katy:

Many of the plants in our homes and in our yards can be toxic to our pets, so kudos to you for thinking of that prior to beginning your landscaping. A complete list of toxic plants can be found on the ASPCA’s website under their Poison Control heading. By researching all of your plants prior to planting, you can certainly decrease the likelihood of a trip to the veterinarian. Happy planting!

Dear Dr. Katy: We have owned a wonderful mixed Terrier that we adopted five or so years ago. We just recently started to notice that the dog is biting at her paws after a romp in the yard. We have checked her paws and find nothing. We took her to our Vet who conducted a wipe test on her paws that came back negative for bacteria, etc. Our Vet mentioned that this may be an allergy, or a potential food issue. Although we have been feeding the same food for a good while, we are not certain if we should be taking her to an actual allergist, changing her food or just what to do.



By Katy Nelson, DVM Do you have questions for Dr. Katy? You can follow her on Twitter @drkatynelson, on Facebook or send her an e-mail at

– David W., | Salisbury, MD

Dear David:

Well, it sounds like you’ve ruled out an infectious cause to the paw chewing after your visit to the veterinarian. An allergy certainly could be the reason for the chewing. You can start with using unscented baby wipes on the paws after your pup comes inside to remove any allergens that she may have come into contact with while outside. If this doesn’t do the trick, then you may need to talk with your veterinarian either about a trial of anti-histamines or a referral to a veterinary dermatologist for allergy testing.

Summer 2013 |



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Hydrotherapy enables therapeutic joint range of motion with minimal impact for dogs with osteoarthritis. Photos courtesy of VOSM

Canine Osteoarthritis: What You Need to Know By Sherman O. Canapp Jr., DVM, MS, CCRT, Diplomate, ACVS, Diplomate, ACVSMR


Osteoarthritis (OA) affects one in every five dogs in the United States, according to several reports. OA is one of the most common causes of lameness and is the most common cause of chronic pain in dogs. OA is a chronic progressive degenerative joint disease. It is primarily characterized by deterioration of the articular cartilage (the cartilage that lines the bones of joints), the formation of osteophytes (bone spurs) and irregularity of the subchondrol bone (the bone directly under the articular cartilage). In a healthy joint, articular cartilage is very smooth, highly compressive and resilient. It allows the bones of the joint to glide over one another during joint motion. It also transmits load and provides shock absorption during weight bearing activities. Friction between the bones and inflammation results when the cartilage is disrupted. Eventually the cartilage erodes to the point that the subchondrol bone is

The Virginia–Maryland Dog

actually grinding against the adjacent subchondral bone causing significant pain and immobility. Sadly, most owners believe OA is an inevitable consequence of aging and treatment is limited to the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) to manage discomfort. But the reality is there are many contributing factors in the development of OA, and most occur long before the senior years of life. At VOSM, we routinely see young dogs, as young as six months of age, that are at risk or already have early signs of OA. In addition, there are many therapies aimed at prevention, early intervention and management of end-stage OA.

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Contributing Factors in the Development of OA Age: Aging does not directly cause OA, however, resilience of the articular cartilage decreases with age, making the cartilage more susceptible to damage and exacerbating degeneration in existing OA. Congenital Joint Disorders: Conditions that result in abnormal shape or incongruency of joint surfaces can lead to OA. These include hip and elbow dysplasia, patellar (kneecap) luxation, and osteochondrosis, which can affect the shoulder, elbow, stifle (knee), and tarsus (hock or ankle). Many of these conditions are believed to have a hereditary component, therefore certain breeds in which these conditions are more prevalent, may have an increased risk in developing OA. Joint Trauma and Instability: Fractures that involve the joint or injuries that leave joints unstable can contribute to OA. The most common injuries include cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) insufficiency, medial shoulder instability (MSI) and sprain and strain injuries of the carpus (wrist) and tarsus (hock or ankle). Nutrition and Obesity: Over-feeding puppies, particularly large and giant breed dogs can lead to rapid growth which may contribute to development of OA later in life. It has been proven that obesity contributes to development of OA in dogs. The extra weight places joints under abnormal stress, which can damage articular cartilage. Obesity can also significantly hasten progression of existing OA. Lifestyle: Dogs that are relatively inactive during the week but spend Saturday mornings at the dog park are more prone to the types of injuries that can contribute to the development of OA. Working dogs and dogs that participate in sporting activities such as agility often sustain overuse injuries that lead to joint instability, a contributing factor in OA development. Over-exercising puppies can cause irregularities in the articular cartilage, which can contribute to developing OA later in life.

Here are three of those supplements: Glucosamine: Found naturally in the body, glucosamine plays an important role in cartilage synthesis. Oral glucosamine supplementation may compensate for the age-related decline in glucosamine synthesis and thereby, block the progression of osteoarthritis and reverse or repair any existing joint cartilage damage. Chondrotin Sulfate: Also found naturally in the body and one of the building blocks of cartilage, oral chondrotin sulfate may reduce inflammation and pain associated with OA. Avocado soybean unsaponifiables (ASU): ASU is derived from avocados and soybeans. ASU has been shown to lower the expression or production of several compounds involved in the process of cartilage breakdown in joints. These three supplements have been found to have synergistic effects. Omega-3 fatty acids: Considered and essential fatty acid, omega-3 fatty acids offer many benefits one of which is as a potent anti-inflammatory. Maintaining your dog at a lean healthy weight by feeding an appropriate amount of high-quality dog food and providing moderate daily exercise to condition and maintain muscular strength can significantly reduce risk of OA. For working and sporting dogs, proper warm-up before activity and stretching after activity can reduce common injuries associated with these activities. At VOSM, rehabilitative therapists design at-home programs to achieve these goals. If additional support is needed, hydrotherapy can be added to enhance weight loss and muscle strengthening. In addition,a sports trainer works with owners of working and sporting dogs to develop conditioning programs to keep these active dogs in proper condition and reduce risk of injury.

Below: External view of an arthroscopy to dynamically evaulate & treat Osteoarthritis. Photo courtesy of VOSM

At the Veterinary Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Group practice in Annapolis Junction, Md., doctors take a comprehensive integrative approach. Doctors develop a multi-modal treatment plan based on a dog’s specific needs. Unfortunately, doctors cannot stop the clock, but there are joint supplements to recommend to pet owners that may help maintain joint health as dogs age. In addition, these supplements, referred to as nutraceuticals, can benefit dogs with known orthopedic disease affecting joints, including OA.

Summer 2013 |

Left: image of fluoroscopically-guided stem cell injection being administered into a dog’s hip to treat osteoarthritis. Right: External view of fluoroscopicallyguided stem cell injection. Photos courtesy of VOSM.


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Therapies for Early Intervention Early intervention of congenital joint conditions and joint injuries is imperative to delay the onset and severity of OA. Management of these cases may involve surgical intervention or conservative management. At VOSM, surgeons are skilled in arthroscopy and, when possible,and they utilize this minimally invasive technique to diagnosis and treat joint conditions. Arthroscopy reduces trauma to the joint, post-surgical discomfort and risk of post surgical complications and patients recover faster as compared to arthrotomy (open joint surgery). Some injuries can be managed conservatively with orthotic devices (supportive braces). Orthotic devices can also be used as an alternative management technique for some conditions when surgical intervention is not possible due to financial or health concerns. Adequan is a chondro-protective agent that is given via intramuscular injection twice weekly for four weeks. Adequan inhibits catabolic enzymes that cause inflammation and degradation of articular cartilage and stimulates collagen synthesis. Regenerative medicine therapy consisting of adipose-derived stem cells (ADSC) and/or plateletrich plasma (PRP) is recommended in some cases to speed healing and enhance tissue regeneration. It may also slow the progression of OA. Rehabilitation is often used with these therapies to improve comfort, joint mobility and strengthen atrophied or weak muscles to protect from reinjury.

Therapies for End-Stage OA

Sherman O. Canapp Jr., DVM, MS, CCRT, Diplomate, ACVS, Diplomate, ACVSMR Veterinary Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Group 10975 Guilford Road Annapolis Junction, MD 20701 (240) 295-4400 or (410) 418-8446


Intra-articular injections of hyaluronic acid (HA) and corticosteroids, also used to treat OA in people and horses, can reduce inflammation and pain. HA is a joint lubricant that when injected can reduce the friction associated with the bone on bone grinding that occurs in end-stage OA, thus reducing pain and improving range of motion and limb use. Benefits may last weeks to months. For dogs that do not respond to HA, corticosteroid injections often provide pain relief within 12 to 24 hours with benefit lasting up to six months. Stem cell therapy has been shown to be beneficial in reducing inflammation and pain associated with end-stage OA and benefits in some cases have been greater than one year. Rehabilitation therapy modalities such as cold and heat compresses, massage, ultrasound, iontopheresis, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), hydrotherapy and acupuncture can also provide pain relief for dogs with end-stage OA. In some cases, arthroscopy can be performed to clean-up the joint providing substantial pain relief. There are other surgical interventions such as joint replacement and arthodesis (joint fusion) that can eliminate the symptoms of OA. Understanding the contributing factors and treatment options available can improve your dog’s chance of living a life free of the pain and immobility of this debilitating disease. If your dog is already affected, therapies can be tailored specific to your dog’s stage of disease, contributing factors and lifestyle.


The focus of treatment for dogs with end-stage OA is pain relief. Most are prescribed NSAID therapy, however, long-term use of NSAIDs is not without potential complications. At VOSM, we treat end-stage OA using multiple modalities in an effort to eliminate or reduce the need for NSAIDs.

For more information:

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a nutraceutical that has been shown to reduce pain and improve function in clinical studies of OA.

The Virginia–Maryland Dog

BARK UP THE RIGHT TREE “I have a 13 year-old miniature poodle who was looking and acting his age. After a few weeks on VITAL VITIES Mortie is like a puppy and people at the park now actually think he is a puppy.” ~ Elise “My Golden Retrievers have the most fantastic coats since they began VITAL VITIES. Even my puppies are born with great coats and confirmations. The pups have been unbelievably smart. At 6 weeks old they are all going outside to do their business. Never seen anything like it.” ~ Deb “We researched VITAL VITIES and found they contain every vitamin and mineral needed for health and intelligence along with whole, super-foods. We don’t know if it’s because it’s so complete, so rich in every nutrient or because the ingredients are protected from degrading by that special coating, but our dogs are in the best shape they’ve ever been in. We believe in supplements and have been raising dogs for 25 years. There is nothing to compare.” ~ Steve and Mary “My black Labrador Retriever shines with health and is the star of this calendar. I take great care of my dog but when I began VITAL VITIES I saw an incredible difference. There must be something very healthy going on inside to have such an effect. We all thank you.” ~ Mark

Explore Virginia with your favorite four-legged travel companion!

Collie Rescue Foundation All Collies Belong to You and Me

The CRF needs your donations to continue to help local rescues with medical costs for Collies in need. To learn more visit the CRF website And follow us on Facebook Donations made to the Collie Rescue Foundation are tax deductable.


2215 N. 600 E. Lebanon, IN. 46052

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Minimally Invasive Surgery: When Less is Better

By Jim Taylor, DVM It’s never fun to think about our pets needing surgery. Even planned and routine surgical proceDiplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons Veterinary Surgical Centers

dures can create anxiety for pet owners. Will it be painful? What are risks of complications? What

Pictured Above: Operating Theatre – Minimally invasive operating equipment. Photo courtesy of Veterinary Surgical Centers

and lengthy recovery periods. At the forefront of these advances is minimally invasive surgery:

will the recovery be like? How quickly can my pet return to being his or herself? All good questions. Fortunately, there have been significant advances in surgical techniques and technology available to veterinarians that greatly reduce the risk of procedure-related pain, complications, a family of surgical techniques and tools that provide patients with quicker recovery times and less discomfort than with conventional surgery--all with the same benefits.

Arthroscopy The role of surgery in joint exploration and its assistance with the treatment of orthopedic diseases has seen a tremendous evolution over the past century. Arthroscopic surgery is the use of magnification, cameras and illumination to explore a joint through a small portal, commonly less than three millimeters in size. It was first introduced in human medicine in the early 1900s experimentally and was incorporated into daily clinical practice decades later, replacing the older traditional technique of a large open incision to expose the joint. Today, it is predominately the gold standard for joint exploration and assistance in the treatment of numerous joint diseases, allowing the same advantages that have been observed in human medicine. The most common diseases treated by arthroscopic surgery include: osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD), biceps tenosynovitis andarthroscopic release, medial shoulder instability, fragmented medial coronoid process (FMCP) removal, cranial cruciate ligament


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

inspection and debridement, and meniscal inspection and debridement. Veterinary medicine has recognized the advantages and interventions available with these techniques and has been utilizing them with increasing popularity and favor during the past two decades. However, arthroscopy has a significant learning curve and can take hundreds to thousands of hours to learn and master. The visualization associated with this procedure has been described as “scuba diving upside down” and so, to the inexperienced clinician, it can be a difficult, frustrating, and often fruitless procedure. For this reason, it is important to seek out veterinary surgeons who have been trained and have made arthroscopy a routine part of their treatment arsenal.

Laparoscopy and Thoracoscopy The same technique used with joints has been adapted, albeit with longer devices, to be used for the exploration and treatment of diseases in the ab-

{ feature }

dominal cavity (laparoscopy) and chest cavity (thoracoscopy). Although many procedures still require an open abdominal incision, there are laparoscopic procedures available which offer a less invasive approach, less soft tissue dissection, less perioperative discomfort and quicker recovery times for the veterinary patient. Many of these procedures are performed daily in specialty surgical practices and include: laparoscopic assisted gastropexy (a preventative procedure for some breeds predisposed to gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV)), laparoscopic spay (a significantly less invasive alternative to a full ovariohysterectomy for spay), laparoscopic cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal) and laparoscopic biopsy collection of abdominal organs such as the liver, pancreas, and intestine. Many of these procedures are performed with significantly shorter anesthesia times, decreased patient complications and quicker recovery times than their comparative open procedures and should be considered a much more viable alternative to many open procedures. Similarly, thoracoscopy is a very attractive and sought-after alternative for surgeries that need to be performed within the chest cavity. Thoracoscopy can prevent a traditional open approach where a patient’s ribs may need to be spread or where cutting and spreading the breast bone would otherwise be necessary. The largest advantages we observe in patients who undergo a less invasive procedure to the chest cavity compared to an open approach is significantly less pain, shorter hospital stays, and less cost associated with care after surgery. In all cases, it’s important that the surgery department works very closely with other specialists in the hospital to make sure that the right path of treatment is chosen for each individual patient. This includes cases requiring pericardectomy, lung biopsy, drain placement, and other procedures.

Interventional Radiology (IR) Interventional radiology is the use of advanced imaging modalities (endoscopy, fluoroscopy, CT) to deliver treatments or materials to a specific location in an effort to treat a certain disease. The use of IR

has been commonplace in human medicine and has only been more recently incorporated into veterinary medicine. It has, however, brought forth a vast array of treatments and interventions that have created options and new therapies for patients who previously had minimal to no alternatives. Some of the more common therapies offered by IR are intraluminal stenting for tracheal collapse, urethral stenting for benign or malignant urinary obstructions, ureteral stenting for benign or malignant obstructions, and trans-arterial embolization-chemoembolization for non-resectable tumors of the abdomen, chest or other areas. These techniques now allow veterinary surgeons to provide a significantly improved and prolonged quality of life for many patients who previously did not have other treatment alternatives.

Pictured Left: A Labaroscopy being Performed Pictured Right: Elbow arthoscopy for removal of a fragmented medial coronid fragment. Photos courtesy of Veterinary Surgical Centers

Minimally Invasive Fracture Repair Building on IR techniques and technology, doctors have successfully adapted intra-operative fluoroscopy to significantly advanced their approach to trauma. Patients with certain types of fractures, or broken bones, can undergo fracture repair with significantly less soft tissue dissection and improved implant placement and stability with potentially quicker healing times. This minimally invasive approach helps to preserve the soft tissue attachment and natural blood supply to the fractured bone, thus hastening the healing process after surgery. Doctors know that here is a lot of information to digest and things to consider in the event that a pet has a problem requiring surgical intervention. Pet owners are increasingly, and rightly, seeking the same treatment options for their pets as they would for themselves. Fortunately, veterinary medicine has advanced to a point where this is not an unreasonable or unrealistic expectation. If you find your own pet in a situation requiring surgery, know that many minimally invasive treatment options are out there. Explore these less invasive treatment alternatives with your pet’s veterinary caregiver before moving forward with more invasive procedures.

Summer 2013 |


{ seeking a forever home }

Seeking A

Forever Home


Drake is a delightful young adult little Maltese X. Drake gets along with most dogs and cats. He is very bubbly, playful and affectionate. Drake would do best in a home free of children. Drake is crate trained. Breed/Mix: Maltese mix Approximate Weight: 13 Pounds Approximate Age: 2 Years Old Activeness: Loves to play Good w/Other Dogs: Yes Good w/Children: No Housebroken: Yes Medical Issues: None Feeding Issues: None Special Needs: Requires an adult only home with experienced dog handlers. He would benefit from living in a multiple dog family. Vaccinations: All vaccines are current. He is neutered, dewormed, & tested negative for heartworms Fun Facts: Drake is every dog’s best friend! He has been at our shelter for many months and has helped us gain the trust of many rescued canines including his friend, Pip, who was recently placed within his forever home. Drake loves to go on walks and play with his toys.

Middleburg Humane Foundation The Middleburg Humane Foundation (MHF) operates a private, non-profit, 5 acre farm shelter located in Marshall, Virginia. It is our 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 our shelter from a vast variety of abusive situations. After much needed nurturing and medical care, the animals are placed available for adoption. MHF receives no state or county funding. We depend solely on donations from private individuals, businesses and foundations to continue our vital work. MHF also has many wonderful cats, kittens, dogs, rabbits, horses, & other various rescued livestock looking for forever homes. We would love to work with you to find the perfect family friend. Visit our website for available animals. The Middleburg Humane Foundation (MHF) is embarking on a campaign to raise $3,000,000 to build an entire new farm shelter facility on 20 + acres that was generously donated to MHF by Zohar and Lisa Ben-Dov. The new farm shelter will provide a state of the art Spay/Neuter Clinic, Small Animal Adoption Center, Grooming Salon, Humane Education Center and an Equine and Livestock Rescue Facility all capable of accommodating our growing needs.

Middleburg Humane Foundation 540.364.3272 Photography by FuzzypantsPhotography


Donations are needed in order to accomplish our goal to build this new facility, in addition to maintaining our current facility. For information regarding donations, please access our website at, or contact us by telephone at (540) 364-3272.

The Virginia–Maryland Dog

{ just doodling }

An Army spouse and mother for decades, I knew once my husband retired his uniforms in the attic, and our two legged children reached adulthood, I would be free to explore and do whatever I thought would fill my days with happiness! Turns out what makes me smile all the time are my two adorable, extremely personable F1 Goldendoodles named Harley & Leo. Harley is fifty pounds of conscious reasoning and instinctive negotiations wrapped in cotton-like fur. Leo is ninety four pounds of free flowing locks that match his care free attitude about everything! Together they have taken me on the drive of my life as I scribe the Chronicles of Life with Harley & Leo in the “Doodle Daily” on their very own website - Groovy Goldendoodles™ In the Spring of 2011, at the incessant prodding of my daughter, I started blogging about their antics and adventures in day camp, the trips we took, the people we met, along with the good, the bad, and the potty training ugly’s of everyday life with two dogs. Twenty four months later, I’m still “just doodling” and loving every minute of it. We attend various pet events, and our hearts skip an extra beat when we’re invited to a good ole “Doodle Romp” with other Doodle enthusiasts. In late April, my husband and I loaded up the car and headed to Dewey Beach, DE for an Annual Spring event appropriately named “Doodles In Dewey Beach!” This labor of love to help others began when a therapy Doodle named “Arlo” befriended a young man dying of AIDS. He was a teacher, counselor as well as a dog lover. “Food and Friends” would supply his meals, and Arlo would supply the affection. It is in loving memory of this young man that Amy Scott, her warmhearted Arlo, along with a few others started this annual fund raiser back in 2005 for the “Food and Friends” Organization. A weekend event, Doodles and pet parents assemble early Saturday morning, to meet and greet, enjoy a

little lunch and end the day with “Yappy Hour” at a local eatery - Doodles in tow! Sunday morning they return to the beach to congregate for an informal romp before heading home. I was intrigued because I couldn’t imagine a bunch of leash-less Doodles (to include run away Harley) on the beach. It was amazing! Close to 160 Doodles running wild, just being free. Doodles of various sizes and colors racing through the sand, sliding into the water after tossed balls, tugging on toys, socializing as if they understood this was a day reserved in their honor for a “paw”ty. I carried entirely too much “stuff” with me. In my defense - I had no idea what to expect therefore we looked the part. We dragged folding chairs, a cooler with water, diet drinks, poop bags, baby wipes, hand sanitizer (why?), microwaved hamburgers wrapped in aluminum foil, and a few snacks. I brought towels, an extra pair of flip flops, and my husband dragged his kite along thinking Leo would tire chasing balls - really?

By Cathy Bennett Leo and Harley. Photo courtesy of Cathy Bennett

If you’d like another dose of Doodle fun, visit:

We never ate a thing, never sat down, and why I brought towels to the beach vs. leaving them in the car I’ll never know. What we did use the most were the travel water bowls for The Boys. In the course of four hours they went through about 7 bottles of water! Our beach adventure was in the Spring, making the weather perfect for them. Leo did ingest a little too much salt water and sand, so a bland diet was in order the very next day! All in all the experience was magical, and from the number of participants there, I’m sure Amy and her friends were able to make a sizable donation to “Food and Friends.” The ride home was rather quiet, not much movement coming from the rear of the vehicle. At one point I thought I heard snoring! It was a great day at the beach for a worthy cause.

Summer 2013 |


Fur, Fins & Feathers * Licensed, Bonded & Insured * Celebrating our 25th Anniversary • Mid-Day Dog Walking • Pet Sitting • House Sitting • Bed & Breakfast

(301)840-1989 Proudly Serving Montgomery County, MD Since 1989

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Serving Frederick City & Frederick County

OFFERING: • Daily dog walking and pet sitting • Overnight pet sitting • Pet transportation • Farm sitiing • House sitting • Yard pick- up and more! P.O. Box 451, Jefferson, MD 21755 ph. 301.473.8188 | fx. 301.358.3799

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Doctor available by phone 24 hours a day.

We welcome you to come tour our facility and meet our friendly staff. Early Admit Digital Radiology Intensive Care Dentistry Ultrasound Laser Surgery Exotic Pet Care

scan & visit our website to find a location near you!

Celebrating Our 29th Year!!

$5.00 Nail Trims (Thursdays Only)

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18745 Penn Shop Rd • Mt. Airy | 301-831-7507 Visit our Website for More Specials!

Call Today... Emphasizing Wellness and Geriatric Care 540-667-4290 274 Linden Drive Winchester, VA 22601

Your pets will love you for it!

Can we talk?

Cindy Wenger (717) 566-0922 Peaceable Kingdom Animal Communications Sessions By Phone & Email GIFT CERTIFICATES Available For Your Animal Loving Friends!

Also serving the D.C. Metro area

Let love in! Give homeless German Shepherds a second chance at life and love by fostering, adopting, volunteering or donating. The Virginia German Shepherd Rescue is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing of the German Shepherd Dogs. Since its inception in 2001, we have found good homes for about 300 dogs per year. 703-435-2840 P.O. Box 126, Sterling, VA 20167

Doggy GOO Fight Itchy Enviro Allergies

GOO Gut Rescue GUT / GI Health & Balance

GOO Silver Senior Varsity Dogs

SOLID GOLD FREEZE DRIED RAW BEEF Many pet owners like to feed raw meat, but the constant recall of raw meat with salmonella poisoning or ecoli has put a stop to many sales. Solid Gold Freeze Dried Raw Meat has solved this problem. We dropped the temperature of the beef to minus 120 degrees below zero. This kills all diseases. Then, we put in a nitrogen flush which takes out all the moisture. The five pack is almost equivalent to 7 pounds of raw meat with the water removed. The single patty pack is equivalent to a pound and a half of raw meat. Spread out pieces or concentrate as needed. Break apart with fingers and mix with kibble or use as a treat or bait. Not greasy. No need to carry a freezer box.

• The closest alternative to raw meat.

• Can be mixed with kibble.

• Dog or Cat treat or as a part of a meal.

• Do not re-hydrate

The 5 count package is $19.74 plus shipping Single count package is $4.27 plus shipping We accept all major credit cards as well as checks. To order, call (619) 258-7356, Monday thru Friday 10 am to 5pm pacific time, or go online to

The Cute Story It had been a long day at the dog show. The owner of two Rhodesian Ridgebacks was exhausted. She was going to rush into a fast food place, grab a sandwich, and the go back to the hotel. She had bought two 5-count Buckaroo Beef packages to mix in with the dry Solid Gold dog food that night. It was easier than trying to open a can of meat. Her two Ridgebacks were sleeping quietly in the van. Should she leave the new packages of Buckaroo Beef in the front seat or not? The two five packs were equivalent to almost 14 lbs. so they couldn’t possibly be that hungry. She had planned to break up the patties for supper, for a bedtime snack and breakfast with kibble. Sounded like a good plan. Rhodesians are very smart. When she returned to her van, all ten patties were gone, they had very carefully opened the packages and enjoyed every bite. Now for a little water, please. So much for the best laid plans---

BuckarooBeef Ad8x10c.indd 1

• 44% protein.

Solid Gold Holistic Animal Nutrition Center 1331 N. Cuyamaca, El Cajon, CA 92020 Ask your local pet store for a free catalogue. If they don’t have a SunDancer catalogue, call us at (619) 258-7356, M-F, 10am to 5pm Pacific time or go online to

4/4/13 5:13:05 PM

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

Convenitnetly 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

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