Tag Archives: dogs

Don’t let Halloween be a scary time for pets!

Salty Gnome
Chef Joey sent us this cute pic of his friend’s dog modeling her Halloween costume!

Halloween is a fun and festive night for families, but it can be downright dangerous for pets.

During the week of Halloween, the Pet Poison Helpline reports a 12 percent increase in calls, making it the call center’s  busiest time of year.

In addition, Halloween is the second most common holiday for dogs to go missing, just behind Fourth of July.

Prevention is the best way to avoid an emergency. By using caution, you can ensure a safe and happy Halloween for pets.

Use these tips to keep them safe this Halloween:

Don’t share your treats with your dog or cat! You probably know that chocolate and raisins are toxic to pets, but so is xylitol, an artificial sweetener used in many sugar-free candies and gum.

Be sure to properly dispose of candy wrappers. If ingested, these can cause life-threatening obstructions to the intestinal tract, which may require surgery.

Keep a close eye on pets for vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy – all signs they have eaten something dangerous.

Consider keeping dogs or cats confined in a quiet room on Halloween night. This will shield them from the noise and the frenzy of trick-or-treaters and prevent them from bolting out the door.

Make sure all pets have proper identification, including an up-to-date ID tag and microchip, which will help your chances of reuniting should they go missing.

If you decide to dress up your pet for Halloween, choose a costume that is loose-fitting, comfortable and doesn’t cover the eyes, ears or nose, which could cause anxiety.

Keep pets away from glow sticks. Cats especially have an affinity for chewing and puncturing these products. While not life-threatening, the liquid in glow sticks can cause pain, irritation and excessive salivation.

Dad! I have a new toy box …

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… the living room window sill!

Chef Joey’s Vinny loves to carry his toys to one special spot!

Vinny also loves his daily walks in Worcester’s Hadwen Park, one of Worcester’s hidden jewels …

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Vinny was a rescue. So was his little sis, Abby. She was thrown out of a car window! Joey saved them both!

Cherish your pups – treasure ALL ANIMALS!

Photos by Chef Joey
text: R.T.

When ‘no-kill’ policies mean ‘slow-kill’ practices

By Ingrid Newkirk
 
In August, a Michigan man drove his four dogs to the woods and let them go after being served with an eviction notice by his landlord. This story is unique only in that, when three of the dogs were run over by a car and killed, their owner was traced. But wait, there’s another way in which this story is unique: The sheriff refused to charge the owner with abandonment because the man had driven in desperation to three area animal shelters, trying to give up the dogs, but at every one of them, he had been told that they would not take his dogs because they were full. 
 
Under pressure to avoid euthanasia at all costs—or risk being vilified by rabid “no-kill” campaigners—many animal shelters across the country are adopting ill-advised polices that actually endanger animals. The Michigan man’s case illustrates one of many things wrong with “no-kill” policies: When “no-kill” shelters are full, they turn away animals owned by people who either don’t care enough to keep on looking for a home for them or, having run out of options, decide to turn them loose or kill them, not with a painless injection but instead with a gun or a knife or by strangulation or even by taping their mouths shut and throwing them into the trash. It happens every day.
 
A PETA exposé documented workers at more than two dozen “no-kill” facilities refusing admission to animals in desperate need, by citing long waiting lists, charging exorbitant admission fees, saying that their facilities were experiencing disease outbreaks or severe crowding, and giving other reasons for turning their backs. It’s fair enough if you want to set up a “no-kill” shelter and only take in as many animals as you have room for, but to attempt to bully all shelters into either becoming “no-kill” or facing criticism and being labeled a “kill shelter” does not result in more “no-kill” but rather more “slow-kill.”
 
When someone says that there’s no room at the inn, all those rejected dogs, cats, rabbits and other animals do not simply evaporate. Something bad befalls them—often something very, very bad.
 
And that’s not all. Every single day, articles come up on my computer screen that tell the story of yet another “rescue” outfit busted for cruelty and neglect: dead and dying animals, sick and aged animals suffering without medical care, cats burned to death in their plastic cages, and dogs found starved on their chains with their fur so matted and caked with feces that maggots are able to live under the mats and eat away at their flesh. Why? Because “no-kill” pressure drives shelters to give animals away to outfits run by the mentally ill, the unqualified and the incompetent as long as they have the word “rescue” in their name. This means exchanging a peaceful, respectful death by euthanasia for prolonged suffering and a painful death, all in the name of “no-kill.”
 
When “no-kill” shelters turn away people who are on a fixed income or have no income, the elderly or the jobless, and can’t afford the $100 to $400 charged by greedy veterinarians to end an elderly or ill animal’s suffering, those animals invariably end up dying slowly and in agony at home.
 
Who doesn’t dream of a day when only responsible people acquire animal companions, when everyone adopts homeless animals from shelters instead of buying them from pet stores or breeders, when all animal companions are sterilized, when all puppy mills have closed, when there are enough homes to go around, and when all our educational efforts, legislative pushes and spay/neuter work has paid off and the world has become a safe place for all dogs, cats, rabbits and birds? 
 
We all do, but we’re not there yet—not by a long shot. So until then, let’s not allow that “no-kill” dream to be replaced by a “slow-kill” nightmare.
 

Is your dog in danger of being flipped?

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No one will ever “flip” ICT editor Rosalie’s new baby, Lilac! Here she is playing with her ugly, homemade toy “blob” Rose made for her, seeing this lil’ hound dog tears through all the cute squeaky pet store toys given to her – except her Kongs, which are, thankfully, INDESTRUCTIBLE! 

By Lindsay Pollard-Post

Do you know where your dog is right now? If the answer is “outside” and not under your watchful eye, don’t keep reading—go get your dog. A disturbing crime called “dog flipping” is on the rise, and unattended animals are the prime targets.

“Flippers” prowl neighborhoods looking for animals they can obtain for free and then sell on sites like Craigslist. Friendly, roaming dogs and cats are flippers’ favorite victims. Some animals have even been abducted right out of their guardians’ yards.

In December, a Texas family’s 11-year-old dog, Sushi, went missing after apparently escaping through a hole in their backyard fence. Weeks later, her family spotted an ad on Craigslist featuring a dog who looked exactly like her. But after they inquired about the dog, the ad was removed.

Last month, another Craigslist ad appeared advertising a dog who resembled Sushi. This time, Sushi’s guardian arranged a meeting with the seller to buy the dog at a store parking lot. The dog’s fur was a different color—it had apparently been dyed—but a scan of her microchip revealed that it was indeed Sushi, who had disappeared seven months earlier. Sushi was lucky—many victims of dog flipping never see their families again.

Being torn away from the people they love and sold to strangers is just one of many perils that animals face when they are left outdoors alone. Bunchers—people who abduct animals to sell to laboratories for experiments—also cruise neighborhoods, as do dogfighters looking for animals to use as “bait.” Unsupervised dogs and cats also make easy targets for abusers. Most of the 400-plus reports of cruelty cases that PETA receives weekly involve animals who were victimized while outside unsupervised.

Earlier this year in Colorado, a home security camera showed a man entering a backyard and spraying three small dogs with what investigators believe was pepper spray. The man returned hours later and violently swung at one of the dogs with a golf club, chased her into the house and emerged carrying a garbage bag. The dog was never seen again.

In Washington, a dog named Butterfinger died after a neighbor allegedly shot him with a pellet gun, piercing his liver and stomach and causing hemorrhaging. According to Butterfinger’s guardians, the neighbor was upset because the dog kept going onto his property.

Poison, traffic, disease, extreme weather and many other hazards claim the lives of animals who are left outdoors every year. One homeowner in Florida called PETA because her cat, who lived outdoors, died after her home was fumigated for insects.. The cat had apparently gotten trapped under the tent that was draped over the house during the fumigation and was killed by the insecticide.

It’s crucial to protect our animal companions from the many dangers lurking outside by keeping them indoors with the rest of the family and letting them out only on a leash and harness or in a fenced area under close supervision.

Spaying or neutering our animals (which we should do anyway, given the millions of cats and dogs who must be euthanized every year for lack of a good home) can make them less attractive to flippers, who often hope to breed them. Having them microchipped and fitted with collars and identification tags can also help bring them back to us if they ever go missing.

Dogs and cats are as vulnerable as toddlers in the great outdoors. No parents in their right mind would turn their 2-year-old child loose to wander the streets alone. Letting our animal companions do so is just as risky.

I bought this two-fer lead at Pet Co …

… Wednesday so I can walk Jett and Lilac more easily around Woo. It’s going more smoothly by the day! They walk/run in front of me – I hold on for dear life!

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Jett and Lilac at Pet Co where we practiced our walking. We looked pretty chaotic! Plus: Jett wizzed on a big bag of premium dog food, and Lilac, not fully housebroken and very nervous, took a huge poopy on the floor! DOGS KEEP IT REAL! LOVE MY DOGS!

– Rosalie Tirella

Pets and summertime

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Deb and her little Juno are ready for summer!

Check your dogs for ticks! They can get Lyme disease, too!

It’s the height of tick season, which means people should take extra care to prevent the spread of Lyme disease – not just to people, but also to their dogs.

Lyme disease, as well as another tick-borne ailment called anaplasmosis, can be just as harmful to dogs as to humans. Symptoms can include fever, joint pain, lethargy, loss of appetite, neurologic disorders and difficulty walking. Lyme disease may also cause kidney damage and can be fatal if left untreated.

Dog owners should be especially watchful if their pets become feverish or start to limp, especially if they limp on different legs at different times. A dog with those symptoms should be taken to the family veterinarian or to an emergency veterinarian.

Any dog who has fever and is limping should be evaluated.

One of the best things dog owners can do is to give their dogs anti-tick medicine, not just in the summer but year-round. The medicines are available over the counter and from veterinarians.

It’s probably not realistic to keep dogs inside throughout tick season. Dogs will be dogs, they love hiking, they love the woods. So after dogs go outside, make sure to check them carefully for ticks.

Here are some more tips for making sure dogs are protected:

Talk with your family veterinarian about vaccinating your pet against Lyme disease.

Talk with your veterinarian about the best way to prevent fleas and ticks from latching on to your pet.

Your veterinarian may suggest an oral medication so that your pet is simply given a pill once a month. Or the vet may encourage spot-on medications, medicated shampoos, powders or tick collars.

Consider having your yard and home treated for ticks.

Inspect your dogs for ticks if they have been outside near wooded areas.

If you find a tick, take tweezers and remove the tick as close to the body of the pet as possible, trying to get the head of the tick out.

Watch your pet carefully over time and look out for any changes in behavior.
If your pet is not acting right, take him or her to your veterinarian as soon as possible.

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Traveling with pets 

Travel can be stressful for both pets and people. These tips will make your trip a more enjoyable experience for everyone, whether they have two legs or four:

Never leave your pet unattended in a car, even with the windows cracked. If it’s 85 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can rocket to 120 degrees in a matter of minutes.

Always make sure you have plenty of your pet’s medication packed. Take extra to be on the safe side.

Pack a first aid kit for your pet: tweezers to remove ticks, bandaging material for any cuts, hydrogen peroxide, etc.

If your pets have any ongoing medical conditions, take a copy of their medical records with you.

Identify the nearest animal emergency hospital to where you are staying and have the phone number handy.

Make sure your pet’s heartworm and flea prevention medications are current.

Don’t feed a large meal before leaving; simply allow periodic snacking.

Carry collapsible bowls for food and water.

Make sure that dog tags are clearly visible because people are more likely to catch pets if they can return them to the owner. Having your pet get a microchip for identification is a good step, too.

If your pet has implants (e.g. plates or screws from orthopedic surgery), and he or she will be flying, you should bring a note from your veterinarian.

When flying, be sure to have wheels for your carrier. Even a 10-pound animal can get heavy when carried in a shoulder carrier walking through a long airport terminal.

If your dog is one of the 17 percent who get sick when traveling, ask your veterinarian about an anti-vomiting medication. Dogs get motion sickness either because they are anxious while traveling or because their balance is affected by movement.

Special considerations for kitty:

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Rosalie’s April on Independence Day!

Cats can be particularly sensitive to traveling. Here are tips for keeping your cat calm:

Try placing some catnip in the carrier 30 minutes before your trip; this may have a calming effect.

Don’t use tranquilizers or sedatives in cats for travel due to potential complications such as hypotension or paradoxical hyper-excitability.

Always keep your cat confined in a carrier while traveling. A frightened feline can easily escape through an open car window or door without anyone noticing.

Be sure to carry some moistened and dry paper towels and plastic bags for potential carrier accidents.

Have a safe and fun summer with your companion animal!

Visited my friend and her family in the country today …

… Patty, owner of Barton Brook Kennels in Leicester, has this HUGE AMAZING GARDEN on her huge, amazing stretch of land!!! And this country lady also has a horse, pony, sheep, goats, dogs and cat!

Plus the dogs she boards!

Such GREAT fun seeing the farm animals in their natural element, as God, in her infinite wisdom, intended… Jett had fun running off lead! Pat’s daughter and grand kids taught me how to pick lettuce correctly (from the bottom, OUTSIDE leaves first so the plant keeps growing strong…).

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I got some mint, too, which this Italian-American will stir into her spaghetti sauce. Wonderful for your iced tea, too!

Thank you, Patty!

Rose

P.S. Your family rules! They know so much about the land and animals and good food. So polite and nice!  You are blessed, gal pal!

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To my readers:

If you are going away this summer and want to board your dog/s in the beautiful country, with a yard and river and cute kennels. …

CALL PATTY AT (774) 200-5292

All dogs must be current on vaccinations. They must also have gotten the shot for kennel cough.

Don’t let the Fourth of July be a dangerous day for pets!

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Patriotic Pup #2. Jett!!!!! July 1, 2015

The July 4 holiday can be thrilling for humans, but it’s actually a dangerous time for pets — and one of the busiest days of the year in animal emergency hospitals.

Exploding firecrackers can be just as hazardous for pets as for humans, but that’s not where the danger ends. The loud noise, and even the food and family gatherings, all pose hazards to dogs, cats, birds and other pets.

It’s common for emergency animal hospitals to see 25 percent or more patients than normal on Independence Day.

The noise of fireworks – including that string of firecrackers set off by your neighbor– sometimes causes panic in pets. Scared dogs have been known to charge into glass doors or bolt outside into traffic.

Outdoor grilling is a must for many people, but some human food that gets spilled to the ground or pilfered from an unwatched picnic table can make animals sick. Foods that can upset your pet’s digestive tract include onions, garlic, avocados, grapes, raisins and chocolate.

And staying out in the sun can cause heatstroke — not just for people, but also for fur-covered members of the family.

Fortunately, a little planning and care can help your pets stay safe and comfortable as you enjoy the festivities.

Here are a few tips:

During fireworks, make sure your dogs or cats are in safe, indoor places where they cannot escape or get hurt. Turn on music or television for comforting background noise. You also can play a game with them or give them a favorite toy.

If your pets are especially nervous about fireworks you may want to buy a specially designed, snug-fitting jacket which comforts dogs by applying pressure around their bodies.

After the family barbecue, don’t treat your dogs to leftover bones from steak, ribs, chicken or other human food. The bones often splinter and may become a choking hazard.

The safest policy is to avoid giving human food to pets because so much of it can be harmful to them. If you want your pets to celebrate along with you, buy them a few extra pet treats while stocking up on your own groceries.

Don’t let your pets stay outside in the heat for long periods of time, especially if they’re not used to it. If pets do get overheated, spray them down with water that is cool or room temperature – but never ice water, which causes a decrease in blood flow to the skin and makes things even worse.

Remember, regular visits to your family veterinarian are the best way to keep your pets healthy.  But if an accident does occur over the holidays, don’t hesitate to bring your pet to an emergency veterinarian right away.

Rosalie’s kitty, April, has diabetes. Does your companion animal have this “tricky” disease? Know the symptoms!

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Rosalie figured April might have diabetes when she saw April’s cat litter boxed SOAKED with urine.
Rose took April to the veterinarian’s; the vet did a”senior panel” on the 13 1/2 year old cat (blood work) and determined that April’s glucose level was high. Now on insulin 2x daily, April is her old self! Affectionate, strong willed …
Thank goodness for Wal-Mart – the syringes and insulin (for humans – cats can metabolize their food with human insulin) they sell at their pharmacy is so INEXPENSIVE! A third of what you’d pay at the vet’s! If your pet has the disease and money’s an issue, ask your vet for a prescription and head to the Wal-Mart pharmacy! It’s right in the store! Fast and easy! The pharmacists are helpful and empathetic!         -R.T.
FROM PETA.ORG:

Could Your Cat or Dog Have Diabetes?

Written by Danny Prater | June 18, 2015

I have been living with type 1 diabetes since I was 13 years old. The last time I visited my home state, Ohio (GO BUCKS), I had a chance to meet the only other member of

Just like humans, dogs and cats can also have diabetes. From personal experience, I know that it can be a tough disease, sometimes tricky to manage. This really got me to thinking about what it must be like for a cat or dog living with diabetes. Without any way to tell us directly how they are feeling, companion animals rely on their human guardians to notice when something is off.

But what does diabetes “look” like? While it’s true that you can’t see it, you can certainly see the symptoms if you pay attention to your cat or dog.

Change in Appetite

Baxter the Chihuahua Dog Eating a Treat

Is your dog suddenly eating much more than before? Is your cat leaving a lot of food untouched? An increased or decreased appetite may be a sign of not feeling well.

Weight Loss

When the body is deprived of insulin, which is needed to carry blood sugar to the cells for energy, it will begin burning fat. If your four-legged friend begins rapidly losing weight, especially if coupled with other symptoms on this list, you should schedule a vet appointment ASAP.

Here’s an easy way to tell that something may be amiss: Your animal is eating more than before but still losing weight.

Frequent Urination

For cats, this may take the form of urinating outside the litterbox or frequent urinary tract infections; for dogs, you may notice a sudden jump in requests to go outside. This is because some of the toxins that build up when blood sugar levels go unmanaged are expelled through the urine. Your animal’s body is saying something here—make sure you listen!

Excessive Thirst

This one is actually how I first realized that something was wrong with me. Because of the increase in urination, your dog or cat will be excessively thirsty, attempting to replace those lost fluids. These two symptoms, excessive thirst and urination, will likely go together, so pay attention.

Note: When cats and dogs continue this cycle of frequent urination and excessive thirst, they can become dehydrated. How do you know if a thirsty animal is dehydrated? One quick way to check is by gently pinching up some of the skin and fur on the back and then letting it fall back into place. A well-hydrated animal’s skin will quickly snap back, while a dehydrated animal’s skin will slowly collapse back down.

Sweet-Smelling Breath

When a body deprived of insulin begins burning its own fat stores to supply energy, compounds called ketones are released into the blood stream. Acetone, a type of ketone, is typically expelled from the body through the breath, which will smell unusually fruity or sweet (in stark contrast to most dog and cat foods), so this is an easy way to tell if something is wrong the next time you’re snuggling.

Lethargy

Amsterdam the Dog sleepy© Sean Noronha

When too many ketones enter the bloodstream, the body itself can become acidic. Trust me when I tell you, this feels awful. If your animal companion can’t keep his or her head up for more than a few minutes or has experienced a sudden decrease in energy levels, be sure to get to your vet as soon as possible!

Vomiting

Just like with the toxins pushed out through the breath and urine, this is one of the body’s ways of telling you that it wants something that is currently inside it OUT.

Unkempt Coat/Chronic Skin Infections

Is your cat’s coat losing its shine? You may even notice flakes of dried skin. Has your dog been diagnosed with multiple skin infections? These are signs that your kitty or pooch may be suffering from untreated diabetes.

Cataract Formation/Change in Vision

Extended periods of elevated blood glucose levels can lead to the development of cataracts and, just like in humans, blindness. It’s important to get your animal checked out before symptoms progress too far.


NOW, LISTEN: 
I’m not a doctor, for humans or for animals. If you suspect something is off with your best (non-human) friend after reading this, consult a professional! Always keep an eye—and a hand—on your companion animals. They rely on you to know when something is wrong, so you have to be sure that you know what “normal” looks and feels like for them. Because animals typically consume significantly fewer sugars and carbs than humans do, the signs of untreated diabetes may build up slowly over time. Your veterinarian can perform necessary blood tests to find out what’s going on and get you all set up to take proper care of your cat or dog if diabetes turns out to be an issue.