Maddie’s Best Christmas
My sweet Maddie, rest in peace, finally mastered a grand feat. After many Christmases, we taught her to find her present. On this particular Christmas, I got four identical boxes. In all of them, I put a t-shirt with my husband’s scent on it. In one of them, was a vacuum-sealed package of tennis balls for her. I wrapped them in identical paper. It took her a few directions to snap to it. My husband was using aluminum foil in the kitchen and the sound of it threw off her concentration (so you hear my yelling to my husband in the kitchen). Not only does she find the right box, but she unwraps it, gets her nose into the box to get her present out, and then takes it to her lair (the chair). Enjoy!!!
November is Senior Pet Adoption Month
I know it is the end of the month already, but you don’t need to just adopt a senior dog in November. Senior dogs need good homes all year round.
This is Buddy, our senior dog, who has already passed on. He came to us very overweight. During his intake with a local golden retriever rescue group, he was called Jo Jo, but his foster mother thought the name Buddy suited him more. We decided to keep it.
My husband’s heart had been broken into pieces when our dog of 10 years, Sam, died. It took him about 18 months before he felt he was ready to risk the heartache again. It was very difficult for me because I telecommuted for my employer and I always had a dog with me. To me, my house was empty without a dog to love.
Buddy was a very calm dog. He didn’t ask for much. I think he may have been partially deaf.
One day Buddy did an amazing thing. We were sitting in our living room. My son was sitting on our very high bed in our bedroom watching something on our TV in there. Buddy came out of the bedroom and just sat, staring at us. This was very, very odd behavior. We asked him what was wrong, but he stood steadfast and determined. Unsure what the issue was, we got up and as we did, he got up and walked into the bedroom. Upon entering the bedroom, we saw that our son was having a full-blown seizure on the bed. One of us praised Buddy immediately while the other prepared the rectal Valium medication my son required to stop it.
Afterwards we had all these thoughts that if we hadn’t known he was having a seizure, he might have fallen off the bed and hurt himself, or worse–died from head trauma.
Buddy came to us heartworm-positive (but treated). I do not know if it contributed to his increased risk of congestive heart failure, but he developed this. When his heart could not pump anymore, he passed from us.
We only had him for a few short years, but they were wonderful years and we do not regret it. We hope that he felt the same about us. Not knowing his history or what his previous life might have been like, we know we gave him a loving home that was full of fun and wonderful things.
I hope this story inspires you to consider adopting a senior pet.
Dogs Prefer Men Over Women
This was an article that I got from Dr. Becker: “Results of a study on human-canine interactions suggest that dogs approach men more often than women.” (This from Relational factors affecting dog social attraction to human partners, Wedl, M et al, Interaction Studies, 2010):
To read more on this article so I don’t violate her intellectual property, please click here to go to the article.
A Box of Corgi Puppies
Your dose of adorable for today!
Warning About Trifexis
If you have a dog on Trifexis, you need to listen to this report.
(Per the report):
Grieving animal lovers across the country are coming forward blaming a popular pet drug for killing their dogs. Channel 2 Action News has uncovered several cases in Metro Atlanta.
“It’s like a piece of your heart is being torn out,” said dog owner Beth Timms from Gainesville.
Her dog, Gizmo, died after taking Trifexis. The once-a-month pill made by Elanco is a combination pill for heartworm, parasites and flea prevention. Elanco is the animal health division of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly.
Gizmo was a healthy 12-year-old mixed-breed. Shortly after taking Trifexis for the first time, she suffered lethargy, vertigo, seizures and a 106-degree temperature.
“We had to let her go. We had to have her put to sleep,” Timms said. “I killed my dog.”
Timms emailed consumer investigator Jim Strickland after finding a Facebook page titled “Trifexis Kills Dogs.”
Owners from all over the country have posted on the page, blaming the drug for their dogs’ deaths.
The Facebook page led Strickland to a home in Sandy Springs, where a dog bowl still sits empty in the corner. The dog who once used it was a puppy named Bishop.
“He died. For no reason, no warning,” said Bishop’s owner Jenny Schmitt.
Bishop was a 16-week-old Vizsla, which is a Hungarian hunting dog. He was one of seven in a litter born in June from an American Kennel Club Grand Champion.
Three of Bishop’s litter mates are thriving in Florida. A fourth is a healthy puppy living Buckhead. None of them has ever had Trifexis.
Bishop and the other two litter mates, named Tucker and Jade, each received their one and only dose of Trifexis in September. Bishop and Jade died within three weeks. Tucker died in six days. Veterinarians ruled they all died of heart inflammation.
“I think Eli Lillly and Elanco need to ask the broader question, ‘Does this drug even need to be on the market?'” Schmitt said.
Elanco is headquartered outside of Indianapolis. Strickland went there to speak with one of Elanco’s top veterinarians. Dr. Stephen Connell insisted Trfiexis is safe. He said he gives it to his own dogs.
Connell said Elanco has dispensed 50 million doses since Trifexis hit the market less than three years ago.
“We don’t like the fact that it has killed any dogs. But with any pharmaceutical product, we understand that the very rare sensitivities, allergic events — those types of things are going to happen,” Connell said.
Elanco’s spokesman later said Connell didn’t mean to say the company doesn’t like that Trifexis killed any dogs, but rather the company doesn’t like hearing reports of any deaths.
Strickland got the numbers on reports about Trifexis made to the Food and Drug Administration. The latest figures are as of April 2013.
Pet owners have filed 2200 reports of the drug causing their dogs to vomit. There are 600 cases of lethargy, and 31 reports of dog deaths. That’s about one per month since the drug hit the market.
The warning on the Trifexis box states mild side effects. Connell admitted to Strickland that the company has gotten reports of dogs suffering seizures, but Elanco has found no link to any dog deaths.
A University of Georgia Veterinary School pathology report on Bishop’s death stated a bacterial infection likely caused the dog’s heart failure. It ruled his symptoms were not typical of drug toxicity.
Trifexis contains two drugs, spinosad and milbemycin.
“The spinosad is from the United States. The milbemycin is sourced from China” said Connell.
He added their Chinese supplier has had multiple inspections and is a non-issue.
He also addressed the deaths of the puppies.
“It is our opinion that there are other factors involved in this case,” Connel said.
Bishop’s owner doesn’t believe that.
“The three puppies that all died within the same week, all had Trifexis, all around the same time,” Schmitt said. “It’s a heck of a coincidence.”
( Ingredient’s From CHINA )
A Tale of Two Dogs
(I invited my clients and friends to share their stories of how they met their pets. Here is one such story).
There once was a dog named Angel. She was a beautiful, head strong, diva, alpha bitch Siberian Husky who had to have everything her way. When my husband and I rescued her, she’d been in 6 homes before her first birthday; obviously the name Angel was some sort of joke. We brought her home, introduced her to our beloved St. Bernard, Cody and they lived peacefully (well as long as Cody did what she wanted it was peaceful) until Cody passed at the age of 13 ½. Angel was lonely. On most days, I took her to work, but on the days she stayed home, she was not a happy girl. My husband and I started a search to find her another dog to boss around. We traveled from shelters to rescue groups all over the county but none of the dogs pleased Angel.
I mentioned to a close friend that we were having no luck finding Angel a new dog to be her playmate and do her bidding and my friend said she knew of a rescue group way out in the back country of San Diego and gave me a number to call. Pam, the owner of Backcountry Rescue, told me she had the perfect dog. A submissive male shepherd mix named Tai who got along with everyone. We agreed to meet at Starbucks the next day and introduce Angel to Tai and hoped it would all work out.
The next morning, Angel and I found Pam who had brought not one dog, but two. Tai the shepherd was there along with a rather large, absolutely crazy, hyperactive lab mix named Dice. I knew right away that the lab mix was nothing but trouble and had no intention of taking him home. Angel, however, had other ideas. She was ok with Tai, but she was in love with Dice. Oh boy I thought, “this is one not so good idea.” As we drank our coffee and talked about the dogs, Angel and Dice played and played while Tai lay quietly by our sides drifting off into sleep as he listened to our conversation.
When it came time to leave, I told Pam I’d take the Shepherd. We agreed that we should take them to our house and see how Angel and Tai got along on her turf. Unfortunately, the crazy lab had to come along. At home, things went well with Tai, but Angel would not stop playing doggie games with Dice. They chased each other, play boxed, and my beautiful girl was never happier. Long story short, we diced to take Tai and Dice and Pam was one happy dog rescuer; and a pretty smart one at that!
The day after they came to live with us, my husband asked me if I liked the name Dice. I admitted I wasn’t crazy about it. He asked if he could rename him and we did. Dice became Quinn in honor of Brady Quinn, the quarterback for Notre Dame, and my hubby’s alma mater. Quinn still has a serious case of the crazy’s and I can’t find his off switch and Tai is still calm, serene and loving.
So that’s the tale of two dogs, well actually three, because without Angel, there’d be no Quinn and Tai. Angel died in 2010 before her 8th birthday. I miss her every day.
Kittens Available for Adoption
I got a phone call from a woman yesterday who asked if I could put the word out about this adorable kittens she has for adoption. In her note she said, “Attached is a photo of them and one of the mom, who was a stray who decided to have them in our garage. We have found a home for her already. The kittens were born August 28; they are litter trained and have been handled by us so are people friendly. They are very fuzzy and will be longhair like the mom. I appreciate anything you can do, as we already have 4 cats and just cannot keep these.”
If you would like to adopt one of these adorable fur babies or know of someone who might, please email me at Hilda@aleashabove.com and I will contact the person who contacted me and provide introductions. Please forward my blog post to try to get the word out.
Happy Birthday My Sweet Baby
Happy 6th Birthday Baby Girl! It was 6 short years ago that we first fell in love with you.
It was nice to have a puppy around again. She was a sponge, learning quickly.
She always approached my son, Patrick, very cautiously (he has severe autism). Patrick is a rock star to her.
She loved our hot tub (don’t worry, it wasn’t really hot–it was the same temperature as the pool):
She loved her time with Santa.
So today I am thanking the universe for bringing her to me. Tonight, the cake is an extra special creation from Barker Street: A cake with yogurt ganache.
Remembering All Our Soldiers
Canine Hip Dysplasia
Twenty-five to thirty percent of all dogs in the United States suffer from canine hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is a genetic progressive disease associated with abnormal hip formation which causes laxity in the muscles, connective tissue and ligaments that support the hip joint and keep it in place.
Symptoms include difficulty getting up from and down into a lying position; reluctance to walk, run, climb and descend stairs, jump or play; frequent sitting during long walks; “bunny hopping” gait in which the legs move more together when running rather than swinging alternately; reluctance to extend rear legs; inability to stretch; shifting weight; vocalization on handling.
Many of the large and giant-breed dogs are susceptible, but also smaller breeds like bulldogs, French bulldogs and Shih Tzus are vulnerable. Obesity is a major risk factor.
Diagnosis is made by your vet based on observations, physical exam and radiology. A new screening method called PennHIP developed by the University of Pennsylvania can determine the potential for hip dysplasia in dogs as young as 16 weeks of age.
Treatment can be as conservative as controlled exercise and conditioning, weight control, heat and nutritional therapies. Surgery is also sometimes indicated which include total hip replacement, femoral head osteotomy and double and triple pelvic osteotomy. Prolotherapy is a noninvasive surgical alternative. This involves injecting dextrose and vitamin B12 in combination with lidocaine or something similar into the tendons and ligaments. The solution stimulates the body’s immune system to rebuild new tendons or ligaments. Prolotherapy has been used in humans for quite some time so it is not a new approach to healing.
Prevention: If your dog shows symptoms later in life, it is too late to prevent joint degeneration. The best approach is early screening of dogs at risk and lifestyle measures.
As with all health issues, discussion with your vet is the key for prevention and treatment. For more information about hip dysplasia, see the ASPCA’s web site: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/dog-care-hip-dysplasia.aspx