from Helpful Buckeye and the support staff (Desperado) here at Questions On Dogs and Cats!!!
When it comes down to expressing "Thanks" for any goodness we have experienced this year, we all have our personal sentiments. As the writer of Questions On Dogs and Cats, Helpful Buckeye is thankful for all of our readers, old and new, who visit with us each week as we talk about dogs and cats. Your contributions to this blog, by way of e-mails, comments, and answering the weekly poll questions, have added to the diversity of topics for discussion during the year. Thank you!
This is also a great time to express our collective thanks for all of the dogs and cats we have been fortunate enough to have had as parts of our families. The following collection of thoughts about our pets was sent to Helpful Buckeye by Barb R. in Virginia
If I Didn't Have Pets....
A big, hearty "Thank You" to all of our pets, past and present, for making our lives much more enjoyable!
The poll question from last week yielded a lot of responses and none of them were "It's a bad idea." Every response was in the direction of favoring some type of penalty for allowing one's dog to become obese. The general feeling from e-mails was that the owners should be made to suffer from a pet's obesity rather than the pet bearing all the consequences. There will be an update a little later in this issue on the story about the British dog owner who had his dog confiscated for allowing it to become grotesquely obese. Remember to answer this week's poll questions in the column to the left.
CURRENT NEWS OF INTEREST
1) Not only have a few cats been sick with H1N1 (Swine Flu), but now it appears that a cat in Oregon has died from the infection. As reported by the American Veterinary Medical Association, this fatality is awaiting a final confirmation: http://www.avma.org/public_health/influenza/new_virus/default.asp
2) In a related story, the Food & Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission have teamed up to stop an advertised product from being touted as a prevention for H1N1:
A pair of federal agencies teamed up for the first time to demand that a website stop offering fraudulent H1N1 influenza supplements. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a joint letter to the administrator of the website, drweil.com. In the letter, the agencies told the website owners to stop marketing their "Immune Support Formula." The website sells a supplement, astralagus, which it says can prevent the flu.
"Astragalus ... is ... used traditionally to ward off colds and flu, and has demonstrated both antiviral and immune-boosting effects in scientific investigation," the site says. The FDA-FTC letter says that the company's marketing efforts to sell unapproved H1N1 flu-related products is a "potentially significant threat to the public health."
This news was reported on the American Animal Hospital Association web site: http://trends.aahanet.org/eweb/dynamicpage.aspx?site=trends&webcode=newsdetail&articleKey=5c3b0461-5be1-4e0d-b4d1-fd480ab22c08
3) On a more tame note, the American Kennel Club has announced that it will be recognizing 3 new breeds for registration in the AKC by the end of this year: http://www.akc.org/news/index.cfm?article_id=4013
The breeds are not really "new" breeds to most of us, because they have been around for a long time. They are the Bluetick Coonhound, Boykin Spaniel, and Redbone Coonhound, becoming the 162nd, 163rd, and 164th registered breeds of the AKC. The spaniel will join the Sporting Group and the coonhounds will join the Hound Group.
DISEASES, AILMENTS, AND MEDICAL CONDITIONS
False Pregnancy In Dogs
False pregnancy (Pseudocyesis) occurs fairly commonly in dogs and very rarely in cats. At this point, those of you having a spayed female dog or a cat probably are figuring you have no reason to read any further. Not so fast...
False pregnancy is common enough that you will most likely hear it being discussed among your dog-owning friends and, you never know, you just might have a new dog in your future that could experience it. It's all about the learning, remember?
As the female dog is nearing the end of her heat cycle, the hormones progesterone and prolactin arrive at a certain balance as the dog "waits" to see if she is pregnant. Some of these females are more sensitive to the hormonal fluctuations and can start to show some interesting signs. A few weeks after the heat cycle is finished, they can start showing the mothering of their toys or inanimate objects, nesting behavior, milk production, and even show signs of going into labor...all without actually being pregnant! The dog's body is only responding to what her hormone levels are telling her. In most cases, if the symptoms are mild and not too bothersome for the dog or the owner, the condition will resolve itself in 1-3 weeks as the hormones reach their normal levels. No treatment is necessary for these cases. Even if you're feeling sorry for your dog, you for sure don't want to massage any of the swollen mammary tissue or that will just encourage further milk production. If the situation goes beyond 3 weeks or the dog is really uncomfortable, your veterinarian has a few pharmaceuticals that can help ease the signs.
In case there is any doubt that the dog has actually been bred and might be truly pregnant, that possibility can be ruled in or out by a careful history, abdominal palpation, ultrasound, and abdominal X-rays.
Unfortunately, a certain percentage of female dogs will show the signs of false pregnancy after each heat cycle. Spaying the dog while she is showing these signs is not the answer since that wouldn't change the hormonal balance right away. The surgery should be done as soon as the signs are completely gone and before the next heat cycle shows up.
In last week's issue of Questions On Dogs and Cats, Helpful Buckeye gave you a list of Thanksgiving Safety Tips from the ASPCA. With Thanksgiving approaching the American Kennel Club® is also offering safety tips for pet owners to make their Thanksgiving gatherings and holiday parties fido-friendly. Among them:
PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
Helpful Buckeye will opt to stay with the bicycle, thank you!
The Pittsburgh Steelers limped into Kansas City after their miserable effort last week and laid another egg! Yep, they gave another game away in the last few minutes. The playoff lights are looking dimmer and dimmer....
The Ohio State Buckeyes beat Michigan yesterday for the 6th year in a row, to finish the regular season at 10-2. By winning the Big 10 title, the Buckeyes will be going to the Rose Bowl on New Years' Day. Our opponent has yet to be determined. By any normal standards, this was a pretty good year for the Buckeyes...however, when thinking of the national championship, it doesn't measure up.
Helpful Buckeye will leave you with 3 quotes this week, all of them made by that famous quipster, "Anonymous"
"If your dog is fat, you aren't getting enough exercise."