Let's get this week's issue of Questions On Dogs and Cats started with a warm welcome to our new readers from the Wellsphere HealthBlogger Network! If you decided to check out our blog and learn a little bit more about dogs and cats while you're here, then Helpful Buckeye hopes you'll enjoy your stay. As a reminder, you can also follow Helpful Buckeye on the pages of Wellsphere HealthBlogger Network by going to their web site at: http://www.wellsphere.com/home.s, click on the word Community, then click on Pet Health, then type in Helpful Buckeye in the space that says "Search site for", then click on "Find." That will take you to an archival listing of all the issues of Questions On Dogs and Cats. Last week's poll produced an interesting tie in the votes. The same number of you thought that ear crops, tail docks, and devocalizations were OK as opposed to those who felt these procedures are inhumane. That surprised Helpful Buckeye. Be sure to vote in this week's poll in the column to the left.
CURRENT NEWS OF INTEREST
1) This past Tuesday, the Humane Society of the United States helped rescue more than 500 dogs from a Kaufman, Texas puppy mill where they were suspected of being mistreated. Read more about this rescue operation from the viewpoint of the Senior Director of Emergency Services of the HSUS: http://www.hsus.org/pets/pets_related_news_and_events/texas_puppy_mil_081109.htm
Also, part of this rescue effort was filmed and you can see some of what goes on during a rescue at: http://hsus.typepad.com/wayne/2009/08/puppy-mill-rescue.html
2)Zoonotic diseases don't always seem to get the publicity they deserve, which is unfortunate...because, if everyone was a little more aware of these diseases, that are communicable between animals and humans, there might be a lower incidence of these infections. Take a minute and listen to this excellent short presentation on zoonotic diseases by Dr. Ron DeHaven, CEO of the American Veterinary Medical Association: http://www.avmatv.org/section.cfm?s=68
3) The HSUS has put together an interesting video of one of their Pit Bull Training Teams in action with a group of inner city dog owners in Chicago: http://video.hsus.org/?fr_story=66f1fefe763c5c9c80f7f86734ab40c03988b57b&rf=bm
4) In a fascinating news story from Florida, we are again reminded of the uncertainties of day to day life in the animal world:
Dog Pack Attacks Gator In Florida
DISEASES, AILMENTS, AND MEDICAL CONDITIONS
This week brings the third, and final, part of Helpful Buckeye's discussion of SPAYING AND NEUTERING. There has been a lot of feedback on the first 2 parts of this series, so join in with us as we finish up this important topic.
Medical Benefits From Spaying Your Dog
There are several significant medical benefits to be gained from spaying your dog:
Common Myths Associated With Spaying
Potential Detriments From Spaying
Although spaying is very beneficial in many ways, there are a few potential effects and results to be aware of:
It’s important to realize that these potential drawbacks of spaying are minimal relative to the benefits. However, you should still discuss both the benefits and detriments with your veterinarian so that you can make the best decision for the health and well-being of your pet.
Are There Risks Associated With The Surgery?
Like any surgical procedure, spaying or neutering is associated with some anesthetic and surgical risk. However, the overall incidence of complications is very low, especially in younger pets. Pets can be spayed or neutered as older adults, but there is a slightly higher risk of post-operative complications, especially in pets that are overweight or those experiencing other health problems. Your veterinarian will advise you on both the benefits and risks of the surgical procedure.
What Are The Alternatives To Spaying And Neutering?
The oldest and in some respects the easiest way to prevent mating is to keep your pet confined during its fertile periods. Once they reach sexual maturity, male pets can mate any time they are not confined. Since pets are capable of mating so easily, confinement is usually not very convenient for the owner. It also does not eliminate such afore-mentioned problems as blood-spotting, urine-spraying, or susceptibility to uterine infections or mammary cancers.
Will Spaying and Neutering Stop the “Pet Population Explosion”?
Spaying and neutering pets should help reduce the problem of surplus cats and dogs, but surgery alone is not enough. Unowned animals are a major part of the problem. In addition to creating a public nuisance and possible health hazard, stray dogs and cats give birth to unwanted litters at an alarming rate.
Many communities have tremendously reduced or nearly eliminated their unwanted animal populations simply by enforcing existing animal control regulations. Others have come to grips with the problem by passing more stringent laws and enforcing them rigidly.
As a concerned citizen, you should do everything you can to see that leash laws and other animal control regulations in your community are up to date and adequately enforced. And, finally, as a responsible pet owner, you should make sure your pet does NOT contribute to the problem.
That does it for the discussion on SPAYING AND NEUTERING. Any of our readers who are in the position of considering one of these procedures for their pet should now have plenty of information upon which to base a well-informed decision. Helpful Buckeye again thanks Martine, from California, for suggesting this topic.
The web site, pawnation.com, periodically has some very informative and instructive videos for pet owners. This week, they have this offering on how to give your dog a pill: http://www.pawnation.com/2009/08/10/how-to-give-your-dog-a-pill/
Many of you may already feel comfortable giving medicine to your dog, but these suggestions should help make it easier for you.
PRODUCTS OF THE WEEK
For those of you who cannot always take your pooch outside when it's times for a potty break, these products might be an improvement on your current system. Check out the web site for more information: http://www.pawnation.com/2009/08/13/which-dog-potty-is-right-for-you/
1) All dog owners feel that their dog is the smartest pooch in the neighborhood, right? Well, now a study has been released that helps determine which dogs are actually smarter. According to this study, "the top five smartest dogs, in order of their scores, were border collies, poodles, German shepherds, golden retrievers and doberman pinschers. The five breeds that aren't the sharpest spikes on the collar? Borzois, chow chows, bulldogs, basenjis and, in dead last, Afghan hounds (ouch!)." How many of you have a dog that "knows" 165 words, signals, and gestures? Read more about the results of this study at: http://www.pawnation.com/2009/08/12/is-your-dog-smarter-than-a-toddler/
2) Nora, the piano-playing cat has captured many hearts since being publicized this past week in the USA Today. Here's Nora playing the piano: http://www.youtube.com/user/burnellyow and here is the article from the USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/life/lifestyle/pets/2009-08-11-nora-piano-cat_N.htm?loc=
3) Who are you calling shorty? Dogs like dachshunds, basset hounds and corgis are famous for their stumpy little legs. Now researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute in Maryland have figured out where the low-slung dogs get their stubby stems from, reports National Geographic News. The researchers discovered that 19 short-legged dog breeds all share a single genetic mutation, which suggests that most short-legged dogs descended from a single stunted ancestor. It's possible that the gene could have arisen as many as 30,000 years ago, long before humans started breeding dogs for physical traits. For the rest of this story, go to: http://www.pawnation.com/2009/08/10/short-legged-dogs-share-an-ancestor/
From The New Yorker:
4) The world's tallest dog died this past week in California. Before reading the story, what breed do you suspect he was? Gibson, a 7-year old harlequin Great Dane, died after a battle with bone cancer. He was 7 feet, 1 inch when standing up on his hind legs. That's a lot of dog! Read about Gibson at: http://news.aol.com/article/worlds-tallest-dog-gibson-dies/616020
5) How many of you would pay over $6000 for a hypoallergenic kitten? Well, a New Jersey man did just that and then was told by the breeding company that they were "short of kittens." Say what? Read the rest of the story at: http://www.pawnation.com/2009/08/14/man-sues-company-over-hypoallergenic-kitten/
6) Several years ago, a dog in Quinlan, Texas became famous due to the nature of his relationship with his owner. Skidboot was so well trained that he seemed like he knew exactly what his owner wanted all the time. He made many appearances on TV and around the country showing off his routines. For those of you who may not have seen Skidboot, enjoy this video that was sent in by Ken, in Flagstaff: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2BfzUIBy9A Pretty impressive how they worked so well together, right? Unfortunately, Skidboot died 2 years ago...the end of a well trained dog.
7) What would you get if you cobbled together people's favorite qualities of their pets into one animal? According to an insurance company in England, it would look like this:
To find out what animal makes up the various parts, go to: http://www.lemondrop.com/2009/08/13/survey-discovers-the-perfect-pet/
The Los Angeles Dodgers had a good visit to San Francisco where they took 2 of 3 from the hated Giants. Then, they came into Phoenix and stumbled against the D'Backs, losing 2 of 3. Our lead over the Giants and the Rockies has been slowly diminishing. We need to get back on a winning streak!
The Steelers took care of the AZ Cardinals...again!
Most of you are familiar with the flying of certain flags to indicate the presence of a hurricane. After yesterday, Helpful Buckeye will be showing the bicycle with the square wheels any time the wind speed in Flagstaff is over 30 MPH. That's what it was yesterday, with gusts up to 45 MPH and Helpful Buckeye felt like the whole 35 miles were ridden on square wheels!
For all those of you who have been regular readers of Questions On Dogs and Cats, this cartoon from The New Yorker is for you: Helpful Buckeye would be remiss to not mention that this weekend is the 40th anniversary of the Woodstock Music & Art Fair in Bethel, New York. As we hit the trail until next week, enjoy Matthews Southern Comfort, with the video of their big hit, Woodstock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyTUF5gP2KE&feature=related
~~The goal of this blog is to provide general information and advice to help you be a better pet owner and to have a more rewarding relationship with your pet. This blog does not intend to replace the professional one-on-one care your pet receives from a practicing veterinarian. When in doubt about your pet's health, always visit a veterinarian.~~