http://www.petmd.com/news/rss en Dogs on Deployment: Helping Military Members Keep Their Pets http://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/dogs-deployment-helping-military-members-keep-their-pets-35628  
The Johnsons researched boarding facilities and considered hiring a professional dog sitter, but both options proved impractical and expensive. Just when they thought they had exhausted all options, Shawn’s mother connected them with her cousin, a dog-lover who lived only about an hour away from Alisa’s training school. The family member stepped up and agreed to watch JD.
 
Although the Johnsons lucked out with the ideal solution, they realized other military families were likely dealing with similar predicaments. That's when the couple came up with the idea to start an organization that would connect military members with volunteers willing to board their pets while they are deployed or have other service commitments.
 
“We knew we had to do something,” Alisa recalls. “It was crystal clear that a program designed to help foster military members' pets was something that could be not only successful, but highly needed.”
 
The Johnsons saw junior military members struggle every day with various life challenges, Alisa says. “Pet ownership had to be one of the challenges as well, and we sought to provide assistance.”
 
While driving across the country to Virginia, the Johnsons crafted a mission statement for their grassroots effort and agreed to name it Dogs on Deployment. What started out as a simple HTML website grew into a thriving national nonprofit organization.
 
“It took years to build it to what it is today,” Alisa says. “Hours and hours of dedicated volunteer service to fundraise, to program our network, to recruit volunteers—all needed in order to provide the support services we offer.”
 
Since its inception, Dogs on Deployment has contributed more than $200,000 to military families in need, put more than 72 percent of all its spending into its programs, has placed over 900 animals in foster care, spread its message and service to all 50 states, and impacted the lives of more than 269,000 Americans.
 
The Johnsons initially built the network specifically to help junior, single military members with pets, but they have since extended their services to veterans and wounded warriors. Now in its sixth year, Dogs on Deployment is known in the nonprofit community as one of the fastest growing, and well-respected organizations assisting active duty and veteran military members.
 
“I believe in our mission wholeheartedly, so I knew we'd be successful in achieving our mission,” Alisa says. “What I didn't know was how successful we'd become, how well-known we'd become, and how impactful our mission is across so many facets in the community—both civilian and military.” 
 
Dogs on Deployment has significantly minimized the number of animals who are surrendered to local shelters and gives service members peace of mind while they are fulfilling their commitments. Service members can visit the site, create an account, and provide basic details about their need for boarding. Once their military status is verified, they can search for a boarder who will best fit their pet’s needs.
 
Dogs on Deployment does not act as a middleman or assign pets to boarders. The goal of the organization is simply to provide a forum where boarders and pet owners can come together. It is then up to users to exchange information, go through the interview process, and ultimately schedule a meet-and-greet to determine whether it’s a good match. It is also up to them how to handle the financial aspects of the pet’s day-to-day care. 
 
Caring for a military member’s pet is a rewarding experience but also a big responsibility. Volunteer Lara Smith decided to become a boarder shortly after her dog’s death. She wasn’t ready to get a new pet, but she missed having a canine companion around, so she decided to pursue Dogs on Deployment. Supporting the military is important to her and her husband, who is an Army veteran. “Our soldiers have to deal with so much, and we thought it must be hard to also have to worry about who will take care of their animals while they are gone,” Smith says. “Unfortunately, sometimes their pets have to be given up or put down. This broke our hearts, and we thought that this would be just a small way to help and thank our soldiers.”
 
The Smiths took care of a dog named Puddles from Philadelphia, whose family had been relocated to South Korea. Dogs on Deployment provides a sample contract for pet owners and boarders that establishes pet care expectations, reimbursement, emergency planning, and more. “We used the contracts as a guide and worked out what worked best for us,” Smith says. “We were so very glad to be a small part of Dogs on Deployment.”
 
In addition to matching military pet owners with boarders, Dogs on Deployment “promotes responsible, lifelong pet ownership in the military community by advocating for military pet owner rights on military installations, providing educational resources for military members about responsible pet ownership, granting financial assistance to military members for help with their pet's care during emergencies and promoting healthy pet lifestyles, including spay/neuter, insurance options and vaccinations,” according to press materials.
 
The organization has also been instrumental in helping to obtain therapy canines for returning service members and veterans who are struggling with PTSD and transitioning to civilian life.
 
The Johnsons continue to serve in the armed forces today. Their dog JD, who is now 9 years old, has been through three deployments and five military moves, Alisa says. The Johnsons also have a rescue dog named Jersey, two rescue cats, Tegan and Kami, and two parrots, Kiki and Zozo. In October 2016, they had their first daughter. Looking back, Alisa beams with pride about everything Dogs on Deployment has achieved since 2011.
 
“Receiving an update from a military member who has used our services is one of the best ways to start the day,” she says. “I am utterly dedicated and passionate about the longevity of Dogs on Deployment. I have a vested interest in seeing every service member who needs help receive help. I do it because I, like many of our supporters, love my pets and support our troops.”
 
Read success stories from Dogs on Deployment here.
 
Photo: Courtesy of Dogs on Deployment 
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http://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/dogs-deployment-helping-military-members-keep-their-pets-35628#comments Care & Safety dog Wed, 22 Mar 2017 20:16:48 +0000 35628 at http://www.petmd.com
Abandoned Senior Cat With Severe Matting Has Incredible Transformation http://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/abandoned-senior-cat-severe-matting-has-incredible-transformation-35627  
When the 24-pound Buttercup was brought to the Nevada SPCA No-Kill Sanctuary, he was covered in matted fur. In fact, according to the organization's Facebook page, he "was suffering from some of the most severe matting on a feline that we have seen in years."
 
Matting occurs when there's no grooming for the pet, whether it's the owner not taking care of the animal, or the animal not being able to take care of itself. 
 
Here's how Buttercup looked before his transformation: 
 

 
Severe matting, like the kind Buttercup experienced, can often be painful for the animal and can even cause joint discomfort and skin issues. As Dr. Stephanie Liff, medical director of Pure Paws Vet Care in Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York, explained to petMD, extreme matting can "constrict a limb, and you can even have damage such as deep wounds, swelling of the feet, or bed sore-like injuries." 
 
For senior cats in particular, grooming can be difficult. It is not that an older cat doesn’t want to groom himself much, but doing so may be physically difficult to do, explained Dr. Laurie Millward, assistant professor-clinical at The Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. "They lose ability to self-groom usually because of arthritis,” Millward said. “It hurts, and their mobility is decreased." 
 
Shelter staff gave Buttercup a long-overdue and direly necessary shave to get rid of the excess fur. "Under all of this, his skin was in poor, flaky condition," they wrote. "With premium food and special skin oils, Buttercup's skin is improving significantly every day." 
 
Buttercup, who is currently up for adoption and in need of a loving, caring home, is described as a docile gentleman who "loves being held in gentle arms or cuddling up in cozy cat beds. He is great with other sweet cats." 
 
(Additional reporting by Cheryl Lock and Kellie B. Gormly) 
 
Images via Nevada SPCA 
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Just What Exactly Is That Giant Chicken That Has the Internet Clucking? http://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/just-what-exactly-giant-chicken-has-internet-clucking-35616  
On March 19, a video of said chicken was tweeted out with the caption, "Am I the only person wondering why this chicken is so damn big?" As it turned out, that answer was no, as the clip went viral and warranted tens of thousands of retweets. 
 
Whether you were dumbfounded by the chicken's size (or, okay, even a little bit scared), you can stop wondering. In response to the Internet frenzy, The Livestock Conservancy posted on Facebook to confirm that, not only was the chicken quite real, it's actually an American breed known as the Brahma. 
 
According to the Livestock Conservancy's website, the controversial (yes, controversial) Brahma chicken, often referred to as the "King of All Poultry," is appreciated for its "great size, strength, and vigor."
 
In addition to being very large (they average about 12 pounds, but can get up to a staggering 18), they are known to be "extremely hardy chickens. They are also good egg-layers for their size."
 
Ruffled feathers, no more: the Internet finally knows all about the Brahma. 
 
Image via YouTube 
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http://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/just-what-exactly-giant-chicken-has-internet-clucking-35616#comments bird Lifestyle & Entertainment Tue, 21 Mar 2017 15:53:26 +0000 35616 at http://www.petmd.com
EuroCan Manufacturing Voluntarily Recalls One Lot of Pig Ears http://www.petmd.com/news/alerts-recalls/eurocan-manufacturing-voluntarily-recalls-one-lot-pig-ears-35615  
The recall affects the following brands of pig ears:
 
Product Name: Barnsdale Farms, HoundsTooth, and Mac's Choice Pig Ears
Size: 6-pack, 12-pack, and 25-pack bags
Lot Number: 84
 
According to an FDA release about the recall, salmonella can affect animals that eat the recalled products and also poses a risk to humans who handle contaminated pet products. Symptoms of salmonella in humans include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and fever. Pets with salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever, and abdominal pain.
 
Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their health care provider. If your pet display these symptoms after consuming the recalled product, contact your veterinarian.
 
The pig ears were distributed throughout the United States and Canada. No illnesses of any kind have been reported to date.
 
EuroCan Manufacturing has suspended distribution of the product while the FDA and the company continue their investigation to determine the source of the problem.
 
Consumers who have purchased any of the above-described pig ears should return the product to their place of purchase for a refund. For any questions, consumers may contact the company at 888-290-7606 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.
 
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http://www.petmd.com/news/alerts-recalls/eurocan-manufacturing-voluntarily-recalls-one-lot-pig-ears-35615#comments Alerts & Recalls dog Tue, 21 Mar 2017 14:45:41 +0000 35615 at http://www.petmd.com
Blue Buffalo Recalls One Lot of Wet Food for Adult Dogs http://www.petmd.com/news/alerts-recalls/blue-buffalo-recalls-one-lot-wet-food-adult-dogs-35611  
The recall is limited to the following product:
 
Product Name: BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain RecipeTM Red Meat Dinner Wet Food for Adult Dogs 12.5 oz. can
UPC Code: 840243101153
Best By Date: June 7, 2019
 
Consumers can find the best-by date on the bottom of the can.
 
According to a press release on the Blue Buffalo website, “Dogs ingesting high levels of beef thyroid hormones may exhibit symptoms such as increased thirst and urination, weight loss, increased heart rate, and restlessness. These symptoms may resolve when the use of the impacted food is discontinued. However, with prolonged consumption these symptoms may increase in severity and may include vomiting, diarrhea, and rapid or difficulty breathing. Should these symptoms occur, contact your veterinarian immediately.”
 
Although Blue Buffalo has not received any reports of dogs exhibiting these symptoms from consuming this product, the FDA advised Blue Buffalo of a single consumer who reported symptoms in one dog, who has now fully recovered, the press release stated.
 
If your pet has consumed this product and has exhibited any of these symptoms, please discontinue feeding and contact your veterinarian.
 
Affected products were distributed nationally through pet specialty and online retailers. Consumers who have purchased the recalled product should dispose of it or return it to their place of purchase for a full refund.
 
For any questions, customers may contact Blue Buffalo at 866-201-9072 from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or by email at CustomerCare@bluebuffalo.com for more information.
 
No other Blue Buffalo products are impacted by this issue.
 
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Behind the Scenes: What Your Pet's Overnight Vet Visit Is Like http://www.petmd.com/news/view/behind-scenes-what-your-pets-overnight-vet-visit-35610  
Preparing for Your Pet's Procedure
 
Upon arriving to the hospital, you will check your pet in, whether it be for surgery, boarding, or testing. The check-in procedure will include a set of questions for you to answer. This is your time to inform the veterinary team of any special needs and concerns. Be sure to be clear about any special feeding instructions or medications that your pet is on. 
 
Take this time to ask any questions you may have about your pet's procedure. A veterinary nurse will be happy to explain any details to you or offer any assistance. You can even ask to speak to a doctor if you have questions about a surgery or medical test. You can also ask to see where your pet will be housed overnight, where she will be walked, and what she will be fed. This is a scary situation for both you and your pet, and the more comfortable you both are, the easier it is on the veterinary staff. We are trained to accommodate you and educate you, so ask away.
 
If your pet is being admitted for surgery, she should be fasted beforehand. If she is staying for boarding or observation, and can be offered food, be sure to bring some of her own food from home. This will make it easier on the staff, so that there is no mistake in feeding, and it will be easier on your pet's belly. (Sudden food changes can cause an upset stomach.)
 
While we're on the subject of bringing things from home, feel free to bring your pet's favorite toy, blanket, and even bed. Keep in mind, you may get it back soiled, though.  Sometimes, when pets are in the hospital overnight, they don't always act as well behaved or potty trained as at home. They may get their belongings a little dirty. Many times, this means that their baggage will end up in the hospital laundry, and then all bets are off. You know those laundry fairies that like single socks at your house? Well, in the veterinary hospital, they love pet's personal blankets and toys. Hopefully, this doesn't happen, but it's always a possibility. 
 
A Safe, Comfortable Place for Your Pets
 
Now that you have checked your pet in, she will be admitted into the hospital ward. She will be situated in her own, individual crate. She will be provided with food and water, if her procedure allows for it. She will be given blankets, towels, and toys to keep her comfy and occupied. She will be prepped for any testing or procedure accordingly. You may be asked to drop her off a few hours before her procedure if certain pre-operative testing needs to be done, or an IV catheter needs to be placed and fluids given beforehand. 
 
Depending on the type of facility, your pet may or may not have 24-hour supervision. If you veterinary clinic is open 24 hours, that means that doctors and nurses will be available around the clock. Every hour, patients are checked on. Depending on their medical status, vital signs will be taken, they will be monitored, medications will be administered, and treatments performed. 
 
Many hospitals are not open 24 hours, so no human is in the facility from closing time until the staff returns in the morning. Every pet is walked, cleaned, and fed before the staff leaves the hospital for the night, and secured in the crates and tucked in. Most times, they are used to sleeping overnight, so once the lights go off, they settle right in. 
 
Sometimes 24-hour care facilities may actually be less restful, since the staff is always in and out of the wards, doing rounds and checking on patients, much like in a human hospital. But you may feel better knowing that someone is in the building to monitor your pet, and choose a 24-hour care hospital. 
 
If your regular veterinary hospital is not 24 hours, you can see if it offers an overnight nurse for hire. Many times, a client can hire a veterinary technician to stay at the hospital overnight for an additional fee. This is common in critical care patients, or post-operatively, so that medications can be administered throughout the night.
 
If there is an option for overnight care, rest assured that your pet will get the best care possible. She will be walked, fed, medicated, and snuggled. She will be constantly cleaned up after, monitored, and played with. When the veterinary team is at work, the patients become their own personal pets. We miss our fur babies when we are hard at work, so we treat yours as if they were our own. A doctor is on call as long as there is staff in the hospital, so you can rest easy that the best medical care will be given. And although it won't be as restful as their own bed at home, a veterinary hospital is a safe, comfortable place for your pets to be overnight.
 
Natasha Feduik is a licensed veterinary technician with Garden City Park Animal Hospital in New York, where she has been practicing for 10 years. Natasha received her degree in veterinary technology from Purdue University. Natasha has two dogs, a cat, and three birds at home and is passionate about helping people take the best possible care of their animal companions.
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Kitten Found Paralyzed in Storm Drain Now Up and Walking http://www.petmd.com/news/health-science/kitten-was-found-paralyzed-storm-drain-now-and-walking-35609  
The kitten was brought to the Humane Rescue Alliance in Washington, D.C., with injuries that were left untreated for several days, according to the organization's blog. "X-rays confirmed she had a fracture of her L3 vertebra and shifting of her spinal column," the post stated. Because of her paralysis, Talley had no control of her bladder, either.
 
The staff at the Humane Alliance quickly got to work on helping Talleyrand begin her recovery by treating her with acupuncture. "Talley started to respond after her first acupuncture treatment," Pam Townsend of the Humane Rescue Alliance told petMD. "She went from zero feeling in her hindlegs to regaining feeling in her toes/hindfeet. She has continued to improve since then." 
 
Talley's acupuncture treatment (which has also included electroacupuncture) is why she is up and walking today. Well, that and "physical therapy, TLC, and her stubborn, persistent nature," Townsend noted. 
 
She is currently up for adoption to a loving forever family who is willing to take care of her and her unique set of circumstances. "Talley continues to recover each day and each week," Townsend said.
 
The organization recommends that Talley be an indoor cat only. "Talley should avoid stairs and be prevented from climbing and jumping down from even minimal heights (as best as possible) to prevent her from exacerbating her spinal cord injury and causing her physical setbacks and even renewed paralysis," Townsend added. She also should not be placed in a household with dogs, children, or combative cats, as she has a more difficult time running or defending herself. 
 
"Talley should continue to be able to walk," Townsend said. "She may have setbacks through life, which will require possible pain meds, some physical therapy exercises, and continued, lifelong acupuncture treatments."
 
You can watch some of Talley's incredible recovery here. 
 
Image via Humane Rescue Alliance 
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http://www.petmd.com/news/health-science/kitten-was-found-paralyzed-storm-drain-now-and-walking-35609#comments cat Health & Science kitten Mon, 20 Mar 2017 14:18:45 +0000 35609 at http://www.petmd.com
WellPet Voluntarily Recalls Beef Topper Canned Dog Food http://www.petmd.com/news/alerts-recalls/wellpet-voluntarily-recalls-beef-topper-canned-dog-food-35608  
The product affected by the recall is as follows:
Product Name: Wellness 95% Beef Topper for Dogs
Size: 13.2 oz. cans
Best By Dates: February 2, 2019; August 29, 2019; and August 30, 2019
Item Number: 89400
 
According to an email from the company, elevated levels of naturally occurring thyroid hormone may affect a dog’s metabolism and can be associated with increased thirst, increased urinary output, restless behavior, and weight loss.
 
Consumers can find the best-by date on the bottom of the can.
 
WellPet’s consumer affairs team has received no reports of any health problems as a result of feeding this recipe, the company stated.
 
Consumers who have the above recipe with these best-by dates may call the company at 877-227-9587 (between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday) with any questions.
 
No other Wellness products are affected by this recall.
 
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New York City Shelter Dog Survives Snow Storm After Getting Lost http://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/new-york-city-shelter-dog-survives-snow-storm-after-getting-lost-35607  
On March 14, New York City (along with much of the northeast) got blasted with Winter Storm Stella, leaving the area with about 7 inches of snow and ice. Strong winds, sleet, and freezing rain created harsh conditions for everyone, including the city's animals.
 
That's why when Pandy, a mixed breed 5-year-old dog residing at Manhattan's Animal Haven Shelter, accidentally slipped away from her volunteer handler, the staff of the facility and animal lovers all over the city were on high alert to find her. 
 
The shelter immediately put out a call for help on social media, including a Facebook message that read, "Please HELP our Pandy! She was being walked today by one of our incredible volunteers in the winter storm and got away from him. We are heartbroken and have been searching all over the city in the bitter cold and snow." 
 
A scared and lost dog out on the streets of New York City can be a dangerous scenario any time of year (the heavy traffic in the city could lead to a terrible accident). But when cold weather is factored in, the situation is even more dire. Dogs who are exposed to frigid temperatures for an extended period of time can experience hypothermia, which can be fatal. 
 
But Pandy is a survivor, in every sense of the word. (According to the New York Post, Pandy had already been through her fair share of trauma, having been rescued from the Thailand meat trade.)
 
Nearly four hours after she slipped away, Pandy was right back at Animal Haven. Port Authority police had discovered and rescued her at the entrance of the Lincoln Tunnel. (For reference, that means Pandy ran the length of downtown Manhattan, all the way to Midtown.) 
 
Animal Haven's Executive Director Tiffany Lacey told petMD that she and the staff had been searching for Pandy for hours, despite the "needle-in-the-haystack feeling" in the midst of the storm. "We were all prepared to stay the entire night," she said. "No one was going to go home without finding Pandy." Thankfully, that was not the case. When the police took Pandy to a local ASPCA, they used microchip tracking to trace her back to Animal Haven. 
 
Despite suffering from bloody paw pads from running out in the ice, "she's doing great," Lacey assured. Pandy, now something of a celebrity, has been getting as much rest as possible since her escape. 
 
The amazing news of Pandy's rescue has also helped speed up her adoption process. A shy and reserved dog, Pandy wasn't getting any requests before her story made headlines. But now, as Lacey told us, she has had more than 40 requests and should get matched with a new forever home soon. 
 
Lacey said that every aspect of the story, from Pandy being lost and found in dangerous conditions to her adoption interest, "is nothing short of a miracle."
 
Image via Animal Haven 
 
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http://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/new-york-city-shelter-dog-survives-snow-storm-after-getting-lost-35607#comments Care & Safety dog Thu, 16 Mar 2017 15:59:59 +0000 35607 at http://www.petmd.com
In the Trenches: True Tales from an Emergency Room Vet http://www.petmd.com/news/view/trenches-true-tales-er-vet-35606  
“Dr. Blom! Dr. Blom! We have a STAT triage!” I blink my eyes and abruptly stop thinking about that rabbit. Time to switch gears. In rushes my team of technicians, dressed in grey, pushing a clacking gurney that holds a very large Mastiff who is on his side, tongue out and covered in dirt. He’s non-responsive, his eyes are beet red and his tongue has an unhealthy, purplish hue. Even though he’s wet, he’s as hot as an oven.
 
At once, like a well-trained brigade, my team surrounds him. They apply an oxygen mask, work on an IV catheter and take his temperature: it’s 107.5 degrees Fahrenheit (a dog’s average temperature is around 101 degrees). I stand at the head of the ship and list my demands. “Jackie, get a blood glucose and lactate. Karen, start a liter LRS bolus at 999; better yet, grab a pressure bag. Annie, get some wet towels!”
 
There are items flying, used IV catheters, caps and syringe cases, along with the pungent smell of isopropyl alcohol splashing on his footpads. In the chaos, I focus on his overall condition; my mind is spinning: What’s his temp? What’s his blood glucose? Oh, it’s only 53. That’s his blood sugar and it’s 37 points too low (an average dog’s is between 90 and 120).
 
“Carrie, (let me think, he’s about 100lbs, that’s 3mL per 10lbs); give him 30mL 25 percent dextrose and spike his next bag with 2.5 percent.”  What’s his ECG looking like? His heart is beating abnormally and way too fast. What is his coagulation status (ability to clot blood) and his renal function?
 
“Annie, grab coags and a CHEM 17 profile. Pete, grab me an ophthalmoscope.” The dog’s pupils are pinpoint; not good I think to myself, as this indicates brain swelling. Is that bruising on his abdomen? This hints at a problem with him being able to clot his blood. “Okay guys, keep cooling him slowly to 103.5 degrees Fahrenheit with wet towels, and then stop cooling efforts.” Where are his owners?
 
I leave the battlefield to speak with his equally red–eyed owner; she’s hysterical with guilt. She left him tied to a tree in the backyard after a bath and ran to the store. It was only 30 minutes … Well, five-year-old Duke was not clued into the plan; he proceeded to try and paw his way to China to get back inside for each of the 30 harrowing minutes, until he collapsed.
 
It’s Arizona. It’s July. It’s 6:05pm.
 
“I think he had a seizure on the way here.”  Definitely not good.
 
I start to explain to the poor lady heat stroke, cerebral edema, DIC and multi-organ failure and all of the bad things that could happen to Duke in the next two to three days if he makes it until morning. Or even the next few hours for that matter. I’m an optimist at heart but I have to be a realist with this owner; even tipping the scales to pessimism. “He’s up against a lot,” I say.  She replies, “He’s like my child, please save him.”
 
Then, I have to bring up the 500-pound gorilla in the room, the cost of treatment. “I will do everything I can. I need you to know that with the two-to-three day estimate to start, possible plasma transfusions, multiple blood panels, a urinary catheter and intensive care; it’s going to be around $4,000 to 5,000.” I hold my breath; I want her to say “yes” with every fragment of my being. She says, “Just do it.”
 
That’s all I needed to proceed. I jog back to the ICU. Duke’s temperature is 101.7 degrees Fahrenheit; his first liter of intravenous fluids is complete and his blood glucose is 78. I shout a few more orders, not realizing that I’m being a little pushy, but it’s no-holds-barred in the animal ER tonight. His blood pressure is a glorious 95 millimeters of mercury and his heart steadily thumps at 110 beats per minute. Whew. Take a swig of luke-warm coffee. It’s 7:40pm; it’s going to be a long night. We’ll check on Duke later.
 
As I glance at the triage board, the list is growing:  
 

Ginger, 3yo female spayed Havanese: vomiting
Rocky, 11yo male castrated Shih Tzu: cough, congestive heart failure
Lily, 16yo female spayed Domestic Shorthair: hematuria

 
Next up, triage for a canine as John radios, “I’m on my way.” Here comes John with a Goldendoodle in tow on a slip leash. “This is Pearl. She just ate a bag of dark chocolate Hershey’s Kisses. I got permission to induce vomiting.” I do a physical exam on the curly coated pup; boy, those dogs are cute, I think to myself. “Let’s give her 1.4mg Apo IV. Be sure to feed her a small can of dog food first, as this will help make her vomit more productively. In addition, please do not hover, as she will vomit more when she is not so nervous. Watch her from a distance.”
 
These pearls of wisdom are learned from years in the field, in the trenches. Twenty seconds later, out it comes, three large piles of chocolate dog food. The smell is not so sweet. Her treatment is not complete. If she ingested as much as the owner thinks, her night in the ER is only getting started.
 
I take a 20-second break to swig another sip of less-than-luke-warm coffee. I think back to the fluffy-tailed rabbit—maybe I’ll splint his bum leg so he can hop along much more efficiently, then I’ll dutifully follow him down the rabbit hole to our next adventure in Animal ER Wonderland …        
 
Dr. Carly Blom is an emergency veterinarian in Phoenix, AZ. She has exclusively practiced small animal emergency medicine for 15 years. She currently practices at VETMED in Phoenix. 
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Nervous Dog? Your Behavior Might Be the Cause http://www.petmd.com/news/view/nervous-dog-your-behavior-might-be-cause-35604  
Dogs don’t understand why their owners are stressed, sad, or angry, but they will react in many different ways. Some will bark, some will try to hide, while others may whine or even become aggressive out of fear. Let’s take a look at how to better handle these situations when they come up in your home:
 
How to Properly Handle Nervous Energy
 
I come across nervous dogs on a daily basis, and most of the time it is the owner who needs to be calmed down, not the dog! The way pet parents handle themselves can have a direct impact on how their dogs react to their surroundings. For example, when an owner drops off her animal for a procedure (such as a dental cleaning) and she is nervous—talking fast and generally acting anxiously—this nervous energy is definitely coming along with the pet.
 
What we must realize is that dogs are very intuitive, and our body language alone can show stress without us even saying a word. They notice when our body tenses up, and rapid movements (like moving your hands quickly, shaking your leg, or being unable to stand still because you're nervous) will catch their eye and let them know that something is wrong. Dogs can also sense stress or fear by using their keen sense of smell (they can detect when a person is sweating due to being anxious or afraid).
 
The best way to handle this situation is to try to calm yourself down and relax a little bit—sometimes easier said that done. In a veterinary office, your technician will likely try to help you do this by reassuring you that everything will be okay (listen to them!). Then, the technician will let your dog calm down, either by placing him or her in a cage or putting him or her in one of the exam rooms. This gives them time to relax and to realize that they are not going to be harmed. Dogs that feed off of their owners’ nervous energy can be dangerous, because once left alone with a technician or veterinarian (or groomer, dog-walker, etc.), they may become aggressive out of fear.
 
The simplest procedures, such as nail trims, can turn ugly fast if not approached properly. Some dogs are really good for their nail trims, while others have to be fed an entire bag of treats to get even one paw done. If the owners are present and they are stressed about their dog getting a nail trim, the dog will feel their nervous energy. It may work best for owners to step out of the exam room or have their dog taken to the treatment room to have his or her nails done. Most of the time, this will work and the dog will cooperate.
 
 
Creating the Right Environment
 
A veterinary hospital is already a frightening place to most dogs, so creating a relaxed environment with calm voices and quiet places for them to rest when they are hospitalized will help them properly handle their stress.
 
Owners can also work to create a calming environment at home, which will help keep their dog calm when going to the vet or another high-stress environment. Most stress for owners comes from the fact that their dog doesn't listen and can quickly spiral out of their control. They don’t know how to approach the situation, so they have anxiety that they pass on to their dog.
 
If your dog has a hard time with commands, you need to change your training approach. Recognize the tone of voice that you use when training your dog and gauge their reaction to it. If you’re unable to adjust your training relationship with your dog on your own, bringing a trainer into the situation can do wonders. The trainer will show you how to properly train your dog. Training is important, as it lets our pets know that we are in control and that they are safe (and, therefore, have nothing to be nervous about). But you have to approach it in a way that will make your pet feel comfortable and safe.
 
When we have control of our own emotions, our pets will have better control as well. This is a behavior that needs to be learned through repetition. It takes patience as an owner to talk and act calmly around our animals, regardless of how frustrated we may become. The keys to dealing with a nervous dog are slow movements and talking to them to let them know you are on their side. In the end, if we learn to control our own stress and anxiety, our pets will be healthier and happier as a result.
 
Angela Tupper graduated from St. Petersburg College in 2012 and is currently working at a Small Animal Hospital in New York as a Licensed Veterinary Technician. Angela has a Saint Bernard, two cats and a Crested gecko at home. She loves educating clients and helping their pets live a long, happy and healthy life.  
 
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Blind Dog Missing for a Week in the Woods Is Saved by Firefighter http://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/blind-dog-missing-7-days-mountains-saved-hiker-35586  
On March 7, San Francisco affiliate ABC7 reported that a family was separated from their 12-year-old yellow lab named Sage for over seven days. The dog, who lost her vision due to health problems, accidentally wandered away from her Boulder Creek, California home, and was soon lost in the cold, wet terrain of the nearby woods.
 
"It was horrible. We were so heartbroken and just feeling so bad that she was out there," Sage's owner Beth Cole told the news outlet. Despite the family's attempts to find the dog, as well as help from the community, it seemed hope was all but lost when the senior canine could not be found. 
 
Then, as fate would have it, local firefighter Dan Estrada, who had been helping search for Sage throughout the week, spotted her while hiking through the woods with a friend. Eight days after Sage disappeared from home, Estrada found her lying near a stream, alive and well. 
 
Estrada told the news station, "I jumped in the stream, I was super happy. I put my arms around her and hugged her and threw her over my shoulders and carried her up the mountain." He continued, "It's been harsh conditions and that dog had such a strong will to live. And I think everybody has a lesson to be learned from that: Don't give up." 
 
Sage and her family were reunited soon after Estrada's amazing discovery and rescue. The Coles reportedly tried to give Estrada the $1,000 reward they were offering, but he refused. The joyous clan will give the money to charity. 
 
For pet parents, the story serves as a reminder to keep their animals on close watch during the winter months. But, truly, Sage's tale of hope and survival, which reached far beyond the San Francisco area—making headlines across the country, and even around the world—proves that there are still good news stories, good people, and, of course, good dogs out there. 
 
Image via ABC7 San Francisco 
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The Science Behind Your Cat's Scratchy Tongue http://www.petmd.com/news/health-science/science-behind-your-cats-scratchy-tongue-35572  
Researchers took a deeper look at the cat tongue, which is covered in tiny spines called papillae. "They’re made of keratin, just like human fingernails...The individual spines are even shaped like miniature cat claws with a very sharp end," explained Georgia Tech researcher Alexis Noel. "They’re able to penetrate any sort of tangle or knot, and tease it apart."
 
Noel took an interest in learning more about cat tongues when, as she told PBS, her family's cat got his own tongue stuck on a blanket while he was grooming himself.
 
After that incident, she conducted her research by creating a 3D-printed cat tongue model. In her experiments, she dragged the tongue across a patch of fake fur, and discovered that a tongue was easier to clean when it went in the same direction as the papillae. The hairs would come off easily, as opposed to, say, a brush, which requires you to pull hairs out. 
 
The most surprising thing the researchers found in their studies was "how flexible the cat tongue spines are when grooming," Noel told petMD. "When the spine encounters a snag, the spine rotates and teases that tangle apart. We are also surprised to discover the unique shape of the cat tongue spines and their similarity to claws. Our 3D-printed cat tongue mimic helps us visualize the detangling mechanics between spine and fur at a much larger scale." 
 
The research also allowed Noel to figure out exactly why her family's cat got stuck in the blanket. "Cats are used to grooming their own fur, which is secured at the hair root to their skin and free at the other end," she described. "The microfiber blanket which Murphy licked was composed of small loops, where each thread was secured at both ends. When cats encounter a tangle in their own fur, their saliva and the spine flexibility helps to loosen and break any snag. I think Murphy was expecting that he could 'groom' the loops but couldn't."
 
Noel—who, along with fellow researchers, is currently studying bobcat and tiger tongues—noted that a cat's tongue is a "multipurpose tool" that is used not only for grooming purposes but also eating. (She added that, like fingernails, the tips of the spines are slightly curved, and the keratin in them helps strengthen them for various uses.) 
 
"The micro-spines on the tongue allow cats to clean their fur of unwanted scents (such as blood), redistribute protective oils, and remove any matting," Noel said. "We hypothesize that the spines are uniquely shaped to penetrate muscle and tear chunks of meat, much like a cheese grater." 
 
So, the next time you see your cat grooming himself, other cats, or even you, remember that there's not only a trust there, but also a downright amazing function. 
 
Learn more about cat grooming here. 
 
Image via Shutterstock 
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Cat With Malformed Legs Finally Gets the Loving Home He Deserves http://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/cat-malformed-legs-finally-gets-loving-home-he-deserves-35571  
In a press release sent out in early March, the MSPCA-Angell explained that this "super social" feline was surrendered because of his walking impairment, which is due to his malformed legs. 
 
"Born without radial bones in his front legs, which are also missing two toes on each paw, and a deformed left hind leg, Ivan 'army crawls' his way around as walking is impossible," the organization described. "Moreover, he is unable to use his litter box each and every time, making it all the more difficult to identify an adopter willing to take him in." 
 
“What Ivan lacks in mobility he more than makes up for in personality," stated MSPCA-Angell adoption center manager Alyssa Krieger. "His physical limitations will always be there—so we’re looking for the adopter who can see through that and give him the second chance he deserves."
 
Krieger and others at the MSPCA weren't willing to give up on this amazing kitty, and their call to action for a patient and adoring pet parent worked. 
 
Ivan, who once had zero adoption inquiries, soon had more than 2,000 requests from potential pet parents in more than 40 states and six foreign countries. While the shelter eventually narrowed down the perfect loving family for Ivan, the attention he drew helped find homes for other kitties. 
 
In a recent Facebook post, the MSPCA told followers, "we adopted out every single cat in our adoption room on Saturday," including two senior cats. 
 
As Ivan starts the next chapter of his life, newfound fans and well-wishers can continue to follow his story on his Instagram page. 
 
Image via MSPCA-Angell 
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New Study Shows Cats are as Smart as Their Owners Already Knew http://www.petmd.com/news/view/new-study-shows-cats-are-smart-their-owners-already-knew-35544  
When a cat knows where her food bowl is and returns to it at dinner time scientists call that "conditioned learning." By being fed multiple times from the same bowl in the same location, the cat learns to associate both the bowl and the location with food. Pretty basic, right? A recent study found that cats go one step farther. Scientists placed food in two different boxes in a room but only gave the cat time to eat from one box. When the scientists returned the cat to the room a few minutes later, the cat went to the box that previously contained food but which he or she hadn't already eaten. This is interesting because it means that cats learn information from their environment in ways that scientists hadn't predicted. The cats in the study didn't respond to the place they had previously eaten food, as expected in conditioned learning. Instead, the cats showed they remember specifics about events they have only encountered once. 
 
What does that mean for your feline friend? It means that our cats need mental exercise. They are intelligent animals and they need to be challenged so that they don't get bored. We all know it's important that our cats get physical exercise and there are aisles and aisles of toys at the pet supply store to help us give our cats a work-out. Cats also need to work-out their brain. Behaviorists have recommended this to dog owners for years, but this new research confirms the importance of brain training for cats, too.
 
How to Engage Your Cat's Mind
 
How should you train your cat’s brain? Its actually quite easy to do. Cats are naturally predators, which means their wild cousins have to work hard for their food. Instead of putting all your cat's kibble in his bowl, buy or make a puzzle toy. A puzzle toy can be anything that your cat has to spend time learning to solve. There is a huge variety of these types of devices available at the store but you can also make your own.  One of my favorites is also the simplest: a few pieces of kibble inside of crumpled tissue paper (warning: there will be shredded paper once your cat gets to the kibble). You can also plug pieces of PVC piping at one end and add kibble to the other end, encouraging your cat to roll the pipe around to get the kibble out.
 
If your cat is food motivated, you can also train her like you would a dog to sit, touch, stay and do other tasks. What you teach her is less important than the fact that you are teaching her. Engaging her brain will make her a more content kitty and a better companion.
 
Some important tips: Start easy and over time increase the difficulty. It is important that your cat not get too frustrated. Always measure out your cat's normal meal size and make sure that she has eaten the appropriate amount of food by the end of the day. If you have more than one cat, and especially if one has a special diet, consult your veterinarian for the best way to incorporate mental exercise into your cats' lives. 
 
Learn more about what kind of food-dispensing toy to get your cat.
 
Dr. Elfenbein is a veterinarian and animal behaviorist located in Atlanta. Her mission is to provide pet parents with the information they need to have happy, and healthy, and fulfilled relationships with their dogs and cats.
 
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Why it Pays to be a Cat Lady: Studies Show Female Cat Owners Benefit the Most from Having a Pet http://www.petmd.com/news/view/why-it-pays-be-cat-lady-studies-show-female-cat-owners-benefit-most-having-pet-35543  
But these women, regardless of whether or not the stereotype about them is true, may be onto something. Recent studies have shown that people, especially women over the age of 50, benefit greatly from owning pets. Cats even prove more beneficial than dogs, though that may have to do with the personality of these cat lovers. Cats have been shown to improve the lives of their care takers, even improving the physical and mental health of their owners.
 
Why Do Women Benefit from Cat Ownership?
 
Single women over 50 are usually routine-oriented, home-based individuals who like their quiet down time—a cat's perfect match. As women age, their metabolism slows and they tend to become less active, according to the National Institutes of Health. Having a pet, even a cat, can drastically change this process. Just getting up to feed, care for, shop for, and clean up after your feline friend will help increase your cardio workout for the day (not to mention the weight lifting skills needed for those heavy bags of litter). A single woman wants to come home to share her day with someone, and who better than a cat? They listen, don't demand much other than food and never complain about the cooking. They make minimal messes in comparison to a dirty human and offer unconditional love and affection no matter what kind of mood you're in.
 
Cats have been clinically proven to improve people's health, women especially. There is a proven decrease in risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease or stroke when a woman over the age of 50 owns a cat. When you pet an animal, your body releases a surge of prolactin, oxytocin, and dopamine. These are all feel-good hormones that also help lower your stress level.
 
Happy Cat, Happy Life
 
When your day has you stressed out, don't reach for that glass of wine, sit down and pet your cat.  The short and long term benefits greatly outweigh other modes of decompression. There have also been studies based on how cats improve depression and anxiety by giving their owners a sense of purpose and responsibility improve confidence, and keep them company. Those frisky felines do have a way to make us laugh, which is medicine in itself. Consider asking your doctor for a prescription for cat, instead. That's doctor's advice I'd be happy to take.
 
Over time, we can engage our pets for more benefits. We can play with them more, increasing our activity level and endorphins. We can be more affectionate with them, increasing our happy hormones. These actions will only reward us, in the long run, by improving our lives, our health, and enriching the lives of our beloved pets. I would even go as far to say that the more cats we keep, the greater the benefits! Spoken like a true cat lady.
 
Natasha Feduik is a licensed veterinary technician with Garden City Park Animal Hospital in New York, where she has been practicing for 10 years. Natasha received her degree in veterinary technology from Purdue University. Natasha has two dogs, a cat and three birds at home and is passionate about helping people take the best possible care of their animal companions.
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Leptospirosis Cases Occur in New York and Phoenix: What You Need to Know http://www.petmd.com/news/health-science/leptospirosis-cases-occur-new-york-and-phoenix-what-you-need-know-35516 Pet parents in both New York City and Phoenix are on high alert due to the confirmed cases of Leptospirosis in both major metropolitan areas. 
 
Leptospirosis, which is a rare bacterial disease, can affect both dogs and humans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, humans infected with Leptospirosis can experience symptoms such as high fever, headache, chills, muscle ache, vomiting, jaundice, abdominal pain, red eyes, rash, and diarrhea over the course of a few days to over three weeks. In a statement, New York Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett explained that the bacterial infection is spread through contact with rat urine, and is rarely spread from person to person. "The Health Department, in partnership with its sister agencies the Housing Preservation and Development and the Buildings Departments, has taken immediate measures to ensure the health and safety of residents by reducing the rat population in the area and is educating tenants about precautions, signs, and treatment," she said. 
 
There are no reports of pets being infected in New York City, but the problem has impacted animals in Phoenix. 
 
Back in November, a kennel in Phoenix saw multiple cases of Leptospirosis in dogs, and the numbers have continued to grow. Approximately 50 cases have been documented since the initial outbreak. Because of this, the Arizona Department of Agriculture has released a statement which urges pet parents to get their dogs vaccinated, saying: "With the continued increase in the number of dogs diagnosed with Leptospirosis, the State Veterinarian, Dr. Peter Mundschenk, recommends dog owners consider vaccinating their pets. Dr. Mundschenk strongly recommends that dog boarding and day care facilities consider requiring proof of a Leptospirosis vaccination prior to boarding." 
 
The Arizona State Veterinarian's office alerted pet parents of the warning signs of Leptospirosis in dogs, which include drinking and urinating more than usual, red eyes, a lock of urination, reluctance to eat, depression and a high fever. Other symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and tremors. The Animal Care Hospital of Phoenix noted that "many dogs can spread this disease without showing any symptoms," which is why vaccinating against the infection is essential. 
 
"Dogs infected with leptospirosis will go into acute liver and/or kidney failure which can be fatal," Dr. Chris Gaylord, a Brooklyn-based veterinarian, explained to petMD. "They tend to get very sick quickly so sometimes significant organ damage occurs before they can be diagnosed and treated. It can be difficult to diagnose Leptospirosis, however, because there are a host of other reasons why a dog could show these signs and veterinarians do not routinely screen for it as it is fairly rare." 
 
Dogs that are most at risk for contracting the infection include outdoor dogs (i.e. hunting dogs), dogs who are exposed to areas of standing water (like puddles and natural water sources), dogs who travel frequently, and/or dogs who have exposure to other dogs in high density areas such as pet boarding facilities and dog parks. 
 
While the CDC conducts their investigation in the Phoenix region, the Animal Care Hospital reports that the disease may have started via citrus rats. 
 
Gaylor recommends that all dogs living in urban areas receive the vaccination against Leptospirosis. "There are a number of different forms (serovars) of Leptospirosis bacteria and the most effective vaccine provides immunity for the four most common serovars that dogs are likely to encounter," he says. "If you are checking your dog's vaccination records, you may see the Leptospirosis vaccine listed separately or you may see a  'DHPPL' vaccine, the 'L' indicating that it was given as part of a combined vaccine. The duration of immunity for a Leptospirosis vaccine is no more than one year so it important to stay up to date." 
 
The disease can be spread from animals to humans, and enter the body through the eyes, nose, mouth, or open cuts in the skin. Health officials in both Phoenix and New York are encouraging its residents to avoid areas with possibly infected animal urine, and to wash hands and clothes immediately after being in contact with an animal. 
 
Find out more information on how Leptospirosis can affect your dog.
 
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Image via Shutterstock 
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Why Are Cats Obsessed with Laser Pointers? http://www.petmd.com/news/view/why-are-cats-obsessed-laser-pointers-35474  
How Cats’ Eyes Differ from Ours
 
The retina is the structure at the back of the eye that converts light energy into nerve impulses that are sent to the brain to be turned into images of our world. Two types of retinal cells – cones and rods – are found in both human and feline retinas. Broadly speaking, cones are involved with color vision and the ability to focus on and appreciate fine detail while rods are responsible for vision under low light conditions and for the detection of movement.
 
The human eye has lots of cones and relatively fewer rods. The feline eye has lots of rods and relatively fewer cones. Therefore, cat eyes are great at picking up movement, even if it is quite dark, but they don’t see details or colors very well. The opposite is true for us (for a neat comparison, check out All Eyes on Paris). In other words, the feline retina (and other parts of the eye as well) is perfectly designed to maximize the chances of catching quickly moving prey at dusk and dawn when cats most like to hunt.
 
What does this mean with regards to cats and laser pointers? First of all, because of their relatively poor color vision, the color of the laser pointer shouldn’t matter to your cat. This is particularly true since the contrast of the bright laser against the comparatively dark background is so intense.
 
Stimulating a Predatory Response
 
Though the color of the laser pointer doesn’t matter, what is alluring to your cat is the way that you make that bright dot of light move. When it darts here, then pauses, and then dashes over there, you are mimicking the actions of prey animals, which cats find hard to ignore. This type of movement stimulates the predatory sequence – stalk, pounce, kill and eat – that is hardwired into our cats even though their survival no longer depends on a successful hunt.
 
Did you notice that laser pointers only satisfy the first two steps in the predatory sequence – stalk and pounce – while leaving the desire to kill and eat unfulfilled? For some cats, this isn’t a problem. They’ll happily chase that little dot of light around for a while and then walk away unperturbed, but other cats seem to get agitated after taking the laser pointer on for a round or two. The inability to ever truly be successful is probably why.
 
If you are worried that your cat is frustrated by chasing a laser pointer, try switching to a different type of game that allows your cat act out more of the predatory sequence. Kitty fishing poles that that let you flick a stuffed mouse or feathers across the floor, into the air and onto the couch will provide your cat with the opportunity to stalk, pounce and eventually kill (or at least bite and claw) their “prey.” Toss out a few treats at the end of the game or give your cat a food dispensing ball to chase around for a while, and playtime should end on a satisfying note for everyone.
 
Learn more about cat toy dangers. 
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Woman Claims Airline's Neglect is Responsible for Dog's Death http://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/woman-claims-airlines-neglect-responsible-dogs-death-35436  
What should have been a routine flight from Detroit to Portland with a one-hour layover, ultimately ended with Jacob losing his life.
 
The tragic chain of events began at the airline gate in Detroit, where Considine says the agent confirmed that the crate provided would be adequate to hold 80-pound Jacob for both flights. But that information was incorrect—a point that Charles Hobart, spokesperson with United Airlines, doesn’t dispute. He says the employee has since been “spoken to.”
 
Once Jacob arrived in Chicago to change planes, he was unable to board the next flight because the carrier was too small. While the airline looked for a new flight, Jacob had to spend 20 hours in United’s O’Hare Airport Kennel Facility in Chicago, a service supporting United’s PetSafe program. The kennel, located within United’s cargo facility, is a pick-up and drop-off area for pet owners. The facility claims it operates like a normal kennel—it houses 28 individual, ventilated enclosures, and provides services like dog walking and pet grooming.
 
In an emotional Facebook post that Considine wrote describing the events leading up to her dog’s death, she says that the airline did not allow food to be sent with Jacob due to the scheduled short duration of the flight. She wrote: “United Airlines 'PetSafe' program is cruel. They treat animals like baggage. They did not care if Jacob had food or water or any time out of his cage.”
 
Considine says Jacob was non-responsive when he arrived in Portland. She explains that the United gate agent said her dog may have been medicated—something Considine did not give the airline carrier permission to do. Hobart denies the claims that Jacob was medicated.  “We even have pictures of him, and he was happy,“ says Hobart. Jacob died at an emergency vet in Oregon, a few hours after he arrived at the airport in Portland. United Airlines disputes it had anything to do with Jacob’s condition or his subsequent death.
 
In spite of her loss, Considine says she appreciates the attention her Facebook post received (it has over 380,000 shares) and hopes to see a change happen in the airline industry. “I’m thankful for the way this issue has blown up, and for the great feedback I’ve received,” she tells petMD. “At the very least, I want to see changes made to United’s PetSafe” policies.”
 
United Airlines Pet Safety: How Often Do Problems Happen?
 
Of the thousands of animals who fly via the PetSafe program, “The rate of incident,” Hobart maintains, “is extremely low.”
 
In 2016, the “Air Travel Consumer Report” issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation, reported that there were 2.11 incidents for every 10,000 animals transported by United.  Reasons for incidents range from an animal dying due to cardiac arrest, to one who started bleeding because he chewed through metal bars.
 
These numbers are indeed, relatively low. Except when it’s your pet – then one death or incident doesn’t seem acceptable. 
 
Whether United played any part in Jacob’s death, the event is a tragedy for Considine. “Jacob was a happy, healthy seven-year-old Golden Retriever who loved me and every single being he met unconditionally,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “[United Airlines has] shown no sympathy for my dog's death. I would have received the same responses if they were to have broken my guitar in baggage.”
 
What You Need to Know Before Traveling with Your Pet
 
Even though the number of reported deaths and injuries is relatively low, there is no guarantee your pet won’t encounter problems while traveling. There are some things you can do, however, to help ensure your pet’s safety.
 
Zenithson Ng, a board-certified vet and clinical assistant professor at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, recommends ground pet transportation services. “I would personally advise this option over having an animal travel in airline cargo.“
 
If you must travel by plane, he says you should do your research before the flight to make sure you’re adhering to regulations. “Ensure that your pet and carrier meet the airline regulations and you have the necessary paperwork. Typically, you should have a current rabies certificate as well as health certificate signed by your veterinarian. Be prepared with doggy-bags, paper towels, bowls, water, and whatever your pet may need for the trip. If you have layovers, contact the airport to determine specific areas permitted for dogs to relieve themselves. “
 
Dr. Ng also offers the following tips:
 
Make sure your pet can easily be identified. Attach a collar and tag with your contact information, or make sure your dog’s microchip is up to date. “Microchipping your pet is highly recommended, and be sure that the microchip is registered with your current contact information,” says Ng. “This will be the best way to find your pet if he/she gets lost or separated.“
 
Consider stress-reducing products. For pets that become easily distressed during travel, Ng suggests trying non-invasive, stress-reducing options such as wrap shirts that apply pressure or pheromone collars and sprays.
 
Ng says mild sedation is safe and appropriate for some pets, but reiterates that if pets require sedation to travel, “the better alternative is to leave them safe at home if possible.”
 
If your vet has approved a sedative, keep in mind that pets may react differently to sedation. Ng suggests asking your vet to try sedation prior to your trip when the animal can be observed. “Different animals react to medications variably, with some requiring much more or much less than the labeled dose, and some animals may react adversely or not react at all to some drugs,” he says. “It’s always better to know how your pet will react beforehand rather than during the trip. Be aware that some medications have a shorter duration of action and may need to be re-dosed on longer travels.”
 
Use vet-approved anti-nausea medicine. If your pet suffers from travel sickness, ask your vet to prescribe anti-nausea medications. “It is advised that pets do not eat a full meal prior travel unless there is a medical reason they need to eat,” says Ng.
 
See Also:
 
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Image courtesy of Kathleen Considine via Facebook
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Puppy With Metal Rod in Head Miraclously Expected to Make Full Recovery http://www.petmd.com/news/health-science/puppy-metal-rod-head-miraclously-makes-full-recovery-35435
 
Veterinarians don't know exactly how this happened, but thanks to the immediate care and hard-fought efforts of the staff at the hospital, the puppy has miraculously survived this horrific ordeal. The dog's case has since been reported and is currently under investigation by the Washington County Humane Society. 
 
In a joint statement sent to petMD.com from Chief Medical Officer Dr. Dimitri Brown and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rory Lubold, the vets explain that the rod "went through the middle of his head [running through the front of his brain] and out the other eye socket." 

 
Both Dr. Brown and Dr. Lubold note that given the severity of the injury, the dog's life was in grave danger when he arrived. "[We took] lot of precautions when planning to surgically remove the metal rod. We took a day to plan, perform advanced imaging, and consult with our specialists to make sure we did everything we could for this puppy." 
 
The surgery, which was performed by three doctors and two technicians, took roughly an hour to remove the rod. The surgery went perfectly and, miraculously, the dog's vision was spared, despite the placement of the rod. 
 
"At the time of the procedure we were very uncertain about his vision, but wanted to give the puppy a chance," said Brown and Lubold in the statement. "In the days afterwards, we were very impressed by his improvement and he almost immediately had vision in his left eye. It wasn't until the past few days that we became very optimistic that the puppy would make a full recovery with vision in both eyes, and have no lasting damage." 
 
The puppy, who is currently healing from his surgery at the hospital, is expected to make a full recovery and be available for adoption soon. "His recovery has been much more rapid than we anticipated. He woke up from surgery and wanted to play immediately. He's been eating, drinking, and playing ever since." 
 
Brown and Lubold describe the resilient puppy as "lively and spirited" and say that he's been a "great patient" despite his trauma. "There's nothing that holds him back!"
 
If you're interested in helping this puppy, and other animals just like him in need, you can donate to the UVS Cares Foundation. 
 
See Also:
 
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Image via University Veterinary Specialists 
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http://www.petmd.com/news/health-science/puppy-metal-rod-head-miraclously-makes-full-recovery-35435#comments dog health Health & Science puppy Wed, 15 Feb 2017 18:18:02 +0000 35435 at http://www.petmd.com