http://www.petmd.com/news/rss en Kitten Flushed Down Toilet By Child is Miraculously Rescued http://www.petmd.com/news/cats/kitten-flushed-down-toilet-child-miraculously-rescued-34643









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Kitten Flushed Down Toilet By Child is Miraculously Rescued


By Aly Semigran    August 25, 2016 at 10:57AM / (0) comments










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In one of the more extreme examples of how pets and small children can get into some sticky situations together, a toddler in Kansas accidentally flushed a month-old kitten down a toilet earlier this month.
 
According to the Ford County Fire & EMS in Dodge City, they recently recieved a call to rescue a tiny kitten who was meowing from inside the family's bathroom floor. According to their Facebook post about the incident, "Our hope was to remove the toilet and pull out the cat. No such luck. The kitten had traveled beyond our reach and made a turn in the pipe." 
 
Drastic measures had to be taken to save the life of the kitty, who traveled past the bend of the toilet pipe and beneath the floor. "After a considerable amount of moving dirt [from beneath the bathroom floor], we were able to locate the transverse section of pipe," they explained, and after nearly three hours of efforts (with additional help from local plumbers), the rescuers were able to save the cat. 
 
As reported by local news station WIBW, the tiny orange tabby—who is recovering at home with his family—has since been renamed, aptly, Miracle. It was a miracle indeed, considering how badly things could have ended. 
 
Cory Smith, the Humane Society's Director of Companion Animal Public Policy, tells petMD that while it was likely nothing more than a bad accident from a curious child, "it is essential for pet parents to teach their children how to properly treat animals and it typically comes through modeling behavior and messages about kindness built into every day life."
 
Most children, Smith says, are loving towards animals, but for any pet parent who wants to ensure they don't have any incidents that could harm their pet (or their child), he recommends the following: "start at a young age, use the golden rule, create boundaries, and prepare to repeat, repeat, repeat."
 
If the kitten wasn't rescued in time, the pet "could have drowned, suffocated, starved, or died from excessive cold or heat. A kitten that size/age does not survive on its own," he added.
 
The toilet isn't the only hazard in the bathroom pet parents should be aware of. "Most parents are on high alert any time there is a full tub of water, the possibility of slipping on water on the floor or elsewhere, electrical appliances like hair dryers, bottles that can spill or contain chemicals," Smith notes. "Especially with young children, it’s important to supervise interactions with pets no matter where they occur in the home." 
 
Image via Shutterstock 





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Meet Samson: NYC's Biggest Cat and Internet Star http://www.petmd.com/news/cat/meet-samson-biggest-cat-new-york-city-34631







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Meet Samson: NYC's Biggest Cat and Internet Star


By Aly Semigran    August 23, 2016 at 09:25AM / (0) comments










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At 28 pounds and 4-feet-long, Samson—a prebred Maine Coon from New York City—is quickly becoming a main attraction on the internet. 
 
Samson, who also goes by the hilariously apt name Catsradamus, found the limelight alongside his owner Jonathan Zurbel (aka Splurt Zillionz). 
 
Together, Samson and Zurbel have become nothing short of a pop culture phenomenon. Zurbel, who has been Samson's pet parent since he adopted him in November 2013 (when he was just 15 pounds), tells petMD.com, "people really love him as much as I do, he is a beloved cat around the world." To date, Samson has an Instagram fan base of almost 70,000 followers. 
 
Despite his big frame, Zurbel says that Samson—who is 4-years-old— has no health issues (on average, a Maine Coon typically weighs anywhere from 12-18 pounds). In fact, Zurbel says, "he is a healthy, active cat. He can even jump in the air to catch flies." Samson's devoted cat dad shared his hopes that people will stop referring to the kitty as "fat" and, rather, "how beautiful, intelligent and sweet he is!"
 
Zurbel adds that this "gentle giant," who has a diet of two-to-six small cans of wet food and freeze dried chicken or salmon as a snack per day, is incredibly playful and inquisitive to boot. When he's not playing with his toys, he'll follow his favorite humans around the house or engage with them in games. And in case that isn't enough to show how impressive Samson is, Zurbel says that he also can open doors by standing up and turning the handle.
 
While Samson prefers either a dog carrier or stroller (versus a cat carrier) to get out and about, where he'll look at pigeons and enjoy the outside world, Zurbel wants people to remember there's nothing wrong with the cat and his size. "He is just a perfect specimen, nothing wrong with him just a prize Maine Coon."
 
Image via @splurt Instagram 





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Dog People vs. Cat People: What This Facebook Study Found May Surprise You http://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/dog-people-vs-cat-people-what-facebook-study-found-may-surprise-you-346









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Dog People vs. Cat People: What This Facebook Study Found May Surprise You


By Aly Semigran    August 22, 2016 at 03:54PM / (0) comments










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Cat people and dog people have been fighting stereotypes like, well, cats and dogs. 
 
Recently, Facebook did some research to get to the bottom of the social characteristics of both cat lovers and dog devotees. Do these pet parents really have such major differences, or are they the same on the inside? This study, unlike some other divisive ones, may mend old wounds rather than keep the "rivalry" going. 
 
By sampling data from approximately 160,000 people in the United States who shared pictures of themselves with their cat or dog, the social media company took a closer look at the statistics of these particular pet parents. Some of the highlights of the Facebook research includes: 
 
— While users identified by Facebook as "dog people" had, on average, 26 more friends than "cat people," users identified as a "cat person" got invited to more events. They also discovered that cat fans tend to associate with fellow kitty enthusiasts, while canine buffs stay with their pack, too. 
 
— Cat parents are more likely to be single (30% of users, compared to the 24% of single dog people).
 
— When it comes to pop culture, a puppy parent is more likely going to watch a rom-com or something about dogs (or perhaps both, like Marley and Me), while kitten fans are willing to go a little further out there and watch sci-fi and fantasy. 
 
— Dog people are more likely to have status updates conveying how excited they are about something, while kitty owners express feelings of being tired. (Perhaps they need a cat nap?) 
 
— Kitties take over cities, as the data found that more cats resided in urban dwellings, while their puppy pals tend to live out in more rural areas. 
 
The conclusions are something to take with a grain of salt, however, considering that cat ownership in the U.S. outnumbers dog ownership. According to 2015-2016 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, there are an estimated 85.8 million cats as pets in America, compared to 77.8 million dogs. 
 
While cats may outnumber dogs, there's one thing pet owners definitely have in common: they love their furry best friends. 
 
Image via Shutterstock 





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Experimental FIP Treatments Show Promise for Affected Cats http://www.petmd.com/news/health-science/experimental-fip-treatments-show-promise-affected-cats-34629









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Experimental FIP Treatments Show Promise for Affected Cats


By Joanne Intile    August 22, 2016 at 07:00AM / (0) comments










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Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is caused by a mutated version of a feline coronavirus that transforms from a benign, minimally pathogenic virus to an aggressive and deadly version. Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a devastating diagnosis for a cat owner as the disease is considered 100% fatal.
 
FIP is considered an incurable disease and the mainstay of treatment has focused on providing comfort and supportive care to affected patients. Since FIP is a deadly disease, there have been many efforts to develop effective treatments for it, with disappointing results.
 
However, progress is being made in developing new therapeutic options for FIP in cats. Researchers at Kansas State University devised a new antiviral treatment, which led to full recovery in cats experimentally infected with FIP who were treated at a stage of disease that would otherwise be fatal.
 
The antiviral treatment works by blocking the replication of the virus, a process required for it to survive within an infected cat. Six out of eight cats treated with the antiviral had resolution of fever, ascites, and low white blood cell counts, and returned to normal health within 20 days or less of treatment.
 
More on the experimental treatment below, but first, a primer on FIP.
 
Clinical Signs of FIP
 
Cats with FIP show non-specific signs of illness, including lethargy, inappetance, and weight loss. They may present with persistent fever and owners can notice abdominal distension or difficulty breathing in cases where fluid build-up within body cavities (effusion) is present.
 
There are two clinical forms of FIP recognized in cats: the “dry form” (noneffusive) and the “wet form” (effusive). In the dry form of the disease, cats develop mass-like lesions within their abdominal and chest cavities called granulomas. In the wet form of the disease, cats show fluid buildup in these same anatomical regions. There can be overlap between the two forms; cats with the effusive form often can have microgranulomas present and cats with the dry form can develop effusion.
 
Diagnosing FIP
 
Diagnosing FIP is difficult, and your veterinarian will likely recommend several tests to determine what is causing your cat’s signs.
 
Radiographs (x-rays) can help determine if fluid is present within the abdominal or chest cavities. An ultrasound can show enlarged lymph nodes or granulomas within the abdomen and confirm the presence of fluid. Bloodwork may be normal, but one of the most consistent findings is an elevation of a specific protein called globulin.
 
There is a blood test that measures whether or not a cat has circulating antibodies to the feline coronavirus, but this test is considered of limited utility. Most cats with circulating antibodies never develop FIP. High amounts of antibody make FIP a likely diagnosis, but 10% of cats with FIP will not have circulating antibodies in their bloodstream.
 
If effusion is present, analysis of this fluid will show a high protein level along with a relatively low cell count. In cats with nervous system involvement (e.g., brain and/or spinal cord), MRI or CT of the brain can show changes including hydrocephalus, which is a build-up of fluid in the brain. Analysis of the pet’s cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) will show high protein and cell counts.
 
The most reliable test for FIP is detecting the feline coronavirus antigen within white blood cells of the affected patient by special stains.
 
Treating FIP Experimentally
 
As I mentioned at the beginning, FIP is considered incurable, with treatment consisting mainly of providing comfort and supportive care. For cats in respiratory distress from fluid buildup around the lungs or within the abdomen, removing the effusion and providing oxygen support can aid in immediate relief.
 
Though the experimental antiviral treatment at Kansas State University seems promising, there is concern that the coronavirus that causes FIP could acquire further mutations, rendering it resistant to antiviral treatments such as the one developed at Kansas State University. In addition, this form of treatment was only studied in cats with the effusive form of the disease; its efficacy in cats with the dry form is unknown. It is also unknown whether the antiviral will be successful in treating cats naturally infected with FIP as all of the cats in the study were infected experimentally.
 
Polyprenyl Immunostimulant (PI) is an investigational biologic used to lessen clinical signs associated with herpes virus infections in cats by promoting immune responses to the virus. PI also has been used to treat FIP. In a small study, three cats with the dry form of FIP were treated with PI. Two cats were alive and still receiving treatment two years following diagnosis. The remaining cat was treated for only 4.5 months and lived a total of 14 months. A larger study was done in 58 cats with the dry form of FIP. Five percent of those cats lived longer than one year and 22 percent lived at least 5.5 months.
 
Though PI might seem like the magic bullet for treating the dry form of FIP, there are a few caveats to consider. In the smaller study, the amount of disease present in all three cats was minimal; two had no clinical signs at their time of diagnosis. In the larger study, cats who were very ill or died within a week of starting treatment with PI were excluded from the survival analysis, likely skewing results.  
 
As some cats with no or minimal signs of disease and localized lesions can spontaneously recover from FIP without treatment, the role of PI in aiding the convalescence in these marginally affected cats is unclear. PI is also completely ineffective in treating cats with the effusive form of FIP.
 
Though these new treatment options seem promising, further research is necessary to determine how successful they will be for cats affected with FIP.
 
FIP Prevention
 
Controversy exists concerning the efficacy of an intranasal vaccine to prevent infection with FIP. The vaccine it is not thought to be effective in preventing disease in cats previously exposed to feline coronavirus, but it may induce some level of protection for a cat that has never been exposed to the virus.
 
Related
 
Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) in Cats
 
Brain Inflammation in Cats





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Louisiana Floods: What You Can Do To Help the Animal Relief Efforts http://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/louisiana-floods-what-you-can-do-help-animal-relief-efforts-34616









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Louisiana Floods: What You Can Do To Help the Animal Relief Efforts


By Aly Semigran    August 16, 2016 at 09:11AM / (0) comments










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Historic flooding in Louisiana has stranded and displaced thousands of people and, tragically, to date, has taken the lives of seven. The natural disaster has left a nation mourning and wondering what they can do to help—not only their fellow Americans, but the countless pets and animals in need of assistance as well. 
 
And while you may not be close enough to pull a dog out of a sinking car, there are ways to rally and get involved from afar. 
 
The Louisiana SPCA has organized to help shelters in the flooded areas, including Companion Animal Alliance in Baton Rouge, the City of Denham Springs Animal Control, and the Tangipahoa Parish Animal Shelter. The rescue organization sent out a press release detailing the ways people can lend a helping hand in animal relief efforts. 
 
For nearby residents or anyone who wishes to volunteer locally, the Louisiana SPCA has secured three drop-off points for the most needed supplies, which include: metal buckets with clipping carabiners, wire pet crates in various sizes, leashes, unopened dry cat and dog food, and metal water bowls. They stress that needs can change daily and ask those who want to help to check the social media pages of the shelters listed above for updates (each shelter is linked to its respective Facebook page).
 
They also urge East Baton Rouge and Lafayette Parish residents who find lost or displaced animals to bring them to a local shelter. According to the above mentioned press release, "By moving an owned animal to another parish or out of state, the likelihood of reuniting that pet with its owner severely diminishes."
 
The Louisiana State Animal Response Team, who is on the ground helping animals in the region, notes on their website that out-of-state volunteers are welcome during this urgent time, but that volunteers should work with national humane organizations to identify the right opportunities for their skills and experience. The response team's website states that there are many volunteer roles that need to be filled during a disaster, ranging from administration work and data entry to more specialized veterinary medical care and shelter care.
 
For those of us who can't help on the ground, the Louisiana SPCA is asking pet lovers to make monetary donations directly to the community animal shelters to ensure the money gets to where it is needed. 
 
This tragic act of nature serves as a reminder to all pet parents to be prepared for everything. Read up on disaster preparedness information from petMD and the ASPCA and put a plan in place to help your pet out of these dangerous sitations, should they occur. 
 
Image via Shutterstock 
 





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http://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/louisiana-floods-what-you-can-do-help-animal-relief-efforts-34616#comments Care & Safety PetsAreFamily safety Tue, 16 Aug 2016 13:11:30 +0000 34616 at http://www.petmd.com
Should Dogs Be Left in Parked Cars? http://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/should-dogs-be-left-parked-cars-34527









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Should Dogs Be Left in Parked Cars?


By Malia Friesen    August 15, 2016 at 07:00AM / (1) comments










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Recently my Facebook and other social media feeds have been littered with at least one daily story of a dog being rescued from an idle, parked car. Some dogs are saved in time, but too often help does not come and tragedy occurs.
 
Is it ever okay to leave a dog in a car? NO. Under no circumstances should dogs be left unattended in a parked, idle car; the only exception is if the pet is left with another (adult) person in the car.
 
Outside temperatures can rise to lethal temps inside a confined vehicle, even with the windows cracked, or parked in the shade. On a 70 degree day, the temperature inside a car can reach 104 degrees within 30 minutes. During the recent heat waves that have plagued the country, within 10 minutes an 85 degree day could turn a parked, idle car into a 104 degree oven.
 

(Click image for larger view)
 
Animals cannot sweat like people, and they dissipate heat from their bodies very differently—plus, they are wearing “fur coats.” Additionally, their core body temperatures are naturally higher than humans. In order for dogs to cool their bodies down they initially pant in an attempt to cool the air they breathe. Their heart rate and blood pressure increase, and the veins begin to enlarge in further attempts to cool the core organs. Abnormally high body temperatures affect all of the major organ systems; core temperatures above 106 degrees F can lead to serious complications, heat stroke, and even death.
 
Currently, 22 states have laws that prohibit leaving animals in stationary vehicles, or that give legal protection to citizens who break a car window to rescue an animal from a car (1). Depending on the county/state laws, death of a pet due to being left in a car can lead to charges ranging from misdemeanors to felony charges. Certain felony animal cruelty charges can prevent people from owning pets in the future, but in most instances requires previous convictions of animal neglect/cruelty (2). 
 
Law enforcement officials or animal control officers do have the ability to “break into” a car to rescue a pet, but there is a fine line, as different laws have varying degrees of what constitutes an emergency or dangerous environment.
 
So what should you do if you see a pet in a parked, idle car? First, call local animal control or 9-1-1. If there are additional bystanders, have them ask the building or parking managers to help find the car owner. As much you would like to save the animal, do not break the window or vandalize the doors in an attempt to enter until law enforcement officers, animal control, or property management are present. This will protect you from civil liability for property damage or similar charges.
 
Ultimately, prevention is key. Set an example and ensure that your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers know the dangers of leaving a pet in a parked car.
 
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Benjamin Franklin
 
 
Sources
 
1. Table of State Laws that Protect Animals Left in Parked Vehicles
 
2. Animal Cruelty Facts and Statistics
 
Related
 
Safety First: Pet Passengers in Cars and Trucks
 
Feeling the Wind in Your Face is Not Safe!
 
Are Dog Seat Belts a Waste of Money?
 
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louloujed47 DISABLED EMAILS 08/18/2016 06:49pm This comment has been flagged as inappropriate. Reply to this comment Report abuse


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Cat Named Batman Has Four Ears... and a New Home http://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/cat-named-batman-has-four-ears-and-new-home-34604









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Cat Named Batman Has Four Ears... and a New Home


By Aly Semigran    August 11, 2016 at 10:42AM / (1) comments










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Batman the cat has, fittingly, quite the origin story. 
 
The feline—who was brought into the Western PA Humane Society in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on July 12 after being surrendered by his owner—has four ears. The 3-year-old cat has an extremely rare, recessive genetic mutation that was likely passed down from his parents. This mutation gave Batman an extra row of ears—albeit non-functional ones. 
 
Caitlin Lasky, the marketing and communications manager for the the Western PA Humane Society, tells petMD that when Batman was dropped off, he was suffering from an upper respiratory infection. "We had to clear that up first, and once he was healthy, he could go up for adoption," she says. Batman's infection was not caused by his mutation. 
 
While he was at the shelter, Lasky says the four-eared kitty was something of a staff favorite. "He is so sweet. He had a lot of cuddles while he was here." 
 
Lasky, who says that no one on staff had ever come across a cat with a similar mutation before, assured petMD that Batman is healthy. 
 
As soon as the unique cat was available for adoption, Batman gained popularity quickly. While Batman was making national news headlines, a mother and daughter who knew nothing about his growing online fame came in to the facility, saw him and his wonderful four ears, and gave him a new, loving forever home. 
 
It's something that Lasky hopes will stick with future pet parents looking to adopt a cat, noting that senior cats and/or black cats can often be passed over. "Keep your mind open to cats you might not have in mind when you come in to look." 
 
You can watch a video of Batman, courtesy of the Western PA Humane Society, here. 
 
Image via Western PA Humane Society Instagram 





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Gail319 Batman the cat 08/22/2016 10:46am I could NOT find any video from clicking the link that was provided on this page. The link takes you to another story of a three eared cat. Can this be straightened out? I really wanted to see Batman in action! Reply to this comment Report abuse


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http://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/cat-named-batman-has-four-ears-and-new-home-34604#comments Lifestyle & Entertainment Thu, 11 Aug 2016 14:42:31 +0000 34604 at http://www.petmd.com
Hunting Dog Makes Full Recovery After Ingesting Wooden Skewer http://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/dog-makes-full-recovery-after-ingesting-wooden-skewer-34593









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Hunting Dog Makes Full Recovery After Ingesting Wooden Skewer


By Aly Semigran    August 09, 2016 at 01:59PM / (0) comments










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Curious canines have unintentionally swallowed everything from Gorilla Glue to coat hangers, and in the case of a 9-year-old hunting canine named Cash, it was a wooden skewer from a Caprese salad bowl.    
 
When Cash's owner Aaron Johnson realized the dog was out of sorts (lethargic, hurting on the left side of his belly), he took him to the veterinarian to see just what was wrong.    
 
Cash was brought to the VCA Chanhassen Animal Hospital in Chanhassen, Minn., where, according to a Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners press release, the dog's "left kidney was enlarged and had fluid build-up." The release explains that those symptoms can be a signal of a kidney blockage or tumor.   
 
After undergoing abdominal ultrasounds, CT scans, and X-rays, vets finally discovered what was causing Cash's painful problem: a dangerous wooden skewer. The release says that the sharp skewer had punctured Cash’s intestine, blocked the dog's left kidney, and poked out of his chest wall. The skewer did not penetrate the skin, which explains why the owner and veterinarians didn't realize the cause of Cash's symptoms right away.   
 
After the skewer was identified, BluePearl vets Dr. Jeff Yu and Dr. Jenifer Myers performed surgery. The doctors made an incision in Cash’s abdomen and removed the skewer from the dog's intestine. They also drained fluids from between the chest wall and skin area. 
 
The procedure went smoothly, says Yu. "Cash was anesthetized during the surgery and given pain medication afterward. He recovered well and was eating the day after surgery—a great sign," Yu tells petMD. And while Cash is short a kidney (dogs, like humans, can survive with just one), he is expected to make a full recovery. "Cash has a great prognosis and I wouldn’t expect any lasting complications," Meyers says.    
 
This scary incident serves as a reminder to fellow pet parents.  
 
"The skewer piercing the intestine could have led to infection and serious, even fatal, consequences," Yu says. "Be really careful with any food items that have sharp objects, such as toothpicks, even if the food is sitting on the kitchen table."
 
While it's not always easy to know whether or not your dog has ingested a foreign object, Myers says there are signs pet owners should look for. "Dogs who have swallowed a foreign body (anything that’s not food) often suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, and lack of appetite," she says. "The best thing to do when you see these signs in your pet is to go to a  veterinarian—either your primary care veterinarian or (especially if it’s after-hours) an emergency veterinarian. If you see your dog or cat eating something that could be harmful, call the veterinarian."    
 
This story, thankfully, had a happy ending for all those involved. "Cash is a friendly lovable dog and it’s clear that his owner Aaron Johnson has a strong, loving bond with him," Myers says. "His dedication to Cash is evident."    
 
Image courtesy of Aaron Johnson 
 





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All About Browser, the Beloved Library Cat and the Humans Who Saved His Job http://www.petmd.com/news/cat/all-about-browser-beloved-library-cat-and-humans-who-saved-her-job-34592









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All About Browser, the Beloved Library Cat and the Humans Who Saved His Job


By Aly Semigran    August 08, 2016 at 10:00AM / (1) comments










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This is Browser, a cat who lives (and, yes, works) at the White Settlement Public Library in Texas. The feline was brought into the library six years ago to help with the building's mouse problem. 
 
But earlier this summer, Browser made headlines when city officials threatened to evict him from the public building. According to the Star Telegram, Councilman Elzie Clements led the charge, stating that "City Hall and city businesses are no place for animals." The issue was brought to a vote on June 14 and the city council voted by 2-1 to remove Browser from the library. The former shelter cat had 30 days to find a new home following the vote. 
 
But those who love Browser, and even those who had never met the cat, weren't about to let that happen. "All the citizens expressed approval for the cat to stay, except for one family," says Lillian Blackburn, a volunteer and the president of the Friends of the White Settlement Public Library. "The librarians told these patrons that if they could call from home or from the parking lot before arriving, the cat would be taken to an inside room during their visit. I know of no [other] complaints during these six years." 
 
In his time at the library, Browser became as much a staple as the books. Blackburn shares that Browser would hang out with library visitors throughout the day and often accompanied the children who visited the facility. "He always seems to find a friend when he wants one," says Blackburn. "He seems to sense when a patron is too busy or in too much of a hurry to stop and play with him, so he moves on to another lucky patron."
 
Blackburn also notes that Browser's needs—including food and toys—were never paid for with taxpayer money. Instead, the library held fundraisers to help pay for the cat's care. 
 
Blackburn says library employees and patrons were "stunned" by the sudden agenda to relocate Browser. Though some citizens did say they could not attend the library due to the cat, Blackburn says that issue hadn't been brought to the library's attention before the meeting. 
 
But despite a few complaints, the public response to keep Browser in his library home was overwhelming.
 
"Less than two weeks later and [after] thousands of comments and petitions signed, the council called a special meeting, once again, to discuss and consider the location of Browser," says Blackburn. Luckily, the council overturned their initial decision and Browser's fans were thrilled that the cat was allowed to stay in the only home he's ever known. 
 
Blackburn is so inspired by Browser's story that she has decided to write a children's books about the literary feline's wild tale. "I have been so excited about this result," she says.
 
Image via White Settlement Public Library Facebook
 





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KatWrangler Errr... 08/25/2016 06:28pm From my past reading of the story, the reason Browser was asked to leave was, an EMPLOYEE of City Hall was miffed because he couldn't bring his puppy in on Take Your Dog to Work Day. So in retaliation, he and other cat-disliking employees, launched a sneak attack to oust Browser.

I realize this is PetMD and you most likely don't want to fan the flames of contention between cat and dog people. Mayor Ron White, whose office made him a a nonvoting council moderator, described Browser's eviction as "petty retaliation for a city employee not being allowed to keep a puppy at City Hall". A person who speaks the truth. The reason has been spin-doctored to say that allergies were a concern, like in this article, but the library has a filter system to help with that, and NO other complaints have been brought in over SIX years :
http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2016/06/27/Texas-mayor-blames-city-councils-anti-cat-bias-for-library-eviction/7261467036737/?

That's the crap I've been dealing with for over 20 years: If a dog can't, well neither can a cat. But to help people understand how unpleasant things can get in the cat/dog issue, please be accurate when you report stories. Don't sugar-coat things. That only reinforces the 2nd-class status of cats - the "it's only a cat" mentality. Thins won't get better until everyone believes that all animals need to be respected.
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U.K. Veterinarians Report a 560% Increase in Lyme Disease in Dogs http://www.petmd.com/news/health-science/lyme-disease-cases-increase-560-dogs-34591









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U.K. Veterinarians Report a 560% Increase in Lyme Disease in Dogs


By Malia Friesen    August 08, 2016 at 07:00AM / (1) comments










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Ticks! My first reaction is EWWW! Even as a Licensed veterinary technician, bugs, worms, and other creepy crawly things give me the heebie-jeebies. The thought of my pets dragging these little critters into my home is close to a nightmare for me. My pets sleep in my bed, on my head, and all over my house. But I can also bring in little hitchhikers and my clothes and body, in turn allowing them to infect my pets.
 
There are a few misconceptions about ticks that should be addressed. Although there are very effective repellants and insecticides that kill ticks, Mother Nature is not very good at controlling the tick population on her own.  Most believe that once there is a good winter’s frost on the ground ticks are killed and the risk of meeting this 8-legged foe is eliminated. But ticks are robust little suckers and can remain alive in freezing temperatures and conditions, thus making it possible to acquire Lyme disease even when we are least expecting it.
 
Numerous experts have been warning of high tick populations this summer. In fact, the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), a U.K.-based veterinary charity, found a whopping 560% rise in Lyme Disease in the last six years. But the growth of ticks carrying Lyme Disease is not isolated to our British neighbors across the pond. In fact, a study published earlier this year in the Journal of Medical Entomology, show that half of all U.S. counties now have tick populations that carry the disease—a 320% increase since the 1990s.
 
So why are we seeing these insane increases? There are a couple of theories.
 
PDSA veterinarians and believe global warming—generally higher temperatures and fewer “hard freezes”—is partially to blame for the increase in tick populations. Along with the increase in tick populations due to warming, we are spending more time outdoors in tick infested areas. In addition, medical advances in veterinary medicine and an uptick in routine testing for the disease may be contributing to more reported cases of Lyme Disease in dogs in both the U.K. and the U.S. 
 
Shortly after I moved to the East Coast, my own dog was diagnosed with Lyme disease after routine bloodwork and heartworm screening. He was asymptomatic, and as far as I could remember I never removed a tick from his body.
 
In the U.S. the majority of dogs are screened for heartworm disease using a simple “snap” test by Idexx Labs, or something similar. These tests are now capable of detecting antibodies for six vector-borne diseases, Lyme among them. In my experience running these tests, nearly every dog we diagnosed with Lyme disease (or other vector borne disease) had no clinical signs. It is still difficult to know if dogs are actually suffering from a current infection of the disease or if the dog was infected and able to naturally fight off the infection. Additional tests can be submitted, but at an additional financial cost.
 
Treatment of Lyme disease has generally been easy, if the disease is caught in its early stages. Doxycycline, a tetracycline antibiotic, is generally prescribed for 30 days of treatment, or longer depending on the severity of the infection. Additional medications may also be used to treat other symptoms as needed. The majority of dogs will tolerate the antibiotics and the infection will clear. But it is still possible that for the next few years (or subsequent blood tests) the dog will continue to test positive for Lyme disease, as the snap test is reacting to antibodies in the bloodstream.
 
So what is the best solution to reduce the chance your pet will become a statistic? Using your flea/tick preventative year round is a start. Also, follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for annual bloodwork/test and check your dog daily for ticks.





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parisflyer Ticks 08/26/2016 07:36am We have found with our pointer that by gently rubbing our hands over her that we can discover ticks by feel that we might have missed visually. We use both methods at least once a day. Be careful to use the correct tick removal tool. If you squeeze the tick, you could cause toxins, e.g. Lyme causing agents, to be released into your dog. There more than six serious tick-borne diseases here in the States, depending on region of the country. Reply to this comment Report abuse 5


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Dogs Left in Running Car Drive Into Storefront http://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/dogs-left-running-car-drive-it-storefront-34590









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Dogs Left in Running Car Drive Into Storefront


By Aly Semigran    August 05, 2016 at 09:13AM / (0) comments










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Any good pet parent knows to never leave a dog in a car on a hot day. Dogs left in hot cars can experience heat stroke and can even die from the rising and suffocating temperatures. But there are other mishaps that might happen if dogs are left unsupervised in cars.
 
According to CNN, a pet parent in West Virginia left her two dogs in her running car while she made a quick trip into the grocery store. But the canines somehow put the car in gear and slowly ran the automobile into a storefront before being stopped by a concrete pillar. Luckily, the dogs and bystanders weren't hurt in the accident. 
 
While this scenario could have had a worse outcome, it serves as yet another reminder of why dogs shouldn't be left in cars alone—even for short periods of time.
 
"There are multiple reasons not to leave a dog in a car that is running," Dr. Marcus Smith of the Chattahoochee Animal Clinic tells petMD. "Many dogs have separation anxiety when their pet parents leave them, which can cause frenzy-like behavior and may result in an inadvertent movement of the the gear shifter."
 
Smith also warns that this anxiety-filled behavior may cause a pet to destroy the interior of a car and even ingest pieces of a seatbelt or car fabric, which could lead to an obstruction of the dog's gastrointestinal tract. 
 
Another sobering reminder from Smith: "We cannot forget that cars left running are a car thief's dream, and you may not only lose your car but your furry best friend by leaving the vehicle running with keys in the ignition." 
 
If there isn't a person available to watch your dog in a running car while you conduct errands, Smith explains that the best course of action is to simply leave the dog at home. "I never recommend leaving a dog in a car in any situation," he says. 
 
Image via Shutterstock 





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Kitten Rescued From Zoo's Komodo Dragon Exhibit http://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/kitten-rescued-zoos-komodo-dragon-exhibit-34551







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Kitten Rescued From Zoo's Komodo Dragon Exhibit


By Aly Semigran    August 03, 2016 at 09:31AM / (0) comments










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Call it close encounters of a kitten kind. 
 
In late July, a stray kitten somehow found its way into a komodo dragon exhibit at the Fort Worth Zoo in Texas. When a zoo guest noticed the tiny, furry creature in the outdoor enclosure, they notified staff, who followed protocol and got the kitten out quickly and safely. 
 
Luckily, the kitten and the komodo dragon weren't in the same section of the exhibit at the same time. While the kitten was in the outside portion, the dragon was reportedly seen in the zoo's indoor area. According to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, the komodo dragon is not only the largest living lizard, but, in the wild, they will eat "almost any kind of meat."
 
"We are located in the midst of Forrest Park, which is one of the big park systems here in Fort Worth. So, as it often happens in public parks, there are feral cat populations around us," Alexis Wilson, the director of communications for the Fort Worth Zoo, tells petMD. "We do our best to keep them out of the zoo because it’s not healthy, obviously, for our animals to have interactions with outside animals of any kind." 
 
After the kitten was rescued she was taken to the zoo's animal hospital to ensure she was healthy, and from there they took her to the Humane Society of North Texas (HSNT). 
 
Sandy Shelby, the executive director of the HSNT, tells us that the resilient cat (who is roughly 5-weeks-old) is "thriving and doing well... [she is] eating good and is healthy."
 
The kitten is currently in foster care until she is ready to be adopted. "We are happy to take charge of this sweet baby and will find her a great home when she is old enough to be spayed and have her vaccinations," says Shelby. "Most of all, we are happy this story turned out the way it did and she was rescued in time." 
 
While the kitty (who has since, fittingly, been named Komodo), could have been in harm's way, Wilson feels certain that even if the two creatures were in the same place, the komodo dragon "would not have been particularly interested" in the kitten.
 
"We [often] think these larger creatures can be vicious, but you can never tell on size alone," says Wilson. "The animal kingdom is continuously unpredictable."
 
Image via Humane Society of North Texas Facebook 
 





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Owning the ‘Most Expensive Pet’ Costs More Than Money http://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/owning-most-expensive-pet-costs-more-money-34500









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Owning the ‘Most Expensive Pet’ Costs More Than Money


By PetMD Editorial    August 01, 2016 at 07:00AM / (0) comments










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by Adam Denish, DVM
 
When I ask my clients why they selected their particular animal as a pet, typical responses are: “I wanted something I could cuddle with” or “I couldn’t resist those eyes” or “I like to hear the cheerful sound of his chirping” or “I wanted a friendly face to greet me when I come home.”
 
Enter the dragonfish. An extreme case of an increasingly popular impetus behind choosing a pet: luxury. Similar to the desire to own a priceless work of art, dragonfish—particularly the red variety—have become a prized possession among the super wealthy in some countries.
 
While banned in the U.S., as it is listed as an endangered species, the status acquired by owning a fish that has recently sold for as high as $300,000 is an extravagance that many have aspired to but few have been able to attain. Real-life heists to steal the fish rival the action in a James Bond film. The incredible tales are detailed in a new book by author Emily Voigt.
 
The dragonfish, aka Asian arowana, can reach an adult length of almost two feet. The name dragonfish is used because the fish resemble a “dragon in full flight.” They are covered in large shiny scales that can range in color, depending on the breed, from green to grey, yellow, white albino, gold, and red.
 

 
In nature, these fish are found in freshwater swamps running through the forests of Southeast Asia. Over the years, habitat loss and over collection by aquarium hobbyists have pushed the Asian arowana to the level of endangered. The Endangered Species Act requires an owner to have a permit to keep a dragonfish. CITES (the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species) oversees captive breeding on fish farms in Asia. With proper credentials, dragonfish that have been bred in captivity for at least two generations may be sold. The fish receives a microchip for identification and the buyer receives a birth certificate and a certificate of authenticity.
 
But a fish can’t be cuddly or interact beyond the confines of a glass tank. So why invest in a fish? Not only does the prospect of owning a creature that may eventually reach the level of extinction appeal to some, enthusiasts claim that the dragonfish brings good fortune and will jump out of the water to protect its owner from harm.
 
The folklore surrounding the dragonfish makes it irresistible to many and is a driving force behind the increasingly successful methods for the captive breeding of exotic fish and manufacturing genetically altered fish that do not exist in nature. Ornamental fish such as pond koi and flowerhorn cichlids are examples of designer fish that, like trading cards, have become collectible.
 
The demand for exotic fish exists and the high prices people are willing to pay have provided a strong drive for fish farming and successful strategies for genetic manipulations. Fish farming has thus far saved the dragonfish from impending extinction. However, fish raised in this manner are fated to always be kept by humans. Releasing lab created animals back into the wild often becomes a potentially dangerous situation all around. For more on this, read Jurassic Park.
 
The issue becomes a “Which came first: the fish or the egg?” conundrum. The practice of breeding fish in captivity and manipulating their genetic diversity is controversial. However, taking animals from the wild and destroying their habitat is a conservation no-no.
 
So should you gather up all your goldfish and trade them in for a beautiful dragonfish? If you are thinking of purchasing an expensive ornamental fish, do your research. There are countless stories of exotic animals being confiscated by the authorities. Find out if the animal is legally allowed to be owned. Learn the origin of the animal.
 
While fish breeding in captivity is a relief to the environment, be sure the breeding facility is reputable. You may also have recourse should your fish have a health issue. Also, as with any animal, know the housing requirements for your fish. Water quality, filtration, substrates, space, tank mates, and food are key components in keeping fish. Talk with other exotic fish owners. Hobbyists enjoy sharing their experiences. Seek out message boards online as well as experts at aquariums. Consider the expenses. While the individual cost of the fish is a factor by itself, costs for the tank equipment, food, and potential need for veterinary care should also figure into your decision.
 
Lastly, think about your lifestyle. Unlike land animals that can go to a boarding kennel or stay with a friend while you leave for a business trip or vacation, fish will need someone to visit your home while you are away. While we understand the appeal of an exotic fish like this, we strongly discourage ownership of any endangered species.
 
 
*Poster image from Amazon.





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2016 Election: Which Candidate is the Most Animal-Friendly? http://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/2016-election-which-candidate-most-animal-friendly-34450
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Lifestyle & Entertainment Tue, 26 Jul 2016 17:38:34 +0000 34450 at http://www.petmd.com
Planning for Your Pet’s Care, Should the Worst Happen http://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/planning-your-pets-care-should-worst-happen-34447









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Planning for Your Pet’s Care, Should the Worst Happen


By Malia Friesen    July 25, 2016 at 07:00AM / (0) comments










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As pet owners we have all had, or currently have, that “once in a lifetime pet”; that special pet we will always remember as part of our family and as holders of our hearts. We dread that day we know will someday come, when they are no longer physically with us.
 
But what if the roles are reversed? What if our pet is left without us? Who will care for our beloved pet? Where will they live? Do we have a backup plan?
 
Current estimates show that about half of Americans with children have a will, outlining what their wishes are should something happen if both parents pass away or are incapacitated. Far fewer pet owners, about 9 percent, have provisions for their pets’ care, thus leaving about 10 percent of animals in shelters that have been surrendered due to owner death or inability to care for them due to health issues, relocation to assisted living, long-term hospitalization, etc.
 
So what should pet owners do? Make a plan!
 
Creating a 'Pet Protection Agreement'
 
Like most important life decisions, time should be scheduled to think through and plan conversations with friends, family members, or neighbors about what you would want to happen to your furry, feathery, or scaly family member(s). To ensure your wishes are carried out, a written, legal will is the best option; or to be more exact, a “pet protection agreement.”
 
These legal agreements can be easily made, and is the “layperson’s document … establish(ing) care for companion animals.” Many family attorneys, trusted advisors (accountant, trustee, insurance representative), or even online legal sites can help you prepare this document; you just need to be exact in your final wishes. It does not have to be fancy, expensive, or time consuming, but some thought and planning needs to occur.
 
A pet protection agreement is valid during your lifetime and beyond, and can help ensure that your wishes are carried out upon your death, or upon physical or mental incapacitation. This pet specific document is designed based on the current laws that pets are considered “property” and takes into account that property disbursements dictated in wills cannot always be legally enforced. Make sure your family, friends, neighbors, and future care takers are aware that you have prepared a will, or that provisions have been made, and that they have access to a copy.
 
In cases where you wish to set up financial compensation, or a “care trust” for your pet, you should seek the advice of a lawyer who is familiar with wills and trusts. Most family law offices are capable of working in provisions for pets and will be able to guide you on logistics and state laws.
 
Finding a Trustworthy Care-Giver for Your Pet
 
In July of 2004 I adopted my “once in a lifetime” pet. Grace the cat came to me after she was rejected by her mother; she needed bottle feeding and around-the-clock care. I began to look at the tiny fur ball as my own fur-baby, and soon my family accepted her as such. It terrifies me that one day she will not be with me. I know the average lifespan of cats and I know that someday we must say goodbye. But being a single woman, I do wonder what would become of Gracie if I were in a life altering accident or, worse, passed away? Would my parents or brother be willing to take her in and continue caring for her? Would she go to a close friend? Would she end up in a shelter, where as a “senior” cat her chances of adoption are low?
 
Ideally, pet owners should first have a conversation with family and close friends they feel will be willing and able to care for their pet(s). The conversation should not only consist of asking them if they are willing to take care of your pet, but spelling out what your wishes are for your pet’s continued care. This conversation should be an evolving, open line of discussion, with back-up plans and a formal agreement.
 
Keep in mind that just because your family member or friend says they are willing to care for Fido or Fluffy does not mean that their life style or circumstances won’t change, prohibiting them from fulfilling your wishes. Keep lines of communication open and have a backup plan to your backup plan!
 
Make Sure Your Vet Knows Your Plan
 
Informing your veterinarian (who has your authority to make medical decisions) and leaving written instructions on file will also be beneficial. This way, your vet will be able to act upon any immediate health concerns your pet may have while permanent options are being worked out. Most vets will only need a written letter kept on file, informing them of your decision and listing who you have chosen to act as caregiver. 
 





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New Database Allows Veterinarians and Pet Parents Alike to Search Clinical Studies http://www.petmd.com/news/cats/new-database-allows-veterinarians-and-pet-parents-alike-find-clinical-studies-34448









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New Database Allows Veterinarians and Pet Parents Alike to Search Clinical Studies


By Aly Semigran    July 22, 2016 at 09:22AM / (0) comments










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Whether you're a veterinarian or a pet parent (or both), being up-to-date on clinical studies can be an invaluable resource in ensuring the health and general well-being of animals in your care. 
 
The American Veterinary Medical Assocation (AVMA) recently launched the AVMA Animal Health Studies Database (AAHSD), which allows those in the veterinary field, as well as researches and/or pet parents, to use a free search tool to find the latest cutting-edge veterinary findings. 
 
According to an AVMA press release, "Veterinarians and animal owners may search AAHSD for studies that might be relevant to their patient or pet, either for a particular condition or even to provide health data or a sample from a normal animal. Owners interested in participating in such studies are encouraged to discuss their animal’s eligibility for any relevant study with their veterinarian. The site also has educational information regarding the conduct of clinical studies for both owners and investigators."
 
All of the clinical studies that are submitted for the database are read over by a panel of curators at the AVMA to ensure they are legitimate and in compliance with animal welfare laws and regulations. 
 
Dr. Ed Murphey, an assistant director in the AVMA Education and Research Division, tells petMD that before the AAHSD, the only other available database was limited to cancer studies, and predominantly limited to cats and dogs. This new database—which currently has 178 studies—is "all-encompassing in that most all fields of veterinary medicine are included, as well as all species of animals," Murphey explains.
 
Murphey also points out that this database can help the people who use it, as much as the animals it is for. "Many of the conditions that naturally occur in animals are very similar to the same conditions in people, so what the veterinary community learns in animal patients can inform the human medical community," he says.
 
All in all, learning more from veterinary clinical studies benefits animals and the humans who want to care for them, now and in the long run. 
 
"Clinical studies provide the best scientific evidence on which to base veterinary practice, so veterinary care improves over time as studies are completed," Murphey says. 
 
You can visit the AVMA Animal Health Studies Database here. 
 
Image via Shutterstock 





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Rescue Shelter Uses Pokémon GO To Promote Exercise and Adoption For Dogs http://www.petmd.com/news/adoption/rescue-shelter-uses-pokemon-go-save-more-dogs-34425









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Rescue Shelter Uses Pokémon GO To Promote Exercise and Adoption For Dogs


By Aly Semigran    July 18, 2016 at 01:35PM / (0) comments










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In response to the gaming phenomenon known as Pokémon GO, we asked veterinarians if it was safe to play the game while your dog is by your side for a walk. The general consensus was that pet parents could be distracted while they play, causing possible harm to themselves and their dogs. 
 
But not everyone in the pet health world thinks Pokémon GO is a bad thing. In fact, some shelters are using it for the greater good of adoptable pets. One shelter in particular, Positive Paws Rescue Transport in Albuquerque, N.M., is encouraging their volunteers to take the dogs to local parks while they search for Pokémon characters. While the pups get exercise, the walkers are encouraged to hand out information to anyone in the community who may be interested in giving the dogs a good, loving, forever home. 
 
The bright idea came from Positive Paws' own Haley Bowers. "I have been playing Pokémon GO a lot, and my dogs have been getting nice and tired from all the walks they have been going on," she tells petMD. "We always need volunteers to walk our dogs here at the shelter, and people were going to be outside and walking anyway, so I thought it would be a good way to promote our dog walking program."
 
The response has been overwhelming so far. Bowers says that people from all over the place have come by to walk the dogs while they are out hunting for their favorite Pokémon GO characters. "The community is going out of their way to help shelter dogs, and our shelter dogs are loving it!"
 
Bowers ensures that dogs are taken safely, in a car, to and from the park where they'll go to walk and play. In addition to that, there is a process to ensure that dog and walker alike are safe and happy. They assess the volunteer's dog walking skills, get their information, and, as Bowers explains, they sign a waiver in which "they agree that [the] dogs are more important than Pokémon GO" and agree to use good judgment when it comes to the dog's overall safety. 
 
Bowers and Positive Paws aren't the only ones who see the advantages of Pokémon GO, either. Dr. Cory Waxman of Metro Vet Center in Jersey City, N.J., thinks that the game is getting an unfair rap. "The game is encouraging people to go out for walks, naturally causing dogs to get walked more often," Waxman says. "Dog obesity is a huge problem in this country, and walking more frequently is one way to drop the pounds. It also allows dogs to expend their energy doing a healthy and stimulating activity, which has been shown to reduce anxiety and bad behavior." 
 
Like Bowers, Waxman encourages anyone out walking a dog to use common sense, be aware of their surroundings, and put the animal's safety and health first. "The amount of walks your dog can go on depends on the dog, but you can slowly increase the walks as your dog gets used to the exercise," he says. "If your dog is already tired, injured, or seems very hot, then bring him back inside and continue the walk by yourself." 
 
Whether or not the game remains the popular activity it is now for a long or short time, Waxman thinks that once game-playing owners notice their dogs' happier and healthier lifestyles, they'll keep on going for walks together. 
 
Image via Positive Paws Rescue Transport





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Hearing Dogs Can Benefit from Learning Sign Language, Too http://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/hearing-dogs-can-benefit-learning-sign-language-too-34414









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Hearing Dogs Can Benefit from Learning Sign Language, Too


By Bernard Lima-Chavez    July 18, 2016 at 07:00AM / (1) comments










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There are many special things about the relationship between humans and dogs, but being by their side as they develop from puppy into senior dog is an especially meaningful one.
 
As puppies, they make us laugh as they clumsily learn to climb on the couch. As teenagers, they unapologetically turn our remote controls into chew toys. As adults, they settle into our rules, schedules, and moods.
 
Once they become senior dogs, we are blessed to have been given many years of wagging tails and unconditional love. This is also a time of more physical change;  for both them and us.
 
As dogs age, they experience many of the same physiological changes as humans, including hearing loss, vision impairment and osteoarthritis among others.
 
Because I share my life with two deaf dogs, I am especially aware that my hearing dogs may one day lose their hearing. I am preparing for this possibility now by teaching them hand signs while they can still hear and I encourage others to do the same.
 
Signs of Deafness in Dogs
 
Hearing loss in senior dogs is a gradual process and the signs often go unnoticed until the hearing deficit is significant. Signs of hearing loss will vary and may depend on the degree of hearing loss, but some warning signs to watch for include:
 

not responding to their name or other common sounds, such as food being poured in his bowl, squeaky toys, or jangling keys
sleeping deeper than usual and/or not waking up when called
becoming a “velcro” dog who is unwilling to leave your side
being unaware that you have left the room

 
Maggie Marton with Oh My Dog!, whose senior dog Emmett has begun to lose his hearing, says, “I started to notice it last summer, but I suspect it had started to decline well before then. I noticed him following our younger dog around more, which was unusual for him. He was always a clingy dog, but he became a piece of Velcro stuck to us, and it seemed like he got confused if he didn't see us leave a room.”
 
Suspecting Hearing Loss in Your Dog
 
If you suspect your dog is losing his hearing, there are ways to test his hearing at home. However, it is best to also consult with your veterinarian to rule out a medical reason that can be treated.
 
Christina Lee, of Deaf Dogs Rock, offers these tips to assess your dog’s hearing.
 
“A good at-home test to see if your dog is going deaf is to put a squeaky toy in your pocket. Wait until the dog is distracted, put your hand in your pocket and then squeak the toy. This way your hand and the toy can't be seen. If you don't see a reaction to the squeak, most likely your dog is going deaf. You can also wait for your pup to take a nap and jingle some keys to see if the pup wakes up.”
 
Why You Should Start Teaching Dog Hand Signs Now
 
It is much easier to teach hand signs while your dog can hear than if you wait until hearing loss occurs. If you start now, you have the benefit of being able to use a verbal cue your dog already knows while also giving a hand sign. This approach helps your dog assign meaning to the hand sign much faster.
 
How I Taught Hand Signs to My Hearing Dogs
 
With my hearing dogs, I began to use a hand sign at the same time as I used my voice.
 
As an example, to teach them the hand sign for hungry, I started using our sign for “food” when I asked them if they were hungry. I did this consistently before every meal. They quickly learned that the sign for “food” means the same thing as the word, “Hungry?”
 
I used the same training process for other signs, including water, cookie, sit, come, stay, yes, no, and potty. Every time I gave them a cookie, I said the word while using the sign for cookie. Every time I filled their water bowl, I gave them the sign for water. And so on.
 
After a few weeks of using both a hand sign and my voice, I stopped using my voice and relied solely on my hands to communicate. Because I was consistent, my hearing dogs now respond to hand signs alone, and I keep adding signs to their vocabulary.
 
If there comes a day when Darwin or Galileo cannot hear as well as they do today, they will already have the skills they need to carry on as if nothing has changed. This is the least I can do to say thank you for all the joy they’ve given me.
 





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lazim27 Great advise 07/28/2016 12:16pm I used hand signals for sit, down,stay, wait, and come when training my dogs. Now that my 13 year old dog is deaf to most noises it really helps.
I only wish I had used more signals for no, yes, treat, and enough. He is learning them but it does take longer and more patience. I am so glad I can still communicate with him though. Reply to this comment Report abuse 1


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http://www.petmd.com/news/care-safety/hearing-dogs-can-benefit-learning-sign-language-too-34414#comments Care & Safety Mon, 18 Jul 2016 11:00:00 +0000 34414 at http://www.petmd.com
Pokémon GO and Your Pets: Is It Safe To Play With Your Dog? http://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/pokemon-go-and-your-pets-it-safe-play-your-dog-34413









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Pokémon GO and Your Pets: Is It Safe To Play With Your Dog?


By Aly Semigran    July 15, 2016 at 02:18PM / (0) comments










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Unless you've been living under a rock with limited wi-fi, then you're probably fully aware that Pokémon GO is all the rage. The interactive game has millions of players taking to the streets to "catch" the Pokémon characters on their phones.
 
The phenomenon has been making headlines, and news stories have covered everything ranging from people stumbling upon disturbing discoveries instead of a Zubat, to making love connections while trying to catch a Squirtle.
 
While the safety of human players has certainly been at the forefront thanks to Pokémon GO-related accidents and possible crime wave ties, what impact could this possibly have on our pets? 
 
Dr. Nancy Chilla-Smith of PAWSitive Veterinary in Brooklyn, New York worries that playing the game—like any other cell-phone distractions—could be dangerous for dog owners and their pets.
 
"Owners are less likely to pay attention to many things," Chilla-Smith tells petMD. "They may not look before crossing the street and, oftentimes, dogs are leading their owners, so they are the first in the road. That is a big risk for getting hit by a car."
 
Other dangers that could befall pets whose parents are distracted by Pokémon GO are dog waste not being picked up (which could cause problems for other dogs or children) and a dog eating something potentially life-threatening—like chicken bones or roadkill—off the street, says Chilla-Smith.
 
The Brooklyn vet has already noticed a difference on the streets of her neighborhood. "I've seen owners distracted on their phones with their dogs tugging the leash into the road or at other dogs," she says. "It is a problem."
 
Dr. Mina Youssef, DVM, of the North Star Animal Hospital in San Antonio, Tex., and Jennifer Scruggs, MSW, of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, also point out that the game is hitting its stride in the summer months, a dangerous time for dogs. "Be mindful of the summer temperatures and time of day you go outside with your dog," Youssef and Scruggs remind gamers. "The padding of dog's paws are sensitive to being pricked and exposed to heat... asphalt temperatures rise quickly. When possible, walk your dog on grass or concrete and check their paws often." 
 
While most of the Pokémon GO news stories that are related to animals are positive so far (including some players saving abandoned animals they stumbled upon while playing), Chilla-Smith wonders if it will take a sad story to make pet parents more aware of the possible risks. "The downside is, even with education, warnings, and common sense, owners are still going to bring their phones on walks and play the game."
 
However, some think that Pokémon GO is no different from any of the other distractions that face pet parents. "People have been bringing a newspaper with them to read at the dog park (instead of watching their dog) for years before we had Pokémon GO or even cell phones," says Connie Griffin, the general manager of World of Animals in Philadelphia. "This fad is just the latest in a long list of distractions we deal with everyday." 
 
Those distractions—including Pokémon GO—present a real problem in the eyes of professionaldog trainer Victoria Schade, who says that time spent on cell phones can negatively impact the relationships people have with their dogs. 
 
"Connected, mindful leash walks are an important part of the bonding process, and pet parents should always be present when they're outside with their dogs," she says. "Staying focused on your dog means that you can praise him for things like elimination and polite leash manners, and it allows you to be aware of what's happening around you."
 
Simply put: "If you're immersed in the virtual world, you're less likely to notice potential real world hazards," says Schade.
 
Image via Shutterstock





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http://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/pokemon-go-and-your-pets-it-safe-play-your-dog-34413#comments Lifestyle & Entertainment Fri, 15 Jul 2016 18:18:34 +0000 34413 at http://www.petmd.com
Animal Abuse Case: Dog Ingests Methamphetamine http://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/animal-abuse-case-dog-ingests-methamphetamine-34410









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Animal Abuse Case: Dog Ingests Methamphetamine


By Aly Semigran    July 14, 2016 at 09:34AM / (0) comments










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A dog named Jack Sparrow is lucky to be alive after ingesting methamphetamine. According to a press release from the Fontana Police Department in Fontana, California, regarding this animal cruelty case, the Chihuahua was brought to the Inland Valley Veterinary Specialists & Emergency Center in Upland, California, for "erratic behavior." 
 
The dog's owner, who has since been arrested, told authorities that his pet may have come in contact with methamphetamine. After being tested by veterinarians, the dog did test positive for the drug. 
 
Jack's life was in grave danger. He was experiencing the effects from methamphetamine, including convulsions and seizures, and was treated in emergency care. 
 
The dog—who is currently being rehabilitated until he can go into foster care—"is hyper sensitive to noise and sudden movement, but he is expected to recover in time," according to the press release.
 
Dr. Tina Wismer, DVM, and the medical director of the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center, explains to petMD that methamphetamine is a general neurologic and cardiovascular stimulant. The side effects of the drug in a dog include agitation, high heart rates, high blood pressure, tremors, seizures, and a rise in body temperature. There is also a great risk of death. 
 
While there's no evidence that dogs experience symptoms of withdrawal or cravings after ingesting the drug, Wismer says, it still presents a dangerous situation. "Our biggest concern is as their body temperature gets higher," says Wismer. "That could cause prolonged seizures and brain damage." Raised body temperature can also cause liver damage, strokes, or blindness in dogs. 
 
But it's not just illegal methamphetamines pet parents need to worry about. "There are a lot of drugs related to methamphetamine—for instance, ADHD medication," Wismer explains. That's why it's important for pet owners to keep all prescription drugs out of reach of pets at all times.
 
If a dog does ingest methamphetamine, Wismer urges that the pet must be taken in for immediate veterinary care. Emergency vets will likely give the dog medication to decrease agitation and blood pressure, says Wismer. 
 
Though cases of dogs ingesting methamphetamine are relatively low, it's still something that pet parents need to be very aware of. "It's a serious problem," says Wismer. 
 
Image via Shutterstock 





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http://www.petmd.com/news/lifestyle-entertainment/animal-abuse-case-dog-ingests-methamphetamine-34410#comments Lifestyle & Entertainment Thu, 14 Jul 2016 13:34:06 +0000 34410 at http://www.petmd.com