Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Welcome the World's First Test-Tube Puppies

The world's first puppies have been conceived using IVF — the same test-tube method that leads to the births of tens of thousands of human babies every year.

World's first litter of Test -tube Puppies

And they're ... just plain cute.

The idea is to be able to produce lab animals for medical tests. But the method can also be used to preserve endangered species, the team at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine said.

Why has it taken so long? It's because dogs are unique when it comes to making puppies.

"Dog reproduction is very, very different from that of other mammals," said Alexander Travis, an associate professor of reproductive biology who helped lead the work.

It's taken decades of work to figure out how to make a puppy in a test tube.

The world's first human test-tube baby, Louise Brown, was born in 1978. Since then millions of children have been born after scientists united egg and sperm in lab dishes and implanted them into the wombs of women.

In-vitro fertilization or IVF has been used to breed cattle, monkeys, and even cats. But not dogs.

It's because their reproductive cycle is a little bit different. They only go into heat - produce eggs — twice a year, for one thing.

"When they ovulate an egg, it gets released at a very immature stage compared to other species," Travis added.

"So for example in human or mouse, when the egg is ovulated, it's pretty much ready to be fertilized. In the dog, it has to mature in the oviduct or Fallopian tube for several days."

And the eggs cells are dark and hard to see.

The Cornell team came up with a way to make it work using a bath that includes the chemical magnesium, and finding the right stage of egg cell to use, they report in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS ONE.

The result? Seven puppies.

Travis says the method can be used to breed endangered species.

"There's currently five species of dog that are threatened with extinction," he said. They include the red wolf, the African painted dog, and the Ethiopian wolf.

"So by doing this now in a domestic dog, what we're doing is creating a platform or starting place to now expand this technique to be used for all these other species of dog. It may not turn out to be exactly the same, but it gives us a really good starting point," Travis told NBC News.

Researchers also can use the method to correct genetic diseases that plague many breeds of dog.

"In-vitro fertilzation itself can't help prevent disease but what it does is it gives us a way to generate embryos and then we can use new technologies - gene editing technologies - to hopefully go in and fix uh certain genes that cause those diseases," Travis said.

"Dalmations are known for getting urinary stones; golden retrievers are susceptible to different types of cancer. Collies get certain eye defects."

And dogs are very prone to cancer. They're often used in labs to study human diseases.

"There are many, many diseases — over 350 diseases — that dogs have that are genetic in origin that are shared with people," Travis said.

What about the puppies?

"What's next for the puppies is a lot of house training," Travis said.

Source NBC

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Idiot Boasts She's Taped Dog's Mouth; Faces Jail

Unbelievably Cruel!

Maybe this will shut her up.

The woman who duct taped her dog's mouth shut and boasted about it on Facebook has been charged with animal cruelty by North Carolina cops.

The actions of Katharine Lemansky sparked outrage on social media after she posted the photo of the dog, named Brown, with the caption: “This is what happens when you dont shut up!!!”

Katharine Lemansky ducted taped her dog's mouth, and boasted about it on Facebook.

Lemansky was thought to have lived in South Daytona, Fla., under the name Katie Brown, as hundreds of residents flooded the police department with complaints about the photo after it was posted Friday.

It was found that she actually resides in Cary, N.C., under a different name. Cary cops worked with Florida authorities to track Lemansky down.

"Taping the dog’s muzzle shut was a terrible decision on Ms. Lemansky’s part, and charging her with animal cruelty under North Carolina law was the right thing to do,” Cary Police Captain Randall Rhyne said in a statement Monday.

Cops did say that the chocolate lab mix appeared to be unharmed and all of Lemansky's dogs were "very well cared for."

"The dogs are current on their shots, spayed and microchipped," Police Captain Rhyne said. "They are clean and well-nourished and appear to be comfortable in their surroundings."

As a result, the dogs were not removed from the home, a decision that did not sit well with PETA.

The animal rights organization lobbied for the dogs to be removed from Lemansky's care on Tuesday in a letter to Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman.

Lemansky was charged with animal cruelty.

The North Carolina resident did not lose her dogs, as they were found in good health.

"It would show a shocking lack of empathy for others' suffering to tape a dog's mouth shut and then brag about this cruelty on social media," PETA Senior Director Colleen O'Brien said in a statement.

"Any dogs in this woman's custody may be in danger, which is why PETA is calling for the immediate confiscation of any animals in her home as well as a ban on owning animals if she is convicted of this callous act."

Lemansky is facing a fine and 150 days in jail.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Missing Dogs Massachusetts featured on CBS

Congratulations from Seattle to our virtual soul-siblings on the east-coast for this excellent piece of PR on the local Boston CBS affiliate. The group has been doing a fantastic job using Facebook to help Reunite missing dogs with their frantic owners. 

BOSTON (CBS) — Thousands of dogs in Massachusetts are lost every year.

On Sunday’s Pet Parade, WBZ-TV’s Kerry Connolly talked to one organization that’s doing its best to bring those dogs home.

Missing Dogs Massachusetts has helped to find 700 lost dogs since January, working through social media to raise awareness about missing dogs.

The group shared tips on what to do if your dog goes missing, and steps dog owners should take ahead of time to increase their dog’s changes of being found if it does run away.

Missing Dogs Massachusetts says newly adopted dogs often have a higher risk of going missing.


Here's the advise the group's website gives to owners

Steps to Reunite a Found Dog with its Owner

  1. Immediately contact your local Police/Animal Control (required by law).  This dog may already have been reported to them as missing.  If the dog’s appearance is alarming - do not assume that he/she has been neglected.  A dog that has been missing for any length of time can quickly become dirty, matted & thin.
  2. If the Dog is wearing a tag, call the number on the tag. If there is no ID tag, but there is a rabies tag or a town license, call the number of the town clerk’s office or the veterinary practice that administered the vaccine – they should have a record of the dog’s owner.
  3. If the dog is not wearing any tags, take the pet to the closest shelter, vet, or animal control agency, and ask them to do a full body scan with a Universal scanner.

    If the dog is chipped, and the chip is registered, the individual conducting the scan will be able to secure the contact information for the owner.
  4. Take the dog for a walk (on a secure leash) throughout the area in which it was found. He/she may lead you back home.  Be sure to ask homeowners in the vicinity if they recognize the dog.
  5. Create and post simple “Found Dog” flyers in the area in which the dog was found.  The flyer should contain a clear/ large photo and giant lettering/contact information so that it may be viewed from a passing vehicle.
  6. Use the internet to search for postings for the found dog.  Review both “Lost & Found” and “Pets” category on your local Craigslist.  Create posts (with photo) and place them in those categories as well.
  7. Fill out the MDM Found Dog Form so that we can create a post to share for you on our FB page  (NOTE starting in Spring 2016 No Lost Dogs in Seattle we will soon have its own active NLD Facebook page and forms)

Monday, November 23, 2015

What your dog CAN and CANNOT devour this Thanksgiving

Are you and your dog ready for Thanksgiving? Here are some foods your dog can and cannot eat!

Thanksgiving is only a few days away! All loving dog owners include their dogs in the celebration, but not all traditional Thanksgiving food is healthy for dogs.

According to a survey in PetMD, 56% of respondents said they share Thanksgiving table scraps with their pets.

While this is a wonderful way to share the Thanksgiving spirit with our pooches, there are also hidden dangers in it.

Here are some Thanksgiving foods your dog can and cannot eat.

Mashed Potatoes:

Potatoes on their own are fine for dogs. Just be aware of additional ingredients used when making this food. Mashed potatoes may contain cheese, sour cream, butter, onions, and gravy which can be dangerous for your dogs and other pets.


Turkey is great source of lean protein. Just make sure to stick with white meat and remove any excess skin or fat. Also, do not give your dogturkey bones.

Cranberry Sauce:

Cranberry sauce is generally okay for dogs but make sure to watch the amount of sugar in it.

Macaroni and Cheese:

If your dog’s stomach handles lactose just fine, macaroni and cheese is a safe to share. To be safe, you can always give your dog plain macaroni.

Green Beans:

Plain green beans are a healthy vegetable treat you can give your dog. But if the green beans are mixed with the casserole, be conscious of the other ingredients in it.

Onions, Garlic, Leeks, Or Any Allium:

Don’t give your dog anything with alliums. It may be true that small, well-cooked portions can be okay.  But ingesting these foods in large quantities can lead to toxic anemia in dogs.

Grapes and Raisins:

Many people do not know how toxic grapes and raisins are to dogs. The fruit has been shown to cause kidney failure in dogs.


In the new age of food handling, artificial sweeteners are used as a substitute for sugar. It may be a healthier choice for humans, but it is terribly fatal for dogs.


Humans love chocolate and it seems that dogs cannot resist it too. While we always make sure to keep chocolates away from out dogs, mishaps happen. During the holidays, baking chocolate is often used in recipes and sometimes forgotten about by the time the dishes are served on the table.

To keep your dog safe, make sure your dog does not eat anything with chocolate, especially the baking kind.


Never give your dog any food with alcohol – even in little amounts. What humans consider a small amount can be toxic for dogs. Bear in mind that alcohol poisoning can be present in foods like fruit cake and unbaked bread.

Article reposted from:

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Ettore the Lab-Mix is Found "Guilty"; "Punished" with Hugs

Apparently Ettore's crime was to make yet another hole in his owner's sofa. His Italian owner can't bring himself to make the "punishment' fit the "crime."  No knowledge of Italian needed to appreciate the beauty of the drama that unfolds.

(Video used for non-commercial purposes by No Lost a non-profit volunteer group.
For commercial use please contact Anthony  )

Monday, November 16, 2015

Onyx the Black Lab Found Inside Stolen Car and Reunited with Owner

                                                     Onyx reunited with relieved owner Nancy

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. (WHP) — Police in Franklin County say a dog and car stolen from a gas station parking lot have been recovered and the dog is back with his owner.

Chambersburg police said the car, which had a 10-year-old black lab named Onyx inside, was stolen from the Sheetz parking lot along Norland Avenue Wednesday morning.

Police say the car, belonging to 79-year-old Nancy Sheaffer, was left running.

The car was found late Thursday in the Greencastle-area of Franklin County.

Onyx was inside and later reunited with Sheaffer. "He's just like a baby to me," Sheaffer said Thursday.

Police say the person believed to have stolen the vehicle may have headed toward the York County area because of credit card transactions made on Sheaffer's cards.

"Every hour of the night I was out here walking outside to see if maybe he's trying to get home, or hurt or coming down the street...I mean every hour," Sheaffer said Thursday.

Police said their investigation into the vehicle theft was ongoing.

Source WHP

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

No Obamacare for Dogs! But Don't Overlook Canine Health Insurance

Pet insurance is not like human health insurance. It is designed to be more like automobile insurance, helping you prepare for the costs of large medical issues. Subscribers pay a monthly premium (prices vary depending on plan and company) instead of being surprised by a major illness or injury. It is like a safety net to catch you when you fall. It is certainly nice to have in an event where price is the last thing that you want to worry about.

When your dog is critically ill or injured, the last thing you want to think about is money. Her life and well-being certainly are priceless, but unfortunately budget must be a consideration.  When your pet is covered with pet insurance, you can focus on the important things and know that the price tag is taken care of. It is one less thing to worry about when worry is all you can do.

There are many companies and brands to choose from.  There are certainly charlatans (like in every industry) and you should ask for referrals from people you trust, like your veterinarian or fellow animal lovers. Good companies are more than willing to discuss their products and offerings.  Call around and talk with several and if you do not feel comfortable with one, mark them off your list.

There are a lot of options out there for pet insurance.  You can choose your carrier, your plan and deductible. The plan and the company need to be right for your pet’s needs and yours. See if you can find out what would be the best fit for your pet, taking into account his age, breed, lifestyle and health up that point. Make sure the premium is something that your budget can live with and that the plan covers your specific pet’s requirements.

Each company and plan has specifics that you should familiarize yourself with. Most have age and preexisting condition limitations. Pet owners hesitate to explore pet insurance because they hope that will never need it. If you do not, you can consider yourself lucky and if you do, you will be grateful for the policy.

Human health insurance covers preventive care in most cases. Some pet insurance companies offer riders to cover preventive care as well as catastrophic care too.  Make wellness coverage a part of your research, so that you know the variables of the plan, like deductible and premium. Preventive care is an issue that touches every pet because all pets need it. Ask your vet to estimate for you an average yearly cost for routine care, so you will know a good value when you research it.

If you are the type of person that can set aside a monthly amount on your own to plan for catastrophe (or dog-astrophe), you might not find benefit from an insurance plan. But if you would prefer having a safety net that is planned for you, pet insurance is an important consideration.

Being proactive about the things you can prevent and having pet insurance are things that you can do to keep your pet and your budget happy and healthy!

Source  By Dr Kathryn Primm

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

After 42 days, Jade the Australian Shepherd found in Yellowstone

David Sowers and Laura Gillice spent weeks searching for Sowers' missing dog Jade in Yellowstone National Park, motivated by the thought that she was out there, somewhere, all alone.

Sowers, 58, remembers thinking, "I've got to find her, she's my dog. No one else is going to put in the effort that I will," he tells PEOPLE.

Not anymore.

After 42 days on her own, Jade, a 17-month-old Australian shepherd, was reunited with the couple on Friday, bounding across a meadow to meet Gillice – a scratch on her mouth and looking extremely thin, but otherwise no worse off.

"She's one tough little girl," says Gillice, 58

It's been an emotional roller coaster since Jade's disappearance, Gillice says, and it didn't start out easy. On July 23, Gillice and Sowers had been returning from Yellowstone, in Wyoming, when they were involved in a car wreck; and Jade bolted as officials tried to retrieve her from her cracked plastic crate.

In the days immediately following, Gillice says she and Sowers – and later Sowers' children – searched, fruitlessly, for Jade.

Already leery of people before the wreck, Gillice says Jade was bolting from anyone who saw her.

Their efforts, accompanied by long drives to the park with no success, were devastating, she says.

What's more, Gillice and Sowers were recovering themselves – particularly Sowers, whose injuries included a broken wrist, broken finger and a kneecap shattered in 10 places

"We had pretty much given up," Gilice says.

But they continued to receive reports of Jade sightings, broken by two stretches – one for 16 days and one for nine days – where she seemed to disappear completely, Sowers says.

Sowers says it began to seem as though Jade had migrated about eight miles from the site of the wreck to the park's Canyon Village area, where Sowers' wrecked car had sat for several weeks before being towed. He believes she followed the scent.

So the couple went to Canyon Village too, and waited. By that point, Sowers says everyone in Yellowstone knew their story.

It was park employee Kat Brekken who led the organizing effort for Jade's search, he says, and helped spread the word on social media.

Brekken convinced the rangers to set out live traps, Sowers says, and asked for him to send some dirty clothes to help scent the area where Jade had been spotted.

Sowers says Brekken would take down posters for Jade and put new ones back up: "This dog is still missing. Don't give up on her."

Then "it finally paid off on Friday," Sowers says.

Gillice was walking her dog, Laila, around the meadow where Jade had been seen, near the gas station where Sowers' wrecked car once sat.

Out of the corner of her eye, Gillice says she saw a black head pop up, followed by recognition. Jade came "bounding at me, kissing me and everything," Gillice says.

Her survival was helped by her avoiding cars and by her strong nose, Gillice says. Jade always had a habit of searching out skulls and small animals while they hiked. Sowers says Australian shepherds are the smartest dog breed as he knows.

Jade is skinny now – "skin and bones," Sowers says – and is skittish around other animals. But around family, she's just like she was before.

Sowers says even Yellowstone officials couldn't quite believe it, and told him Jade's survival may have broken a record.

Sowers says he has received all kinds of emails and Facebook messages and texts. He's very thankful to everyone who helped them search.

He uses one word, over and over, to describe what happened: "amazing."

There's even talk, apparently, of a silver screen adaptation.

"It's a little overwhelming," Gillice says. "We laugh: 'Who's going to play us in the movie?' "


Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Great Escape! How to stop it

By Josh Weiss-Roessler - Source
Tell me if this sounds familiar. You’re doing some housework inside while your dog is safely hanging out in your backyard, barking every once in a while at interesting odors or offending sounds. Everything is normal until suddenly the barking is coming from a different direction — your front door!
Confused, you get up to see what’s going on and are shocked to see that your dog has gotten out. Thank goodness she ran to the front door and started barking, because she could have gotten herself into some serious trouble.
How to keep your dog from escaping is a frightening problem that has plagued many owners — though many may also simultaneously wonder if they should put their pup in some kind of Houdini-eque magic show to exploit his talents!
There are two things to consider if you have an escape artist of a dog: why he tries to escape in the first place, and what you can do to stop him.
Why dogs decide to roam
Dogs roam for all kinds of reasons, and in many cases, it will depend on the personality of your individual pooch. Here are some of the most common causes.
Protecting territory
If your dog tends to bark whenever neighbors come into their backyards or strange sounds are heard on the street, he may attempt to get out to keep his area safe and get those “bad” people to go away.
It’s all well and good to have a backyard for your dog to roam around in, but she needs your attention, too. For some dogs, this can be actual separation anxiety, and leaving is an attempt to find you, but others simply want to hang out with somebody — anybody! If you leave your dog alone in the backyard for too long, she may attempt to leave just to have some kind of social interaction. Along those lines…
Your dog has found something fun
When dogs escape and discover something exciting beyond the fence (another dog to play with, a field to run around in, food), they may keep trying to get out so that they can go have fun again. Why were they trying to escape in the first place? Probably because they were bored.
Your dog has found a friend
If you have an unneutered male dog and there’s an un-spayed female in heat somewhere in the neighborhood, he will smell her and he will try to find her — and have enormous incentive to get out of the yard however possible, whether over, under, or through the fence.
Does your dog try to pounce on squirrels during walks and yank out of your grasp because he just knows he can get to that bird before it flies away? If you have a pooch that likes to hunt, he may be escaping because he’s after another animal and will do whatever it takes to get to it.
What to do to prevent roaming
First, install a fence
Hopefully this is obvious, but you never want your dog outside without your supervision if she’s not in an enclosed area of some kind. A physical fence is usually best, but if you are unable to do this in your neighborhood, using an electronic fence is better than risking the possibility of your dog running into the street.
Keep your dog engaged
If you believe that your dog is escaping due to boredom, try to find ways to keep him interested. This might mean getting a few more toys for the backyard, taking longer walks, or teaching him a new trick once a day.
Prevent digging
One of the most common ways for dogs to get out of fenced-in areas is for them to dig a big enough space to crawl under the wall or gate. You can decrease the chances of this happening by placing a chain link fence or large rocks along the edge of the yard, or by burying chicken wire under the ground at the base of the fence so they can’t dig through it.
Spay and neuter
If your male dog is neutered, he’ll be far less likely to try to escape in search of females, and if your female is spayed, she won’t turn your house into a magnet for every unfixed male dog in the area. Bonus points: spayed and neutered dogs can be healthier, live longer lives, and don’t contribute to the problem of too many unwanted dogs around.
For more tips and tricks about keeping your dog from escaping your yard, talk to your vet or a local dog professional. And of course, the best way to keep your dog from escaping is to not let her outside unless you are able to supervise her.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Keep your Dog safe this 4th of July

Dog insurer Trupanion receives more anxiety-related claims in July than any other month of the year. Specifically, in 2014, it received 45% more anxiety-related claims in July than the average month. Many times, the claims in July list noise or fireworks a cause of the anxiety. It’s not fun to watch your pet in distress, and frightened pets have a greater chance of running away. So how can you keep your pet happy and safe?

6 Tips For a Pet-Safe Fourth of July. 

Beat the heat. Many families spend a lot of time outdoors on the Fourth. Make sure your pet has access to shade and plenty of water throughout the day. If your pet has short or white fur, you may want to invest in pet-safe sunscreen to keep them from getting burned.

2. During the barbecue, don’t feed your pet scraps from the grill. And watch to make sure they stay out of the trash. Rich table scraps can give your pet a serious stomach ache and non-digestible foods like bones and corn-on-the-cob can damage their digestive tract.

3. Give your pet a safe space during the celebrations. Your pet will feel most secure in a familiar, safe environment. This could be a bedroom, a crate, or a favorite gated-off area where your pet spends a lot of their time. Make sure they have access to a comfortable bed, favorite toys, and water throughout the night.

4. Provide white noise to drown out the sound of fireworks. You can leave the television or radio on, or just turn on a fan in the room to help sound-sensitive pets get through the evening.

5. Talk to your veterinarian about anti-anxiety There are many products available to help decrease anxiety—from body wraps to edible treats. Your veterinarian will help you determine the best tools to help your pet reduce anxiety. There are also methods available to help condition your pet to the noise over time.

6. Keep identification on your pet at all times. Unfortunately, many pets get lost during the first week in July, especially on July 4. Even if you follow all of these tips, your stressed pet may find a way to get out of the house. Always keep an ID on your pet with updated information and consider microchipping your pet just in case their collar or harness slips

Monday, June 15, 2015

Even 68 Degrees Outside Can be Too Hot for a Dog Inside a Car.

Summer is here and for many people (and dogs) that means so is the unbearable heat. Summer for humans means wearing less clothing and taking a dip in the pool or ocean, but summer for dogs can be harsh. Imagine not being able to take off your winter sweater, even when it’s 95 degrees out. It’s painful to even think about! For dogs, that is their reality.

Now that we’ve had a refresher on the rules, the question remains – what do you do when you see someone else’s dog in a hot car? Here are a few tips from the experts:

1. Get informed.

According to the Humane Society, the first thing that you can do to help a dog in a dangerous situation is to learn the facts yourself. Check out your town or state’s laws on leaving an animal in a car. Gather the phone number of the police department’s non-emergency line and also the animal control department in your town. Be prepared so that you aren’t left trying to solve the problem at the last minute, and wasting what could be precious and critical moments for the overheated dog.

2. Take down the car’s information.

The Humane Society says that when you see a dog left in a car, immediately take down the vehicle’s model, make, color, and license plate number. These can be used to report the owner for neglect or irresponsible behavior, and also to identify who the owner is.

3. Have the owner paged.

Go into the local businesses or buildings nearby and notify a manager or security guard. Insist that they make an announcement over the intercom with the license plate number to inform the owner of the dire situation.

4. If you can’t find the owner, call the authorities.

This is when having emergency numbers saved in your phone comes in handy. Call the humane authorities or the police to come and assess the situation.

5. Do not, by any means, leave the scene.

This is probably one of the most important things to keep in mind. If you have to, have someone else watch the car and the animal while you run inside the building. According to PetMD, signs of heatstroke include restlessness, excessive thirst, heavy panting, dark tongue, rapid heartbeat, fever, vomiting, and lack of coordination. Keep a close eye on the dog for these symptoms, as it could mean that the situation needs to be acted upon very quickly.

6. If the authorities take too long, take action.

If you very honestly believe that this dog is in bad condition and showing symptoms of heatstroke, assess the situation and get a witness to back you up. Remove the dog from the heat immediately and wait for the authorities to arrive.

7. Take proper steps to care for the animal.

When the dog is removed from the hot car, the situation isn’t necessarily over yet. Get the animal into air conditioning as soon as possible and give him cool water to drink.

8. Spread awareness.

While it may seem like an easy thing to remember, some people don’t realize the dangers that heat can have on animals. Kindly remind friends and family to leave their pets at home when they run errands. The Humane Society suggests asking local businesses to hang up signs during the hotter months reminding people not to leave their dogs in their vehicles. Most importantly, if your town doesn’t have a law regarding leaving dogs in cars, attend a town meeting and start lobbying for one.

While we hope that you’ll never have to use these tips, it’s important to have them handy just in case. According to the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association), hundreds of pets die from heat exhaustion every year. With these tips, you may be able to lower that number.

Remember – a cool dog is a happy dog!

Source Barkpost

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Figo Throws His Body Between Blind Owner and School Bus: Dog and Owner Survive

A golden retriever service dog named Figo saved a life when he leaped in front of a small school bus in an effort to protect his blind owner.

"I've seen dogs protect their owners when an intruder is coming at them, but not from an automobile," Brewster Village's chief of police John Del Gardo told ABC News. "I've never seen that before."

Audrey Stone, the woman that Figo guides, was walking through an intersection on North Main Street on Monday morning when a bus struck the pair in the center of the walkway, police said.

"Right before it happened the dog did something really heroic," Del Gardo said. "He sort of lunged at the bus. It injured his leg and paw, and the woman received multiple injuries. When EMS came, he [Figo] didn’t want to leave her side."

Brewster Fire Department's second assistant chief Moe DeSantis, who was at the scene of the crash, said the bus was carrying two school children, and no one on the vehicle, including the driver, was injured.

The driver, Chief Del Gardo said, was issued a summons for failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

Del Gardo added that Stone is currently being treated in the hospital with numerous fractures, three broken ribs, and a laceration to the head.

Figo, who received an operation at Middlebranch Veterinary in Carmel, New York, is now doing well in his recovery process, according to his vet Dr. LouAnn Pfeifer.

Pfeifer, who has been caring for eight-year-old Figo, said she is not surprised that he sacrificed himself for Stone.

"This is what they're trained for," she said. "He’s a good boy. He's been a patient of ours since he was in service of Miss. Stone and he is just a wonderful dog."

Pfeifer added that her facility will be holding onto to Figo upon Stone's release from the hospital.

Source ABC News

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Dogs Suffer from Allergies Just Like We Do

There's few things worse than watching a dogs furiously and interminably scratching some part of his or her body, only to be ignored by the owner. What does the poor animal have to do to communicate his discomfort? This article describes the symptoms to look for and identifies the three main potential families of allergy...flee, food and environmental. Possible treatments are highlighted but a trip your local vet is essential!

If your dog seems to have an allergic condition, it's important to get an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as you can.

There are safer ways to relieve your dog's symptoms than pharmaceuticals while you and your vet work to discover the root cause of the allergic reaction.

Relieving symptoms without addressing the source of the problem is a short term fix to what can become a lifelong health problem. And certain drugs used to stop the allergic cycle have significant, potentially very serious side effects.

Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD)

Flea allergy dermatitis, which is actually sensitivity to flea saliva, is a very common condition in dogs. It's not the bite of the flea that causes most of the itching in dogs with FAD, it's the saliva.

The saliva causes irritation way out of proportion to the actual number of fleas on the pup.

Lots of dog parents assume if their pet isn't infested with fleas, the itching can't be caused by fleas. But if your dog has FAD, the saliva of just one or two fleas can make him miserably itchy and uncomfortable for many weeks (long past the death of those two fleas).

Suggestions for flea control:

•If you suspect or know fleas are a problem for your dog, I recommend you comb her at least once daily, every day during pest season with a flea comb. Do this on a white towel or other light colored cloth so you can see what's coming off your dog as you comb. Flea 'dirt' (actually flea feces) looks like real dirt, but when suspended in a little rubbing alcohol or water will dissolve and release a red color (blood) allowing you to discern real dirt from flea dirt.

•Bathe your dog often. A soothing bath will kill any fleas on your dog, help heal skin irritation, and make her feel more comfortable and less itchy. Also, clean animals aren't as attractive to fleas. Pick a non-grain (no oatmeal) herbal shampoo.

•Make liberal use of an all-natural pest repellent like Natural Flea and Tick Defense during flea season.

For some dogs with a serious case of flea allergy dermatitis, I prescribe an oral drug called Comfortis. It is a chemical, but it's considered the least hazardous of all similar drugs. All drugs can have side effects, but Comfortis has reportedly fewer than topical insecticides.

Food Allergies

If your dog has an allergy to something he's eating, it may show itself not only as digestive upset (gas, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.), but also as one or several of these symptoms:

•Itchy or oozing skin
•Red, irritated eyes
•Nasal discharge
 •Coughing or sneezing; asthma
•Inflamed ears
•Swollen paws

If you suspect your dog is sensitive to something in her diet, there are a number of things you can do to learn the source of the allergy and solve the problem:

If your pet has been eating the same food every day for months or years, there's a good chance she's developed an allergy to it. Contrary to what you've probably been led to believe, pets need diversity in their diets just like humans do. She might be sensitive to the single source of chemically-laced protein she's been getting (chances are the meat is loaded with antibiotics and hormones causing immune system over-reaction). She's also probably grown sensitive to certain allergenic ingredients in the food, typically grains and other carbohydrates.

 Work with your vet to develop an allergy elimination diet to help pinpoint the source of the problem. I recommend a three-month diet, which is longer than what many vets suggest. I like to give adequate time for an animal's body to clear the allergenic substances, detoxify, and clean out cellular debris.

 At the end of the elimination diet, new foods are added back in slowly, one at a time to gauge your dog's response. It's not uncommon for pets to be able to re-incorporate previous problem foods or clean proteins into the diet once the body is detoxified and the GI tract is healthy again.

•Your holistic vet should also suggest natural supplements to help with detoxification, allergy relief and immune system support during and after the elimination diet.

•To be optimally healthy -- which includes avoiding food sensitivities and building resistance to all types of allergies -- your dog should be fed a balanced, species-appropriate diet. The diet I recommend is preferably raw, either homemade (again, as long as it's balanced) or commercial. Rotating the protein sources your dog eats is extremely important, as is strictly limiting or eliminating grains.

Environmental Allergies

In addition to flea saliva and certain foods/ingredients, your dog can also be allergic to an infinite variety of irritants in the environment. These can be outdoor allergens like ragweed, grasses and pollens, as well as indoor irritants like mold, dust mites, cleaning chemicals and even fabrics like wool or cotton.

As a general rule, if your dog is allergic to something inside your home, he'll have year-round symptoms. If he's reacting is to something outdoors, it could very well be a seasonal problem.

Also, your pet's immune system is partly genetic, so he can actually inherit a tendency toward environmental allergies.

Finding the root cause of this type of allergy is extremely important, because what usually happens is the more your pet is exposed to an irritant, the more his sensitivity and reaction to it grows.

Some suggestions for finding and resolving environmental irritants:
•Clean up your pet's indoor air environment. Don't allow smoking around your pet. Switch to non-toxic cleaning products. Consider investing in an air purifier to control dust mites.

•Make sure your dog's drinking water is high quality and doesn't contain fluoride, heavy metals or other contaminants.

•Don't allow your dog to be over-vaccinated or over medicated. Vaccines rev up your pet's immune system – too many vaccinations can send it into overdrive. An over-reactive immune system sets the stage for allergic conditions.

 Antibiotics wipe out good bacteria right along with the bad guys. Since the majority of your pet's immune system is in her GI tract, the right balance of gut bacteria is crucial for her health. There's also the growing problem of antibiotic resistance in pets.

Steroid therapy (prednisone, for example) is often prescribed for pets with allergies. What these drugs do is turn off the immune system so it stops creating the allergic response. It does work for symptom relief, but unfortunately, the side effects make this a very serious, potentially dangerous drug.
•Bathe your dog. If your pet has irritated skin, bathing will rinse the allergens away and make her feel better immediately. Don't be shy about how often you bathe your pet, especially if she suffers from allergies that itch and irritate her skin.

 If you suspect something outdoors is irritating your dog, in between baths, do foot soaks. Chances are the allergen is coming inside on your pet's feet. She can't escape it, and she's spreading it around indoors to every room she visits.

Source Dr Becker  on Mercola Healthy Pets

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Do and Dont's of Electronic Fences for Dogs

Electronic fences are training systems designed to keep the owner’s dog in the yard or within a set boundary in the yard. Using a transmitter to send a signal to underground wires, electronic fences create an effective boundary that is invisible to the eye. The dog wears a collar receiver that sounds an alarm if the animal wanders too close to the boundary, and if the dog continues to go near the boundary, the collar gives a mild static correction. After being trained, the dog can respond to an auditory signal, minimizing the static correction.

Although an electronic fence provides an invisible alternative to traditional fences, it is important for the owner to know whether or not such a system is best for their needs. Learning the basic do’s and don’ts before purchasing an electronic fence system is a good idea for undecided owners and owners who want to use the system effectively. Professionally-installed fences can be purchased directly from a fence company or local dealers. Electronic fences can also be purchased in hardware and pet supply stores, as well as through Internet retailers and online marketplaces like eBay...

The Do’s of Electronic Fence Systems
Electronic fence systems provide a concealed barrier that prevents dogs from jumping or digging under their predetermined boundaries. With an effective but harmless correction, dogs can be trained quickly to stay within the set boundary or keep them away from designated areas in the owner’s yard, such as a pool or garden bed. Although electronic fences offer many benefits, it is important to learn all the do’s to ensure the best possible use of this containment system.

1. Do Consult a Veterinarian
When using an electronic fence, it is important for the user to consult a veterinarian since these devices are not appropriate for all dogs. A veterinarian can determine if using an electronic fence is appropriate for the owner’s dog based on its medical records and temperament. This do is crucial because if the owner’s dog is not well suited to an electronic fence, the owner will have spent a significant amount of money and time on an ineffective containment method.

2. Do Plot the Wire Perimeter Beforehand
Whether the owner is having an electronic fence professionally installed or doing it on his own, it is a good idea to pre-plot the perimeter where the wires will be buried. This preparation allows for a quicker installation time because it helps the installer or owner determine what kind of tools may be required; for example if the wires need to be run through concrete or pavement, then a circular saw with a masonry blade will be required to dig a trench for the wire. If the owner is using a DIY kit, plotting the perimeter is especially helpful because it determines the amount of wire needed for the job. Also, certain transmitters cover more area than others, so it is good to know what kind of area needs to be contained to get the appropriate transmitter to cover it.

3. Do Test Wires Above Ground
Professional installers test the electronic fence system for the dog owner, but owners doing their own installation must make sure to test the system before burying the wires. This saves owners the hassle of having to dig up the wires if something is not working correctly.

4. Do Invest Enough Time to Train the Dog
Once the veterinarian has signed off on the use of an electronic fence, it is important for the owner to spend the right amount of time to train the dog on how the fence operates. A minimum of 48 continuous hours needs to set aside to train the dog for maximum effectiveness, although some dogs may require more training time. The owner must place the perimeter flags between 5 and 10 feet apart so the dog has visual cues. Every hour the owner must take the dog near the boundary using a leash until the receiver collar beeps, then he or she must pull the dog away and give it a treat or praise. When the owner is not training, the dog must remain indoors or away from the boundary. Near the end of the 48 hours, the owner can let the dog wander near the boundary on its own to see if the dog is learning. The dog must be pulled away from the boundary at minimum 50 times for the training to take effect.

5. Do Test Collar Batteries Often
The dog owner should test the collar batteries often since they need replacing every three to six months. If the owner’s dog tests the boundaries often, then the batteries might need replacing sooner. Having fully functional batteries is crucial for the electronic fence to operate as intended.

The Don’ts of Electronic Fence Systems
It is important for the dog owner to be fully aware of all the don’ts that come with using an electronic fence system. Knowing the don’ts ensures optimal satisfaction for both the owner and his or her dog.

1. Don’t Use a Fence With Certain Types of Dogs
As stated above, it is important to consult a veterinarian before using an electronic fence, but as a general rule of thumb, it is not recommended to use this type of system for guard dogs, vicious dogs, or dogs with health problems. Guard dogs, by their very nature, should not be contained in an electronic fence because their instincts are to protect their home at whatever cost and they will try to leave the boundary if they feel the need to protect their territory. The static correction can aggravate vicious dogs, so it is not a good idea to use this type of containment. The correction can harm dogs with health problems, such as heart conditions, because although the correction is mild, it can be jolting.

2. Don’t Run Wire Along Other Wires
If the owner is installing the system, he or she needs to make sure not to run the ground wires along electrical, telephone, or antenna wires to prevent electrical hazards and service interruption. Similarly, the wires should not be run along television cables or near satellite dishes. It is best to check with utility companies if the owner is unsure of where power lines are located so the fence wires do not cross power lines.

3. Don’t Put the Transmitter Outdoors
The transmitter should not be placed in a shed or barn where it may get wet. The best place to put the transmitter is indoors in a dry and protected area. Professional installers can choose the best possible location for the transmitter and can also ground it so malfunction does not occur during power loss or surges. If the owner is installing the electronic fence system, DIY kits include instructions on how to properly ground the transmitter. It is important to not skip this step to prevent damage to the electronic fence system.

Choosing a Professional or DIY Electronic Fence
Electronic dog fences are good alternatives when other types of barriers fail. Professional electronic fences can be pricey, but most companies install through the use of nationwide network of professional installers. The installers bury the cable and install the transmitter, making sure to test the system before use, and some companies even provide assistance in training the owner’s dog. Although professional systems provide the full package in terms of installation, they can run a few thousand dollars compared to do-it-yourself systems that cost a few hundred dollars. DIY electronic fence systems typically come with 500 feet of wire and transmitters with the capacity to enclose an area of 25 acres. There are more high power transmitters available to enclose larger areas, as well as additional wire if needed. The owner must decide how close his or her dog can get to the boundary before receiving a warning; once determined by the owner, the distance can be adjusted on the indoor transmitter. The distance can range from 1 foot to 30 feet, depending on the system the owner purchased. DIY electronic fence kits usually come with flags for marking the boundary during the dog training process, but other tools that may be needed for installation are a spade, lawn edger, shovel, wire stripping pliers, and electrical tape. When installing an electronic fence, it is important to read all the installation directions and refer to the do’s and don’ts to prevent any electrical hazards.

Wireless Fence Options
To avoid the hassle of burying wires, dog owners can consider wireless containment options. Wireless fence systems employ the use of radio signals in a centralized area to create a uniform boundary. Since this type of system uses radio signals, it can emit through walls but may not be the best choice for irregular-shaped yards.

Where to Buy an Electronic Dog Fence System
For professional installation, it is best to purchase an electronic fence system directly from the manufacturer or through one of its local dealers. Pet supply and hardware stores, as well as certain brick and mortar stores, sell DIY electronic fence systems. Although electronic fences can be purchased second hand, it is always best to test whether or not all the components are in working order to prevent any electrical hazards or harm to the owner’s dog. Electronic fence systems can also be purchased on the Internet through online retailers and auction sites like eBay.


Electronic fence systems were invented to help owners contain their dogs in the yard with the use of a transmitter, wiring, and a receiver collar. With buried wires or wireless transmitters, this electronic fence provides an invisible boundary and is a good alternative when dogs are constantly digging under or jumping over traditional barriers. Once owners have chosen between a professional or do-it-yourself electronic fence, it is important for them to know all the basic do’s and don’ts to ensure the most effective and safe containment for their dog. Electronic fences for dogs can be purchased at hardware or pet supply stores, as well as select brick and mortar stores. They can also be purchased online through retailers or auction sites like eBay. Although electronic fence systems have many advantages, it is always best for the owner to consult with a veterinarian to make sure his or her dog is well-suited for this type of containment.

Friday, February 6, 2015

When you Gamble with Safety You Bet your Dog's Life

By Dr Marty Becker (Vet)

Dogs from recent Subaru commercial...where's their harness? 

I’ve done it, and I know better. You’ve done it, and you probably know better too. I’ve written against it and recommended products that will prevent it. But I bet the majority of pet owners still do it. In fact, I know they do.

What am I talking about? Letting dogs ride loose in the car, or even worse, letting a dog sit on your lap in the front seat, head happily out the window. Yes, dogs like — make that love! — doing this. And yes, it’s a lot easier to just let your dog hop in the back, or front, seat for a joyride than it is to secure him properly. But you know, I would never allow my precious granddaughter to ride without her car seat, and it has been a very long time since any of my pets have ridden in the car without being safely secured, either — for a lot of the same reasons.

Let’s change this, together.

The Old Ways Aren't Always Best
I know some of us are old enough to recall a time when seat belts were optional for everyone. Remember how a mother driving the classic station wagon of yesteryear would throw her arm out if she had to brake suddenly? She was protecting the child sitting next to her in the front seat from flying through the windshield. We know Mom was trying to help, but simple physics explains why one outthrust arm is no deterrent to even a very small child in motion.

Cars are much safer now, and drivers are so much more safety-conscious. We know about crumple zones and the value of air bags, and we understand why our little kids need to ride in the back seat, strapped into appropriate boosters or car seats. We won’t start our cars until our older children click their seat belts, and even adult passengers don’t get a pass on buckling up anymore. In many states, the law is click it or ticket, but good parents insist on a buckle-up even when it isn't mandated.

We all know that an accident can happen in a heartbeat, but regret lasts a lifetime.

And yet, even though we wouldn't think of letting our kids or our friends ride around unsecured, we're still letting our pets roam free in our cars — even though it’s so easy to keep them secured. Crates, originally developed for air travel, have long been used for safety in cars, and they’re still one of the best options for your pets. Position your pet's crate as close to the center of the car as possible, and secure the crate to keep it from becoming a pet-loaded projectile during an accident. This gives your pet a cozy and safe place to ride when you hit the road.

Another option is a safety harness; these have become very popular in recent years, to judge from what I’ve seen at Global Pet Expo. I like the kind that works as an extension of the car’s own safety-belt system, using the vehicle’s own design to help protect pets. Look for safety-belt materials when choosing these products, as well as a padded harness designed to protect pets in an accident.

Can a Loose Pet Cause an Accident?
A properly secured pet will not be flying around the car in an accident, injuring or possibly killing people. But even under the best of conditions, a loose pet, or one that is riding in the driver's lap, can cause other issues. Driving with a dog in your lap — or simply unsecured in your car — can pose a serious distraction to the driver, which can be dangerous for everyone on the road.  The risk is bad enough that in a few states it is illegal to drive with a pet on your lap. A lap-sitting pet is a distraction, just as using smartphones and eating while driving both are.

Our Becker family pets spend more time going places with us than ever before. Everything from the patios of restaurants to high-end hotels now welcome pets, especially the small dogs that have enjoyed such a meteoric rise in popularity in recent years — and who are the most likely to ride in a driver's lap. And while it's fun to take our pets everywhere we go, we need to protect them and protect ourselves from the distractions they present when we’re on the road.

So yes, I admit it: In the distant past I took my dogs for joyrides without safely securing them. And maybe you will do the same today. But as a veterinarian I know that prevention is the key to caring for our pets in the best possible way. That's why I recommend that your pets ride as mine always do now: in secured crates or in safety harnesses.

You can’t guarantee that you won’t be in an accident. But you can reduce the risk of serious harm to your passengers, your pets and yourself by not letting your animals ride loose. If you love your pets, secure them. It’s just that simple.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Seattle Lab Takes Bus By Herself to Dog-Park

Public transportation in any city almost always attracts an assortment of characters, but a hairy bus rider that roams the aisle on all fours and licks the seats might be a little much for even the most open-minded commuters.

But public transit riders in Seattle don't just tolerate Eclipse, a black Labrador-bull mastiff mix -- they've grown to love her.

"All the bus drivers know her," passenger Tiona Rainwater told CNN affiliate KOMO. "She makes everybody happy. How could you not love this thing?"

Eclipse started riding the bus to the dog park a couple of years ago with her owner, Jeff Young.

Her first solo ride happened after Young paused to smoke a cigarette and couldn't finish in time to board the bus.

Eclipse, knowing exactly what to do, hopped on the bus alone. Young caught the next one and the two reunited four stops later at the dog park. The tradition never stopped.

For Young, Eclipse's independence isn't really that surprising.

"She's been here the last two years, so she's been urbanized, totally," Young said.

When local radio host Miles Montgomery saw Eclipse looking for a window seat so she could "get off at the dog park," he couldn't believe it.

"I just look out the window and I'm like, 'Did that just happen?'" Montgomery told KOMO.

Indeed it did, Young said of his friendly companion.

"She's a bus-riding, sidewalk-walking dog," Young said.