Monday, September 30, 2013

A Transformation You Won't Believe But Sadly Rescue Folks See This More Times Than Not....

Emaciated & Dying Dog’s Amazing Transformation

July 25, 2013

When Patrick was found, he was emaciated and abandoned. His cruel owner starved him until he was nearly dead, threw him down a garbage chute that was 22 stories high and left him for dead. A maintenance worker found the poor puppy before he was put into the trash compactor, cold and almost dead.
The City of Newark Animal Control was contacted and ACO Arthur Skinner picked up the dog and brought him directly to the Humane Society. This was his amazing transformation:
He was given a blood transfusion, a bath and 24 hour emergency care for the longest time. He was named Patrick after St. Patrick; his rescuers thought he was lucky. He should have been dead, but he grew into a happy and healthy dog.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Puppy Mill Awareness Day In Chicago

Puppy Mill Awareness Day Chicago
 Sunday, September 22, 2013
 12:00 p.m.
 Meet at Michigan Avenue and the Chicago River
Join The Puppy Mill Project for Puppy Mill Awareness Day, a peaceful march down Michigan Avenue.
This is a great opportunity to help end puppy mill cruelty by educating the city of Chicago and raising puppy mill awareness!
This event is free and all are welcome. We will assemble at the north end of the Chicago River on Michigan Avenue near Pioneer Court shortly before 12:00 p.m. We will walk to Water Tower Place and back and will have signs on hand for participants.
We hope to see you there!   

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

25 Foods That Can Kill Your Dog !!!

#1 Bones

Bones from fish, poultry, or other cooked meat sources can cause your pet more harm than good! Cooked bones become extremely brittle, and as a result, they can splinter in your pet's mouth and lodge painfully in their throat or stomach. Always make sure that you only give your pet raw meat bones, and never fish bones! Better to buy bone-shaped rawhide treats from the pet store than to give your pets real bones.

#2 Chili

Some people love their chili, but trust us, pets don't! So how exactly does it affect your pet? The same thing happens to a pet that eats chilis as happens to us- it can sting when it comes into contact with mucus membranes- such as the eyes, nose, and anus. Painful indeed!

#3 Beer Hops

Beer hops are commonly used in the home-brewing of beer, however they are very dangerous to your pet if they consume them. An unknown compound in the beer hops causes increased heart rate, seizures, and possibly even death. If you brew beer in your home, make sure your hops are locked up. Always ensure that harmful substances are kept out of reach of your pet.

#4 Mustard Seeds

So what happens if your pet ingests mustard seeds? Gastroenteritis is usually the result for a pet who eats a large amount of these, and it would require you to take your pet to the Veterinarian as soon as possible. Always be careful when feeding your pet leftovers, as they may contain mustard or mustard seeds. Dogs prefer their sausages plain anyways.

#5 Tomato Leaves and Stems

Tomato leaves and stems contain tomatine, a chemical that can cause numerous problems to the health of your pet. When stems, vines and green fruit are ingested, clinical signs can include gastrointestinal irritation, ataxia, and weakness. Remember to use mesh to keep your pets away from any tomato vines you have in your garden.

#6 Peach Pits

Peach pits are similar to cherry pits, and they cause a number of problems for your pet. Peach pits can commonly become lodged in your pet's throat, and as a result, can cause permanent problems. Pits can also become lodged in the various other organs, including the stomach and the digestive tract. Don't feed your dog peaches!

#7 Moldy Foods

Moldy foods, commonly found in garbage cans, can cause serious harm to your beloved pet. Moldy foods are a big no-no for your pet, because they can contain any number of toxins that cause vomiting and diarrhea and also affect the other organs. You know not to eat moldy food, your dog doesn't, make sure they aren't digging in the trash!

#8 Yeast Dough

Yeast dough, when consumed by small animals, can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and possible rupture of the stomach and intestines - Scary! Always ensure that you do not leave bread dough on kitchen surfaces unattended if your animal can reach it! Once the bread is cooked, it is safer for dogs to eat (but not necessarily healthy).

#9 Walnuts

Did you know that walnuts can cause gastric intestinal upset or even an obstruction in your dog's body? Walnuts also can contain tremorgenic mycotoxins (toxic chemical products produced by fungi) which can cause seizures or neurological symptoms with your pet. Just cause they're good for you doesn't mean they're good for Rusty.

#10 Tea

Tea contains theobromine and caffeine, which can both be toxic and affect the heart fatally. Never let your pet drink drink your tea, and always be careful not to leave your cup of tea sitting unattended on a surface that is easy to reach by your pet! Also make sure your dry tea is stashed away safely; fruity flavored loose tea could entice a curious dog.

#11 Salt

Eating too much salt can cause excessive thirst and urination and lead to sodium ion poisoning in pets. Symptoms of too much salt include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, and seizures. In worst cases, too much salt can even lead to death. Don't feed your dogs leftovers of very salty food.

#12 Rhubarb Leaves

Rhubarb leaves are very poisonous to dogs. A substance called oxalate is present in the leaves of the rhubarb plant. It is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream if ingested and can cause severe problems with your pet. If you grow rhubarb in your garden, always ensure that your pet does not go near it.

#13 Onions and Onion Powder

Both onions and onion powder contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can cause damage to red blood cells and cause anemia. When giving your pet leftovers, always make sure that there are no pieces of onion present in the dish, and always ensure that the food does not contain onion powder.

#14 Mushroom Plants

The bad news is that wild-growing mushrooms - even the backyard variety - can contain toxins, which may affect multiple systems in your pet's body. As a result, your pet may go into shock, or in worst cases, consuming mushrooms may prove fatal. Make sure you remove and dispose of wild mushrooms growing in your backyard to be on the safe side. Dogs are known to play with them and chew on them.

#15 Chewing Gum

A lot of sugar-free gums contain Xylitol, a toxic chemical to pets. Chewing gum can also cause blockages in the esophagus or bowel, both of which can cause a lot of harm to your pet. If your pet ingests chewing gum, it can also lead to other problems, such as obesity, dental problems, and diabetes. Seriously, why would you give a dog chewing gum?

#16 Garlic

Garlic, when ingested by animals, causes damage to their red blood cells. Pets who have consumed garlic may seem weak or reluctant to move, or they may appear to tire easily after gentle exercise. Their urine may be orange-tinged to dark red in color. In more severe cases, blood transfusions may be needed for your pet. If you think your pet has consumed a lot of garlic, you should call the vet's office ASAP!

#17 Coffee

Coffee, and most notably, the grounds, beans, and chocolate-covered espresso beans, contain theobromine and caffeine. These two elements are extremely dangerous to pets, and when consumed, can sometimes affect the heart fatally. Not good at all! Be careful of coffee-flavored things like ice cream that might get scarfed down by a mischievous pup!

#18 Cherry Pits

Cherry pits are dangerous to your pets because they can get lodged in their throats and cause damage to their oesophagus and stomach, as well as numerous other vital organs. Cherry pits have been a common reason for animals choking and having to be rushed off to the vets, so make sure you take care when disposing of your cherry pits, and don't feed cherries to your little furry friends!

#19 Apple Seeds

Apple seeds may seem so tiny and insignificant, but the truth is that they contain a chemical that has proven to be deadly to animals, especially dogs. Apple seeds contain cyanide, even the smallest quantity of apple seeds can cause harm to your pet if ingested. Do NOT give your pets whole apples under any circumstances!

#20 Xylitol

So what exactly is Xylitol, you ask? It is a sweetener found in many products, including sugar-free gum and candy. It causes a rapid drop in blood sugar, resulting in weakness and seizures. Liver failure also has been reported in some pets, so it is certainly best to avoid this substance when it comes to your pets.

#21 Grapes and Raisins

Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. Even a small number of the fruits may cause permanant and fatal problems in some pets. Make sure that if you are eating grapes or raisins near your pet, you're careful not to drop any on the ground. Remember, even just one grape could prove fatal to your furry friend.

#22 Macadamia nuts

Pets may suffer from a series of symptoms, including weakness, overheating, and vomiting, after the consumption of macadamia nuts. Macadamia nuts also contain a number of toxins harmful to animals that can affect various organs in your pet's body. So avoid feeding your pet macadamia nuts at all costs, and keep them out of reach of your pets.

#23 Avocado

Avocado is super healthy for us humans, but not apparently so for our pets! Avocadoes have a substance called persin that can act as a dog poison, causing vomiting and diarrhea. It's also best to avoid serving avocado up to other pets, including cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and birds. We like avocados way too much to feed them to our pets anyways.

#24 Alcohol

Sometimes humans can't even handle their alcohol, so you should definitely never give it to your pet! Symptoms of alcohol poisoning in animals are similar to those in people, and may include vomiting, breathing problems, coma and, in severe cases, death. It takes much less alcohol to kill a dog or cat than a person, even if you adjust for the weight difference. We know it's funny to let your dog drink beer, but cut it out.

#25 Apricot Pits

Apricots are another super healthy fruit for humans that are best kept away from your pet. When eating this fruit, always ensure that you dispose of the pit in a place where your pet cannot get to it, such as in a secure garbage bin. The pit from the apricot can easily cause a pet to choke, and could possibly result in death! Your dog doesn't know there's a pit inside.

Monday, September 16, 2013

What Would You Do If Your CIty banned Your Dog's Breed ?

What Would You Do if Your City Banned Your Dog’s Breed?
The Heartbreak that is Breed Specific Legislation
 The banning of breeds, confiscation of family dogs, and the business of changing public perception29I have a secret. It’s something that few people know about me, a dog fanatic that lives her life as an open book. I am scared of Pit Bulls. Terrified, actually. I am afraid to extend my arm, hand out, palm up, to a Pit Bull for fear of being attacked. And this is from a woman who greets every dog who comes her way with a “Hello baby” or “What a pretty dog.” For every breed but one, I will ask the owner, “Can I pat your dog?” and then gleefully rub the head of any pup whose owner permits it.
Except Pit Bulls.
This isn’t the result of some historic Pit Bull trauma. When I was in grade school, a Borzoi at the top of our street once lunged at me, tearing the collar of my coat. And as a child, visiting my grandpa, a pair of Pomeranians used to try to bite us kids through the fence. Neither breed scares me now. My sister had a Rottweiler and now has a Doberman, and I have no fear. I had German Wirehaired Pointers and currently have a large cross breed that is far more German Shepherd than Golden Retriever, and I have no fear. But I am afraid of Pit Bulls so I’ve kept my distance— and, until now, my secret.
Then, I received a chance invitation to the Vancouver premiere of the documentary Beyond the Myth: The Truth About Pit Bulls, a film dedicated to demonstrating that Pit Bulls are saddled with an undeserved reputation fueled by ignorance and misunderstanding. It heartrendingly illustrates the consequences of breed specific legislation (BSL). Imagine your dog confiscated by the authorities and put down simply because he is of a breed your city has legislated against. I RSVP’d in the affirmative. The viewing was a watershed moment. I realized I was guilty of buying into a myth. Somehow, somewhere, at some unknown point in time, I had allowed a notion to become a belief—one without a grain of evidence to support it. Fear has a way of doing that, insinuating itself though unsubstantiated. There are a lot of theories of how fear takes root. Certainly, in the case of Pit Bulls, there is a lot of blame on the media for reporting Pit Bull attacks differently than other dog bite incidents. If a Pit Bull is incriminated, the language employed is frequently more graphic and the breed is often only named (sometimes incorrectly) if it’s a Pit Bull.
But more scary than my fear of Pit Bulls is the fact that this fear is so widely shared that many cities and jurisdictions have acted on it, introducing BSL that can either impose conditions on bull-breed dogs or prohibit people from owning or keeping the dogs within the jurisdiction altogether. Like Ontario—a province so scared of Pit Bulls, it banned them altogether (with few grandfathering exceptions).
Think of it: your city empowered to outlaw your perfectly lovely, well-socialized dog simply because it is a member of a certain breed. BSL means a dog is considered vicious and then treated as such solely because of how it looks. It has nothing to do with past behaviour. It has nothing to do with current behaviour. It has nothing to do with the commission of an aggressive act. The basis for BSL rests solely on a collection of perceptions such as the size of the body, shape of the head, and length of the hair. In other words, it is guilt by association— you look like a guilty dog so you will be treated like a guilty dog.
That was the case in the City of Denver where officials passed BSL and began seizing and euthanizing any dog it identified as a Pit Bull. Beyond the Myth relates the heartbreaking story of Desiree Arnold, who still grieves the death of her dog Coco, picked up for the sole crime of being a Pit Bull. City rules gave Desiree seven days to request a hearing or Coco would be killed. She found a third party outside the City who agreed to provide a new home for Coco, and Desiree waived her right to a hearing, allowing Coco to be released to a new caregiver.
Ultimately, though, that arrangement fell through and Coco returned home, only to be picked up by animal control again after someone reported seeing her back in Desiree’s house. After five weeks of being kenneled behind a chain link fence without any natural light, where she would “scream bloody murder” every time Desiree visited then left, Coco was euthanized, her body returned to her owners in a garbage bag.
What makes this terrible story all the worse is that Coco’s death was for naught. BSL does nothing to diminish dog bites and attacks. It is costly to enforce and cannot be enforced consistently as it is based on a look not a reality.
“Knowing dogs, lots of Pit Bulls can be lovely, happy, friendly, kissy family dogs when they are raised and bred properly,” says Sarah Bull, the City of Coquitlam’s Bylaw and Animal Services Supervisor (her opinions are her own and do not represent the City). “Every decade seems to have a different breed that gets demonized. For Pit Bulls, it kind of stuck.”
Compounding matters is the confusion over what dogs actually fall into the Pit Bull camp. Most people who speak of Pit Bulls are actually referring more broadly of a group of dogs that have Pit Bull or bull-breed characteristics, including muscular bodies, broad chests, short coats, and pronounced heads and jaws and cheeks.
Profiling dogs as Pit Bulls is opening a can of worms, says Shelagh Begg, Director of the bull-breed advocacy, education, and rescue group Hugabull. There are only three recognized bull-breeds: the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. “Everything else is a catchphrase or a mix thereof; all are based on a look not an actual breed,” Begg explains.
This is important when it comes to breed specific legislation. If you ban a breed you need to first define the breed, or else enforcement personnel are left wringing their hands trying to enforce the law with a “looks like a duck, quacks like a duck” assessment. Begg says studies show that shelter workers incorrectly indentify a dog’s breed just by looking at it more than 85 per cent of the time.
Knee-jerk reactions are not the basis for sage decisions and such is the case with BSL. Italy is a perfect example. It began banning specific breeds and, with new attacks implicating yet other breeds, (worth noting the bans already in place did not prevent bites), more breeds were added until Italy boasted BSL naming some 92 different dog breeds. Also of note is the fact that Italy has recently repealed breed specific legislation in favour of more general terminology that addresses the problem of irresponsible owners and proven vicious dogs. Begg says that there isn’t a single statistic to prove BSL works and in jurisdictions with BSL, dog bite statistics do not decrease. One of the reasons is that BSL doesn’t address vicious dogs; rather it addresses dogs that look like another vicious dog.
The City of Coquitlam, BC had BSL. Until October 2011, the three recognized bull breeds were automatically considered vicious dogs and were required to be muzzled, along with other restrictive criteria imposed on them.
Animal Services Supervisor Bull says, in her opinion, BSL doesn’t work as any breed of dog can display bad behaviour and can bite, and City resources and efforts are better spent educating owners, enforcing rules, and ticketing owners who fail to comply.
“Punish the deed not the breed,” says Bull. The City of Coquitlam came to the same conclusion. Some of the criteria were hard to enforce, plus enforcement efforts were devoted to ensuring “perfectly friendly” Pit Bulls were muzzled, Bull says.
Another problem with BSL is it acts to support and confirm people’s unfounded biases. “We’d had a lot of complaints because people were afraid of the look of a dog that had never tried to bite anything. A neighbour would call us to report a vicious dog next door and we would ask, “Can you tell us about its behaviour?” and they would respond that it did nothing wrong but that they had kids and there was a Pit Bull in the yard next door and everyone knows Pit Bulls are vicious.”
It took a few years, she says, looking at how the City could create a bylaw that would provide the tools to allow animal service officers to address problem dogs. The City went from a two-tier system (the dog was either a normal dog or a bull-breed dog and therefore vicious) to a three-tiered system outlining the approach for dealing with normal, aggressive, and vicious dogs, regardless of breed, based solely on exhibited behaviour.
“From an enforcement perspective, it’s the best way to have consistency,” Bull says. “Pit Bull owners across the board have given positive feedback. They feel like they are being more fairly treated.”
Coquitlam wasn’t alone in repealing ineffective and prejudicial BSL, says Hugabull’s Begg. Delta and Vancouver, BC, repealed their own BSL as did Edmonton, AB. Cincinnati, OH repealed BSL after living with it for nine years. But the question remains, why would any jurisdiction keep—or worse, introduce—BSL knowing it doesn’t address the problem? Why create a law that leaves us all vulnerable just because it wears a cloak of false protection?
“Because it’s easy to do,” says Begg. “It’s easy to enact. You write it on a piece of paper. It gives policy makers an easy out to address a problem. An incident happens and the media glom onto ‘Pit Bull versus Dog’ story and there’s a lot of hype. The community cries for a breed ban in response and the policy makers feel pressure. Besides, they see that other places have done it.”
Shattering entrenched irrational fears is neither fast nor easy work, but exposing them to the clear light of day is a good start. In the case of BSL, the documentary Beyond the Myth does just that, forcing an examination of mistaken beliefs and providing much-needed information to counter the myths and misperceptions surrounding this group of dogs.
I know personally that the first step to addressing a fear is to recognize it as unfounded. I also know I need to take Begg up on her offer to spend some time with one of her “very clownish, gregarious, goofy, and loving” Pit Bulls because, as she says, until we look at the root cause of our fear, nothing is going to change.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Best Dog Friendly Restaurants In St. Louis To Take Your Dog To .....

Hudson's Favorite Dog Friendly Restaurants

This is my top pick of St. Louis Restaurants that allow dogs to eat with their families outside

1.) Atlas Restaurant 5513 Pershing Avenue 63112 Open: Tues-Sat from 5:30-10 p.m. Simple yet sophisticated fare at reasonable prices. They have wine by the glass or patrons are welcome to bring their favorite wine, subject to a corkage fee.
2.) Bar Italia 13 Maryland Plaza 63108 Open :Tues-Thur 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Fri/Sat/Sun 11 a.m.-11 p.m. You can not eat outside in their enclosed seating area but at any of the tables on the sidewalk with your well behaved dogs.
3.) Blueberry Hill 6504 Delmar Blvd. 63130 Open: 7 days a week from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. with a late night menu available after 9 p.m. This is a St. Louis landmark restaurant in the loop along the St. Louis Walk of Fame stars. The restaurant is filled with pop culture memorabilia and has a fun and enjoyable menu. Outside seating available for dogs and their families.
4.) Boathouse Restaurant in Forest Park 6101 Government DriveOpen: everyday, all day Mon-Sat 11a.m.-3p.m.for lunch, Tues-Sun starting at 3p.m. Sun 10-3 brunch. This is Hudson's Top Pick not only for being the friendliest dog restaurant by even having dog biscuits available for us dogs as well as fought for St. Louis to be the first city in Missouri to allow dogs at the outside seating at restaurants. Amazing service, great menu and unbelievable beautiful setting right on the lagoon with paddle boats available to rent.
5.) Brandt's Restaurant 6525 Delmar 63130 Open: They have a fabulous breakfast buffet with a Bloody Mary bar on Sat. from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. and Sun. from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Another fabulous restaurant located in Delmar loop. It is an acclaimed global-fusion restaurant that has been around for 20 years.
6.) Coffee Cartel 2 Maryland Plaza 63108 Open: 24 hours 7 days a week This little gem has it all from coffee to ice cream and even breakfast food and sandwiches. It is a full service restaurant who loves to have dogs and their owners enjoy their outside dining. They have a water bowl by their hose outside for us dogs.
7.) Culpeppers 300 N. Euclid Avenue 63108 Open: 11 a.m.-midnight They are known for their amazing chicken wings, burgers and salads. Their menu offers just about anything your taste buds are craving. Dog bowls are a plenty at this restaurant and they need it as they are always busy.
8.) Cupcakery 28 South Maryland Plaza 63108 Open: 9:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. This is a most check out establishment. It has the best cupcakes in town as far as I'm concerned. They sell single serving desserts and drinks. Their cupcakes are so moist and rich but just as importantly reasonable. Beats the heck out of their competitor's prices and twice as moist. They are so dog friendly you can even have them dine inside with you. Some dog groups have had their meetings there as well. All you dog lovers have to check out this place.
9.) Downtown Cantina and Brick Oven Cafe 901 Pine Street 63101Open: Mon-Fri. 11-9 Sat 5-9 or later This menu is to die for with about anything you might be craving. They are just a few blocks from the convention center and the Edwards Jones Dome as well as Busch Stadium and Scott Trade Center. They have an extensive delicious menu. They are extremely dog friendly and love to cater to the 60 plus dogs that live in the two apartment complexes by them. The owner is super friendly and loves her Yappy Hour with the dogs around town and their owners.
10.) Drunken Fish 1 Maryland Plaza 63108 Open: Mon-Fri 11-2 and 5 starts dinner This is an award winning sushi & martini restaurant that has incredible Japanese cuisine. They have over 30 original drinks and the manager is so accommodating to their patrons. If its your first time there they even give you a complimentary drink and the manager introduces himself to your table.
11.) Graham's Grill and Bayou Bar 612 W. Woodbine Ave. 63122Open: Mon-Thurs 11 a.m.-11p.m. Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-midnight and Sun 11a.m.-9 p.m. This is the oldest beach bar and grill that specializes in Cajun, seafood and southern cuisine. The atmosphere is fabulous and the staff is very friendly.A large part of the outdoor seating is under palm trees. Quite a treat in so many ways.
12.) Kaldi's Coffeehouse 17211 Chesterfield Airport Road 63005Open: Mon-Sat 6 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sun 7 a.m.-9 p.m. This is a wonderful place to bring your family that serves sandwiches, soups, salads and has a quiche and pizza of the day. An extensive bakery case also. They love dogs to bring their families over to enjoy outside dining.
13.) Luvy Duvy's Cafe 2321 Arsenal Open: Mon-Fri 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
14.) Riddles Penultimate Cafe and Wine Bar 6307 Delmar Blvd. 63130 Open: Tues-Thurs 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Fri/Sat 5 p.m.-midnight and Sun 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Another most check out restaurant at The Loop. This is an independent owner-operated restaurant where excellent food is their foremost concern.

Central West End and The Loop are dog friendly in general and have a large variety of restaurants for dogs and their families to enjoy outside dining. Most of the restaurants have water bowls available for the dogs. Keep in mind that if your dog isn't well mannered or friendly around other dogs kindly do not bring them to dog friendly outside restaurants. Make sure your dog has taken care of his business before you bring him along.Another place that is a most go to is Tropical Moose Snow cone stand at the Kirkwood Farmers Market that offers a liver flavor snow cone for dogs for 50 cents that is beyond delicious. I would even rank it better than cat turds and you know how I feel about cat turds. The human flavors are amazing as well and they have a great area to eat at and other outside restaurants right in the market that are Divine. I also highly recommends Dairy Queen fast food restaurants as they give free cups of ice cream with a dog biscuit in it anytime I've gone with my parents through the drive up.Of course you have to tell them your dog is along. Also most of Quizno's will bring a table outside for you to have dinner with your dog at their places. I encourage you to name and rate (giving me descriptions) of any other restaurants in St. Louis that cater to dogs and their families in the comment section below this post. Let's pool our resources on this one. Here's to dining with your families around town.

Friday, September 13, 2013

The New Dog Virus: Circovirus

The New Dog Virus: Circovirus

dog with circovirus
Photo: WRGT-TV FOX 45 News
The internet has been buzzing with talk of an emerging and possibly deadly virus occurring in dogs. Concern about this virus is significant enough that even during a webinar I attended yesterday on using social media in veterinary medicine, dog circovirus received a mention. The Animal Medical Center’s Facebook friends have been discussing the virus and their concerns about their dogs, as well.
I had actually not heard of the circovirus group until recently, probably because the majority of circoviruses infect birds. Until this new virus was isolated from sick dogs in April, pigs were the only mammal known to be infected with a circovirus, which causes pneumonia, gastrointestinal signs, and systemic inflammation. The genome of a dog circovirus was reported back in 2012, but the authors of that paper do not report where the virus was found or if the virus made dogs sick.
Sick dogs in California
In April of this year, Emerging Infectious Diseases published an article, “Circovirus in Tissues of Dogs with Vasculitis and Hemorrhage.” In California, a young dog, sick with signs of vomiting and bloody diarrhea, died and was autopsied. Tests for typical diseases causing bloody diarrhea,parvovirusSalmonella and Giardia, were negative. Researchers performed additional testing on the tissues, leading to the identification of a strain of dog circovirus. Fecal analysis of samples from both healthy dogs and sick dogs with signs similar to the dog in California found about 10% of fecal samples were positive for circovirus, but many dogs had other pathogens in their stool including coronavirus, Giardia and Salmonella. One common historical feature of these cases was group housing, such as a shelter or boarding kennel.
Sick dogs in Ohio
Last month, an astute veterinarian in Ohio treated several dogs, all with a history of staying at the same boarding kennel, and reported this cluster of cases to the Ohio Department of Agriculture. The dogs had strikingly similar signs to one another and to the dogs reported in Emerging Infectious Diseases: bloody diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, lethargy and inflammation of the blood vessels. One dog had circovirus isolated from a fecal sample, and further testing is underway in one of the dogs that died to determine the cause of death.
Treat with common sense
Medical caution is indicated in this situation. Finding a virus in a sick patient does not automatically determine causality and much more research is necessary before circovirus infection can be added to the list of potential diagnoses for sick dogs. Our friends at the Veterinary Network News urge caution in attributing too many illnesses to this newly found virus.
The unknown can be scary. Since so little is known about dog circovirus, making rational recommendations is a hard task.
  1. Use common sense. Keep your dog away from sick dogs.
  2. Wash your hands after petting someone else’s dog and before you pet your dog.
  3. Report all illnesses to your veterinarian.
  4. Still nervous? Check for updates on the virus on The AMC website. We will recommend if it might be best to forgo the dog park, boarding kennel and doggie day care if the risks become more evident.

The Most Difficult Part Of Owning A Pet.......

Knowing When to Say Goodbye…The Most Difficult Part of Owning a Pet

Like many of us, I wear more than one hat.  Not only am I a veterinarian at the Animal Medical Center of Mid America but, equally importantly, I’m a pet owner just like each of the clients who visit our three St. Louis area veterinary hospitals.
All of us remember the day we first met the cuddly ball of fur that was to become our treasured family pet.  We welcomed our four-legged companion with arms and heart opened wide and, from that point on, assumed responsibility for their care and wellbeing.   The harsh reality is that since most pets pre-decease their owners, it is likely that each of us will ultimately be faced with difficult and stressful end-of-life issues involving a treasured canine or feline companion.
There is no absolute right or wrong when it comes to decisions regarding a pet that is severely injured, terminally ill, or weak and debilitated due to old age.  There are many financial, logistical, and medical factors to be considered, and family members should discuss these openly among themselves and with their veterinary care team.
The following observations may be of help to you as you reflect on your decision:
  1.  If an animal is suffering unremitting pain that is not controlled by medication, it is inhumane to prolong the pet’s suffering. It is important to discuss this situation with your veterinarian as soon as possible.
  2. The term “quality of life“ is difficult to define, especially when considering a pet that can’t verbalize.  As the individual most familiar with your dog or cat’s daily routine, your observations regarding appetite, energy levels, and overall attitude are extremely valuable in helping to decide whether your pet is still living a quality life.
  3. There are very few times that any of us make life and death decisions.  It is an awesome responsibility and can be overwhelming.  Helping people through these situations is both the hardest and, at the same time, most important service your veterinarian can provide.
  4. In my 37 years as a veterinarian, I have made the decision to euthanize one of my family’s own pets on four separate occasions.   Although each time it was a terribly difficult and painful decision, I am convinced that it was the most loving and humane course of action possible, affording each of my dogs some remaining degree of dignity.
Remember that your veterinary team is there to help keep you and your pet happy and healthy!  Don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions or concerns about your four-legged friend.
And last but certainly not least, I hope that this has been a totally academic discussion and that you and your beloved pet continue to enjoy one another’s company for many years to come!!
Steven N. Schwartz, VMD

How To Be Less Nuts .....

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wayne's Blog.......

The Way Forward in Missouri

In the advancement of our cause, the path to progress is not always linear. We are advancing and securing gains on so many fronts, but there are inevitable set-backs along the way. Take the example of Missouri’s Prop B, the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act.
Lawmakers in Missouri failed to address an ever-expanding and worsening problem of puppy mills over many decades. The General Assembly, catering to the wishes of agribusiness and the puppy mill industry, provided political protection, and the industry grew to enormous proportions, with 3,000 mills and little in the way of strong animal welfare regulations or solid enforcement through the years.
White dog from a Missouri puppy mill
Michelle Riley/The HSUSA Missouri puppy mill dog transported by HSUS this year. 
HSUS, the ASPCA, Best Friends Animal Society, and local organizations launched a ballot measure to correct the worst abuses of these large-scale dog breeders and to bring into law some modest standards to the care of dogs. Voters approved the measure, in the number-one puppy mill state.
Then, after a free and fair election, lawmakers repealed several core provisions of the ballot measure, and Gov. Jay Nixon signed these weakening provisions into law. The attack on Prop B has been a shameful example of politics at its worst, with the governor and a narrow majority of lawmakers subverting a vote of the people that occurred just a few months ago.
The new legislation removes the Prop B requirement that dogs get rest between breeding cycles, as well as the limit on the number of breeding dogs per puppy mill. It removes the requirement for prompt veterinary treatment of an illness or injury, unless a puppy mill operator subjectively decides that an illness or injury is “serious.” It gives dogs less space in cages than Prop B would have and it allows the millers five years to phase in the maximum space requirements. Finally, it replaces the criminal penalties for cruelty at puppy mills with civil penalties, except for repeat offenders.
Although we are extremely disappointed with the nullification of several core Prop B standards, we will work to make what remains in the law strong through the rulemaking process. We will endeavor to hold accountable the public officials who say they support strong laws and enforcement to protect dogs. Prop B would have taken effect in November 2011, and it is our firm hope that the new regulations will be adopted on a Prop B timeframe. We’ll advocate for that time frame, and for the strongest possible standards in our work with state regulators. It’s safe to say that even these minor improvements, along with the additional funding Gov. Nixon has pledged for inspections, would never have been considered were it not for Prop B.
Meanwhile, we are actively supporting the Voter Protection Act, a constitutional amendment to require a three-fourths vote in both houses of the legislature, or a subsequent vote of the people, in order to repeal or amend any citizen-passed initiative. We will work hard with a large and diverse group of coalition partners to place this measure on the November 2012 statewide ballot. The Voter Protection Act would provide constitutional protections for citizen ballot initiatives similar to those that exist in other states. The measure still allows the state legislature to exercise its legislative authority, and if there are major problems with an initiative they will be able to build consensus for a three-fourths vote. But it adds a layer of accountability and a higher threshold so the will of the people cannot be simply discarded with a narrow vote of the legislature, as it was with Prop B.
We will actively watch to see whether the new rules and enforcement help to improve the treatment of Missouri’s puppy mill dogs, or whether the abuses continue unchecked. If the situation does not improve dramatically for dogs, we will make all necessary preparations for a ballot initiative to restore the Prop B standards for the care of dogs in large-scale commercial breeding facilities. If Missourians approve the Voter Protection Act in 2012, it will help to protect the will of the people from being overturned a second time, and a future ballot initiative on puppy mills will have greater long-lasting protection from attacks by politicians and special interests.

USDA Just Announced They Are Cracking Down On Puppy Mills ......

Good news from the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation:
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has officially adopted new rules to crack down on e-puppy mills - commercial breeders that sell dogs over the Internet. These new rules will offer welfare protections to dogs and cats sold as pets directly to consumers via the Internet, mail, or by phone. 
USDA's new regulations will help regulate puppy mills that have ignored federal laws on how they raise and care for their animals. Many puppy mills have skirted the law by selling over the Internet since USDA previously only regulated breeders selling their puppies to pet stores. Numerous investigations and exposes of inhumane Internet sellers have resulted in this new rule change. USDA will now require dog breeders to either open their kennels to the public for inspection or become regulated by USDA and subject their breeding operations to inspection by federal inspectors. For too long, many breeders have sold puppies without the public ever being able to visit and see the conditions in which their new puppy was raised. This cloak of darkness too often allowed puppy mills to operate inhumane breeding facilities with impunity. 
This new rule to regulate all large commercial dog breeders regardless of how they sell their puppies is certainly welcome news. It is heartening to learn that USDA is also seeking the needed funds to enforce humane standards of care in puppy mills that sell over the Internet so as not to dilute its enforcement efforts on wholesale commercial dog breeders. 

Thanks to those who submitted comments to USDA is support of these new rules. Your letters and emails really do make a difference!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Feds Crack Down On Dog Breeders Selling Puppies On Line

By: Mary Clare Jalonick
WASHINGTON — The Agriculture Department is cracking down on dog breeders who sell puppies over the Internet, issuing new regulations that will force them to apply for federal licenses.
The rules announced Tuesday would subject dog owners who breed more than four females and sell the puppies online, by mail or over the phone to the same oversight faced by wholesale animal breeders.
Many breeders who run their businesses online have skirted federal oversight by classifying themselves as retail pet stores, which are exempt from licensing requirements. Commercial pet stores aren't required to have licenses because buyers can see the animals before they buy them and decide whether they appear healthy and cared for. But that's not the case when buying over the Internet.
The idea behind the new rules, says USDA's Kevin Shea, is that either government inspectors or buyers see the animals with their own eyes before they are sold.
Shea, administrator of the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, says the agency is responding to a 2010 USDA inspector general's report that uncovered grisly conditions at so-called "puppy mills" around the country. The report recommended that the department tighten the animal welfare laws – written more than four decades ago, long before the advent of the Internet – to cut down on unscrupulous breeders.
In addition to finding dirty, bug-infested conditions at many breeding facilities, inspectors cited numerous reports of buyers who received animals who were sick or dying.
The new rules, first proposed last year, would ensure that most people who sell pets over the Internet, by phone or mail order can no longer do so sight-unseen. Sellers either must allow buyers to see animals in person before they purchase them or obtain a license and be subject to inspections by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
The rules are targeted to dog breeders but could affect breeders of other animals too. The Agriculture Department estimates that up to 4,640 dog breeders could be affected by the rule, along with about 325 cat breeders and up to 75 rabbit breeders.
Animal protection groups cheered the move. Wayne Pacelle, president of The Humane Society of the United States, said he has been working on the issue for almost two decades. While mail-order dog sales were a problem before popular use of the Internet, online sales have made the problem much worse, he said.
"There are hundreds of thousands of dogs languishing in small wire cages, denied vet care and exposed to the elements that literally had no protection under federal law," Pacelle said. "This turns that around."
Small-size breeders have lobbied against the changes, saying the rules could regulate them out of business. USDA's Shea says the department set the minimum of four breeding females to ensure that smaller sellers would be able to continue offering puppies "People who have generally been thought of as `hobby breeders' continue to be exempt," Shea said.
Shea said the licenses will cost $750 or less and complying with the USDA regulations should only be expensive for breeders who aren't already ensuring their animals have adequate housing and medical care.
The American Kennel Club said it is dismayed by the rule, which is "overly broad and will do more damage than good," said spokeswoman Lisa Petersen.
The group argues that the term "breeding female" is too vague and could subject some sellers to the rules even though some of their dogs aren't actually breeding. The club said breeders are also concerned that the rules are too specific as to how dogs should be housed, and could prevent some small breeders from keeping dogs in their homes.

Monday, September 9, 2013

How Much Does Owning A Pet Cost In A Year ???

How much does owning a pet cost in a year?

A cute face can mean high costs
A cute face can mean high costsProspective pet owners should ask more than "How much is that doggie in the window?" before deciding whether they can afford to welcome an animal into their home.
"Often the cute face and wagging tail and warm body is what forms the initial bond," says Katherine Miller, director of applied science and research for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. But "pets are completely depending on us for their care. You do need to make considerations for the financial side."
Nearly two-thirds of all U.S. households own a pet, according to the American Pet Products Association, so many families should budget for their needs.
Save money for emergency vet trips, says Adam Goldfarb, director of pet care issues for the Humane Society of the United States.
"Healthy animals are fairly cheap," he says. "When they become ill or injured, the costs can go up quite a bit."
And don't forget to multiply recurring expenses by the pet's expected life span, which varies even among different dog or cat breeds and also based on their lifestyles, says Miller, who analyzed initial and annual costs of different pets in 2008.
Cats can live 15 to 20 years, and dogs 10 to 15 years, she says.Kibble doesn't come cheap. Dog lovers spent an average of $254 on dog food and $70 on treats within 12 months, according to respondents of the American Pet Products Association's 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey.Keeping Fido healthy is another investment. Routine vet visits cost dog owners $248 on average, but let's not forget the costs to keep your pooch healthy and flea-free for the rest of the year. These preventive medicines ran owners another $161.While you are keeping his insides healthy, of course you need to make sure the outsides look cuddly as well. That'll cost you, as grooming ran $73 on average. All those dollar signs, and that's not taking into consideration each time you walked into the pet store and picked up a treat or toy because your dog was such a "good boy." These bits and pieces add up to another $43 each year. As with getting a new pet, one-time costs may vary. Some jurisdictions may also require licensing fees. Deworming and microchip identification will also drive up early costs, Miller says. She found these costs can range from $470 to $565 for dogs.
Average yearly cost for a dog: $580 to $875.