Posts Tagged ‘dog’

It’s a toxic world, especially for our pets.

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Toxins surround us to the point that it is nearly impossible to avoid them. Even those fillings we got as kids are toxic, leaching into our systems causing who knows what damage. Our water is so toxic that we buy bottled water hoping it’s pure, but that’s not necessarily true either.

I try to avoid toxins as much as possible and that practice carries over to my pets. As is so often the case, this enlightened attitude came about as a result of life with my four-legged friends.

My beautiful mare, Misty, developed vaccinosis after just a few years at a boarding barn that required semi-annual 7-way vaccinations. It began as an elevated temperature accompanied by swelling at the injection site. Each successive round of vaccinations brought with it a worse reaction until she developed a full-blown case of laminitis.

During this time I was diligently researching options trying to find an acceptable alternative to meet with the barn owner’s approval. (Moving wasn’t an option at that point.) Finally I found my own vet who concurred with my assessment that it was vaccinosis and prescribed no more vaccinations ever for this mare.

With that battle behind us, I expanded my research into detoxing and better nutritional alternatives to the junk food typically served at barns. It took six months to bring Misty back to health from that last set of shots, but we got there. Thankfully it wasn’t long after that I was able to purchase my own place and bring her home, safe at last from the dangerous, out-dated, ideas of that barn, no matter how well meaning.

I was reminded of this episode recently when I read the account of a beautiful, standard poodle who died horribly, painfully, after being sprayed with weed spray. From what her owner was able to piece together, she approached the fence, probably barking, to protect her puppies who were all playing in their private yard. The person spraying turned the spray directly on her in an act of incredible cruelty and stupidity. Unfortunately this part of the story was only pieced together after the fact and after her suffering had ended. It’s unlikely she could have been saved, even with immediate treatment, as those powerful toxins were inhaled and absorbed through her skin to begin their destructive work on her entire system.

RIP beautiful girl

RIP beautiful girl

Would this person have sprayed the dog in the face had he known it would kill her? Perhaps, but I’d like to think he would have made a better choice had he been educated on the dangers of the toxins he held in his hands.

Shortly after hearing this story, I came across a post from Dr. Mercola’s site about summer time dangers to our pets. While a bit late in the season, the information is still valid and worth sharing. I hope you’ll take a moment to read and educate yourselves and please spread the word. You just might save a life.

Blessings to you dear pet lovers.

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Pet Identification: Microchip vs. Tattoo

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

My pet is missing!

That is the worst nightmare of a caring pet owner. When our old border collie, Joshua, was spooked by fireworks and ran off, we thought we’d never see him again. He was twelve at the time and infirmities were setting in.

We searched the neighborhood, put out flyers, contacted the SPCA, posted to online groups and anything else we could think of. Joshua was wearing an ID tag from North Shore Animal League where we had adopted him from, but he had lost it somewhere in his blind panic. Fortunately for all of us, a kind woman found him and alerted the SPCA who then called us. Three days later we had our precious boy back and were blessed to have another two years with him. We were very lucky.

According to the American Humane Organization’s website:

  • 56% of dogs and 71% of cats that enter animal shelters are euthanized. More cats are euthanized than dogs because they are more likely to enter a shelter without any owner identification.
  • Only 15% of dogs and 2% of cats that enter animal shelters are reunited with their owners.

When Saphyre, a standard poodle, joined our family, we wanted to have her permanently identified so if she were ever lost we would have the best chance at recovery. The options we considered were Microchip and Tattooing.

First I researched microchips, the popular choice. Once implanted they are permanent and shelters will check for them. Vets, shelters and some rescue groups offer chipping for a range of fees. There is no battery involved. All that’s required is a scanner and Pet/Owner Identification is easily retrieved.

However, I also learned there is anecdotal evidence that chips can migrate from the injection site and they may cause cancer if a sarcoma forms around the chip. Owners are advised to regularly check the area of the implant for tenderness or swelling. Hard to do if the chip has migrated.

Chips are not visible to the naked eye. The pet must be taken somewhere that has a scanner and that scanner must be the universal type that can read all kinds of chips.

Logic tells me that inserting a foreign body into an organism could lead to problems. There have been reports of nerve damage and even death from improperly inserted chips. These cases are rare, but that is little comfort if it is your pet that dies.

Veterinary Oncologists quoted in an Associated Press article, Chip Implants Linked to Animal Tumors, concluded that more study was needed and that anyone considering a chip should be apprised of the risks.

Next I researched tattoos. I learned there are two main registries: Tattoo A Pet and National Dog Registry. They are easily identifiable from the lettering of the tattoo. Authorities are familiar with these registries and call the appropriate one and the registry supplies contact info for the animal’s family.

Tattoos can be applied by a vet or someone authorized by the registry (often they are groomers). The tattoo is applied either in the ear flap or along the rear inner thigh. There have been reports of dogs having their ears cut off to eliminate tattoos so the thigh has become the more common site.

The procedure takes just minutes and requires no anesthesia. Once applied it is easily visible to the naked eye. The drawbacks are that darker skin may be harder to read, the area should be kept shaved for best visibility and the tattoo may fade over time. Fading can easily be addressed by reapplying the tattoo so that issue is negligible.

For Saphyre we opted to go with a tattoo. I contacted the registry and got the names of some local tattooists, made the appointment and vóila, Saphyre was permanently identified as part of our family.

Our Saphyre

Our Saphyre

The procedure really did take just minutes. The tattoo instrument reminded me of an engraving pen. Each letter and number were simply drawn on leaving a large blotchy spot. Saphyre never whimpered or otherwise indicated discomfort beyond being restrained on the table. When the ID was complete, the area was swabbed, revealing an easy-to-read code that uniquely identifies our Saphyre. Filling out the paperwork actually took longer than the tattooing.

If you choose to have your pet permanently identified, I encourage you to take a little time and research your options. Choose the best one to meet your needs. Then you can rest easy knowing should your pet ever get lost, there is a greater likelihood you will have a happy reunion and beat the statistics.

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Male Standard Poodle available for adoption

Sunday, December 7th, 2008
Jack Frost

Jack Frost

In my search for the perfect dog, I “met” Jack Frost of the Poconos. He is a two-year-old intact male. He has previously been shown and is a proven breeder. Due to changes in his family’s circumstances, he is now available for adoption to a good home.

I had a pleasant chat (AKA animal communication) with him where he expressed a desire to be someone’s special companion. He thinks he’d like to try agility as he is adventurous and athletic. He claims he can jump and climb well and his current owner says he loves to run and is fast.

He enjoys children and says he’s trustworthy. When I asked him about living with me, he expressed a distrust of those “large creatures with evil intentions” (my horses). He wasn’t quite the perfect match I’m seeking, but he is a sweet boy who will make some family very happy.

If you or someone you know is looking for a lovely standard poodle boy please send an email for more information.

Canine Dressage Anyone?

Saturday, December 6th, 2008

If you have not yet seen the video of Tina and Chandi performing their dressage routine, you absolutely must stop right now and do so. It is awe inspiring, magnificently beautiful to behold. Tina and Chandi have a bond that is undeniable and surely something to inspire us all. Click the picture below to view the video.

Tina & Chandi

Tina & Chandi

Little Poodle Finds New Home with Giant Horses

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Since this blog is titled Pet Chatter, I thought it was high time that I included a post from an actual Pet Chatter Animal Communication consultation. This poodle was a delight to communicate with, and her adventures with the “giant” draft horses are very entertaining. Enjoy!

Pet Chatter Nyla

Photo courtesy of Serenity Equestrian Center

Nyla is a four-year-old black miniature poodle. Through no fault of her own she found herself in need of a new home. She was sad to leave her family, yet she knew that it would be best for all concerned. Nyla sent out powerful yearnings for a gregarious, stimulating family environment.

Meanwhile, quite nearby, Gayla was ready to find a new family dog, having lost her two some time ago. Her ideal dog would be a small poodle that was cuddly and would enjoy spending time together on her farm.

In one of those wonderful universal alignments, they were brought together. It’s only been a short time, but they are both convinced it was a perfect match. Gayla is delighted at her cuddly, lap dog who was an instant hit with the family, and who loves to go out and visit with the horses. Things are going even better than she hoped. And Nyla, she has some strong opinions, which she communicated recently during a Pet Chatter consult:

NYLA: “It’s a great place to live. I get lots of attention. They carry me around and are really glad to see me. I missed feeling like part of a family. They also have these big creatures that live out back. I haven’t figured them out yet but I will. They are very big but I can tell that they are also gentle. I tried bossing them around but they just laughed at me and thought I wanted to play. That strategy didn’t work so I’m planning another. I haven’t quite figured out what it should be yet.”

The Pet Chatter: “Why don’t you try talking to them to see if they want to be friends?”

NYLA: “Can I really do that?” She mulled that over and decided to give it a try.

The Pet Chatter: “Try being kind to them and they will be kind in return.” That was a foreign concept to her. Being a natural predator, she’s more in line with fear and intimidation.

NYLA to Gayla: “Thank you for picking me to be part of your family. I knew you were coming because I heard you calling out to me. When we met I felt I already knew you. You were familiar and comfortable all at the same time. It’s a strange thing, but that’s what happened. I knew that things were shaky at my former home and it was hard to sleep or feel safe. When I get anxious I overeat, that’s why I’m so fat. Now I don’t feel the need to gorge myself as if tomorrow will never come. I feel safe, secure and appreciated. Warm, fuzzylicious. I like it here and I think I’ll stay.”

Since integrating into her home Nyla has gotten more exercise and the excess pounds are coming off. She’s more energetic and vibrant and Gayla reports that after our Pet Chatter session her attitude towards the horses is greatly improved.