As much as children (and many adults) love Halloween with its tricks and treats, there are many aspects of this holiday that are dangerous or downright spooky to your pet.
These are just some of the dangers that come with this holiday. The best thing that you can do is be aware at all times. Remember, our pets depend on us to keep them safe.
Once again, it seems that an organization that should be leading the charge to help animals may very well be the pied piper, instead leading thousands of companion animals to their ultimate doom. This is a very long and involved tale but it is so important that I had to find a way to spread the word. I decided the easiest way I can do this is to copy this email from the executive director of Alabama Spay/Neuter in as many places as I can and ask you to read it and then to do the same.
So here it is…
Here is the letter that Mark Nelson, our Executive Director wrote to our supporters-it should answer your questions, but if you have more, please feel free to ask. We are asking that people write about their concerns in a letter and send to the ASBVME (address below).
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Over the last four plus years, the veterinarians working with Alabama Spay/Neuter have performed over 46,000 high quality, low cost surgeries. Alabama Spay/Neuter is one of four non-profit spay/neuter clinics in the State of Alabama. Combined, the veterinarians working with these four clinics have performed almost 100,000 spay/neuter surgeries since the first clinic opened in 2007. Many of the animals brought to these clinics belong to people who otherwise could not afford to fix their animals. In addition, even at reduced rates, many of these surgeries had to be supplemented by the clinics thru donations and grants in order to be affordable for these families. During the first 8 months of 2012 over half of the surgeries performed at Alabama Spay/Neuter were financially subsidized.
All four spay/neuter clinics have, since inception, been approved, sanctioned and licensed by the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. A couple of years ago, the Board attacked the Huntsville and Birmingham clinics. In both cases ownership of the veterinary practice was challenged. More recently, while arguing against the spay/neuter clinic protection act (HB156), the Board attacked the quality of medical care. This argument is interesting, since each clinic is inspected and licensed by the Board, along with the veterinarians performing surgeries at each clinic. It is also noteworthy that during debate over HB156, the Board argued to severely restrict vaccinations and testing allowed at the clinics. If quality of care is truly an issue, why does the Board want to limit the ability of veterinarians at these clinics to properly care for each animal?
The Board has also suggested that perhaps there is no overpopulation problem at all, and that the services provided by these clinics aren’t needed. The following excerpt was written by a Board member and appeared in the Board’s February 2012 Newsletter:
“This begs the question-are these non-profit clinics really necessary?? I submit to you that they are not. In every community virtually every practitioner provides low cost-no cost services to the needy.”
I submit to you that if these clinics are truly unnecessary, why are shelters throughout the state over-run with companion animals? So much so, that the majority are euthanized to simply make room for more. I would also ask: if the services provided by these clinics aren’t needed, why have rescues, shelters and the general public welcomed them with open arms?
Glaringly absent from all of the Board’s rhetoric is the care and welfare of the 100,000 to 200,000 animals euthanized in facilities all over the State every year! Even more distressing, many in the veterinarian community have sided with the Board in these disputes with little, if any, factual information. I had the pleasure of sharing financial information with one private practitioner that heard rumors the clinics were making phenomenal amounts of money under the guise of non-profits. After spending an hour or so reviewing our audited financials, this veterinarian realized that what he had heard was completely false. We’ve always welcomed this type of scrutiny from veterinarians and individuals that want to see our operation for themselves.
The fact that many area shelters are reporting significant decreases in both intake and euthanasia is no accident! As expected, the nearly 100,000 surgeries performed by the four clinics are having the profound effect of preventing the euthanasia of thousands among thousands of dogs and cats in the State. In short, high quality, high volume spay/neutering is the only humane solution to animal overpopulation.
Now comes the Board’s latest attack on the clinics. Since the state’s spay/neuter clinics are all in compliance with the existing code, they’ve decided to write and approve new rules that would make it difficult for the clinics to exist. In a nutshell, no non-veterinarian can provide equipment or medications for use by a veterinarian. No non-veterinarian can rent or provide a facility for a veterinarian………..and, so on. The entire ‘script’ for their latest move against the clinics is here:
So, this is how you can help. Every “interested person” has the right to a reasonable opportunity to submit data, views, or arguments, orally or in writing, to the Board about the proposed new rules. The Board must consider fully all written and oral submissions from interested persons about the proposed rules. We are asking that anyone who would be affected if the services provided at the clinics were no longer available exercise their right to make their comments to the Board about why these proposed rules are a bad idea and not in the interest of animal welfare.
All comments should be sent as follows:
Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
c/o: Tammy Wallace
8 Commerce Street; Suite 910
Montgomery, AL 36130-5330
If you would like to send us a copy of the comments that you send the Board, please send them to:
2721 Crestwood Blvd.
Irondale, AL 35210
In closing, there seems to be a clear agenda against the spay/neuter clinics, supported by a campaign of false accusations, rumors, and innuendo. We would welcome the opportunity to help the veterinary community learn more about the operation of these clinics and the good work that veterinarians do at these clinics, and to start questioning the false information being circulated. I can’t speak for everyone but:
- Our clinic is open for your inspection……..NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY! Come any time that we are in operation and determine for yourself if quality of care is an issue.
- Our books are audited annually, and those audited statements are available for your inspection. The notion that any of these clinics are ‘goldmines’ is simply absurd!
- NONE of the clinics are full service clinics, nor do they desire to be full service clinics! One visit for surgery, any vaccines, test or services are provided at that time. That is the entirety of what we are about.
- Finally, your Board presents themselves as a guardian of the public good. Any rational individual can, by their actions, see that this is simply not the case!
WE, THE CLINICS AS A GROUP, ARE TRYING TO PREVENT THE UNNECESSARY KILLING OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF HEALTHY ANIMALS IN ALABAMA……………..PERIOD!! No other agenda exists! Please, join our cause!
Mark H. Nelson
used with permission from In Clover, Inc.
More than 6.5 million dogs and 12.4 million cats suffer from chronic digestive problems*. The symptoms they experience include gas, diarrhea, bloating and nausea. Many more pets suffer the occasional digestive upset due to changing to a new food, antibiotic use or stress. Having intestinal discomfort is no fun for our pets, or for us, but there are effective means to help make them more comfortable and to strengthen their digestive system, naturally.
* MRC Omnibus Study
The Importance of Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes help breakdown and deliver nutrients from a pet’s food to every part of the body. As Pet Parents we try to do the right thing for our pet, but there are many factors that can lead to a decrease the amount of enzymes available to our pets. Enzyme drains include; age, strenuous exercise, illness, stress, processed diet, genetic factors or antibiotic use. Pets experiencing any of these enzyme drains will benefit from supplementation.
The four key enzymes for dogs and cats are:
Protease for Muscle: Provides protein digestion in the stomach and small intestine to build muscle
Amylase for Energy: Digests starchy foods to release simple sugars for energy.
Cellulase for Fiber: Provides dogs and casts with the enzyme to digest cellulose, reducing the bulking effect of fibrous foods.
Lipase for Overall Health: Digests fatty acids allowing the pet to absorb Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Vitamins A, D, E and K.
Deposit Enzymes for a Rainy Day
Enzymes are destroyed in the normal processing of most commercial pet foods. Supplementing with enzymes is an effective way to replace the loss due to heating and processing but there are significant differences in enzymes. Plant based enzymes are stable at the pH of a dog and cat’s digestive system and will start working in the esophagus and continue to the tail. Many industrial or animal based enzymes are effective only at pH levels that are not commonly found in the body, and therefore are of less value. Because vitamins, minerals and hormones cannot do their jobs without enzymes, a deficiency will affect not just digestion, but the pet’s overall health. Common signs of enzyme deficiency and poor digestion include; excessive itching, shedding, hair balls, body odor, rash, bad breath, diarrhea, constipation, infection and poor immune system. Supplementing with digestive enzymes can not only address a digestive deficiency, but can also aid in creating stores in the body that will benefit immune function and the pet’s overall health.
Increase Native Friendly Bacteria to Improve Gastrointestinal Health
- Your pet’s digestive system is home to hundreds of different species of both beneficial and potentially harmful bacteria. These intestinal bacteria exist in a delicate balance that influence the way your pet digests food and absorb nutrients. An optimal balance of power between friendly and unfriendly bacteria must be maintained for good health.
- Your pet’s friendly bacteria play a critical role in many aspects of immune responses. They help to resist infection, and keep the potentially harmful bacteria at bay by helping control their population. They also fight toxins and other internal stresses that can threaten a pet’s health.
Adding a prebiotic to your pet’s food helps friendly bacteria thrive. Prebiotics are the fast food for these friendly bacteria. Prebiotics do not have to be refrigerated and will selectively feed the beneficial, native bacteria in the dog and cat’s system. Prebiotics such as fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are natural and safe. FOS is found naturally in mother’s milk.
Whether you are changing to a new food, your pet is on antibiotics, or you just want to keep their digestive system healthy, supplementing with a digestive supplement helps keep your pet comfortable and at the top of their health.
Author: Rebecca Rose, president of In Clover, Inc. Ms. Rose is a biochemist and the developer of animal health products. She is the author of three patents on the composition and method for treating joint disorder in vertebrates. Rebecca is a member of the National Animal Supplement Council’s Executive Committee and chairs the Membership Committee. In Clover is the maker of OptaGest™, a complete digestive supplement of clinically-proven levels of the prebiotic FOS and four plant enzymes.
In support of International Helmet Awareness Day 2012 (June 9), we made a video showing how important it is to always wear your helmet… no matter what you ride, no matter how you ride.
These are actual employees of JeffersEquine including Ruth Jeffers, the Vice Pres. of Sales & Marketing “riding” stick horses on a course we made from stuff around the warehouse and barn. We aren’t sure who won, but we all survived.
The music in the background is “Flight of the Bumblebee”.
No stick horses were harmed in the making of this video.
by Renee Jones-Lewis, CPDT-KA
One of the main reasons dogs are given up to shelters every year is due to excessive barking. Barking is a normal canine behavior, as natural as humans speaking. Barking is only a nuisance when it is excessive. Excessive barking is not only an annoyance to the owner but to neighbors as well. Most owners don’t want to stop all barking, just excessive barking.
Before nuisance barking can be stopped one must first ascertain why the dog is barking. Some of the most common reasons that dogs bark are:
We have to remember that in households that have multiple dogs there is usually a “ring leader”. If the dog that starts the barking is stopped, quiet is usually restored quickly. This type of barking is generally referred to as “socially facilitated” barking.
Although generalizing behavior by breed is usually not fair to the breed (i.e. all __________ are hyper or all ___________ are aggressive), some breeds can be a little more vocal than other breeds.
Several methods can be used to curtail barking. In some cases more than one method might be used in conjunction with another.
Dogs suffering from fear/anxiety issues (thunderstorms, separation anxiety, etc.) may need a combination of methods to correct the barking. Calming products such as the Thundershirt, Comfort Zone with D.A.P. (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) and Quiet Moments Calming Aid may help calm an anxious dog. Keep in mind that in serious cases, prescription medications may be needed. Your veterinarian will be able to evaluate your dog and prescribe the medication that will be most appropriate. One thing is certain, if you have a dog that is already anxious or fearful, the last thing it needs is yelling or punishment, such as sprays or shock collars.
Illness or injury may also be reasons that a dog will bark or vocalize. Your veterinarian will be able to pin-point what is causing the discomfort and correct the problem to relieve your pet. You wouldn’t punish or yell at a child for feeling bad, so try to keep this in mind with your pet.
When a dog is bored and/or seeking attention, even negative attention (NO! BE QUIET!), is still attention. Dog barks – owner yells. To the dog, the barking/yelling cycle becomes a game. If this is what your dog is doing, a stuffed Kong or an interactive puzzle toy may put an end to the problem. Free Kong recipe booklets are available to give you ideas to keep your dog focused on the Kong! (See more solution ideas below.) Be careful not to “reward” bad behavior. A treat or toy used to prevent the behavior is fine but if your dog gets something good every time he barks, he will learn to bark to get something good.
Territorial or alarm barking can be your dog’s only way of warning you that someone or something that he perceives as a threat is lurking outside of your door or fence. Most owners don’t object to this type of barking, as long as it doesn’t become excessive. Decide whether you want your dog to be an alarm or not and be consistent.
A “needy” dog is a dog that is trying to communicate to you that he/she actually needs something. They may need to go outside or, if they are outside, they may need to come inside. They may just need fresh water or food. Consider automatic waterers and feeders as a possible solution if you find this happening often. For going outside, perhaps the Gotta Go Door Bell Trainer™ or a pet door could alleviate some of this type of barking.
There is no one, “cure all” solution because there are so many factors to be considered. Not all dogs will respond to all methods equally. You may have to try more than one to find what works best for you and your dog. Some other possible solutions to problem barking (not including illness, injury, or anxiety) may include the Pet Corrector which emits a blast of compressed air. The Shake Trainer, a handheld, easy-to-use device that emits a harmless but unique sound frequency when shaken. Ultrasonic remote training devices can be effective with some dogs, as can the Ultralight Sonic Bark Collar for small dogs. PetSafe’s Outdoor Bark Control can detect barking from up to 50 feet away and is completely waterproof. The Gentle Leader SpraySense Citronella Collar delivers a burst of citronella spray that interrupts your dog’s barking. This method works with 4 of your dog’s senses – he sees it, hears it, smells it and feels it. A number of collars use the static correction method (mild shock) which can be very effective for many dogs. Some owners prefer to muzzle their dogs, however, that can lead to the dog being frustrated and may cause other behavioral issues.
Regardless of which method you choose to correct your dog’s barking issue, you can be sure that he would rather learn to curb his barking than be surrendered to a shelter.
Questions about this article, training or non-emergent health concerns are welcome. Renee can be reached most days from 9am – 5pm Central Time (Mon-Fri) at 1-800-JEFFERS (533-3377) ext 381 or by email rsjones@jefferspet. com.
Information given here is meant to be helpful and/or educational. It is, in no way, intended to supersede, challenge or supplant the diagnosis, treatment or advice of a licensed veterinarian.
* ~ See More Articles and Tips Here ~*
What Is Lepto And Is My Dog At Risk?
Leptospirosis is a disease that affects not only dogs but many kinds of animals worldwide. It is a disease caused by a type of bacteria called spirochetes. There are many strains of Leptospira but four are the most common ones that infect our dogs. They are Leptospira icterohaemorrhagiae, L. canicola, L. grippotyphosa and L.pomona. Leptospira are found in both wild and domestic animals. Most of the infected animals that spread Lepto do not appear ill. Animals with Lepto shed live bacteria in their urine. This bacterium often makes their way into water sources and remain infective in the soil for up to six months. Rats, cattle, raccoon, skunks and opossums are common carriers of Lepto.
Spirochetes enter a dogâ€™s system through a break in the skin or from drinking water contaminated by infected urine. Dogs that spend time in wooded or swampy areas are more likely to catch Lepto than dogs that spend most of their time indoors.
Signs generally appear 4 to 12 days after exposure. Fever is present in the early stage. Other signs are loss of appetite for several days, vomiting lethargy, depression, muscle and joint pain, and sometimes diarrhea or blood in the urine. Lepto primarily affects the kidneys and liver.
In severe cases the whites of the dog’s eyes turn yellow (jaundice). This is indicative of hepatitis with destruction of liver cells. Coagulation problems can occur with spontaneous bleeding from the mouth and the presence of blood in the stools.
Because symptoms can vary between pets and because most veterinarians see few cases it is common to miss the diagnosis of Lepto. Blood tests can confirm or rule out whether your pet has Lepto.
Treatment usually consists of antibiotics such as penicillin, doxycycline, or tetracycline and supportive measures to control vomiting and diarrhea. Severe cases may require hospitalization.
Limiting your pet’s access to contaminated water is the best way to avoid Lepto. Lepto vaccines are available, however they are not without risk. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) considers Leptospirosis vaccine a â€œnon-coreâ€ vaccine for dogs. Unless there is a good chance that your pet is at risk the AAHA does not recommend vaccinating for Lepto. Reactions to this vaccine can range from mild to harsh or even fatal. Consult with your veterinarian before administering any vaccines.
Questions about this article, training or non-emergent health concerns are welcome. Renee can be reached most days from 9am â€“ 5pm Central Time (Mon-Fri) at 1-800-JEFFERS (533-3377) ext 381 or by email rsjones@jefferspet. com.
Instead of our normal Halloween costume contest or pumpkin carving contest, at JeffersPet, we had a scarecrow contest this year. It was different and I was unsure how well it would be received. It got about the same response as the costume contest and better than the pumpkin carving. Winners are still being decided but I thought I’d share the pics that have been taken. I posted them on our Facebook pages and so I’m just going to link that here. It is public and you don’t have to “Like” us to view, but you certainly can if you want to keep up with what we’re doing. Unlike the blog, that sits forgotten far too often, our facebook pages get checked and updated daily during the week.
Feel free to comment on the pics and let us know your thoughts. You can always comment on here as well.
Joint Supplements: Common Ingredients and Their Functions
Trying to find a joint supplement can be a daunting task if you don’t already know what you want. (Sometimes even if you do.) Here are some of the more common ingredients used in joint supplements and how they are supposed to help.
Browse Joint Supplements at JeffersEquine.com
Common Pain Relief and Inflammation Ingredients and How They Help
Pain Relief for an animal is always a tricky prospect, because they can’t tell you where or if it hurts. There are lots of chemical products as well as natural remedies for pain relief. Here are some of the more common ingredients and what they are used for.
Browse Pain Relief at JeffersEquine.com
TRAINING 101: Class is in Session
by Renee Jones-Lewis CPDT-KA
Dogs are pack animals and very social creatures. Itâ€™s very important to their health & well-being that all of our interactions with them are positive. Training your dog is every bit as important to his well-being as health care.
The majority of dogs that are turned over to shelters are given up because they are exhibiting behaviors that their owner has been unable to correct. The dogs are given up out of frustration. A well trained dog is a joy to be around. They are more fun to take out in public and to have people in, to enjoy him in your home. Dogs are looking out for number one and they will do whatever works for them. Using reward based positive reinforcement training will be fun for both you and your dog. All you need to do is:
1) communicate to your dog how heâ€™s doing on winning the prizes, and
2) have names for all the different things he has to do.
Your dog, when presented with a signal or cue like the word “sit”, first, must identify if the signal means anything to him (classical conditioning) and then, and this is very important, must work out the odds of the suggested behavior winning a prize (operant conditioning)! You will give your dog the signal or cue for the behavior you desire. When he performs the behavior, immediately mark that behavior with a word (such as “yes”) or a click from a clicker. Follow with the reinforcer of choice. Very quickly your dog will make the connection that the marker (yes or clicker) means “WOO HOO! I am getting a prize!”
A key element to reward-based positive reinforcement training is to pick a reinforcer that your dog loves! Things that are likely reinforcers for dogs are as follows:
- Food or treats
- Access to other dogs
- Access to outdoors and interesting smells on the ground
- Attention from people and access to people, especially after isolation periods
- Initiation of play or other enjoyed activity such as fetch, cuddling, tug-of-war, keep-away, etc.
Those are the big five, although your dog may have other quirks which you can use. Simply start doling out his favorite reinforcer only when he does what you want.
Behavior is under the control of its consequences; law of effect. There are four kinds of consequences:
- Good thing starts (positive reinforcement)
- Good thing ends (negative punishment)
- Bad thing starts (positive punishment)
- Bad thing ends (negative reinforcement)
To be effective, all consequences must be immediate. These consequences will end up being associated with other things present at the moment of the consequences, as well as affecting the probability of the behavior.
Dogs are expert at reading the environment to know which consequences are likely to occur for which behaviors in any given situation.
An old dog really can learn new tricks and it is never too late to train your dog. If you need assistance, books and videos are available or consult a professional trainer. Just remember, make your training sessions fun for you and your best friend. And, as always, I welcome your phone calls and emails and will be happy to help you.
Renee Jones-Lewis is a certified professional dog trainer, having received instruction from canine behaviorist Dr. Pamela Reid, plus nationally acclaimed trainers: Patricia McConnell, Pia Silvani, and Jean Donaldson, to name a few. She serves as a Pet Marketing and Canine Specialist for JeffersPet and JeffersPet.com.
Questions about this article, training in general or non-emergent health concerns are welcome. Renee can be reached most days from 9am â€“ 5pm Central Time (Mon-Fri) at 1-800-JEFFERS (533-3377) ext 381 or by email rsjones@jefferspet. com