February 14, 2012

Little Miss Nikki!

June 05, 2011

101 reasons why everyone should read this book!

Yes, I could list a 101 reasons why everyone should read this book but it would be a boring review.

When you see the book, the cover alone grabs the heart and soul, Tuesday can say a thousand words without speaking.

Once you have absorbed the beauty of such a wonderful dog, you will find yourself reading, pausing and going back to the front cover just to look at the eyes of this amazing hound. This book stands proud and upright on the top of my desk, like a photo of a loving relative, carefully framed and displayed to be viewed often. I marvel how everyone who enters my office, immediately passes a comment as they are drawn to the beauty of Tuesday.

This book affected me on so many levels. How someone could be so brave and honest? Luis bares his soul for his readers to see the cause and effects of war on a warrior. How little we the readers understand the life of a wounded warrior. How blind we are to the results of their lifetime injuries and suffering. How inadequate the system of support for recovery of PTSD.

I know I cannot be this honest in my writing skills and would run to the ends of the earth rather than expose my fears.

Luis Carlos Montalaven has laid down his life for his country and now bares his soul to help his fellow warriors and for us to see that there is hope and a wonderful, cost effective solution that can save lives on so many levels.

Luis, guides us through his journey until Tuesday gently takes over. As a reader I loved the gratitude that Luis feels for his dog. I am in awe of the bond and understanding that although Tuesday has a job, Luis also recognizes that Tuesday has a personality too!

It needs to be #1 on the top seller list! Buy this book and your life will be enriched.

You will see your own life in a new light. You will have a better understanding of how we can help our wounded warriors. You will feel a deep sense of gratitude.

I am so grateful to Luis and Tuesday for reminding me that honesty, integrity and loyalty are the foundations of love and understanding.

December 10, 2010

An unwanted Christmas gift!

It’s that time of year again. The holidays have traditionally been a season of joy and good cheer. But “ho, ho, ho” has also turned into “buy, buy, buy” and “give, give, give.” Malls are full to overflowing, television commercials seem to broadcast nothing but sales, and everyone is feeling the pressure to purchase gifts for their loved ones. Inevitably, for many families with children, one of those gifts will be a puppy.
I’m not so much of a grinch that I’m going to try to talk you out of giving your children a puppy. But if you’re going to give a puppy as a gift, do your research. Find out about things like what the breed you’re considering was bred to do. For example, if the dog you are contemplating is bred to hunt (such as retrievers), herd (like border collies, Australian shepherds, corgis), or do some other active type of work, you’re most likely going to have a very active little puppy on your hands who, without a job to do, will create one in your home—one that has a title like Deputy of Destruction, or Rover’s Redecorating Service. Active breed dogs need a lot of exercise. If you’re looking for a small lap dog, look for a breed that was actually bred for it. Don’t assume that all small dogs are lap dogs! Many small breeds were actually bred for hunting and other physical activities, and some do not have the “soft” temperament many parents want—terriers, for example, are tough and feisty as a rule, rather than soft and cuddly, like, say, a Bichon Frise.
Another thing to consider, especially if you are a working couple, is whether you really want a puppy. Now, you know kids will love a sweet, adorable dog who’s a few years old just as much as they would a puppy—kids love dogs, period! And with an adolescent or adult dog, chances are you won’t have to go through that not-so-fun housebreaking period. Even if you do, it’s not the same as with a young puppy who simply can’t hold it overnight—oh yes, did I mention that’s like having an infant all over again. Here comes the No Sleep Express!

Whether you decide to buy from a breeder or adopt, don’t rush the decision. Sure, that holiday pressure is on. But here’s an idea: rather than rushing and chancing not getting the right dog for you, go out and buy a large, cute stuffed animal, put a big, red bow on it, and a card that announces “We’re getting a dog!” Believe me, the kids will be thrilled at the very notion even without the dog being there. The stuffed dog approach buys you time to discuss as a family what type of dog is right for you, and after the parents have narrowed down the choices, the kids can be part of the decision-making process.

One last tip: there is a lot you can do now, before you even bring that puppy home. Dr. Ian Dunbar has written an excellent book called Before You Get Your Puppy, and believe it or not, it’s completely free! You can download either a text-only version or the complete book with photos. Doing your research now will be the best guarantee of not only a happy holiday, but a very happy new year.

Phantom Publishing

December 08, 2010

Goodies for your dogs Christmas stocking.

Chew Toys and BonesWritten by Dr. Sherry Weaver

All puppies have an undeniable need to chew, and labs can be among the worst. The key to keeping an intelligent dog like a lab from being destructive is to provide a stimulating environment. A big part of this stimulation should be playing with owners and training. When owners are not available, appropriate toys for both education and chewing are extremely helpful.

The truth is that there are no completely safe chew toys. Any product that is swallowed has the potential to cause an upset stomach. All natural products are preserved with chemicals, and rawhide has been found to have unhealthy chemicals and bacteria. Our biggest worries are toys that cause more serious problems such as blockages or tooth fractures. The key to safe use of any toy is to read labels and watch your dog at play with the toy to determine which is best for him as an individual.

Rawhides have the advantage of being tasty and relatively inexpensive. Most dogs love them. The disadvantage of rawhide is that it can be quickly chewed into small chunks, and dogs have been known to swallow pieces too large and get blocked up. These blockages are extremely rare, especially with single-ply rawhide, but you should watch your dog play with the rawhide and take it away if he is breaking off large chunks to swallow. When the rawhides wear down to a swallow-able sized piece, they should be thrown away. If your dog is a slower chewer and makes a rawhide last for a day or two, then it can be appropriate. When you do buy rawhide, try to get it from a reputable manufacturer, although the recent pet food crisis has made us all aware that even that is not enough to guarantee a lack of harmful chemicals.

Another common natural product available in pet stores is the large beef leg bones. These bones are too hard for most dogs to splinter and swallow (although if they do it has a chance of causing some stomach problems which may require surgery for removal.) The main disadvantage to these bones is that they very commonly cause fractures in the dog’s teeth.

Some people still give dogs poultry bones to chew (especially around the holidays). These bones shatter easily into extremely sharp long shards and can cause a pretty nasty irritation in the stomach and on down the intestines. Although it is rare for a dog to get Salmonella, you should be careful about feeding raw poultry bones. I usually recommend that my patients avoid any bones.

Many dogs seem to enjoy the taste of cow hooves, and they are relatively safe for the teeth. However, they do seem to be easily swallowed. If your dog tends to swallow large pieces, they are not right for you.

I have recently been seeing “bully bones” in the pet stores. This piece of cow anatomy is relatively new to the pet market, but it seems very safe. It can be chewed up relatively quickly, but appears to be pretty digestible. The only disadvantage I have found is that they can be a little expensive and often don’t last very long. But, so far, this is one of the safest chew products that I have found.

Soft rubber squeaky toys are great for small gentle dogs, but usually do not last very long with big dogs. Dogs that chew them up quickly will often swallow the squeaker or big chunks of the rubber. Usually these squeakers are too small to cause a blockage, but you should look at each one compared to the size of your dog. Squeaky toys can be fun, safe, and inexpensive, but not very practical if you go through several a day.

Harder rubber chew toys are often not very exciting to dogs due to lack of flavor. They are unlikely to cause stomach problems, but they can cause tooth fractures. Some of them have a place in the middle to fill with a treat or some peanut butter, so they become more popular with the dogs. The advantage of these is that they last a long time, and they are almost impossible to chew up.

Balls of various sorts are the most common things that I have had to surgically remove from a dogs’ stomach. Again, if your dog chews up balls quickly, it is not an appropriate toy, but if he just carries it around, it is probably safe.

In recent years, it has become easier to find dogs new “educational toys”. These toys are often balls that must be manipulated in a certain way to release treats. They are usually made of break resistant plastic, and since they are round, they are hard to chew up or break teeth on. These toys not only indulge the need to chew, but they stimulate the dog and prevent boredom. These are my absolute favorite toys for puppies and dogs alike. The only challenge I have seen with these is that they can have a bit of a learning curve before the dog realizes that treats come out.

Dr. Weaver

About Dr. Sherry Weaver

Dr. Weaver graduated with honors from the University of Georgia's School of Veterinary Medicine. She founded a state-of-the-art animal hospital, teaches pet care to children, and donates time and resources to rescue organizations.

Note: The opinions and views expressed in the Ask the Vet articles are the result of Dr. Sherry Weaver's formal education and over 14 years in clinical experiences. Your veterinarian is the best source of information for your pet’s specific needs.

December 07, 2010

Help my dog ate a glass ornament!

An important item to keep in your first aid box is a box of cotton balls.
Be sure that you get the pure cotton balls, not the cosmetic puffs that are made from man-made fibers.

Also, buy a quart of half-and-half coffee cream and put it in the freezer.

What to do if your dog eats glass or a glass ornament.

Defrost the half-and-half and pour some in a bowl. Dip cotton balls into the cream and feed them to your dog.

Dogs under 10 pounds should eat two balls which you have first torn into small pieces.

Dogs 10-50 pounds should eat 3-5 balls and larger dogs should eat 5-7.

You may feed larger dogs an entire ball at once.

Dogs seem to really like these strange treats and eat them readily.

As the cotton works its way through the digestive tract it will find all the glass pieces and wrap itself around them.

Even the teeniest shards of glass will be caught and wrapped in the cotton fibers and the cotton will protect the intestines from damage by the glass.

Your dog's stools will be really strange for a few days and you will have to be careful to check for fresh blood or a tarry appearance to the stool.

If either of the latter symptoms appear you should rush your dog to the vet for a checkup but, in most cases, the dogs will be just fine.
Have a safe and happy holidays!

December 05, 2010

True or False ~ Are Poinsettias poison?

Poinsettias are not poisonous.    

They will cause more than perhaps a mild stomach upset if a part of the plant is eaten. The plant's taste is very bitter and not very edible at all. So usually, a leaf or two will give the message to a curious dog.

According to Poinsindex, "a 50 pound child would have to ingest 500-600 leaves to exceed experimental doses that found no toxicity." The white sticky sap however, may cause skin irritation in sensitive individuals.

Pet owners can rely on findings from the ASPCA. According to ASPCA,
"In reality, poinsettia ingestion typically produce only mild to moderate gastrointestinal tract irritation, which may include drooling, vomiting and/or diarrhea. Keeping this plant out of the reach of your pet to avoid stomach upset is still a good idea, but you need not banish the poinsettia from your home for fear of a fatal exposure."

We can now rejoice and resume adorning our homes now with a Poinsettia plant. It is advisable to monitor pets and small children, but at least we can have peace of mind that our beloved dog or cat will not die from ingesting a leaf or two.

Poinsettias are not only very ornamental plants, but they can also prove to provide health benefits. They seem to contribute in improving air quality in homes, effectively removing harmful pollutants such as Formaldehyde, commonly found in plywood.
Have a happy and safe holiday season!