Animal Health Foundation Blog

The Dogs of California Wine Country

March 1st, 2021 by Animal Health Foundation

Part 1   How Fun this series is!

Enjoy the wine and special pups too!

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9 Facts About Corn in Pet Food

March 1st, 2021 by Animal Health Foundation

-By  Susan Thixton – The Truth About Pet Food

Corn doesn’t have to be a risk ingredient, but it CAN be. Facts you should know about corn ingredients before you trust your pet’s life with that pet food.

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Kids and Interaction With Dogs

February 27th, 2021 by Animal Health Foundation

Heartworm Preventative – Year Round or Not?

February 26th, 2021 by Animal Health Foundation

Paraphrased from Dr. Judy Morgan:

Mosquitoes are the main way that heartworms are transmitted.  There are 3 stages.  The first 2 (L1 and L2 larvae) require temperatures above 80 F (27 C) for a minimum of two weeks to reach L3. That is the infection stage. So. while most veterinarians recommend year-round administration of heartworm preventative, it may only be required seasonally in some areas.

Since there are a lot of variables, Dr. Morgan wrote a blog to “…try and help you decide what kind of heartworm preventative may be recommended for your pet”.

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Column: Are you giving your pets supplements to ward off COVID? Don’t bother

February 26th, 2021 by Animal Health Foundation

From the Los Angeles Times

The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a boom in consumption of dietary supplements, with one recent report estimating 12% growth in sales last year.

 

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ACIP shortens recommendation for rabies PrEP to two-dose schedule

February 25th, 2021 by Animal Health Foundation

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted Wednesday to shorten the recommendation for rabies PrEP to a two-dose vaccine schedule, aligning with international guidance.

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Prepare Your Home for an Earthquake and Keep You and Your Pets Safe

November 24th, 2020 by Animal Health Foundation

From:  www.porch.com at:

https://porch.com/advice/prepare-home-earthquake-keep-pets-safe

November 2, 2020

While many homeowners are under the false impression that earthquakes are restricted to certain areas of the U.S., the reality is that an earthquake can strike any location at any time. Although states like California, Alaska, Washington, and Oregon are more prone to the risk of an earthquake, one can happen anywhere without warning. An earthquake can cause tsunamis, landslides, fires, and other disturbances that can wreak havoc on an entire region.

As with any natural disaster, the best time to prepare is before the unexpected happens. Read on to learn about earthquake preparedness tips you can use to safeguard your home, family, and pets.

Earthquake Preparedness Tips for Your Family

While natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and typhoons can be predicted beforehand, even with today’s advanced technology, there’s no fool-proof way for weather departments to detect the location and magnitude of an earthquake. Although scientists do have a general understanding of which areas of the United States are most prone to earthquakes, they’re unfortunately still unable to assess the exact time this type of catastrophe will occur. For that reason, the only way to minimize loss of life and property damage is to prepare beforehand.

No matter where you live, there are certain earthquake safety tips you can implement to ensure your family’s safety.

Earthquake Readiness Planning Begins Inside the Home

The best place to begin planning your family’s earthquake safety measures is within your home. Follow these five earthquake safety procedures to keep your family safe:

  1. Identify both the safest and most dangerous areas of your home. Review these areas with your family members so everyone understands where to go if disaster strikes.
  2. Designate a safe zone where you and other family members can meet if you get separated during or after an earthquake.
  3. Since fires often break out after earthquakes, make sure your family knows where the fire extinguisher is and how to use it properly.
  4. Run regular earthquake readiness drills with your family so they become more familiar with how to respond if a disaster occurs.
  5. Review your community’s earthquake preparedness plans. Identify your city’s safety zones and include an emergency meeting place in your family’s plan in case you get separated.

Build an Earthquake Emergency Kit

After an earthquake, you may have to survive for several days on your own until help arrives. Smart earthquake preparedness means you have enough food, water, and other essential supplies to last for several days. Build a collection of basic household items that you might need if you’re forced to evacuate your home quickly or if you’re unable to leave your home temporarily.

What to Include in an Earthquake Emergency Kit

When assembling your earthquake emergency kit, take your family’s unique needs into account. For example, consider the needs of your pets or senior citizens when building your kit. If you have a baby, don’t forget to pack formula, bottles, wipes, diapers, and other essentials. A basic disaster supply kit safety checklist should include:

  • A gallon of water per person per day to last several days
  • At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food that can be prepared without gas or electricity
  • Flashlights with extra batteries
  • A first aid kit
  • Waterproof matches
  • A battery-powered emergency radio so you can keep up with current information
  • A whistle to signal for help
  • A manual can opener
  • A map of your city
  • Hand sanitizer or moist towelettes
  • Prescription medications
  • Non-prescription medicines such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and antacids
  • Masks to help filter contaminated air
  • Copies of important documents such as ID cards, bank account information, and insurance policies
  • Sleeping bags or heavy blankets to stay warm

Create an Earthquake-Proof Home to Prevent Structural Damage

Prepare your home for an earthquake to keep your family and home safe from seismic activity. Use this home safety checklist to reduce property damage and help ensure safety:

Purchase Earthquake Insurance

If you live in a region that’s particularly prone to earthquakes, purchasing earthquake insurance is critical. Depending on the magnitude, an earthquake can cause extensive damage to property. Most homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover earthquake-related damage. If disaster does strike, earthquake insurance can help cover the costs of repairing your home or purchasing a new one so you and your family can continue to live life as normal.

Reinforce the Structural Elements of Your Home

Many new properties are built on a strong foundation, but older homes may be held in place simply by their weight. If your home isn’t fixed firmly to the ground, it may be prone to wobbling, cracking, or crumbling if an earthquake occurs. Here are a few ways you can create an earthquake-proof home:

  • Repair any cracks in your walls or roof.
  • Reinforce the cripple wall of your home, which is located between the foundation and the first floor of your home.
  • Reinforce attached structures such as your garage, chimney, and joint shed.
  • Secure anchor bolts or steel plates between the foundation and the house. This small investment can prevent your home from sliding or being overturned during an earthquake.

Secure Items within Your House

After an earthquake, gas leaks can be even more dangerous than the natural disaster itself. Consider investing in automatic shut-off devices or breakaway gas shut-off devices so you can easily turn the gas off. Then, follow these safety precautions to prepare the inside of your home for an earthquake:

  • Fasten taller furniture like wardrobes, armoires, and bookcases to the wall with straps or safety cables.
  • Hang heavier objects such as mirrors and artwork away from couches, beds, or any other furniture where people sit.
  • On shelves, place heavier objects and breakables as low as possible.
  • Secure your water heater to the wall.
  • Install safety film on glass doors and windows.
  • Secure ceiling fixtures like chandeliers and ceiling lights to the permanent structure of your home.
  • Install latches on cabinet doors and drawers to prevent items from spilling out.
  • Identify the locations of your circuit breaker or electrical fuse box and water shut-off valve so you can quickly turn them off if needed.

If you’re unsure about how earthquake-proof your home is, a professional engineer can evaluate your structure. Don’t hesitate to ask about home safety repair and strengthening tips for features like your porch, deck, sliding glass doors, carport, garage door, or other structures.

Earthquake Pet Safety Tips to Practice During and After an Earthquake

After an earthquake, it’s not uncommon for families to deal with the grief of a missing pet that became separated during the catastrophe. Unfortunately, many pets may never be reunited with their family members due to poor earthquake preparedness. In an emergency like an earthquake, your pet will be even more dependent on you for its well-being and safety. Your family’s earthquake disaster preparedness plan should also include the needs of your pet.

What to Include in an Emergency Kit for Pets

Make sure your furry family members are also ready for a major disaster like an earthquake by following these earthquake pet safety tips. When building a disaster preparedness kit for your pets, follow these safety procedures:

  • Pack enough food and water to last for at least five days for each pet. Don’t forget to pack your pet’s bowl and a manual can opener.
  • Make sure your pet is properly identified by a tag, collar, or microchip. Your pet should always wear an ID, even when indoors.
  • Become aware of your pet’s favorite hiding places. If your pet becomes frightened, it may try to hide.
  • Keep a list of your pet’s medical records and medications and store this information in a waterproof container.
  • Keep a leash, harness, and secure carrier close by in case you need to suddenly leave your home.
  • Take current photos of your pet to help others identify it if you become separated.
  • Display a pet alert window sticker on your house to let first responders know there’s an animal inside.
  • Write down information about your pet’s feeding schedule or medical conditions along with the contact information of your veterinarian in case you have to temporarily board your pet or place it in a shelter.
  • Include your pet’s favorite toy and blanket in the kit for increased comfort.

The above guide is primarily about common household pets such as cats and dogs. If you’re looking for earthquake disaster preparedness tips for other animals such as reptiles, birds, or small animals like hamsters or gerbils, follow these recommendations from the ASPCA.

Prepare Now for an Earthquake

Since earthquakes are more unpredictable than other natural disasters, they can be extremely dangerous. The likelihood of aftershocks following an earthquake can make matters even worse. While there’s no way to know when an earthquake will occur, you can do your part to prepare for one beforehand. Keeping every member of your family educated about earthquake readiness is important. Hopefully, these earthquake safety measures will help you keep you, your family, and your pets safe before, during, and after an earthquake.

Surviving the Holidays without Your Pet

November 18th, 2020 by Animal Health Foundation

TO REGISTER:  https://petlosspartners.com/special-events/

5 Things You May Not Know About Goldens

November 18th, 2020 by Animal Health Foundation

Mercola Healthy Pets

Analysis by Dr. Karen Shaw Becker
golden retrievers

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Golden Retrievers are hugely popular dogs, but many people don’t realize there are three different types — American, Canadian and British
  • The differences among them are subtle, involving coat colors and body size
  • Earlier this year, the world celebrated Augie, the first Golden to reach the amazing age of 20
  • One of the reasons for the popularity of GRs is their eagerness to please; another is their extraordinary work ethic

Unless you’ve been living on another planet, you can probably pick out the Golden Retriever in a crowd of dogs, because they’re everywhere you look — on TV, in the movies, in videos, in pictures, posters and print advertisements, and in nearly every neighborhood across the globe.

Not only is this breed wildly popular with dog parents (#3 out of 196 according to the American Kennel Club),1 but Goldens are also among the most photographed, videoed and written about dogs anywhere.

Interestingly, a little factoid about GRs that not many people know is there are actually three varieties of the breed: American, Canadian and British. The differences among them are subtle, but they exist!

  • American Golden Retriever — The American GR coat comes in a range of shades from blonde to red, is very dense and neither coarse nor silky. The coat lies close the body, with heavier feathering on the neck, thighs, and tail. The average male American Golden is 23 to 24 inches, and females usually measure 21.5 to 22.5 inches in height.
  • Canadian Golden Retriever — The coat of the Canadian Golden is typically shorter and thinner than its American and British counterparts, with a texture that is neither wiry nor silky, and with less feathering. Like their cousins to the south, the average male Canadian GR is 23 to 24 inches tall; females are typically 21.5 to 22.5 inches tall.
  • British Golden Retriever — The British (aka English) version of the breed has a long, feathery coat like the other two varieties, but unlike them, the British GR is usually cream-colored and slightly smaller. Males typically stand 22 to 24 inches in height, and females an average of 20 to 22 inches.

World’s Oldest Golden Turns 20

Augie (short for August), an American Golden Retriever, became the oldest GR on record when she turned 20 in April of this year. This is quite remarkable when you consider that so many Goldens live only about half as long.

After being rehomed twice (through no fault of her own), Augie was 14 when she found her third and true forever family, Jennifer and Steve Hetterscheidt of Oakland, Tennessee. Jennifer was working as the intake director at a GR rescue in southern Nevada, and she fell in love with Augie the second she laid eyes on her.

“She’s just darling,” Hetterscheidt told CNN. “There’s nothing to not love about her. She’s happy doing something and happy doing nothing. I can’t imagine life without her.”2

The Hetterscheidts have taken Augie on RV trips around the country along with her three Golden siblings — Sherman, Belle and Bruce. She also enjoys playing fetch in the pool and taking daily walks around the yard.

On her big day, though the coronavirus pandemic canceled the 100-person party planned by the Hetterscheidts, Augie still celebrated her 20th with a dog-friendly carrot cake, blueberries and a few other goodies. And decorations, of course. Pics of the birthday bash.

Here’s a short but fascinating interview Rodney Habib and I did with Augie’s dad, Steve Hetterscheidt:

5 More Fun Facts About Goldens

1.The breed originated in Scotland — The Golden Retriever was born in the Scottish Highlands, developed by a man named Dudley Marjoribanks, later known as Lord Tweedmouth. In 1865, Marjoribanks purchased Nous, the only yellow puppy in a litter of black wavy-coated retrievers.

Within a few years, Nous was bred to Belle, a Tweed Water Spaniel (a breed that is now extinct), and several of their yellow puppies became the foundation for a line of yellow retrievers.

2.These dogs have an extraordinary work ethic — Originally bred to be biddable (easy to train and eager to please), calm, and sensible for use as hunting dogs, the Golden Retriever’s physical and mental traits also lend themselves to more modern activities. The breed excels as obedience competitors, tracking dogs, show dogs, guide and assistance dogs, and search and rescue dogs.

3.Goldens are exceptionally eager to please — There’s probably no better proof of this than that the first three AKC obedience champions were Golden Retrievers. This breed is extremely easy to train and comes in fourth in The Intelligence of Dogs by Stanley Coren,3 as one of the brightest dogs ranked by obedience-command trainability.

4.They require lots and lots of exercise — To avoid boredom and weight gain, and to maintain their large, heavy frames in good condition, Goldens need at least one brisk long walk, jog or run each day. Games of fetch (retrieving) can be great exercise, as can swimming. Given the opportunity, this breed is sure-footed on hiking trails and loves the opportunity to explore nature.

5.Not every Golden Retriever is a born retriever — If you want to exercise your Golden with games of fetch, it’s a good idea to introduce him to the sport at a young age. It’s possible he’ll know instinctively what to do as soon as you throw the ball the first time, but some dogs need to learn through repetition and lots of praise each time they return the ball or other toy.

Most quickly learn that in order for the game to continue, they must bring the ball back and drop it. Keep in mind, though, that once your Golden gets the whole retrieving thing down, it can quickly become an obsession!

Owner Gives Up Pet to SPCA; Angel Fund Comes to Rescue

October 15th, 2020 by Animal Health Foundation

A few months ago, Alex Elias’ dog, Oreo, was not doing well.

“I fell into a deep depression, coming home and seeing her not eating and getting weaker by the day,” Alex said.

“Oreo was urinating a lot,” his wife Rosalinda said.  “I told Alex that I think she has a bladder infection or some other kind of infection.  We took her to the animal hospital and the veterinarian told us she had stones in her bladder.  “The surgery was really expensive and we just didn’t have any money.”

“Oreo was getting sicker and sicker and we just couldn’t see her like that,” Alex said.  The couple decided to take the dog to the SPCA, hoping that the organization might be able to take care of her surgery and then find her a new home.

Alex, terribly depressed at the thought of giving up his dog, took a binder he had kept that had all Oreo’s health and other records.  “The young lady there [at SPCA] told me, ‘Wow, she’s a well-loved dog!  I‘ve never seen a binder like this.’

“I said, ‘Oh, I love her.’ I was crying when I handed her over.” Alex said.  “I said I wanted to surrender the binder with Oreo.  I thought the right thing to do was to surrender her so they could help her.”

Depressed and saddened, Alex and Rosalinda returned to their home in Hawthorne.  The next day, the SPCA called them and suggested that they call the Animal Hospital of South Bay and ask about Angel Fund, Rosalinda said.

“They said Angel Fund could help us,” she said.  “I talked to a lady at the hospital and she said, ‘OK, let me find out a few things.’ She called back later and said Oreo was scheduled for surgery that day.  I said, ‘Wait, she’s at the SPCA.’  She said, ‘No, we picked her up.  And Angel Fund is going to help you.’  That felt really good.”

When Alex returned home, Rosalinda told him that Oreo’s surgery had been scheduled and the hospital wanted to know if he would like to see her before the operation.

“I said, yeah! It was the happiest day of my life. It was better than anything in the world.”

At the hospital the reunion of man and dog was an emotional moment.  “She jumped out of the lady’s arms and into my arms and she’s kissing me and licking me,” Alex said. “It was amazing, it was amazing!  I’ll never forget how she looked at me and she was crying like a baby.”  So was Alex.

“Angel Fund made a depressed person very, very happy,” Alex said. “If they didn’t do what they did, I told Rosalinda, I needed to check myself into the mental hospital and she asked why.  I said, ‘Because I can’t live without Oreo.  If she goes, I’m going to go.  I can’t live without her.’  So Angel Fund actually saved two lives.

“I told my therapist that I was thinking about killing myself.  I really, really did.  I was very, very depressed without her.”

Alex has a learning disability and has been unable to read or write.  He has been working hard to change that and now can read at a third-grade level.  “My spelling is really bad but I can read signs and I am learning,” he said.

He has worked when family members have helped him find jobs. In one instance, he was fired from a job his brother had helped him find.  His employer gave him written instructions and told him to read them so he would know what to do.  When Alex said he couldn’t read the instructions, he was fired.

He is also diabetic.  He credits his dog with saving his life when he fell into a diabetic coma in 2016.  Oreo bit him hard enough to wake him up but not break his skin, he said.

“I was on the floor and I went into the kitchen to grab something to eat – a piece of candy or something.   She was crying and pulling on my shirt.  she knew that I was sick.  she started nibbling on my ear.”

He finally reached up and found a donut and that helped get him back on track, he said.

He and Rosalinda live with his son, although they are now divorced.  The son and Rosalinda are his caretakers, Alex said.  Alex has his own bedroom and Rosalinda shares a room with his granddaughter.  “We get along better than when we were married,” he said.

Oreo – a Chihuahua-Jack Russel mix – is doing very well, he said.  “She’s terrific – running around, getting a little chubby. But she’s great.”  The dog is now six years old.