Archive for May, 2013

Congratulations Scholarship Winner Octora Enda Sari Ginting

Friday, May 31st, 2013

This picture was taken when i inoculate mice in lab work of pharmacology veterinerThis picture was taken when i became one of the tradisional dancer in the event of a unit activities students at my facultyThis the other picture was taken at pet shop stand in pet contest on my facultyMy name is Octora Enda Sari Ginting. I was born in Medan on 22 october 1992. I grew up with my family in Medan. My father’s name is Karnan Ginting and my mother’s name is Rehmuli Sitepu. My father works as a public accounting and my mother is a housewife. I am the second child in my family. My first sister’s name is Maretha Natasia Ginting 21 years old and already work. My youngest brother’s name is Michael Dianta Ginting 17 years old and he is the 3rd grade student in ST.THOMAS 2 high school. Now, my family live on Gaperta Street 129 Medan, North Sumatera.

My education story begin in El-PATHISIA Kindegarten when i was just 5 years, then in 1998 I was in elementary school at SD ST.THOMAS 2 Medan and I went to junior high school in 2004. I entered the junior high school in SMPN 18 Medan and graduated in 2007, then went to high school level in 2010 at SMA ST.THOMAS 1 Medan. After that I ever attended the Medan State Polytechnic at Department of energy conversion Techniques, however I don’t have any interested and  talent there so I  tried to take the test again and chose the Faculty of Veterinary  Unsyiah. Now I was in the 4th semester at Faculty of Veterinary Syiah Kuala University. I took 8 lesson this semester i.e., Veterinary Anatomy III, Veterinary Pathology, Veterinary General Pharmacology, Veterinary Parasitology, Veterinary Microbiology II, The Physiology of Reproduction, Veterinary Clinic Diagnosa and Veterinary Public Health. In addition I also follow the Executive students in my college and student activity units about ornithology, Himpus. Although the schedule on this semester is so demanding but I still try to keep up with the schedule. Starting on 1 March to 5 March 2013 i will follow the Midterm, wish me luck.

While I still in high school, i thought to be a dentist or veterinarian, because I love animals so much I have a great desire to be a veterinarian. But among my friends and my family have an opinion that veterinarian is not the right choice so finally I undid my intentions and chose the Engineering. After 1 year became engineering student, I grew to realize that I did not have the desire and the talent here, even I always imagined I would become a doctor. Therefore I decided out of engineering and try to take the test to enter the Faculty of Veterinary. Now here I am, being one of the potential future veterinarians.

Before be a veterinarian later I will help the conservation of orangutans through research that I will do in the future. I also persuade people those closest to me to love forests and orangutans. And I will follow developing which concern about forests and orangutan which is  are in Sumatera, so I can participate to maintain the sustainability of forests and orangutan. After becoming a vet someday I wish I can join in orangutans conservation so that I can work directly in maintaining and preserving the orangutan.

I should be choosen as the recipient of this scholarship because I have a great desire to join in tonservation of orangutans. From the first time i really like orangutans and other animals. So did my parents, especially my mother who always invites me to see orangutan at Bukit Lawang conservation area, because my mother know that i love  orangutans and very supportive me to follow this scholarship. I will try to help preserve forests and orangutan through think and efforts that I can do. Also I will be very happy if I can take part in activities held YOSL-OIC, OURF and Animal Health Foundation in preservation of orangutans and other animals.

Thus a brief biography about me, I hope this report can introduce myself even further. Thank you very much.

Scholarship Winner Miftahul Jannah

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Photos when I do practice veterinary physiology at the laboratory of faculty Veterinary of syiah kualaPractical Physiology of Blood CirculationMy name is Miftahul jannah, I  was born in Sigli on 06 April 1994. I live in sigli with my parent until now. My father’s name is Alamsyah and my mother’s name is Halimah. My father is an entrepreneur and my mother is a teacher of junior high school in Kota Bakti. I have 5 sisters and no brother. My first sister’s name is Zahara, she is 26 years old, she also a teacher of junior high school in Kota Bakti. My second sister’s name is Nadia Maulidia, she is 24 years old and now she works in Banda Aceh. Next, my third sister’s name is Zikria Hanum, she is 22 years old and now she is a student of Unsyiah University. And then my little sister’s name is Rizka Maulina, she is 16 years old and now she is a student of senior high school. The last one is Syerma Shakira, she is 8 years old and now she is a student of elementary school.

When I was 5 years old I studied at TK Alquran (Kindergarten) then in 2000 I studied at SDN 4 Kota Bakti and I was graduated in 2006, then I studied in SMPN 2 Sakti and graduated in 2009 then I continued my study in senior high school at SMAN 1 Sakti and graduated in 2012 and now I am studying at Veterinary Faculty, Universitas Syiah Kuala, Banda Aceh.

My activities while in the Faculty of Veterinary Syiah Kuala University is conducting various lab work regarding my courses  ranging  from matters  concerning  Embryology, Animal Anatomy, Animal Physiology, Biostatistics,  biochemical,  general husbandry, and Science  and  Public  Lecture.  Currently I’m following the extra-curricular activities because I am still trying to keep my class schedules and the course at this time.

I wanted to be a vet because the vet is a very noble job, where they protect God’s creation and positioning it to be a human being in need of protection and adequate healthcare. My hope in the future, I’ll be able to maintain and protect various types of animals through my profession as a veterinarian. Besides, I want to make my parents and my family proud of me by becoming a professional veterinarian.

OCS Scholarship is a bridge for me to reach my hope and my dream to be a veterinarian. By this scholarship, I can ease the burden of my parents in my college fund, so they can still pay my sisters in their school without thinking of me. I am very grateful to be given this opportunity to get this scholarship.

The course that I took today is one of Veterinary Anatomy, Islamic Education, Veterinary Physiology 1, Biostatistics, Veterinary Biochemistry 1, English, General Science Animal Husbandry and Embryology, all totaling 21 credits.

That’s all for this report, I hope OCS scholarship will flourish and sustain.



Meet Scholarship Winner Een Maulidia Rahman

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Praktikum PatologiPraktikum parasitologiPengamatan Anastesi tikus perinjeksiMy name is Een Maulidia Rahman. I was born in Meulaboh on 11 September 1993. I grew up with my family in Meulaboh. My father’s name is Anshari Yatim and my mother’s name is Kasma Ishaq. My father is a retired civil servant school. and my mother is a housewife. My parents seek income from their small business to open a restaurant that simple. I was the fourth child of six children in the family. My brother’s first name Cholid Firdaus has been married and have a family, and worked as a civil servant in the government. The second brother named Roni Oktamaria work as self-employed. The third brother named Muhammad Shollyzar, who are still studying at University Teuku Umar Meulaboh. and the last two twin younger brothers named Fauzul Kabir and Hafizul Fariz they which newly entered schools in meulaboh.

My education story begin in TK- Alquran Meulaboh when i was just 5 years, then in 1998 I was in elementary school at MIN Drien Drampak and I went to junior high school in 2004. I entered the junior high school in SMPN 2 Meulaboh and graduated in 2007, then went to high school level in 2010 at MAN MEULABOH-1 Meulaboh. Now I am a student semester four veterinary medicine syiah kuala universyitas, at the moment I am taking 21 credits with 8 courses. I very much hope to the semester this can get a satisfactory. Hopefully, with earned a Orangutan Caring Scholarship  this i can raise my capability whether it ‘ s in the field of academic and non academic, wish me luck i may be able to complete the lecture quickly and timely with a value good.

After finishing high school, I initially wanted to go to college general medicine, as well as where parents want me to school there, but it turns out God wills others, I’ve tried to follow some college test by selecting a course of medicine, but all fail. I finally tried the last test in the same college courses veterinary selecting the first, and apparently God gave me the opportunity to pass on the faculty. I feel this is all destiny, God will not give me what I want but god give me what I need. Parents also support after I promote and explain how animal medicine. veterinary medicine is not my wish but I believe the future of veterinary medicine is me, with a veterinary student I was enthusiastic hope to maintain, care for, treat and care for animals – animals (patients) in accordance with the traffic I have.


Forest preserve is a task that we all live in the bum, forests are the lungs of earth. Many ways that we can do to preserve the actual forest. The easiest thing I can do is like planting a tree 5-10 trees in a day vacant land. however, it does not mean at all that I just did it, while outside there is stout especially those who cut down trees they had been bribed with money. I need help from people – individuals and society. let’s together – together to preserve our forests. before becoming a vet I also wish to add to the experience in the field of conservation of orangutans and can provide counseling to the layman who think orangutans are a pest for residents. for research later, I also want to keep the existing health management orangutans in captivity or the zoo. set it to be a vet I also want to participate in all areas of orangutan conservation.

I am entitled to because I was able to be elected the person responsible for completing this course by researching about orangutans. I will make every effort to not disappoint scholarship. By joining the conservation of orangutans and their forest conservation glad I could keep this earth from global warming. although many among friends who still do not understand what the function of orangutans must maintain and kept in their natural habitat. I believe I can help the conservation of orangutans and the forest preserve. I feel very happy if I can be part of the family lover and protector of orangutans, which is held in activities YOSL-OIC, ourf and Animal Health Foundation conservation of orangutans and other animals. Thank you for selecting me as a Orangutan Caring Scholarship recipient.

Thus a brief biography about me, I hope this report can introduce yourself even further. and I apologize for my United Kingdom language is not good, because I am still in the learning. Thank you very much.

Meet Scholarship Winner Diah Hestiasy Tanisyah

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

That is my picture with Shepi in period third semester for Penghayatan Profesi Veteriner (PPVET) courseThat is my picture when I am in period second semester for Physiology of Veterinary practical. That practical work is carried out to identify the urine of pregnant wome

That is my picture with a gibbon = siamang. That picture was taken when I am in period second semester.My name is Diah Hestiasy Tanisyah, calling Diah or Hesti. Tan is a surname derived from my father. My father Chinese and my mother Java. I was born in a small town in North Sumatra Province of Pematangsiantar on 20 August 1993 and I grew up with my parents, my younger sisters and my younger brother in there. My father’s name is Buyung and my mother’s name is and Endang Susantri. First, my father was a small farmer who farms  and sells local chicken and carp. But the effort is already suffered a setback. My mother was a kindergarten teacher since 2004. I was the first child of four brothers.  Fitri Aulia Tanisyah is my younger sister the first who was 17 years old and attended SMA Negeri 2 Pematangsiantar (senior high school). My younger brother’s name is Jodi Tantowi Jahya aged 13 years old, was educated at SMP Swasta Teladan Pematangsiantar (junior high school). I am very close to him and we have the same Zodiac is Leo. And the last is Kailyn Saskia Tanisyah, she has just been born on 25 February 2013 as my younger sister.

My educational history begins Kindergarten when I was 4 years old at TK Al-Wasliyah Pematangsiantar, then in 1999 I was in elementary school at SD Negeri  122401 Pematangsiantar. And I went to elementary school in 2005. I entered the junior high school at SMP Negeri 1 pematangsiantar and graduanted in 2008. Then I entered the senior high school at SMA Negeri 2 Pematangsiantar and graduanted in 2011. Currently I am living the education period fourth semester Undergraduate level at Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Syiah Kauala University-Banda Aceh.

The reason I want to be a veterinarian is due from years ago, I have often make friends with some animals for example are animal-pet. Although only a chicken, a dog,  a cat, birds, fish etc. Moreover, my home is not far from the zoo known as Taman Hewan Siantar. I feel very pleased when I play with them. And I think that is my hobby. When I entered in medicine animal, my grandmother, my uncle and my aunt disagreed with me. I was told to leave my education and go majored in medicine or dentistry. Finally my father became hesitate to let me carry on my education. But I did not directly despond. I always trying to make my parents proud if I would continue to go to college in veterinary medicine. I tried several scholarship and program creativity students to me show them. Although the result is still yet to be shown for them. As a result, I become increasingly confident to remain be a veterinarian. So, the future I can show them that not just doctors and dentists can be successful person, but veterinaries too. Even more than success. I hope in the future I can become a famous veterinarian with new discoveries, to safeguard and protect the various types of animals. Besides I want to make my parents and my family proud with me as a veterinary professional.

After being a veterinarian, I would be a friend from orangutan. It means as friends, I must get participated in save him. I would make approach, counseling and socialization to nationwide, especially children and the student. The object is to create are concerned about the status of orangutan. Children and the student is later will become government. When their became it will, their expected use his authority to embrace nationwide in protecting orangutans.

The reason I joined this Orangutan Caring Scholarship (OCS) is because I want to save orangutans by following efforts of orangutan conservation. Orangutan Caring Scholarship (OCS) is the way for me to reach my ideals be a veterinarian. With the existence of this scholarship, I can lighten the load in finance in college my father. And hopefully by the presence of this scholarship, can make me more spirit in my conducting activities academic to get satisfactory results. I am so grateful were given the opportunity to get this Orangutan Caring Scholarship (OCS). I will make this Orangutan Caring Scholarship (OCS) as my motivation.

I hope that this report can give you a little information to smooth my scholarship and more. Thank you.  #VivaVeteriner #WeCanSaveOrangutansTogether

AHF Caring Creatures Pet Partner Teams

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Reading Dog 3

Teams Participate in R.E.A.D. Program

Click link above to see more!

Insurance company’s top 10 pet ailments in 2012

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Veterinary Pet Insurance recently released its top 10 list for dog and cat claims in 2012. Skin allergies, ear infections and skin infections were the top three dog claims, while bladder infection, dental disease and overactive thyroid were most commonly dealt with in cats, according to VPI. Many common health problems can be detected early and treated or even prevented with regular veterinary visits, even for animals that seem healthy, says veterinarian Carol McConnell, VPI’s vice president and chief veterinary medical officer. Yahoo/Vetstreet (5/1)

By Linda Fiorella |

When you bring your pet to the veterinarian, it’s natural to wonder what brings all the other cats and dogs to the waiting room. If they aren’t all there for a checkup, there’s a good chance at least one of the dogs will have a skin allergy or infection and that one of the kitties crouched in a carrier is suffering from a bladder infection.

Those are the findings of a recent analysis of claims filed with Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), the nation’s largest and oldest pet insurer, which tabulated the top 10 dog and cat medical conditions of 2012 and calculated a combined $58 million spent by their policyholders on them.

Skin problems, as well as ear infections, took the top three spots in 2012, while bladder conditions topped the list for felines.


Ailments Claiming the Top Spots

Ear infections traditionally top the list for dogs. Dr. Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI, believes skin allergies may have jumped ahead of ear infections because veterinarians are getting better at diagnosing allergies as the root cause of ear infections. “In the old days they used to write ear infection as the diagnosis and didn’t give us the more complicated version of the story,” says Dr. McConnell, who points out that underlying food, flea and even seasonal pollen allergies show in the skin of pets, and can then lead to skin and ear infections.

Topping the list for cats are bladder infections. A more serious urinary tract condition, especially in male cats, is the urinary obstruction. In these cases, crystals, stones or plugs can form in the urine and block the urethra (the tube leading from the bladder on out of the body). It becomes a medical emergency when these cats are unable to urinate. “Then they get in real trouble,” Dr. McConnell says. “When the cat is straining to produce urine in the litterbox, you get that cat to a vet, even if it’s Sunday at 2 a.m.”

How to Spot Chronic Illness

Some conditions, like arthritis (in cats and dogs) and chronic kidney disease are often associated with aging pets, but many of the conditions on the list can affect animals of any age. Therefore Dr. McConnell suggests pet owners “familiarize themselves with their pets’ daily routine in order to identify abnormal behaviors that might indicate an injury or illness.”

Among other things, this could help you notice the warning signs of an overactive thyroid in cats, and bruising or contusions in dogs, also known as “soft tissue injuries.” Other types of soft tissue injuries include muscle strains and injured tendons or ligaments. “These can be as simple as a dog that was running in the dog park and got so excited he body slammed into another dog, or he goes up for a frisbee and comes down and strains a muscle,” says Dr. McConnell.

Subtle Signs of Serious Problems

With serious chronic problems like an overactive thyroid in cats, she explains, being aware of changes in behavior is especially important. Dr. McConnell notes it’s common for owners to think their older cat is healthy, and they’re thrilled that their 12-year-old cat has so much energy.

“Then you notice ‘Oh, she’s not grooming,’ and ‘Oh, she feels greasy, and when I pet her I can feel bones, and she eats and drinks a lot of water.’ And the owner takes her to the veterinarian and finds out she’s had thyroid disease for a month to a year.” The sooner you notice the signs and bring your cat to the vet, the more likely it is that your cat can be diagnosed and treated before the disease has progressed very far.

See Also: How to Know When It’s Time to Euthanize Your Pet

And for conditions like feline diabetes and even chronic kidney disease, the symptoms are often so subtle you often can’t tell something is wrong until the veterinarian examines the pet and runs blood tests, so even owners who keep good track of their pets’ behavior need to bring all their pets, including cats, to the vet regularly.

“It is critical for people to take pets to the vet, even if your dog is happy and bounding, and the cat is still running around the house and climbing the curtains. These animals are often doing a really good job of not showing that they’re sick or injured,” says Dr. McConnell.

Cat Visits on the Decline

Cats, in particular, don’t get enough veterinary care, she says, and the number of cat visits has plummeted. She thinks this may explain why some of the conditions on the top 10 list for cats are more serious than those for dogs. They can also be more expensive; the priciest condition on the list for dogs is arthritis at an average of $258 per visit, while, for cats, the bank breaker is lymphosarcoma at an average cost of $415 per visit.

How Cancer Really Ranks

Although lymphosarcoma is the only cancer on either top 10 list, VPI received nearly 50,000 total claims for all cancerous conditions. Combined, cancer would rank as the fifth most common medical claim processed. In part because of its association with feline leukemia virus (FeLV), lymphosarcoma is quite common in kitties. But it also ranks higher than other cancers because owners choose to treat it more often.

“Because it’s more treatable is another reason we see it on a top 10 list,” says Dr. McConnell. With lymphosarcoma, clients tend to follow through on treatment and return for rechecks, which result in more claims, according to Dr. McConnell.

Since taking pets to the vet is critical for their health, Dr. McConnell says preventive care plans where veterinarians offer creative financing to make pet treatment more affordable for owners, with or without insurance, are gaining in popularity and may help turn around the declining number of vet visits. With these plans, owners can spread out payments over 12 months. According to Dr. McConnell, “Pet owners are responding really well.”

Veterinary oncologist: Cancer not a death sentence for pets

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

660_JennieIt’s Pet Cancer Awareness Month, and pets diagnosed with the disease have a fighting chance thanks to advancements in veterinary care and new cancer treatments, according to veterinary oncologist Gerald Post. Dr. Post provides a list of signs that may indicate cancer, including swollen lymph nodes, bleeding with no clear cause and lameness. “Just like in people, the earlier you find certain cancers, the more likely we are able to cure them,” said Dr. Post. (5/1)


In 2011, Peggy Graney took her Chihuahua, Jennie, to Petco for her usual grooming appointment.

It was Jennie’s long-time groomer who found a lump on Jennie’s leg and suggested Graney take Jennie to the veterinarian for a consult.

Sure enough, the lump was cancerous, and Jennie was referred to a veterinary surgeon who could remove the tumor. The surgeon told Graney he couldn’t promise her that Jennie wouldn’t lose her leg.

“I was devastated,” Graney, who is retired and lives in Glendale, Ariz., told “That’s my little girl.”

Graney, 78, described Jennie as an “alpha female who tells me what she wants, and she always wants something.”

Graney discussed the situation with her two daughters and son; her daughters encouraged her to go ahead with the surgery, while her son told her not to let the surgeon take Jennie’s leg.

Torn, Graney didn’t know what to do – but when she looked into Jennie’s eyes, she knew it was better to have her dog alive with three legs than not to have her dog at all.

The surgeon allowed Graney, her daughter and granddaughter to watch the procedure online, and when he lifted the sheet off of Jennie, revealing all four legs at the end of the operation, Graney said she “thanked God.”

“It was such a beautiful feeling when I saw all four legs on that little one,” Graney said. “It was so marvelous to have her safe, alive and the bonus – all four legs. And since then, I’ve called her my little miracle girl, my little fighter. She’s just so precious to me.”

May is Pet Cancer Awareness Month, and the most important message one veterinarian oncologist wants the public to know is that cancer in animals is no longer a death sentence.

“Just like in people, the earlier you find certain cancers, the more likely we are able to cure them,” Dr. Gerald Post, a board-certified veterinary oncologist and owner of The Veterinary Cancer Center in Norwalk, Conn., told “The treatments we give nowadays, like radiation, chemo or targeted chemotherapy, are generally well-tolerated by pets. We’ve gotten much better at determining what’s the best dose, what’s the best interval – and there are many new drugs on the market that mitigate the side effects of chemo.”

Post said about one in four dogs will get cancer in its lifetime and about one in five cats will get cancer, which equates to approximately 4 to 8 million new cases of cancer in dogs each year.

There are certain  breeds that are more susceptible than others, Post said, but “now that we have a dog genome sequence, we can take a look at what breeds are more prone.”

As a pet parent, there are signs you can lookout for when it comes to detecting cancer, Post said.

They include, but are not limited to:
Swollen lymph nodes: Located throughout the body, they are easily located behind the jaw or the knee.
An enlarging or changing lump:  Any lump on a pet that is rapidly changing or growing should be biopsied.
Abdominal distension: If the belly becomes quickly enlarged, this could suggest a tumor. A quick ultrasound can detect the problem.
Unexplained bleeding: Bleeding that is not due to trauma should definitely be examined.
Lameness: Unexplained lameness, especially in large dogs, is a common sign of bone cancer, and a radiograph can determine if there’s something wrong.
Straining to urinate: Straining to urinate or blood in the urine can indicate a urinary tract infection, but if it’s not controlled with antibiotics, a biopsy of the bladder may be needed.

Click here for more warning signs of cancer.

Groomers can help in checking for cancer, too. According to Wendy Weinand, a master pet stylist and master groomer for Petco in San Antonio, Texas, it is very common for Petco groomers to thoroughly check each pet who comes to their salon and make sure the pet doesn’t have any abnormalities.

The company has a seven-point checklist, which is used on the pet upon arrival. The answers to the checklist are recorded, so when pets come back, they can be evaluated and compared to previous visits. And if something is amiss, pet parents can take their dog or cat to be checked out at the veterinarian.

“It’s a unique program, which engages the pet parent and the pet in finding the best solution for the pets when it comes to the parent’s lifestyle,” Wendy Weinand, a master pet stylist and certified master groomer for Petco, told

The seven points include:
Eyes: Are the whites of the eyes white; are they sagging; do they look healthy; is there goop in them?
Teeth: Are the gums nice and pink? Do they have plaque or tarter?
Ears: Do they look normal for the breed; are they red or swollen; do they contain a funky odor; are they compacted with hair; is the ear housing anything that shouldn’t be there?
Nose: Is the nose dry, cracked or brittle looking?
Skin/coat: Does the fur look shiny and healthy, or is it dull; is the skin healthy or oily? Based on the animal’s age, are there cuts or abrasions; have they been scratching or itching; are there any abnormal lumps or are they aging spots?
Underside: Does the belly look and feel good? Are there any lumps, bumps?
Paws: Are the nails cracked, dry or brittle? Are the pads moist, red or swollen?

Selection of family pet should be well-thought-out decision

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

dogs11Families interested in getting a pet should give careful consideration to the type of animal that best fits their lives, according to Tanya Roberts of the Oregon Humane Society. Roberts lists factors each family should weigh, such as how often the animal will be alone and how active the family is. Parents are encouraged to initially visit shelters without their children to evaluate pets before the whole family visits. Finally, once a pet is taken home, Roberts notes that parents must teach children how to interact properly with pets. The Oregonian (Portland)

A busy family with two working parents and a spunky 5-year-old turned recently to Omamas for advice on how to choose the right pet, so we turned to the experts at the Oregon Humane Society.

Tanya Roberts, who manages the training and behavior department for the shelter, helps evaluate the cats and dogs that come into the human society’s shelter. The shelter’s website even allows the public to search for pets that may be a good fit for kids.

She offers these tips:

– Consider your family’s lifestyle and circumstances. Will the pet be home alone much? Is your family an active one? What’s a typical day for your family? How much extra time will you have to spend with a pet?

Those factors should drive your decisions about the type and temperament of the animal best suited to your family, Roberts said. For instance, if your family isn’t home much, a cat may be a better choice than a dog.

“It’s about digging deep within your own situation and coming up with, ‘This is how we envision a pet in our lives,’ ” she said.

Said Roberts: “If you have a family with a lot of activity and you go to the park regularly and you go camping and you want a dog to be integrated with a good part of that, sometimes a good choice is a puppy. You can raise a puppy with all that in mind.”

– Get everyone on the same page. Do Mom, Dad and kids want a cat? Talk about the kind of pet everyone wants and how it would fit into your family. “We speak to some families who only want a large dog or where the dad wants a dog but the rest of the family wants a cat,” she said.

– Consider scoping out potential pets without your young children in tow. This approach limits kids’ disappointment if you leave the shelter without a pet. Roberts said parents often visit the shelter on their own to look for a suitable cat or dog, “then they will place a hold and go home and bring their child back with them.”

“It really saves a lot of stress and time if the parent comes in first,” she said.

– Once your new pet is home, keep a close eye on your child’s interactions with it. If you’re bringing home a cat, talk to your child the importance of being gentle. Teach your child the proper way to pet the cat. If you have a dog, ask your kids not to yell or run around the dog.

“You have to watch your child and train your children how to appropriately interact with pets,” she said.

– Encourage your kids to play with the pet. If you have a new dog, enjoy a game of fetch at the park. Or allow your child to help you hold the dog’s leash on a walk or even teach the dog to sit on command. (Just make sure Mom or Dad is around.)

“Some children are brilliant at training,” she said. “They have that aptitude.”

–- The Oregonian

Dogs bring bacteria home, but that’s not necessarily bad

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Toby4Homes with dogs have more bacteria and greater diversity of bacteria than those without dogs, according to a North Carolina State University study, but that doesn’t necessarily mean people living with canine friends face any additional health risks. Most of the bacteria identified were not pathogenic, and they may even have some benefits for humans. “We know we have all these bacteria in our home,” said researcher Holly Menninger. “Let’s learn to live with them.” NBC News/Vitals blog (5/22)

By Kim Carollo, contributor, NBC News

A dog may not only fill a home with joy, it fills a home with a whole lot of bacteria, new research suggests.  But that doesn’t mean you have to kick your pooch out of the bed.

Research from North Carolina State University published Wednesday in the journal PLoS ONE found homes with dogs have both a greater number of bacteria and more types of bacteria than homes without dogs.

The findings were part of a larger study that analyzed the types of microbes living in 40 homes in the Raleigh-Durham area of N.C.  Participants swabbed nine areas of their homes and informed researchers about aspects that could influence bacterial life, such as whether there were dogs or cats and how many people lived in the home.

“The project was a first step toward making an atlas of microbes found in the entire home and how they may affect our health and well-being” said Holly Menninger, a co-author and director of public science at NC State’s Your Wild Life program.

Of the places where household bacteria were found, pillowcases and television screens had the most detectable dog-related microbes.

“Some of the microbes we know come from dogs themselves,” said Menninger. “Some of these bacteria come from the outdoor environment, such as dogs bringing bacteria from the soil and into homes.”

The researchers were able to identify a few classes of bacteria linked to dogs, and certain microbial classes that may cause disease in humans, such as gingivitis and pneumonia.  However, genetic testing of the bacteria was not specific enough to determine whether any harmful strains were there.

All those germs tracked in on dirty paws don’t mean dog-free homes are necessarily healthier, though. While the researchers did not identify the specific species of bacteria living in each household, they were able to say that most of the organisms they found are not disease-causing – and may actually provide some benefits.

“We co-exist with bacteria and healthy, small exposures to bacteria do not pose any risk and might, on the other hand, be beneficial, as long as we keep a good hygienic environment,” said Dr. Rani Gereige, director of medical education at Miami Children’s Hospital.  Gereige was not involved in the research.

A recent study found that exposure to a microorganisms from a pet during a child’s first year of life of life may help ramp up the immune system, lowering the risk of developing allergies later.

“Research has actually shown that mothers who live with dogs while pregnant are less likely to have children with conditions like atopic dermatitis or to develop allergies,” said veterinarian Dr. Andy Roark of Greenville, S.C.

Certain bacteria from dogs – such as salmonella and listeria — can cause infections in humans, however, so it is important to be vigilant, he cautions.

“It is always a good idea for both adults and children to wash hands after playing with pets, especially before eating,” said Roark.

The study did not control for certain factors that could affect bacterial growth, such as household climate and cleanliness, and there were not enough homes with cats to accurately analyze the feline contribution to residential bacteria.  The researchers did not analyze whether certain dog breeds harbor more bacteria than others.

The microbes found throughout the different homes fell into three general groups: those that come from skin and live on surfaces we touch, such as door knobs and toilet seats; bacteria linked to food found in kitchens; and organisms found in places where dust gathers, such as television screens and moldings.

Menninger added that the research team is in the process of analyzing samples and other data from a total of 1,300 homes across the United States.

“We know we have all these bacteria in our home,” said Menninger.  “Let’s learn to live with them.”

How to fight obesity in pets

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Just like their human companions, pets are gaining girth, with more than half of dogs and cats tipping the scales, according to a survey of veterinarians by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. Yet many owners with obese animals believe their pet’s weight is normal, according to veterinarian Joe Bartges, an internal medicine specialist at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine and association board member. A proper weight loss plan, developed with the help of a veterinarian, includes increased activity and appropriate food intake. The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model)/Daily Dose blog

As Americans have gotten fatter over the years, so have their pets. About 53 percent of dogs and 58 percent of cats are overweight, according to a 2013 survey of veterinarians conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.

Yet, many pet owners don’t recognize the problem or take steps to slim down their pets by helping them get more activity or feeding them less.

About 45 percent of cat and dog owners whose pets were overweight reported in the survey that they thought their pet’s weight was normal, said Dr. Joe Bartges, an internal medicine specialist at the University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine who serves on the board of the association.

Like humans, pets who are overweight are more likely to develop high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, and weight-related musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis. These conditions could shorten their lifespan by an average of two to three years.

Pet owners with overweight pets should take steps to reverse the problem. A veterinarian can provide guidance on reducing calorie consumption to try to help pets lose weight gradually. They can also rule out hormonal problems that could be causing the weight gain. And super-low-calorie pet foods should be used only under a doctor’s supervision.

Committing to take a dog for longer walks can also be helpful. Some vets have underwater treadmills—a partially filled tank of water with a moving motorized belt at the bottom—to condition dogs that have a hard time walking outdoors due to painful arthritis or other joint problems.

Overweight cats can be tricker to goad into activity. The website PetMD recommends trying interactive play toys that simulate an escaping prey, to encourage the cat to chase a moving object. Owners can also consider adopting a friendly and playful cat from a local shelter, so their cat has a playmate.