Monday, July 16, 2007

Fleas Plague Sunshine State

By Alexandra Hackett from Tampa Bay's 10

Rhiannon is normally a happy energetic dog, but some tiny pests are making her miserable. "It’s been bad this time around I have never had it this bad," said pet owner Dena Bilella. Dena has been battling her dog's flea problem for a long time and just when she thinks it's under control, it pops up again, even during this exam.

Rhiannon also suffers from what's called “flea dermatitis”, her skin chewed raw from the itching. Dr. Heather Willis-Goulet, with Florida Veterinary Specialists, sees this all too often. Fleas don't discriminate. They love cats and dogs and Florida's hot and humid environment is ripe for a flea breeding ground. They live outdoors.

Only rarely do fleas jump from one pet to another. "They like it under rubbish in the yard, mulch underneath the house under….deep dark humid areas like that," she said.

Once a flea lands on your pet, it will start laying 50-eggs per day. "By the time you notice your dog has fleas, you have the whole life cycle: the eggs, the larva, the pupa, the adult, in your house and your yard," Dr Willis-Goulet sais. The doctor recommends a consistent treatment of adulticide and what she calls “flea birth control” to fend off both fleas and their eggs. But as with Rhiannon, it may take months to eliminate the infestation.

-Flea treatment for dogs should never be used on cats, because it can be very toxic.

-You usually don't have to treat your yard, but if you do, make sure it's something that's not UV-light sensitive, because it is degraded by the sunlight.

-Consult with your veterinarian for the best types of flea treatment and be sure to follow the label directions.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Massage Therapy For Pets

Article by Azia Li Forrest, from the Villages Daily Sun

Once Nikki Hoffman finally learned how to calm her dogs, she decided to help others. "Massages help with range of motion with the older dogs," Hoffman said. "It improves circulation and enhances muscle tone."

Hoffman’s Barkissage Canine Massage Therapy has been open since April. Before that she was looking for a break from her 20-year career in technical sales. "We were living in Saint Lucie County, and it was around the time when we kept getting hurricanes," she said. "We had no electricity for several days and the dogs were panicked."

Hoffman, who has two Pekingese (Brandee-Cherie and Barry), said she noticed massages helped them relax. After moving to Lady Lake in 2006, she began doing more research on canine massage and became certified the following year. She also became an active member of IAAMB, the International Association of Animal Massage and Bodywork, and began volunteering her services at dog shelters and rescue organizations.

"It used to be considered alternative, but it’s becoming more mainstream," Hoffman said about dog massage. "It’s very fulfilling because the dogs benefit from it and so do I." Barkissage is the first certified therapeutic canine massage company in The Villages. Hoffman works closely with veterinarians in The Villages and Fruitland Park. "There are a lot of older, geriatric dogs here in The Villages," she said.

Although she thinks massage is beneficial to canines, she said it is not a substitute for medical care when a pet needs it. "Massaging does not replace good vet care," she said, "it works in conjunction with it."

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Cutest Puppy Ever?

Heart Coated PuppyThis just might be the cutest puppy ever. He's a 6-week-old long-coated chihuahua from northern Japan.

The kicker is his coat. He has a heart on his back and it's real (see photo). The owner, Emiko Sakurada, has been breeding chihuahuas for years, and she's never had one with a coat this remarkable. She named him "Heart-kun" and has no plans to sell him.

Whatever happens, don't let Cruella DeVille find out about him.

Animal Oxygen Masks

A cat is rescued from a fire in Michigan and firefighters said special oxygen masks are being credited. Fire Chief Les Powell told The Ann Arbor News that firefighters were called to a home around 9:30 p.m. Sunday and discovered a garage and two cars engulfed in flames. The family escaped without injury, but their cat was left inside the home. Firefighters used the oxygen mask on the cat and saved its life.

"The thing with animals, they're on the floor, and that's the best place to be because it's where the air still is," Powell told The Ann Arbor News. "But it was hot in there, and oxygen helps a lot."

The masks were donated by Friends of Michigan Animals Rescue. Marcy LaFramboise, vice president and co-owner of FMAR, said the masks each cost $53. The group has provided oxygen masks to the Van Buren Township Fire Department and has masks ready to donate to the Belleville Fire Department.

Monday, July 9, 2007

EH's Six-toed Cats Protected

The U.S. Department of Agriculture apparently thinks the six-toed cats that live among the brush surrounding Ernest Hemingway's former Key West home are some sort of tourist ploy and want someone to get a permit for animal exhibitions. Not going to happen! At least not right away. The Key West City Commission exempted the home from a city law prohibiting more than four domestic animals per household. About 50 cats live there. Their new ordinance states that the cats are "an integral part of the history and ambiance of the Hemingway House."

The house has been locked in a dispute with the USDA, which claims the museum is an "exhibitor" of cats and needs a special license, a claim the home disputes.
A USDA spokesman did not return messages left late Sunday. The cats are descendants of a six-toed cat given as a gift to the writer in 1935. All carry the gene for six toes, though not all display the trait.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Have a Safe and Happy 4th

Happy 4th of JulyI can't believe it is July already! Time seems to simply disappear, not just fly by.

Everyone at Pet Rescue wishes you a safe and happy 4th of July.

Please take a few moments to consider the dangers of fireworks. Obviously, they can harm children and, in these draught conditions, cause fires if they are set off near dry grass or brush. Fireworks can also injure your pets.

"Owners need to use common sense when letting their pet join in the festivities," Lorraine Corriveau, wellness veterinarian at Purdue University's School of Veterinary Medicine, said in a prepared statement. "Some dogs love to chase those spinning and swirling objects on the ground. Others are traumatized by loud noises. Owners can help with tricks that can be as simple as putting cotton in their pet's ears to muffle the sound," Corriveau said.

Other steps pet owners can take over the holiday include:

  • Don't leave pets alone outdoors, even if tethered or in a fenced yard.
    • Chained dogs can choke in their attempts to escape fireworks sounds.
    • Dogs can break out of supposedly secure yards under extreme stress.
  • Remove sharp objects from enclosures.
  • Turn on the radio or TV for distraction.
  • Don't take pets to fireworks shows.
    • Their ears are much more sensitive and can be permanently injured by the volume of the explosions.
  • Don't leave pets unattended in cars.
  • If pets must be outside, keep them on a leash or in carriers.
    • Be sure they have ID chips and/or tags if they break loose.
  • Protect pets from children who are using fireworks.
    • Simple sparklers can be up to 1800 degrees F.
  • Use sedation on pets if necessary; your veterinarian can advise you about giving a mild sedative or tranquilizer to calm fears of an extremely stressed animal.
  • Pick up leftover sparklers and other sharp objects after the festivities.