Archive for the ‘Cats’ Category

Lost or Found a Pet?

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

Try www.fidofinder.com

OR

www.tabbytracker.com

Angel Fund Enables Dental Surgery for Beautiful Tess

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Tess AFIn the summer of 2013, Tess – Rochelle Bates’ beautiful black and white cat – was no longer easy to be around. “When she opened her mouth across the room from you, the odor could just about knock you down,” she said. “It was intense. And it had developed very quickly over a couple of months.”

Rochelle and husband Ed had taken in Tess when she was a feral kitten. She soon became a loved member of their household. So Rochelle took the cat, just four years old, to a dental cleaning clinic at a pet store. The veterinarian who examined Tess “took one look inside her mouth and he told me what was wrong. He said: ‘All her teeth are rotting. You’re going to need to take her to a veterinary dentist.’ It’s a congenital condition.”

Rochelle, a former writer and producer in Hollywood, is disabled and her husband Ed was unemployed at the time so she immediately began to search for a dental specialist who could give Tess the treatment she needed – surgery for tooth resorption and stomatitis – at an affordable cost. “It was a rough time for this to happen,” she said.

“I called around to lots of veterinary clinics and found that the treatment was just too expensive. It was thousands of dollars to have all her teeth removed – or some of her teeth removed. “I didn’t know what I was going to do. So I looked on line for different grants and explored every one that was available – every single one.” Finally, she found Angel Fund. “It was the only one left. And it was the one that helped us.” Angel Fund provided a list of hospitals that could do the surgery. She chose the Dog and Cat Dentist in Culver City not far from her home.

She took Tess to the clinic and met Dr. Anson Tsugawa, VMD, DAVDC, and Jody Janes, RVT. “They were just the most wonderful people,” she said. “Jody is so kind. She shepherded all the paper work through and it was processed very quickly. There was a small balance that I had to pay. But they [Angel Fund and the hospital] covered almost everything. It was so amazingly generous of them!” Angel Fund and the hospital each contributed $500.

Dr. Tsugawa at first thought that he could save four of Tess’s teeth. But he called Rochelle after her cat was under anesthesia and said that all her teeth should be extracted. “Otherwise,” he told her, “she’ll have to come back and have the others removed later. We might as well do all of them when she’s young and healthy.”

The surgery “made a world of difference,” Rochelle said. “Tess had a very quick recovery and you would never know now that she doesn’t have any teeth. Dr. Tsugawa told us what would happen and that’s exactly what happened.”

Tess needed pain medication and antibiotics for a few days. Rochelle said that she gave the patient and her other two cats soft food at first, then switched to dry food. “Tess ate it with them [the other cats]. Now she eats a mixture of wet and dry food, like she always did before. She doesn’t care.”

The surgery has made a “world of difference” for Tess, she said. “Her personality has really blossomed since she doesn’t have that pain. I can only imagine what it was like for her.

“And I will always he so grateful to them [Dr. Tsugawa and Angel Fund] for this because, honestly, I don’t know what we would have done.”

Bravo Dog and Cat Food Recall

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-recall/bravo-dog-and-cat-food-recall/

FROM DOGFOODADVISOR.COM

May 14, 2014 — Bravo of Manchester, CT is recalling select lots of Bravo Pet Food because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
Bravo Logo
Listeria is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems.

Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

However, healthy cats and dogs rarely become sick from Listeria. Animals sick with Listeria will display symptoms similar to the ones listed above for humans. People who have concerns about whether their pet has Listeria should contact their veterinarian.

Where Was the Product Sold?

The recalled product was distributed nationwide to retail stores, internet retailers and directly to consumers. The product can be identified by the batch ID code (Best Used By date) printed on the side of the plastic tube or on a label on the box.

What’s Being Recalled?

The recalled products include:

1) These products are being recalled because they may have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

PRODUCT: RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! BEEF BLEND FOR DOGS AND CATS (Made in New Zealand)
All 2lb., 5lb., and 10lb. tubes
Product Numbers: 52-102, 52-105, 52-110
Best Used By Date: 10/10/15 or earlier

PRODUCT: RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! BEEF BLEND FOR DOGS AND CATS (Made in New Zealand)
All 2lb., 5lb., and 10lb. tubes
Product Numbers: 52-102, 52-105, 52-110
Best Used By Date: 10/10/15 or earlier

2) These products are being recalled out of an abundance of caution because while they did not test positive for pathogens, they were manufactured in the same manufacturing facility or on the same day as products that did test positive.

PRODUCT: RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! LAMB BLEND FOR DOGS AND CATS (Made in New Zealand)
All 2lb., 5lb., and 10lb. tubes
Product Numbers: 42-102, 42-105, 42-110
Best Used By Date: 10/10/15 or earlier

PRODUCT: RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! LAMB BASIC FOR DOGS AND CATS (Made in New Zealand)
2lb. tubes
Product Number: 42-202
Best Used By Date: 10/10/15 or earlier

PRODUCT: RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! BEEF & BEEF HEART FOR DOGS AND CATS (Made in New Zealand)
5lb. tubes
Product Number: 53-130
Best Used By Date: 10/10/15 or earlier

PRODUCT: RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! 100% PURE & NATURAL PREMIUM GRASS-FED BUFFALO FOR DOGS AND CATS (Manufactured by: Bravo! Manchester, CT)
NET WT 2LBS (32 OZ) .91KG (Tubes)
Product Number: 72-222
Best Used By Date: 1/7/16

PRODUCT: BRAVO! TURKEY BALANCE FORMULA (Manufactured by: Bravo! Manchester, CT)
NET WT 2 LBS (32 OZ) .09KG, Chub (tube)
Product Number: 31-402
Best Used By Dates: 1/7/16 and 2/11/16

NET WT 5 LBS (80 OZ) 2.3KG, Chub (tube)
Product Number: 31-405
Best Used By Dates: 1/7/16 and 2/11/16

PRODUCT: RAW FOOD DIET BRAVO! LAMB BLEND FOR DOGS AND CATS (Manufactured by: Bravo! Manchester, CT)
5 LBS (80 OZ) 2.3KG, Chub (tube)
Product Number: 42-105
Best Used By Date: 2/11/16

Reason for the Recall

This voluntary recall has been issued because the FDA has reported an independent lab detected the bacteria in a sample during a recent review.

The company has received a limited number of reports of dogs experiencing nausea and diarrhea that may be associated with these specific products.

The company has received no reports of human illness as a result of these products.

Bravo discontinued all manufacturing in New Zealand on October 10, 2013. Bravo will immediately start working with distributors and retailers to properly dispose of any affected product left on freezer shelves.

The company will also be announcing the recall to pet owners to ensure they dispose of any affected product that has been purchased.

Bravo is issuing this action out of an abundance of caution and sincerely regrets any inconvenience to pet owners as a result of this announcement.

What to Do?

The recalled product should not be sold or fed to pets. Pet owners who have the affected product at home should dispose of this product in a safe manner (example, a securely covered trash receptacle).

Customers can return to the store where purchased and submit the Product Recall Claim Form available on the Bravo website www.bravopetfoods.com for a full refund or store credit.

More information on the Bravo dog food recall can also be found at bravopetfoods.com by calling Bravo toll free at 866-922-9222.

U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.

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Threats to pets: Tulip bulbs, cocoa mulch and others owners might not know

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

CHOCOLATES
Many common household and yard items can be toxic and even deadly for pets, and many owners aren’t aware of the dangers of some items, according to a Petplan survey. Lesser-known dangers include tulip bulbs and cocoa mulch. The most common source of calls to the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center in 2013 was human medications. Green Bay Press-Gazette (Wis.) (tiered subscription model)/McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Grapes and raisins are still killing dogs, and lilies are still killing cats.

Chocolate, xylitol, prescription drugs and other items can be life-threatening, and life-saving treatment can rack up hundreds or thousands of dollars in veterinarian bills.

None of this is new information, but many people still don’t know that our houses and yards are full of things that can sicken or kill pets.

Only 34 percent of pet owners know that cocoa mulch is toxic, according to a survey conducted by Petplan insurance. Only 16 percent know that tulip bulbs are dangerous, and that’s a new one for me. A total of 67 percent knew the dangers of grapes, xylitol in sugar-free candy and gum, diced onions and coffee grounds.

Medications intended for humans topped the 2013 list of reasons people called the Animal Poison Control Center of The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The telephone hotline handled 180,000 calls, and nearly 20 percent were for prescriptions, including 4,151 calls about pills intended to control blood pressure or heart rate and 2,836 cases involving pain killers.

Here’s the rest of the ASPCA Top 10:

2. Insecticides, 15.7 percent of calls.

3. Over-the-counter drugs including acetaminophen and ibuprofen, 14.7 percent.

4. Household items including expandable glues and paints, 9.3 percent.

5. Food for humans, including onions, garlic, grapes, raisins and xylitol.

6. Meds prescribed by veterinarians. Some are available in chewable form with nice flavors, and pets have been known to break through pill bottles to eat the whole batch.

7. Chocolate, the darker the chocolate, the higher the toxicity, 7.7 percent.

8. Rodenticides, 5.5 percent.

9. Plants, mostly houseplants eaten by cats, 5.4 percent.

10. Lawn and garden products, 2.8 percent.

Here are the symptoms that indicate you need to get to a veterinarian quickly: vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, loss of appetite, tremors, seizures, excessive thirst and infrequent urination.

Human and pet meds can cause stomach ulcers and kidney failure, especially in cats, according to veterinarian Jules Benson at Petplan. Internal bleeding, pancreatitis and kidney failure can all be caused by things that are toxic to pets.

The number for the ASPCA’s 24-hour poison hotline is (888) 426-4435. Have your credit card handy because the call will cost you $65.

There’s no charge for calls to national Poison Control Center hotline at 1-800-222-1222. They handle calls for people and for pets, but if they feel they can’t help they refer callers to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. Go to aspca.org/apcc for further information.

HSUS: Pet euthanasia rates decline at US shelters over past 40 years

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

As Reported on FOX News – ATLANTA –  The number of dogs and cats put to death in U.S. shelters is about one-fifth of what it was four decades ago.

“They were euthanizing about 15 million pets back in 1970,” said Betsy McFarland, vice president of companion animals at the Humane Society of the United States. “We’re now down to about 3 million every year. Of course, that’s 3 million too many. But that is tremendous progress that’s been made over the last four decades.”

During that same time period, the number of dogs and cats in the U.S. increased from 64 million to more than 160 million, according to Humane Society estimates. McFarland attributes the decline in euthanasia rates to spay/neuter campaigns targeted to underserved communities, better coordination among animal welfare organizations and changing social attitudes toward pets.

“I mean pets are really considered part of the family,” McFarland said. “And that has been a shift over the many decades where maybe pets were a little more utilitarian.”

Although the number of pets entering shelters has decreased nationwide, euthanasia rates at these shelters average close to 50 percent. But the Humane Society and other groups say their goal is to bring the number to zero, and they’re finding creative ways to head in that direction.

In the Atlanta area, the non-profit LifeLine Animal Project has helped two shelters lower their euthanasia rates from historic highs of 85 percent to less than 20 percent. LifeLine, which now manages shelters for Georgia’s DeKalb and Fulton Counties, brings its pets to adoption drives at shopping malls and other areas with large crowds. LifeLine also keeps many animals from entering shelters by offering “surrender counseling” to owners who are considering giving up their pets.

“What we found was that so many of the calls from the people who wanted to surrender their pets, they didn’t actually want to surrender their pets,” said Debbie Setzer, Lifeline’s community outreach director. “They may have had some financial hardship where they couldn’t afford dog food. They may have had a fence complaint where the dog was getting out.”

Pet owner Adrian Robinson, who’s already caring for a foster child and two adopted kids, says she felt overwhelmed when a highly energetic puppy joined her household.

“Keno doesn’t know his own strength,” Robinson said. “He was running around, jumping on the kids.”

LifeLine arranged free neutering, vaccinations and a training crate for Keno that helped calm him down and made it possible for Robinson to keep him. The mother and pet owner says she’s grateful to LifeLine’s staff for their assistance and advice.

“I love them,” Robinson said. “They did something for me that I couldn’t do for myself.”

Lifeline has helped other owners by repairing fences and helping them obtain donated pet food.

“Anything that we can do to keep that animal from coming into the shelter, we’ll try to do,” said LifeLine CEO Rebecca Guinn.

Before helping to create LifeLine, Guinn worked as a lawyer specializing in white-collar crime. While assisting a neglected dog in her neighborhood, she learned about the high euthanasia rates at her local shelter. Reducing those rates became her new passion (and full time job).

“There are more pets in American households than there are children. So, they’re a part of our lives,” Guinn said. “The idea that we use taxpayer dollars to round them up and then end their lives, to me, is not the right way to do it. And we’re working on a model where a shelter is truly a shelter — where the pets come in here, receive the care that they need and then can be re-homed — and where the community at large becomes a better community for pets to live in.”

Fox News’ Chip Bell contributed to this report.

Jonathan Serrie joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in April 1999 and currently serves as a correspondent based in the Atlanta bureau.

Pets help chase the blues away

Thursday, February 27th, 2014
Opie Ferguson PicturePets can help people deal with depression by providing companionship, initiating physical activity and serving as a source of routine and responsibility, both of which are therapeutic, according to this article. “Pets offer an unconditional love that can be very helpful to people with depression,” says psychiatrist Ian Cook, director of the Depression Research and Clinic Program at the University of California, Los Angeles. The Huffington Post/The Blog
 
You’ve seen the TV commercials, the person in black and white and sad while they watch their friends and family in color happy as can be? Then the sad individual gets help, sees the world in color and has a dog run into frame to play with them, or they are suddenly on the couch petting their beloved cat. Well, there’s a reason for that, pets can help individuals with depression/illnesses/anxiety.”Pets offer an unconditional love that can be very helpful to people with depression,” says Ian Cook, MD, a psychiatrist and director of the Depression Research and Clinic Program at UCLA.Depression affects millions of individuals in the USA alone. A lot of people reading this suffer from some form or know someone who does. A pet might not be right for everyone, so don’t just show up with a pet one day for someone you know with depression.The first thought that enters many heads is “I can barely take care of myself, a pet would be a mistake.” Well, with great pets, comes great responsibility. Depression studies have shown responsibility promotes mental health. “Taking care of a pet can help give you a sense of your own value and importance,” says Cook. It will remind you that you are capable — that you can do more than you might think.” You still may be arguing that you can’t even get out of bed or off the couch, well that won’t fly (unless you get a bird, in which case let it fly around). Pets add routine to your life, you want be able to stay in bed till 2 pm or lay on the couch till 11:30, pets have a schedule and they will help you schedule your life again. You’ll have to get up to feed them, let them out, play with them, walk them, feed them again. Pets get you off your butt and moving again.Depression has a strongest weapon, and that weapon is isolation. It will pull you back from your friends and family, you’ll dodge calls/texts/snapchats/IM all of it. Leaving you to question all your thoughts alone, that is when depression strikes hardest. Pets offer the opposite of isolation, they bring companionship. A dog will never leave you alone, in a good way. My dogs run up to me all day throwing toys at me, laying on me, whine until I pick them up. I’m never alone, and I love my pets for that. I have woken up at 3 am to one of my dogs throwing a football at my head, meaning its play time now. Having a pet means you’re never alone, even when you shut the door to go to the bathroom in peace, your pet will barge in “You watch me go, why can’t I watch you go?”Pets give us routine, keeping us active, dogs have the added benefit of being brought on walks, or to dog parks. This exercise of taking your pet out promotes physical activity which in turn promotes mental and physical health. Walks help you lose weight, get you out of your depressing house which you’ve been cooped up in for far too long and also lets your pet relieve themselves with no shame. Say you’re walking your dog or bring them to the dog park, well there’s a good chance someone’s going to come up to you to ask to pet your dog or ask what kind of breed they are, your dog will encourage you to interact socially. You may be shy or anxious or still feel alone, but guaranteed your dog will get attention and thus bring the interaction to you. So long isolation, hello social butterfly wonder dog. You may hate talking about yourself or not care what others say but pet owners love talking about their pets like children, and it’s safe to say if you have a pet you like pets in general, so you’ll go ahead and converse about them. Let your pet shine.If I’m not petting one dog I’m petting the other, if I’m not scratching a friends cat behind the ears them I’m scratching another. Studies show that people feel better when they have physical contact with others. Petting a cat and listening to them purr soothes you, rubbing your dogs belly and watching their leg kick also relaxes you. You’re no longer sitting in the house just lying there, you have someone to touch, to talk to, to interact with.
Finally, there’s laughter, endless laughter. Depressions got you down well your pet with 100% certainty will make you laugh. I’ve had my dogs fart on me when I’ve gone to pick them up and the sound scares them so they run away, one of them fell off my bed in the middle of the night while dreaming and got right back up with his tail wagging like it was the best dream ever. Depression makes you think about everything that has gone wrong and everything that can go wrong over and over again until you can take it no more. These little moments with pets that make you laugh make a world of difference. You may laugh as your cat chases a laser pointer around your house trying to catch the blasted red dot, or as they randomly fall asleep anywhere they like, like upside down on top of a loaf of a bread, the point being that though they are pets they have more empathy than we could ever dream.The hardest step is getting up and seeking help and once you do that, take your pet for a walk or pet them, anything to get your mind on track a little more. Pets may not cure depression, but they certainly can help calm you.- Chris Stallone
 
 

Man transforms room into feline obstacle course

Friday, January 31st, 2014

cat-playgroundWhen his cats grew bored with scratching posts and turned their attention to his furniture and drapes, carpenter Stefan Hofmann created a feline wonderland of bridges and shelves on the walls of a room in his home. “I kept thinking, what would be exciting if I were a cat? Maybe a big risky leap from one shelf to another, or a little cove for them to snuggle into when they get tired,” said Hofmann of the design and building project. Hofmann says the cats are constantly at play in their new obstacle course. Daily News (New York)/Caters News Agency (U.K.)

 

Angel Fund Helps Save Sheba, ‘Best Friend’ of MS Patient

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

SHEBA 1.2014In December, 2012, Linda Leek was grooming her “best friend,” Sheba, a beautiful white and gray cat with streaks of brown, when she found a lump.

”When I touched it she would kind of flinch,” Linda said. “Every time I would touch her in that area she would not bite me but put her mouth on me like ‘if you do it I will bite you’ – a warning sign.”

Linda took Sheba to Beverly Virgil Animal Hospital, which is not far from her apartment in Los Angeles’ Koreatown.  Dr. Seong K. Kim examined Sheba and determined that she needed surgery. He performed the operation and spayed Sheba. Sheba was in the hospital two days. “He just took really good care of her,” Linda said. “The surgery had to be done. I found out later that the tumor was malignant.”

Linda, who has multiple sclerosis, lives on Social Security disability benefits and has little extra money to spend. A friend paid the cost of the initial office visit and Angel Fund and the hospital took care of the rest. Linda is grateful for the help she received.

Since her surgery, Sheba has resumed her role as Linda’s best friend.  The two expect to have many more years together. “She has her good days and her bad days,” Linda said, “just like me.” A couple of months ago, Sheba added another member to the household.

“Somebody in the building threw a kitten out in the street outside our apartment and Sheba went out and brought it in,”Linda said. “It was really surprising because it’s just been me and her for 12 years. And she didn’t allow other cats around. She went out and rescued that kitten and I’m like, ‘well o.k., I guess we have another cat.’”

The black and white kitten looks like Figaro, the kitten from Pinochio, and that is what Linda named him.

 

 

Glaucoma: A rapid, painful condition for pets

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

Glaucoma, a condition in which the fluid within in the eye doesn’t drain properly, leads to painful pressure within the eye and can cause blindness within hours without treatment, according to veterinary ophthalmologists Paul Scherlie and Susan Kirschner. Symptoms in pets usually include signs of eye pain, such as rubbing the eye or exposure of the usually hidden third eyelid. Treatment varies and may not always be able to save the dog’s vision. The Oregonian (Portland)

One night in November of 2012, Silverton residents Shelly Brown and longtime partner Jim Sears noticed their German shorthaired pointer, Greta, acting strangely.

Greta was accustomed to staying in her kennel at night, but on this particular evening she kept scratching repeatedly to get out, which was very unlike her.

“She was acting really disoriented and confused, like she didn’t know where she was,” Brown says.

Then Brown noticed that a membrane in the inner corner of Greta’s eye, known as the “third eyelid,” was extended over her eyeball.

Brown and Sears took Greta to Dr. Paul Scherlie, a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist at VCA Northwest Veterinary Specialists in Clackamas, who treated Greta for glaucoma.

What is glaucoma?

Fluid inside the eye, called the aqueous humor, typically flows through the pupil and drains through a sieve-like network located where the cornea and iris meet. In a healthy eye, the fluid is produced and drains at the same rate, creating a stable pressure.

Glaucoma occurs when the fluid cannot drain properly, causing pressure to build up and damaging the sensitive optic nerve.

In humans, glaucoma is a slow, progressive condition that can be caught with regular screenings. January happens to be National Glaucoma Awareness Month, established by a group of eye health organizations to promote more awareness of the disease.

For canines, the condition can come on suddenly and cause blindness within hours.

The rapid pressure change is extremely painful, resembling an intense sinus pressure or throbbing pain, says Dr. Susan Kirschner, a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist at Animal Eye Doctor in Beaverton.

There aren’t many ways to screen for or prevent the disease in dogs.

Some are more genetically prone to the condition, including American cocker spaniels, Basset hounds, Chow Chows and Siberian huskies. Locally, Scherlie has also seen it in Labradors.

The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals offers a database of animals certified to be free of any signs of ophthalmic disease that might be genetic.

Secondary glaucoma can be caused by disease or trauma, such as cancer in the eye or inflammation due to uveitis or cataracts.

Cats typically get this kind of glaucoma, usually a result of uveitis.

Symptoms of glaucoma

The most common sign that something is wrong with your dog’s eye is what’s called an elevated third eyelid.

“It almost looks like the eye is rolling up and out,” Kirschner says. “It’s not; it’s an optical illusion, but it’s almost always a sign of pain in the eye.”

The dog’s third eyelid, also known as the nictitating membrane, is a thin piece of tissue that acts as “windshield wiper” across the cornea. It’s usually not visible, but when the eye is irritated from glaucoma or a corneal ulcer, it may become elevated and cover the eye.

This is likely what Brown saw when she noticed something was wrong with Greta.

Dogs may also squint or paw at their eye, or the eyeball may become enlarged and bulge forward.

Treatment

If Fido gets glaucoma in one eye, it’s only a matter of time before it develops in the other eye.

There is an eye drop that can help delay onset in the healthy eye for up to two years, but your pet will develop glaucoma eventually.

There are lots of treatment options, although Scherlie’s preferred method is simply to remove the eye and stitch the skin shut.

“The benefit to that is immediate pain relief, the stitches are out in seven to 10 days, and there’s no eye to have any future problems,” he says.

For older dogs like Greta, who aren’t good candidates for surgery, there’s the option of injecting an antibiotic into the eye. This procedure kills off the cells producing excess fluid.

Another technique is removing the eye and putting in a silicone implant to keep the eye’s shape, but the dog can still contract other diseases that affect the surface of the eye.

Helping pets adjust

Dogs that have lost most or all of their vision adjust pretty quickly, but there are some adjustments you can make at home that can help.

Stairs, decks and swimming pools pose the biggest threats for dogs that have recently lost their vision.

One thing you can do is put duct tape at the edge of a ledge, such as the bottom stair.

“It can be helpful to have some kind of sensory clue to let them know they reached the edge,” Kirschner says, “so when the dog touches that, it knows there’s a transition.”

Hillsboro resident Heather Blackwell’s Chihuahua, Teddy Bear, had his left eye removed at the Bonnie L. Hays Small Animal Shelter because of glaucoma.

Teddy Bear lost an eye to glaucoma, but he doesn’t let that stop him.Bonnie L. Hays Small Animal Shelter

Blackwell has done a few things to help him adjust, such as leaving a nightlight on to make sure he doesn’t tumble down the stairs at night.

“He’s very athletic, but his depth perception is not so great,” she says.

When he approaches the sliding glass door to go outside, Blackwell puts a sticker on the glass when it’s closed so he doesn’t run into it.

Like many blind dogs, Teddy Bear doesn’t seem to notice that he’s missing an eye.

He’s very friendly – Blackwell says he “doesn’t know a stranger” – and since people are often curious about him, he’s become sort of an advocate for blind dogs.

“He’s just a little clown,” Blackwell says. “You wouldn’t know anything is wrong with him.”

Tips Box: How to help a blind pet adjust

  • Don’t treat your pet differently once it’s lost vision
  • Make sure to seal off decks, banisters, swimming pools or anything else a pet can slide through or fall down.
  • Don’t let your dog get bored. Blind dogs still want to have fun, and they no longer have the option of watching “dog TV” by gazing out the window at squirrels and passersby.
  • Dogs can memorize the layout of your home, yard and daily walk, but make sure to take them on the same route every day so they can become confident.
  • For walks, try passing a thin leash through a short length of PVC pipe. This creates a stiff leash that can help you keep your pet from running into trees or lampposts.
  • Don’t hesitate to use more verbal cues. Dogs can learn up to 200 or 300 words, so you can use language to help them navigate where to step.

–Sources: Dr. Susan Kirschner; Dr. Paul Scherlie

Cataracts

Cataracts occur when the lens becomes cloudy and the pupil appears white or gray. They can be caused by aging, as well as trauma or diseases like diabetes.

When severe, cataracts can generate inflammation that can lead to glaucoma. About 80 percent of untreated cataracts develop glaucoma, retinal detachment or luxated lens. These conditions usually only occur as a result of untreated cataract-associated inflammation.

Cataracts can be removed with surgery; about 90 percent of dogs that undergo cataract surgery can return to good vision.

Owners may notice gradual signs that their pet has cataracts, such as a dog having trouble seeing its ball, says Dr. Susan Kirschner, a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist at Animal Eye Doctor in Beaverton.

Elizabeth Olson of Rabbit Advocates discovered that her bunny, Amelia, had cataracts after noticing the animal’s eyes looked more pearly pink as opposed to their normal red color.

Olson and her husband are trying to modify Amelia’s so she doesn’t bump into things as often, and devise ways to keep her busy, such as building cardboard tunnels and putting treats at the end.

“So far, it has probably been more difficult for us to watch then for her to experience,” she says.

 

Red Cross and Penn veterinary school develop pet first aid app

Saturday, January 18th, 2014
Animal Health AppUniversity of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine veterinarian Deborah C. Mandell collaborated with the Red Cross to create a first aid application for pet owners to use during animal health emergencies. Dr. Mandell has written books on animal medical emergencies but says the app includes just the right amount of information for owners during an emergency. The app, available for 99 cents, separates cat and dog information, and it also helps owners find the nearest veterinarian or pet-friendly hotel.
By Robert Moran, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer

Is your cat breathing normally?

There’s an app for that – for knowing what’s normal, that is.

Is your dog not breathing?

Hopefully you will have watched the dog CPR video on the American Red Cross’ new mobile app called “Pet First Aid.”

The app, available for 99 cents on Apple and Android mobile devices, went on sale in December, but the Red Cross launched its awareness campaign on Thursday in Philadelphia.

The Philly connection comes from the humanitarian agency’s collaboration with University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

Since 2006, Deborah C. Mandell, a staff veterinarian and adjunct associate professor at the Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, has served as a pet care advisor to the Red Cross, writing separate books on first aid for cats and dogs, and developing Red Cross instructional courses for pet owners around the country.

Mandell said the app gives users information “right at your fingertips when you need it,” such as knowing “what’s normal so they can know what’s abnormal much sooner.”

For anybody who wants in-depth information about pet first aid, however, “the app is certainly not a replacement for our first aid books,” Mandell said.

Several pet first aid apps have been available since 2009, when Jive Media launched an app.

Red Cross officials said its organization’s reputation, and its association with Penn Vet, should be an advantage in the marketplace.

Unlike the Jive Media app, which costs $3.99 and hasn’t been updated since 2010, the Red Cross app separates information about cats and dogs

“You could look at it as two apps in one,” said Paul Munn, who helped develop the app for the Red Cross.

The app also uses GPS to locate the nearest veterinary hospital or pet-friendly hotel during emergencies.

Users can enter information about their pets that can be stored in app and emailed to a veterinarian ahead of a visit.

There also are quizzes to test if users remember what they’ve learned.

“They’ve done an excellent job,” said Mary Kury, a certified veterinary technician supervisor at the Quakertown Veterinary Clinic, who downloaded the app this week.

“They went through the most common emergencies we see on a daily basis,” Kury said.

She also praised the app for providing “enough information without giving too much information,” so a pet owner is not overwhelmed or confused.

The Red Cross has been offering apps since June 2012, when it launched its first aid app for humans, and has tallied 3.9 million downloads for all its mobile apps.

They also have been offered for free.

Don Lauritzen, a Red Cross spokesman in Washington, said the pet app was a bit outside the main mission of the organization.

The Red Cross decided users would feel that 99 cents is worth the cost for the specialized information and peace of mind, Lauritzen said.

bmoran@phillynews.com

215-854-5983

@RobertMoran215