Archive for the ‘Cats’ Category

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

Pets also get deliveries from Meals on Wheels

Friday, December 27th, 2013

Meals on WheelsMeals on Wheels programs in several states have expanded their offerings to include donated pet food for clients’ companion animals, said Jenny Bertolette of the Meals on Wheels Association of America. Volunteers for the program, which provides meals to the disabled, poor and elderly, began seeking donations from shelters and pet organizations after noticing clients were sharing food with their pets. Participating groups solicit and deliver pet food to Meals on Wheels as well as to senior centers and nursing homes. Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.)/The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES – If Meals on Wheels didn’t deliver donated dog food, Sherry Scott of San Diego says her golden retriever Tootie would be eating the pasta, riblets and veggie wraps meant for her. But thanks to partnerships between the program for low-income seniors and pet groups across the country, fewer people and pets are going hungry.

After Meals on Wheels volunteers noticed a growing number of clients giving their food away to their furry friends, they started working with shelters and other pet groups to add free pet food to their meal deliveries. Those programs, relying on donations and volunteers, have continued to grow in popularity as seniors began eating better, staying healthier and worrying less about feeding their pets, one group said.

Meals on Wheels is just one organization serving people who are poor, disabled or elderly, but it has a vast reach. It has teamed up with independently run pet partners in several states, but how many isn’t known, said Jenny Bertolette, spokeswoman for Meals on Wheels Association of America in Alexandria, Va.

Partner pet groups will solicit, pick up, pack and get the animal chow to Meals on Wheels or another agency that donates food, volunteers said. Agencies also take pet food to nursing homes, senior centers or community centers.

Those who qualify for Meals on Wheels or similar programs are almost always eligible for a free pet food program.

Pets’ oral health problems can be difficult to identify

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

MarleyVeterinarian Marty Becker and his team of experts say advanced dental problems can occur beneath a pet’s gum line with no obvious signs of a problem other than a mild change in behavior. A thorough physical exam coupled with sedation and oral radiographs finally helped identify a tooth-root abscess in Dr. Becker’s feline patient who presented only because her meow changed. “It’s up to us as owners and veterinarians to be aware of changes in behavior that could signal pain or illness and to look beneath the surface for potential causes of problems,” Dr. Becker writes. This article also relates a discovery by the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine that has implications for spinal dysraphism in Weimaraners and spina bifida in children.

How dogs protect your heart

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Adele and SparksRecent research adds to a growing body of evidence supporting the cardioprotective benefits of having a pet, especially a dog, according to physician Sandra Fryhofer. Pets are associated with reduced heart disease risk through lower blood pressure and in some cases lower cholesterol, as well as increased exercise among owners who walk with their canine friends. Also, dogs provide emotional support and help humans deal with stress, which also helps protect the heart.

Hello. I’m Dr. Sandra Fryhofer. Welcome to Medicine Matters. The topic: pets and heart disease risk, a new study in the journal Circulation.[1] Here’s why it matters.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in this country. But this new study says having a pet, especially a dog, could lower your heart disease risk. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes are risk factors for heart disease. Previous studies have linked having a pet to having lower blood pressure. I assume that’s once the pet is housebroken. There is even a study that found that men who had dogs had lower cholesterol levels.[2]

Now, people with dogs are generally physically more active than those who don’t have one. It makes sense if you walk the dog or if the dog walks you. No significant increases in physical activity have been linked to having cats or other pets.

Having a pet doesn’t mean you’ll weigh less, but in general, people who walk their dogs do.

Pets provide support in other ways. They provide encouragement and motivation, even in weight loss programs. Pets also provide support in a nonhuman way. Pets are companions and have a positive effect on the body’s reaction to stress.

For those with established heart disease, having a pet of any kind was linked to increased survival, dog ownership especially so.

Although this study stops short of recommending that people get a pet to protect their heart, having one does seem to provide some cardioprotective benefits. So don’t buy, rescue, or adopt a pet just to protect your own heart. You also have to be willing to share your heart with your furry friend.

For Medicine Matters, I’m Dr. Sandra Fryhofer.

 

USDA develops biodegradable cat litter

Friday, December 20th, 2013

The USDA’s Agricultural Research Service has developed a biodegradable cat litter from spent corn. The clumping, odor-absorbing compound is made with dried distiller’s grain, a byproduct of ethanol production, along with glycerol, guar gum and copper sulfate. Current clay-based litters are not biodegradable and are disposed of in landfills, but this new formulation could be more environmentally friendly.

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture have found a way to a way to make cat littler that is almost fully degradable.

The department’s Agricultural Research Service found that using spent corn called dried distiller’s grain DDGs may prove to be more environmentally friendly than popular but nonbiodegradable, clay-based litters that mostly end up in landfills. Dried distiller’s grain is what is left over after ethanol production. In this case, the DDGs were treated with one or more solvents to extract any remaining, potentially useful natural compounds. USDA has called these x-DDGs.

ARS researcher Steven Vaughn and his colleagues found a kitty litter formulation composed of x-DDGs and three other compounds: glycerol, to prevent the litter from forming dust particles when poured or pawed; guar gum, to help the litter clump easily when wet; and a very small amount of copper sulfate, for odor control.

The mix resulted in a highly absorbent compound that clumps and provides significant odor control, researchers found.

 

Cat adopts abandoned day-old puppy, helps shelter win $25,000

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Noland and LureneA cat who had recently delivered a litter welcomed a day-old puppy into her brood after workers at the Cleveland Animal Protective League placed them together. The odd pairing helped win the league a $25,000 grant from the Petco Foundation, which awarded 33 grants after receiving 4,500 applications.

The Cleveland Animal Protective League’s tale of a nurturing cat and a helpless puppy not only captivates and amazes, it added $25,000 to the nonprofit group’s budget.

The Petco Foundation received more than 4,500 applications for 33 grants, and Thursday announced the winners — based on the quality of an  organization’s overall work and the impact of their top success story.

The APL’s winning story began June 12, when a humane officer investigating a call about animal neglect found a fly-covered day-old puppy alone in a garage. The officer couldn’t find the puppy’s mother, so she rushed the tiny pit bull mix to the shelter on Willey Avenue, where the animal care team named him Noland and discussed how to save his life.

“The team decided the best option would be to try placing Noland with a stray mom cat named Lurlene who had, two days before Noland’s arrival, delivered a litter of four kittens,” APL director Sharon Harvey said. “Remarkably, Lurlene welcomed Noland into her family, nurturing and nursing him as if he was one of her own. And the kittens were fine with him, too.”

Noland’s mother, Molly, was found later that day, chained behind the home, but she was too emaciated and frightened to care for her puppy, Harvey said, so Noland stayed with Lurlene and her kittens during the day and was bottle-fed at night.

When Molly’s owner was convicted of animal neglect, Noland and the kittens were thriving together. They were placed in a foster home until they were old enough to be neutered for adoption.

“We were a little concerned that Noland would get to be too big and rough for his less robust feline family, but Lurlene had things under control and it didn’t take the kittens long to learn how to put him in his place,” Harvey and APL director of development, Judy Hunter, wrote to Petco. “Actually, Noland blended in with the family so well, he was even found using the litter box a few times.”

Noland then was placed in a foster home with a litter of puppies his age, and learned how to be a dog, while Lurlene and the kittens returned to the shelter and all were adopted.

When Noland returned to the shelter, he and his mother, Molly, were reunited for play sessions.

“Actually, Noland blended in with the family so well, he was even found using the litter box a few times.”

“Noland had certainly thrived with Lurlene, his feline siblings and foster families as he was nearly 18 pounds when he went home with his new family,” Hunter wrote to Petco.

Molly fully recovered and learned to trust people, and she, too, was adopted.

“Truly, Noland and Lurlene’s story encompasses everything we do at the APL — protecting animals from cruelty and neglect, staff members and volunteers working together to nurse them back to health, finding them wonderful new homes, and learning from them about the power of forgiveness and unconditional love and acceptance,” Harvey said. “And when you get right down to it, that’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it?”

Katrina lessons keep Colo. flood victims and pets together

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Colorado FloodPets have been routinely evacuated from flood areas in Colorado, despite life-threatening conditions for the rescuers, because officials there made a conscious decision to save pets and people, adopting the motto “No pets left behind,” according to a National Guard spokesman. Lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina led rescuers to include pets in their evacuation plans, and temporary shelters have been ready with pet essentials including water bowls and kenneling capabilities. The Seattle Times/The Associated Press

By JERI CLAUSING   Associated Press

Some helicopters rescuing people after massive flooding in Colorado carried more dogs, cats and fish than people. Rescuers using zip lines to evacuate people over raging rivers also risked their lives to make sure the four-legged members of families were safe.

In contrast to stories of people forced to leave their pets when New Orleans was swamped by Hurricane Katrina, the motto during one of the largest evacuations in Colorado history was “No pets left behind,” said Skye Robinson, a spokesman for the National Guard air search and rescue operations during Colorado’s floods. That’s because including pets in the rescue effort helped convince even reluctant residents to leave their homes. Officials also had more than enough space for the animals and even carried animal crates with them.

More than 800 pets have been ferried to safety with their owners via helicopter, the National Guard said. Hundreds more were rescued by ground crews. Livestock, like horses and cattle, were left behind, but a monkey was among those saved.

Once safely on dry ground, Red Cross shelters had water bowls, on-site dog kennels and all the necessary supplies to ensure already stressed evacuees wouldn’t be separated from their pets.

“We kind of learned after Katrina, when people wouldn’t evacuate because of their pets,” said Kathy Conner, a worker at a shelter at a YMCA in Boulder.

Evacuees Jerry Grove and Dorothy Scott-Grove said they never would have abandoned their vacation cabin in Estes Park without their two golden retrievers. But they didn’t have to make that hard choice. Firefighters carried the two large dogs to safety on the same zip line used to rescue the retired Ohio couple.

“They put them in a harness and one of the firefighters hooked himself to them and brought them across,” Dorothy Scott-Grove said. “We will not be separated.”

Once out, the Red Cross found the couple a pet-friendly hotel where the dogs the next day “were resting comfortably on our king-sized bed,” she said.

In a state where dog passengers are as common as humans in cars, Lisa Pedersen, CEO of the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, said taking care of pets has become a central part of disaster planning.

It appears to be working. One week after floods and mudslides forced the local evacuation of more than 3,000 people, Pederson said the Boulder area shelter had just 72 pet evacuees – all but two of which were delivered by their owners for temporary shelter after they were forced from their homes.

“It just makes sense that you bring the pets along. They are part of the family,” Robinson said. “You wouldn’t leave a family behind because they had kids.”

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Follow Jeri Clausing on twitter (at)jericlausing

AHF Pet Partner Orientation – October 12, 2013

Friday, September 20th, 2013

This Orientation is a mandatory step in the process of becoming an AHF Caring Creatures Pet Partners Team. AND it is the last one of the 2013 calendar year.

In order to attend this meeting, you must have successfully completed the Pet Partners Handlers Online Course at www.petpartners.org.

In addition, pre-registration for this meeting is required.

For more information, contact petpartner@animalhealthfoundation.net

 

 

Protecting dogs from Lyme disease starts with your veterinarian

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

ticksLyme disease in humans is garnering attention lately because it’s often misdiagnosed, but veterinarian Richard Goldstein, chief medical officer at Animal Medical Center in New York, reminds dog owners that canines are also susceptible to the disease. Protection begins with a conversation with a veterinarian, and a preventive vaccine is available. ChicagoNow.com/Steve Dale’s Pet World blog

Lyme Disease is getting more pub – how it’s being underdiagnosed in people. Dr. Richard Goldstein, chief medical officer of Animal Medical Center in New York City notes we can do more to protect our dogs than we can to protect ourselves. From my national radio show Steve Dale’s Pet World, listen HERE to Dr. Goldstien explain that Lyme isn’t any longer only associated with New England, it’s spreaded West and South and it continues to spread – even to places like in downtown Chicago!

The key is for veterinarians to screen for Lyme, for starters. Protection depends on where you are, but don’t guess at what you should do (you may guess wrong), ask your veterinarian. A vaccine is also available.

Lyme is most often transmitted to dogs in the fall – so it’s certainly not too late in the year to think about protection. Learn more through this website about dogs and ticks and tick disease.

Dr. Joe Cortese Dog Park Dedication

Monday, September 9th, 2013

On August 17th, the city of San Juan Capistrano dedicated their new dog park in honor of beloved local veterinarian Dr. Joe Cortese, also know as “Dr. Fleas”Dr. Joe Cortese.The dog park welcomes small and large dogs and features picnic tables, benches, and an access ramp for people with disabilities. Enjoy the beautiful mature oak, avocado, and Valencia orange trees that are being preserved as part of this wonderful new park. The area will include drinking fountains for both people and pooches.

Dr. Cortese was a past president and member of the Animal Health Foundation’s Board of Trustees.  He passed away suddenly in 2008 while visiting friends in New Mexico with his wife, Goldee.

The AHF is proud to have made a donation to the park to honor such a dedicated and loved individual.