TRACIE HOTCHNER: ITCHY DOG? DON’T ALWAYS BLAME THE FOOD! GET THE SPOT TEST!

newtraciepic2Does your dog scratch and lick and/or bite at her ears, feet, flanks or neck? Skin problems are probably the number one reason pet owners go to their vets. I get numerous emails asking for advice and suggestions about resolving skin issues like hot spots, hair loss, and other epidermal problems. Of course fleas are the first logical possibility to eliminate and a topical product is usually going to be the best complete and long term solution.

Myself, I use Vectra 3D for fleas and ticks, but if fleas are not in the equation, then I strongly advise you to get your dog tested for allergies with a SPOT Platinum blood test. I’ve now done it with my two young dogs – who were presumably too young to have developed environmental allergies – however both of their tests showed they had reactivity to different elements in their environment.

They are now each on custom-created oral drops that SPOT Platinum creates, which I squirt in their mouths every day to calm down their sensitivities. There is no more scratching, hives or icky ears.

I recommend the SPOT test not because the Spectrum Company is a proud sponsor of my Radio Pet Lady Network – but because it works! They have been doing allergy testing for a quarter of a century and can reliably screen for 90 elements, including foods, to which your dog may be hyper-sensitive. Just like the allergy injections I get weekly, the oral drops help to desensitize each dog’s individual system so it becomes less reactive.

DFF-logo-ProudSponsor175x166My newly rescued blue Weimaraner Maisie was scratching a lot when I picked her up in Virginia at 9 months of age. I knew she had no fleas. I gave her a nice shower (using Halo’s Cloud Nine herbal shampoo, which makes dog bathing a yummy experience!), but the itching continued.

The vet gave me the common wisdom that it must be a food allergy because she was too young to have developed a reaction to something(s) in her environment. I knew there were exceptions to every rule because when Maisie ran through certain fields and meadows she broke out in hives – and bumps that became sores.

Then along came my puppy Wanda, who began having goopy ears and those moth-eaten coat issues like itching, bumps, or sores when she was only six months old. Even the owner of SPOT Platinum cautioned me that she was too young for the problem to be environmental, it was most likely food.

But I wanted to run the test – I had developed such confidence in it. Lo and behold, Wanda’s allergy to dust mites was off the chart, amongst other reactivities having nothing to do with food.

Takeaway message: don’t be too quick to blame chicken in your dog’s diet, which seems high on everyone’s “guess list” of what causes canine skin problems. Instead, ask your vet to order a SPOT Platinum test kit (if s/he doesn’t already have one in the office) and you may be on your way to a scratch-free existence!
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Tracie Hotchner is the author of THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know.

She is also a renowned pet radio host and producer, having spent 7 years on the Martha Stewart Channel of Sirius/XM with CAT CHAT® and even longer with her award-winning NPR radio show DOG TALK® (and Kitties, Too!) that continues to broadcast in the Hamptons and the Berkshires. Her most recent accomplishment is the pet talk radio network she has created on the Internet called The Radio Pet Lady Network.

Halo

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Milou, the GoldenDoodle

This beauty is a GoldenDoodle (a mix of a Golden Retriever and a Poodle) – isn’t she gorgeous.

Milou is only one and a half years old yet so well behaved.  She lives in Munich and was on her way home – just passing through Menton.
RIVIERA DOGS

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George Lopez Adopts Rescue Dog

A rescue dog who got the chance to step into the spotlight at The World Dog Awards has won the role of a lifetime as the canine companion to the TV special’s comic host. Now bringing joy and…



[[ This is a summary only. Click the title for the full post, photos, videos, giveaways, and more! ]]


DogTipper

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Riot police fire tear gas at thousands of protesting shepherds

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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Baby Emmett is Here!

Finally! Emmett Hunter Williams was born at 9:22 PM on Saturday, January 9th, after a (much easier than the last time) 12 hours of labor and just 11 minutes of pushing. He was 8 pounds, 10 ounces (I have big babies, man) and 21 inches long. And he is completely amazing. Best of all, his big sister is in love.

Robbie came across the name Emmett one day while searching for baby names and we both loved it. We recently learned Emmett means “whole” or “complete” – pretty perfect considering this little dude officially completes our family. (We gave him the middle name Hunter after his daddy, who also has the middle name Hunter, a family name.) We now have two E’s and can’t wait to start our adventures as a family of four.

I’ll share more (including his birth story, just like I shared Essley’s) eventually, but for now I’m absolutely exhausted and looking forward to having some down time with our new little man during my maternity leave. As I said in my last post, there will continue to be posts here while I’m off, so be sure and stop back by. And thank you for following along on my pregnancy (and now new baby) journey!

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Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Here We Go! (Baby is On the Way!)

I’ve had this post partly written for over a week now, knowing that I’d be going into labor any day. Well, the time to hit publish has officially arrived you guys. When you read this, I will be in the hospital and Baby Boy will be making his debut (hopefully!) sooner than later. Although I’d rather not repeat the 30 hour labor I had with Essley, as long as he makes it into the world safely, I’ll do what I have to do. The good news is that my body is already progressing and early labor symptoms have started, so I have a good feeling about things.

I’m not sure how long I’ll be in the hospital (last time it was 5 days!), but I do plan on taking a two week maternity leave from the blog and art shop. When Essley was born, I had guest posters filling in during my leave, but this time I’m keeping things a little more casual. There will be a couple of posts from our Lifestyle Contributor Jen, and a few prescheduled posts from me. And I’m sure I’ll be checking in once or twice to introduce our new babe. But for the most part, things will be a little slower than normal over here, and I’ll be sharing more updates over on our Instagram (@bubbyandbean). Once my maternity leave is over, the blog will be back to its regular post schedule.

The next time you hear from me, I’ll be a mother of two, in a family of four. So weird and awesome. I’m so excited! See you soon, friends.

ALSO FIND US HERE: BLOGLOVIN’ // INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // PINTEREST


Bubby and Bean ::: Living Creatively

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Jagger

Jagger, a shih-tzu who lives in Nice.
RIVIERA DOGS

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The final kill

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New Year’s Eve is one of those holidays, where you’re supposed to be at a party or watching a football game. I’m not so big into parties, and I cannot tell you the first thing about football, other than it’s about as exciting as watching the grass grow.

West Virginia’s DNR has blessed the oddballs with a little respite. In parts of the state where the deer population is quite high, part of the split doe season is reopened for the last three days of the year.

I still had a doe tag to fill, so I went to the deer blind. The morning hunt wasn’t so good, but I had my evening planned. At 3 PM, I’d already showered again in my scent-killing wash.

I see more deer in the evening. I think it’s because when I go out in the morning, I’m going out to already active deer, but when I go out in the evening, I’m out there before the deer start to move. West Virginia doesn’t allow hunting at night, so I think it would be pretty hard for me to be in the right spot in the morning and still follow the law.

I settled in. The evening sun began to sink beyond the gray canopy of trees.  No deer yet. It started to get cold. It would be snowing in two days, but right now, it was just enough to be a nuisance.

I knew the deer would come. I knew that there was a doe and fawn pair that always came down the game trail in front of the blind just as the sun began to sink.

So I waited. And I waited. I remained still. Not a bird stirred. Not a squirrel.

In twilight, a doe fawn suddenly materialized. The winter rays of the sun cast a silvery glow to her mousy gray coat.

I didn’t want to take her. She was young, and if winter conditions were good, she’d have a fawn of her own next May or June.

I waited. Not 30 seconds after the fawn materialized. Her mother appeared behind her. A big doe. Maybe 3 or 4 years old.

I’m sure she was the same doe who had blown my cover in the archery season, and now she was quite fat for winter.

I decided to take her. The experts tell us that we should take the mature does to avoid taking button bucks, and taking these larger does also stops her from having twins next year. Thus, taking her is the best way to protect the future antlered deer and to reduce the deer population the next year.

I moved the .243 off safety, and let the two deer move into position. I had put out some corn scented attractant right in front of my blind, where I knew they would stop.

The fawn stopped. Then her mother.

I gently raised the rifle. I had her in my scope sight. I followed the folds on the inside of her elbow until I was dead-centered on her heart.

I took a deep breath and gently squeezed the trigger.

I didn’t hear the gunfire. I heard the bullet slam into the big doe. She spun once and collapsed dead. A clean, humane kill.

If you ever wonder what a gun can do to a man, just look at what one can do to a deer. Nothing will make you respect them more than use one for hunting. They are not toys. They are not absolute evil. But they must be respected.

The gun in question was my grandpa’s old turkey sniper. It is a Remington 788 model, which had painted camouflage.

Turkey hunting with rifles has always been illegal in West Virginia.

So is hunting them with bait.

Gramps followed neither law.

My dad used it to bag a big buck a few years ago.  It’s dead accurate at 75 yards.

But it’s always in the safe. And it’s never brought into the house loaded.

We’re talking a lot about guns this week.

Today, I received an e-mail from the DCCC from a woman whose mother was wounded at the Virginia Tech shooting. I have a cousin who graduated from Virginia Tech, and her father forwarded the same e-mail to me. Guns can ruin lives.

On the other side of the country, a bunch of self-styled militiamen have commandeered a bird sanctuary in Oregon. One of the yahoos appeared on MSNBC covered in a blue tarp demanding that the feds take him there so he could get a better shot at them.

Is this what gun culture has become?

For me, guns are tools of wildlife management, as well as heirlooms passed down from father to son.

To some, they are the very epitome of what it means to be a sovereign American citizen.

To others, they are the sign that America is a barbarous land where the guns crack and the blood spills at all hours of the night.

The truth is I’m not with either of those camps at this moment.

I am reconnected with the old ways, when man hunted the wild beasts for survival.

I’m on a ridgetop in West Virginia, and I’ve sacrificed a white-tail doe to Artemis.

I feel both pride and remorse. I feel pride in that I was able to take the deer humanely, but I feel remorse in that I took a life.

When my grandfather was dying of cancer, he told me that he felt sorry for every squirrel that he wounded but was unable to recover.

And this man was a hunter. A serious one. He loved his guns and hunting dogs.

But he was a predator, not a monster.

When the hunter stops feeling the remorse at the kill, it’s probably time that he or she gave it up.

That remorse comes from valuing life, and it’s the thing that should be at the forefront of one’s mind when you’re holding something as destructive as a gun.

But it’s a fine line between the predator and the monster.

It’s one that I find troubling, but I’m glad that I find it troubling.

I am a person who loves the deer. I am glad our forests are full of them, but I am aware that if they aren’t managed they will eat down all their browse and soon starve to death.

Better to die of a carefully placed bullet than of an empty stomach.

But even that intellectual justification cannot take away the remorse at having killed.

And yet there is still satisfaction.

I am connected to the old ways. I follow in the generations of my species who have thrown spears at quarry, then shot arrows, then musket balls, then these carefully-designed rounds, which can take out a deer so surgically.

I am both awed at the process and humbled by it.

I will continue to hunt the deer. I accept myself as a predator.

But I will not become a monster.

I will always feel that remorse at having killed.

 


Natural History

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Friday Funny: Vet Sign

I see what they did there. Enjoy your weekend! Until next time, Good day, and good dog.


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Happy 2016

Apparently I am incapable of blogging more than once a month.  No matter how good my intentions are.

We got Summit’s eyes fixed about 3 weeks ago.  Everything went smoothly although they aren’t looking normal yet.  We have reached the stitches-are-dissolving-and-his-eyes-are-goopy-and-disgusting stage.  :)

He is very much an “out of sight, out of mind” kind of dog.  For example, we went snowshoeing the other day, and Marlin went into the outhouse for about 60 seconds. When he stepped out, Summit was shocked to see him and didn’t know who he was.  LOL.

The nice thing about that aspect of his personality is that he’s really easy to distract if he is doing something naughty like harassing the cats.  I lazy throw of a toy is enough to draw him away.

Coulee has been playing with him like crazy.  It’s super nice to see.  She doesn’t bully him nearly as much as she does Lacey and they can actually sustain play for 15-30 minutes at a time.  (Usually when Coulee plays with Lacey it deteriorates after a few minutes and we have to put a stop to it).  Lacey has been like Jeckyl and Hyde with Summit.  She can go from wrestling with him to snarling fiercely in the blink of an eye.  She’s usually more inclined to play with him outside in the backyard or when we are out on a walk but not always.  For a while I was thinking she wasn’t feeling very good but she isn’t showing any other signs so I think it’s just her being crabby.

Lacey’s fur has grown back and you can’t even tell she had surgery on her back not that long ago.  That’s pretty much it in “dog news”. :)

Crazy Coulee and Little Lacey

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