Mite M – De Liefde

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LoveMy2Dogs

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The strange twisted story of canine circovirus

You have probably been hearing a lot about canine circovirus. So have I. You may have heard some conflicting things about this virus. So have I. Because I love you all and I want you to know what I know, I’ve spent the day trying to make sense of the information that’s out there. Here’s what I know so far and why I’m not recommending mass panic at this time.

Part 1: It’s the food

Here’s how the story evolved, as far as I can piece together.

1. In mid-August, P&G pet foods issues a voluntary recall of certain lots of dry food manufactured at an East Coast plant over a 10 day period because of the possibility of Salmonella.

2. Last week, The Pet Spot, a pet kennel in Ohio, learns that several dogs who had been at the facility in the last few weeks had become sickened with a severe hemorrhagic gastroenteritis/ vasculitis type disease. Three of those dogs died.

3. The kennel owner, trying to figure out what was going on, noted that his kennel’s stock food is Iams. He makes a “hey, we may want to look into this” sort of statement which gets digested, churned up in the bowels of social media and local media, and becomes

OMG EUKANUBA IS KILLING DOGS AGAIN (CHAOS/PITCHFORKS)

mob

The only problem is, it wasn’t. By this time, P&G- which coincidentally is headquartered in Ohio- hears this story and of course they would like to know what happened to those dogs. I spoke with Jason Taylor over at P&G, who among many duties has the awesomely fun job of managing pet food recalls when and if they occur, to ask what happened next.

According to Taylor, despite the fact that the kennel owner did not have the lot codes of the food he was using, P&G was able to ascertain the lot numbers based on order history and shipping details, determining that the food being fed at the kennel was not part of the recall, and in fact was not even manufactured at the same factory.

But since they were there anyway with a group of microbiologists and toxicity experts and a small business owner who was under a lot of pressure to figure out what was going on, they figured they would add their resources to the investigation, crawling around with cotton swabs and all that science-y stuff and send it off to see if there was any identifiable pathogen in the environment. There was none. The facility was cleared to re-open.

Still with me?

Part 2: It’s circovirus

4. By now, the state veterinarian, the local veterinary community, and the Ohio State veterinary hospital are involved. People put their heads together. Someone says, “hey, I remember reading about a dog in California that died this April with similar symptoms; he had circovirus, which is weird and unusual because it’s normally a pig disease. We should test for that too.” The news, already paying attention after losing the whole pet food angle, is still interested. Under the tender editorial guidance of a click-happy news site, “we are investigating this possibility” becomes:

OMG A SCARY NEW VIRUS WILL KILL YOUR DOG

because if there’s one thing the spell check challenged online journalism teams at local newspapers like to do, it’s to drive traffic with leads like “It’s a scary new disease, that can kill your dog” then follow up with some man-on-the street interviews with statements such as “It can like, kill your dog, and that’s like bad for them.”

hazmat4

Uh oh.

As anyone who has read any sort of newspaper or watched any news channel in the last decade will attest to, journalism has become less about accurate reporting and more about fast reporting. It’s the nature of the beast these days, but it’s why everything needs to be taken with a grain or bushel of salt because guess what?

According to a UC Davis professor who tested samples from three of the affected dogs, only one tested positive for circovirus. You may not have heard that yet because Ohio can’t test for circovirus; samples got sent to California and despite what CSI tells us, results are not instantaneous. It took this long for the official results to come in, which is about 4 days too slow for a news cycle that is moving on to the next disaster at midnight.

Part 3: It’s…a case in progress

So what do we know about circovirus and dogs, exactly? Not much. What caused these illnesses? Not sure.

  • Correlation does not imply causation. In the above referenced piece, Dr. Pesavento points to an academic article published in April that  talks about the dog in California, then went looking for the presence of circovirus in other dogs. To sum up, it was found in some dogs with diarrhea. It was also found in some healthy dogs. Most of the sick dogs were co-infected with some other pathogen as well. Clear as mud.

So again, what do we know about circovirus in dogs? That it exists. It may or may not cause disease. That is all the scientists are willing to say at the moment. Wordier summary is in the Ohio Department of Agriculture press release.

That is soooo anticlimactic and unsexy and un-newsworthy, and as a person who likes exciting news as much as the next person I wish I had something more earth-shattering to report. But at the end of the day I am also a person that likes TL:DR summaries, so to put it all in one handy image:

circotagion

Part 4: So now we torch the dog park, right?

I in no way want to minimize what happened to those affected dogs, who suffered from a rapid onset, devastating illness. It is entirely possible that circovirus will be identified as the cause, and in that case we can revisit this issue and talk more. I as much as anyone else hope the patient scientists who make this their life’s work will be rewarded for their diligence with a definitive cause. As of now, there is none. We live such stressful lives as it is, I like to wait until I’m forced to panic so I don’t spend my entire life wedged in the corner covered in Saran Wrap. While we wait to determine if this is necessary, here’s what you can do:

1. Remember the number of reported cases stands at ‘miniscule’. If you’re worrying about circovirus while your dog is running around a year late on his parvo booster, I would recommend re-focusing your attention, at least for the time being. That being said:

2. Call the vet immediately if your dog shows any signs of this disease. If your dog has bloody diarrhea, you should be at the vet ASAP anyway; this advice has not changed since before this virus emerged. The affected pets became rapidly, severely ill: rapid treatment was essential to positive outcome.

3. Avoid high risk environments. Consider the fact that all of the reported cases happened in dogs that had recently been to kennels or doggie daycares. High concentration of dogs in one place means higher likelihood of disease spread.  I actually don’t recommend carte blanche avoiding these environments, but if you are really concerned or if your dog has a less than hardy immune system, dogs survive just fine without those facilities.

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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THE ROCK: Chapter 13: Ridiculous Part 3

“Cast before a silver sheet,
Tracing lines that never meet.”

Those are the first two lines to a poem I wrote a long, long while ago, even way, way before Malcolm was diagnosed, and they made little sense to me at the time. 

They do now.

——–
YBD’s Notes 1:  Though I have plenty more ridiculous things to say and do, I’m done with this chapter and it’s time to move on and bring the first book, The Rock, to its conclusion.  

YBD’s Notes 2:  Sailing is an inexact metaphor for life.  Ashore, the time to jibe or tack doesn’t always translate but I’ve come about now.

YBD’s Notes 3:  Next chapter I’ll talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly of sponsorship and that’ll set the stage for the final chapter.  

2 Dogs 2,000 Miles

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Cool Infection images

Some cool infection images:

Stem infection
infection

Image by IITA Image Library
Fusarium infected cassava stem causing the death of the plant.

Infection
infection

Image by Cat Rocketship
Oil on wood, 9×12.

Stem infection
infection

Image by IITA Image Library
Fusarium infected cassava stem causing the death of the plant.

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Two Towers Four Paws

A beautiful blog by Teri Modisette

last remaining dogs
Eleven years ago today, the Twin Towers slipped from the sky and plummeted to earth as America watched in shock. As that once beautiful Autumn day wore on to evening, news outlets reported many people still trapped, slowing dying in the avalanche of metal. How did they know? Those people used cell phones to call their families from beneath the remains of the World Trade Center. One by one, they said final goodbyes as the last of their cell phone batteries blinked out.

No one yet knew the death toll would reach nearly 3,000. All the rescue teams could do was send help. That night as pictures and “Please help me find my son” and “Please help me find my daughter” flyers went up around NYC, help arrived at Ground Zero on four legs.
Several sets of four legs, to be exact.
Emergency workers had flooded the area with light, enabling them to pair with public volunteers in a desperate search for the living, but they needed help from something with better hearing and a better sense of smell than the average human being. They were helped by Moxie and Tara from Massachusetts, Guinness from California, Kaiser from Indianapolis, Bretagne from Texas, Red from Maryland, Hoke from Denver. It was a long shot to call in search and rescue dogs. As good as the dogs were, 9/11 was undeniably a large-scale tragedy.
Search-and-rescue dogs are trained to pick up certain scents on the ground and in the air. Well-trained search dogs have proven to be the fastest way to locate a victim in the aftermath of a disaster like an earthquake or hurricane. Disaster search-and-rescue dogs are trained to find people in incredibly unstable environments, where smoke or chemical smells might affect the results of the dog’s search.
Three hundred and eighteen search-and-rescue dogs were trained to find the living who may have survived 9/11. Unfortunately, the terrorist attacks were a true disaster, making it a fruitless search. Despite this, the dogs at Ground Zero were seen doing what dogs do so well– comforting the firemen and first responders during the darkest hours of their lives.
In total, 950 canine dog teams served in response to September 11, 2001. They served at Ground Zero, the Pentagon, and that field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Eleven years later, 2 Million Dogs remembers the day our best friends experienced  alongside all in this great nation– and the sweet snuggles and tail wags as our tears rolled down.
We will never forget.
Teri’s blog and all of the blogs posted by her and Erich Trapp can be read at the 2 Million Dogs Blog
——–
YBD’s Notes 1: Thank you, Teri for this beautifully written tribute to the service dogs of 9/11.  
YBD’s Notes 2:  Lest we all forget, dogs are essential to our survival and the very essence of our goodness.  

2 Dogs 2,000 Miles

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Evite Thank Yous

It’s a free service, it’s well-respected so it’s not SPAM, and the cards are very cute.

It took me a little while to copy and paste 100 names from my customer lis but that’s all done. I’m not going to send the Christmas evite cards until I have all of my sister’s customers entered, but I *am* starting to use it to send thank you’s for every order. I sent the first one off this morning :-)

In the card, I included my contact info, my website, and the toll-free order number from Trilogy. I also let this brand new customer know that I set her up as a Wholesale Customer, which means she will get 20% off on all orders except for the Clay Essentials line.

Val and I prefer to have lots of loyal, repeat customers who send us their friends than to get that 20% markup. We earn plenty on the volume, so we set everyone up as Wholesale after their first order. If they Autoship, we would lose that percent, anyway, so this just helps us build customer loyalty.
A day in the life of a HealthyPetNet Rep

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HealthyPetNet listed in EcoFriendlySites.org

I maintained a premium listing on a green site last year and received lots of good new customers from it. So this morning, I am seeking out green directories and adding my HealthyPetNet link to them. In most cases, it’s free.

My target customers are people who are already committed to the health and wellness both of the environment and their pets.

A day in the life of a HealthyPetNet Rep

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Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Separation anxiety in dogs occurs more often than most people realize and is not limited to just a few breeds, sizes, or ages of dogs. Separation anxiety is a dog’s panicked response to being left alone and if not treated and corrected, can eventually result in the deterioration of a dog’s mental and physical health.

Separation anxiety should not be confused with misbehavior. It’s a mistaken belief that when a dog digs up its owner’s garden or pees on the carpet, it’s simply seeking retaliation for having been left home alone. Sometimes the reason for this type of behavior is nothing more than boredom; but before dismissing the dog’s actions as bad behavior, you should consider whether the dog may be in a state of panic because you left the house and it suddenly found itself without the one person it loves the most.

Separation anxiety can also result when a dog suffers a traumatic experience, like a major earthquake or the death of a human or another pet in the same household. In a lot of cases, no single triggering event causes it. Some breeds are just genetically predisposed to separation anxiety.

Separation anxiety almost always includes one or more unacceptable behaviors when the owner is not at home:

* Destructive behaviors, such as chewing pillows or furniture, mutilating plants, or unrelenting door scratching;
* Constant barking, whining, or howling;
* Urinating or defecating in the house;
* Intense, persistent pacing around the room;
* Attempting to “escape” a room or dog crate to the point of self-injury.

Not all unacceptable behavior can be attributed to separation anxiety; in fact, most behaviors cannot. If the owner arrives home to find their dog chewing on a shoe or perhaps the furniture, in all probability the dog simply feels that what it is doing is enjoyable and since no one is home, the time is right for gnawing away uninterrupted.

There are several actions that indicate separation anxiety should be considered a serious matter:

1) The bad behavior occurs every time the owner leaves the house;

2) The bad behavior occurs only when the owner is not around;.

3) The dog visibly displays anxious behaviors before an owner even leaves the house. For example, the dog knows that when you put on a coat it means you’re leaving the house and starts pacing around the room and whining or howling.

Desensitization is a method that’s often used to treat a dog with severe separation anxiety and involves getting a dog accustomed to the owner leaving the house without taking the dog along. You’ll probably need to seek help from a veterinarian or dog trainer if you feel that desensitization would be the best treatment option. Be advised that it usually takes around eight weeks to bring a dog’s separation anxiety under control.

Separation anxiety in a dog has very little to do with the dog’s training or discipline. Its unwelcome behavior results from the severe panic the dog feels when its owner is absent. If the problem is not treated and eliminated, it can cause serious psychological suffering for a dog.

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Home Pest Control : How to Kill Fleas in 24 Hours

Killing fleas in a 24-hour period is unrealistic due to the four stages of a flea. Find the fastest way to kill fleas with help from a professional pest cont…

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