There is a park about an hour from here that used to be a campground, that is now day use only. I remember driving through it years ago and wondering what the heck you would do there if you camped there. It’s by a river, but not much else. We were looking for a quiet place to go yesterday so we decided to see what it was like.
The good news is, that it was totally deserted. Except for the ton of wildlife. You can tell nobody comes down there based on the number of deer we saw. They were everywhere!
The bad news is, there is still nothing to do. We walked down the old campground road that’s been blocked off and ambled our way to the river. There was really only one good entry point for the dogs and you couldn’t walk along the shore due to high banks everywhere.
So we ambled along through the woods while the dogs explored and we managed to redirect them whenever we spotted a deer. We saw a nighthawk do a broken wing display and I was pretty worried he wasn’t going to be faking for long as the dog’s took off in pursuit. Thankfully Coulee is too slow and Lacey was a few steps behind at the start. :)
We took a long rambling way home along back roads and had a pretty fun morning over all.
Have you been following my advice to feed only the highest quality canned food to your cats? Have you chosen a food high in good quality protein and low in carbohydrates? Good for you! But wait! Have you been “cheating” on your cat by picking up kitty junk food in the supermarket and then feeding her addictive cat treats made of god-knows-what ingredients?! Uh-oh.
Kathleen in Carson, California wrote to say that “After listening to your shows we feed grain-free canned food. But we still have health issues!”
Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins, my co-host on CAT CHAT, has been helping me get kitties like Kathleen’s to kick the dry food habit and embrace good canned food for their cats. But somehow we never made it clear that the treats they might be sneaking to their pussycats do just as much harm as poor food choices. Kathleen went on, “We now have a serious problem because my cat’s urinary pH is too high and the vet says she needs more acidity to minimize or eliminate crystals in her bladder and urinary tract and wants her to eat the dry prescription food he sells.”
“My cat’s doctor questions my parenting because I don’t want to feed her the dry prescription food that has both grain and by-products,” Kathleen added.
“How do I increase the acidity in her urine? What food or supplement will do this? Please help, I love my baby, and I’m tempted to feed her what the doctor is pushing just so she won’t hurt.”
Dr. Elizabeth was a real Sherlock Holmes when she asked the $ 64,000 question: what else is Kathleen feeding her kitty besides the canned food? Dr. Hodgkins said, “A meat based diet will produce a normal urine pH. Sometimes owners are feeding highly processed carbohydrate snack foods that are engineered to be very addictive. The owner sees the cat’s positive reaction and keeps giving snack food treats to a cat like this, not realizing that those can contribute to the health issues, too. Freeze dried meat treats like Halo Liv-a-Littles or small pieces of actual meat, chicken or cheese are the only treats a cat should be getting besides their canned diet.”
Kathleen replied, “I am eternally grateful for the advice, and now am a bit sheepish because my Valentine goes crazy for those soft, chewy, brightly colored treats from the supermarket.”
“My Val has us trained: I take my vitamins in the morning and she gets a treat. Bed time? I take a pill – Val? yep she wants her ‘pills’ too.” We’re leaving the house for the day? Oh yeah, treat time, You see where I’m going with this. Meanwhile, I’ll switch my sweet Val to healthy Liv-a-Little freeze dried meat snacks, even though she was more interested in the junk food commercial treats. Tracie, this is an important message to your listeners: if you’re doing the right thing with their food, you can sabotage and undermine it with “just a little treat, ” that has been crafted to get a cat hooked.”
Dr. Elizabeth recommended, “Encourage Kathleen to crumble a freeze dried treat on the canned food at first to get her kitties accustomed to the differences in odor and texture between a natural meat treat and a highly processed one.”
“This will, I would bet money, get them switched to the better treats in a short time. And she could try several of the meat types since some cats show definite preferences for chicken over beef, or salmon. Of course, if they don’t warm up to them right away, they really won’t suffer by not having treats. Sure, we like to show love through food, for our pets and our human loved ones, but that does not mean they are necessary for good health. Feeding a very low carb all meat diet is the best “treat” you can give your kitty for a long, healthy life.”
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.
Picture this scenario: Your beloved pet has just been hit by a car. Your dog is obviously in great pain and suffering from broken bones, internal bleeding, or both. Your immediate response will be an emergency vet visit.
When your dog is seriously injured and you need to make an emergency trip to the animal hospital, there are some steps you can take to make it less stressful for both you and your dog. An emergency visit is never the same as a regular visit to the vet.
If possible, call the animal hospital before you leave home and let the staff know you are on your way with a seriously injured pet. This will alert the emergency vet and hospital team, giving them time to prepare for immediate treatment upon your arrival, which could possibly make a difference in saving your dog’s life.
As calmly as possible given the seriousness of the situation, describe your dog’s symptoms as carefully as you can. The staff may need to give you some first aid steps to perform before coming to the hospital.
As soon as your dog reaches the animal hospital or emergency pet clinic, the front desk nurse or receptionist will call for “triage.” This term simply means that a team which includes the emergency vet, will examine your dog’s condition and ask questions about your pet and an explanation of what caused the injury. The vet will determine if your pet must be immediately scheduled for surgery or whether its injuries can be treated in one of the examination rooms. You may be asked to sign a release for your dog to be treated.
If surgery is deemed necessary, you’ll be asked to have a seat in the waiting room while your pet is undergoing surgery. Fully staffed animal hospitals will have a technician update you on your dog’s progress as the procedure progresses.
When your pet’s surgery has been completed, a member of the emergency veterinary team will discuss your dog’s prognosis, any at-home care required, and when a follow up appointment is needed. The vet may recommend that you leave your pet in the hospital overnight, or possibly for a few days for further observation.
If your pet is hospitalized, you will usually be allowed to personally check on your dog’s progress during regular animal hospital visiting hours. A competent and caring staff may also call to keep you updated on your pet’s recovery and progress.
When it comes time to bring your dog home, the hospital staff will give you detailed instructions for continued at-home care, including any medications the vet has prescribed.
When an emergency vet visit is necessary to save the life of your seriously injured dog, it helps to know what your responsibilities will be in order to help your injured pet receive the appropriate care it needs as quickly as possible.
Kennel cough in dogs is a fairly easy ailment to diagnose at home. If your dog suddenly develops a ‘hacking’ cough or constantly sounds like it’s choking on something, it could be kennel cough, known to your vet as canine infectious tracheobronchitis.
These coughing sounds can be frightening, leading you to believe something is seriously wrong with your dog; but most of the time kennel cough is not a serious condition and dogs usually recover from it without needing to undergo any treatment.
Dogs develop kennel cough if they inhale bacteria or virus particles into their respiratory tract. A dog’s respiratory tract is lined with a coating of mucus to trap infectious particles. However, there are some conditions that can weaken a dog’s natural protection mechanism and make it susceptible to kennel cough infection, and the result is an inflammation of the larynx (voice box) and trachea (windpipe).
Several conditions that can lead to kennel cough in dogs include exposure to poorly ventilated or overcrowded rooms and holding areas in kennels and animal shelters; overexposure to cold temperatures; and repeated exposure to dust or smoke from cigarettes.
Kennel cough can have multiple causes and is by no means limited specifically to the conditions listed above. One of the most common reasons for a dog to develop a case of kennel cough is a bacteria called Bordetella bronchiseptica. Most dogs that are infected with this bacteria will also become infected with a virus at the same time. Canine adenovirus, canine herpes virus, canine distemper virus, and parainfluenza virus are among these diseases, and they are more serious than kennel cough alone.
If your dog continues to have a persistent, forceful cough, listen carefully to determine if it sounds very different from the cough-like sound made by many dogs which is referred to as a “reverse sneeze.” Reverse sneezes are normal in certain dogs and breeds, and is usually caused by post-nasal drip or a slight irritation in the dog’s throat. If your dog displays other symptoms including sneezing, a runny nose, or eye discharge, you’ll probably want to have your vet check the dog to be sure the symptoms are not indicative of kennel cough or one of the viruses.
Kennel cough in dogs is a very contagious disease and a dog who has come down with it should not be allowed around other healthy dogs.
Most cases of kennel cough will resolve themselves without any kind of treatment, but medications can help speed the dog’s recovery and help minimize symptoms during the infection. Most dogs will recover completely within three weeks, but older dogs or dogs with certain medical conditions can take up to six weeks to fully recover.
A serious case of kennel cough in dogs can lead to pneumonia so it’s wise to follow up with your vet if your dog doesn’t improve within this short period of time. Also, if your dog begins breathing rapidly or acts listless it could be signs of a more serious condition
Yesterday was the 5 month anniversary of the west coast walk & thought I’d celebrate it with some of the as yet unseen pics – some stunning, some curious and kooky, some downright inexplicable and the rest creepy.
Wallkill Mighty Mite Panthers appear on 'The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon'
The Wallkill Mighty Mite Panthers got a "do-over" on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" Wednesday night. A video of the team went viral last week when they couldn't break a spirit banner they tried to run through. The group of 6- and 7-year-old …
Read more on News 12 Westchester
Get rid of mites for allergy sufferers
Although the thought of sleeping with millions of dust mites — microscopic arachnids that feast on flakes of skin — is just plain gross, it's something most people can handle without worry. After all, our bodies are inhabited by multitudes of …
Read more on The Desert Sun
It should come as no surprise that we have micobes living on and in us—bacteria, fungi, viruses, and more. But did you know that arachnids are a part of our ecosystem? According to a new study, we all have at least two species of mites living on our …
Read more on California Academy of Sciences
New spider mite found in Washington
A survey of spider mite populations in Washington State vineyards last year revealed that, for the most part, spider mites are not an economic problem for growers and are being controlled by beneficial arthropods. But the survey confirmed a new spider …
Read more on Good Fruit Grower
Until it’s time to go home.
The Poodle (and Dog) Blog