Saturday, 06 July 2019 00:00

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Talkin' Pets News

July 6, 2019

Host - Jon Patch

Co-Host - Maria Ryan, DogGone Positive, Port St. Lucie, FL  & new to the show Jasmine Johnson, Jasmine the Dog Trainer, Tampa Bay, FL

Producer - Lexi Lapp - Happy Birthday & Congrats on her Engagement

Network Producer - Quin McCarthy

Social Media / Production - Bob Page

Special Guests - Frank Hyman author of Hentopia will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 7/06/19 at 5pm ET to discuss and give away his book

Jerry Grymek - Doggie Concierge Hotel Penn 7/06/19 at 630pm ET



With Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signing a bill June 24th making Illinois the 11th state to legalize marijuana, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is encouraging all pet owners to make sure an increase in legalization doesn’t lead to an increase in pet poisonings.

While marijuana use can be a pleasurable experience for people, it can be scary and dangerous for dogs. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive substance in marijuana that produces a high for humans, is toxic to dogs, and can cause vomiting, incoordination, depression, sleepiness or excitation, low blood pressure, low body temperature and seizures. Death is rare but there have been a few cases reported.

Marijuana poisonings have been on the rise in dogs in recent years. In 2019 the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center reported a 765% increase in calls about marijuana ingestion by animals over the same period last year. The Pet Poison Helpline has reported an over 400% increase in marijuana-related calls over the past six years. And anecdotally, the AVMA has heard from member veterinarians reporting an increased number of pets coming into their clinics with signs of marijuana intoxication.

Legalization of medical and recreational marijuana may increase the chances of dogs ingesting harmful amounts of the drug. For example, a 2012 study showed that cases of marijuana toxicosis at two Colorado veterinary hospitals quadrupled over a five-year period (2005-10) during which the number of state medical marijuana registrations increased by more than 100 percent. Two dogs died after eating baked goods containing tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in cannabis, the study stated.

Edible products–such as pot brownies, candy bars and other baked goods–are a particular concern. Due to its lipophilic (“fat-loving”) nature, THC is highly concentrated in the butter used for such edible products compared to plant material. Therefore these products can cause pets to become particularly ill. These products could pose an increased risk due to additional toxic ingredients, such as chocolate, raisins or sugar-free sweeteners such as xylitol, which could compound their toxicity.

There may also be risks of smoking around your pets, as toxic exposures are possible. If you smoke marijuana, the AVMA recommends that you do so away from your pets. As with any drug, you should make sure to keep it secure and inaccessible to your pets.

Even if you don’t bring marijuana into your house, legalization could increase the chances of your dog coming upon a discarded joint or edible while outdoors. Keeping your dog on a leash and preventing them from grazing while out on walks can prevent such exposures.

If your pets show any signs of marijuana toxicity–if they appear off-balance, rigid or nervous, if they’re drooling or dribbling urine, vocalizing or having seizures–please get them to a veterinarian as quickly as possible.

The prevalence of osteoarthritis (OA) in pets has skyrocketed in the past decade, with the condition seeing a 66 percent increase in dogs and a 150 percent increase in cats.

This is according to Banfield Pet Hospital’s 2019 State of Pet Health Report, which attributes the jump to the high number of overweight and obese pets in the U.S.

The discomfort caused by OA can prevent pets from being active, leading to weight gain and worsening the joint condition. Banfield found 52 percent of dogs and 41 percent of cats with OA are also overweight or obese, demonstrating weight management is an important part of treating OA, even when an animal is not currently overweight.

While most common in senior and geriatric pets, OA can develop in animals at any age and veterinarians should advise their clients of the warning signs of the degenerative disease, says Molly McAllister, DVM, MPH,.

New research at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center identifies dog breeds and physical traits that pose the highest risk of biting with severe injury. Doctors want parents of young children to use this information when deciding which dog to own. The study, published in the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, explores the risks of dog bite injuries to the face in children and bite severity by breed, size and head structure. Researchers found pit bulls and mixed breed dogs have the highest risk of biting and cause the most damage per bite. The same goes for dogs with wide and short heads weighing between 66 and 100 pounds.

"The purpose of this study was to evaluate dog bites in children, and we specifically looked at how breed relates to bite frequency and bite severity," said Dr. Garth Essig, lead author and otolaryngologist at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center. "Because mixed breed dogs account for a significant portion of dog bites, and we often didn't know what type of dog was involved in these incidents, we looked at additional factors that may help predict bite tendency when breed is unknown like weight and head shape."

To assess bite severity, researchers reviewed 15 years of dog-related facial trauma cases from Nationwide Children's Hospital and the University of Virginia Health System. They looked at wound size, tissue tearing, bone fractures and other injuries severe enough to warrant consultation by a facial trauma and reconstructive surgeon and created a damage severity scale.

Researchers also performed an extensive literature search from 1970 to current for dog bite papers that reported breed to determine relative risk of biting from a certain breed. This was combined with hospital data to determine relative risk of biting and average tissue damage of bite. "There's an estimated 83 million owned dogs in the United States and that number continues to climb," said Dr. Essig. "We wanted to provide families with data to help them determine the risk to their children and inform them on which types of dogs do well in households with kids."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.7 million people in the United State are bitten by dogs annually, and 20 percent of these victims require medical care for their injuries. Those who require treatment after dog bites are predominately children ages 5 to 9 years. "Young children are especially vulnerable to dog bites because they may not notice subtle signs that a dog may bite," said Dr. Charles Elmaraghy, study co-author, associate professor of otolaryngology at Ohio State's College of Medicine and chief of otolaryngology at Nationwide Children's Hospital. "We see everything from simple lacerations to injuries in which there's significant tissue loss that needs grafting or other reconstructive surgery."

The circumstances that cause a dog to bite vary and may be influenced by breed behavior tendencies and the behavior of the victim, parents and dog owner. "Children imitate their parents," said Meghan Herron, associate professor of veterinary clinical services at Ohio State's College of Veterinary Medicine. "Be a model for your child and avoid any confrontational or risky interactions that might trigger a fear or fear aggression response if the child were to mimic it. This includes harsh reprimands, smacking, pushing off of furniture and forcibly taking away an item." Other researchers involved in this study were Dr. Cameron Sheehan, Dr. Shefali Rikhi and Dr. J. Jared Christophel.

Herron offers the following tips for dog owners:

  1. Most bites to children occur from a family dog when the dog is resting and the child approaches. Try to provide and encourage resting places away from where children run and play.
  2. Many bites to children occur even when an adult is in the room. If you can't devote your attention to the interactions between the dog and child, it may be best to have a physical barrier between them, such as a baby gate or crate for the dog. This is especially important for toddlers whose behaviors may be more erratic, unpredictable or frightening to a dog.
  3. Teach children to let resting dogs lie and to stay out of dog crates, beds and other resting places that are designated for the dog. If the dog's favorite spot is on the couch, put a towel or blanket down to clearly delineate the dog space versus child space.
  4. Children should not approach, touch or otherwise interact with dogs while they are eating. Provide quiet areas for dogs to eat away from areas where children run and play. Rawhides and other flavored chews should only be given when dogs are separated from child play areas.
  5. Teach children to find an adult if a dog takes one of their toys or snacks. Children should never attempt to retrieve these items themselves.___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Cat-lovers planning a move may want to consider a recent report from Trupanion and real estate brokerage Redfin.

The companies have published a list of the 25 best cities for cats in the U.S. to access to feline-specific services (i.e. clinics, shelters, and hospitals), as well as potential environmental hazards. The rankings, which looked at 250 municipalities nationwide, also considered the percentage of homes for sale with cat-friendly features, such as high ceilings for room to climb, an extra bathroom for storing litter boxes, and outdoor patios.

Corvallis, Ore., topped the list, demonstrating great access to veterinary care, favorable housing features, and a low risk of outdoor environmental dangers. Other top cities include Spokane, Wash., Orlando, Fla., Bellingham, Wash., and Tulsa, Okla.

For this study, research looked at pet owners’ access to cat-only veterinary practices, and the presence of cat rescues and shelters in a region, which added positively to a city’s ranking, while a high prevalence of locally growing environmental dangers like sago palm detracted from the city’s ranking.”

“When choosing a home and neighborhood, homebuyers tend to consider the needs and wants of everyone who will be living in the home, and of course that includes pets,” says Daryl Fairweather, Redfin chief economist. “Certain homes are better suited to cats, with spaces for the furry family member to lounge and play, and nearby facilities to maintain your cat’s health.”

According to the report, the most cat-friendly cities in the U.S. are:Food & Nutrition

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1) Corvallis, Ore.

2) Spokane, Wash.

3) Orlando, Fla.

4) Bellingham, Wash.

5) Tulsa, Okla.

6) Raleigh, N.C.

7) New York, N.Y.

8) Dayton, Ohio

9) Clarksville, Tenn.

10) San Antonio, Tex.

11) Albuquerque, N. Mex.

12) Eugene, Ore.

13) Boston, Mass.

14) Allentown, Penn.

15) Dover, Del.

16) Columbus, Ohio

17) Boise, Idaho

18) Louisville, Ky.

19) Tacoma, Wash.

20) Lincoln, Neb.

21) Portland, Ore.

22) Minneapolis, Minn.

23) Knoxville, Tenn.

24) Santa Rosa, Calif.

25) Oakland, Calif.


When it comes to an animal’s nutrition, veterinary professionals and pet owners remain divided on several dietary trends.

An annual survey from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) found disagreement between these two groups on a range of popular feeding trends, including grain-free/low-glycemic, alternative protein sources (i.e. vegan/vegetarian), canned food, and raw diets.

“Pet owners are inundated by confusing and conflicting nutritional information from a wide variety of sources.” says Ernie Ward, DVM, APOP founder. “This means veterinary professionals often must dispel pet nutrition myths and decipher advertising to help pet owners choose the best diet.”

The survey found 40 percent of dog owners and 45 percent of cat owners believe grain-free diets are healthy, compared to 13 percent of veterinary professionals who are dog owners and 15 percent who own cats.

Likewise, when asked if raw meat diets were healthier than commercial pet foods, 29.4 percent of dog owners and 22 percent of cat owners said “yes,” compared to less than five percent of veterinary professionals.


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“In a time of numerous pet food recalls and FDA investigations, it’s more confusing than ever for pet owners looking for answers,” says Julie Churchill, DVM, PhD, DACVN. “It’s important to seek the advice of veterinary health-care providers when choosing the best food for their pet.”

Painful deterioration of joint cartilage, called osteoarthritis (OA), plagues the joints located in the lower limbs of athletic horses. No cure for OA has been uncovered, despite its prevalence among horses. Further, diagnosing OA early in the course of disease remains challenging.

“Ruling out other causes of lameness and obtaining a diagnosis of OA early in the disease process would allow veterinarians to select the best treatment plan to maximize joint health,” said Catherine Whitehouse, a Kentucky Equine Research nutrition advisor.

“Most currently available diagnostic imaging techniques do not allow veterinarians to see cartilage, though. Exceptions include arthroscopy and magnetic resonance imaging, but these have several downsides, such as needing to place the horse under general anesthesia,” she added.

In a recent study*, veterinary researchers from Finland explored a novel method of imaging cartilage using acoustic emissions.

“Acoustic emissions are a type of energy wave generated from a redistribution of stress in a material. Changes in pressure, load, or temperature, for example, induce the release of these emissions in the form of stress waves. Those waves rise to the surface of the material in question where they are recorded by sensors,” Whitehouse explained.

This technology is being used in human medicine to assess ligament damage, bone fractures, and integrity of hip implants, to name only a few applications.

In the inaugural study of acoustic emissions in horses, the researchers obtained 16 limbs (from horses euthanized for reasons not related to this study) and artificially created OA in eight joints by rubbing cartilage with sandpaper to mimic the progressive damage to joints in naturally occurring OA. Eight limbs were left intact. Acoustic emission signals were subsequently obtained from each group of limbs and compared.

Acoustic emissions signals were increased in joints with artificial OA. Further, the more advanced the OA (i.e., increased application of sandpaper to cartilage), the greater increase in signals.

“The consistent results for such simulated condition suggests there is potential for this method in the diagnosis of OA,” concluded the authors.

Well-formulated supplements, such as Synovate HA, KER-Flex, and EO-3 support joint health. Many horsemen use these products prophylactically, or before any sign of joint damage appears, in an attempt to protect cartilage and to stave off OA and other problems.

The public debate about the life and well-being of Happy, a 48-year-old elephant held alone in captivity at the Bronx Zoo is being evaluated. This debate, which has been underway for some time and recently reignited with the litigation and grassroots advocacy campaigns launched by the Nonhuman Rights Project, centers on whether she should be released to a sanctuary. Three affidavits in the NhRP’s elephant rights case on behalf of Happy, unequivocally supporting her release to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee or the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) sanctuary in California.

Simply put, the Bronx Zoo’s exhibit is too small to meet the needs of Happy or any elephant. Happy deserves to live the rest of her life at one of these two sanctuaries, where the utmost care will be given to her individual needs and she’ll have the space and conditions needed to heal and to form psychologically necessary bonds with other elephants. Elephants are highly social, intelligent animals, suited to the company of other elephants. Housed in small enclosures, elephants in captivity often don’t get along with the elephants their captors select to put them with. At the Bronx Zoo, Happy is fenced into areas too small to allow her to select between different companions and to choose when to be with them. In short, she has no autonomy.

The historical evidence, including Happy’s captivity at the Bronx Zoo, shows she has gotten along with other elephants. What she needs is a choice of social partners and the space to allow her to be with who she wants, when she wants, and to avoid particular individuals, when she wants. There have been extremely positive transformations that have taken place when other captive elephants have been given the freedom that larger space in sanctuaries offer. For example, Sissy was captured from Thailand as a calf, just as Happy was; transferred four times, she lived alone for a decade and a half before being sent to the Houston Zoo, where she was labeled autistic and antisocial. She was then returned to her solitary confinement at her previous zoo, where she killed a person.

In 2000, she was transferred to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee and within six months of her arrival she was calm and cooperative. She became a leader, putting all elephants at ease. In 2000 the USDA had given Sissy only a year to live. Eighteen years later she is still going strong.

Maggie, now at PAWS, was considered to be an anti-social and aggressive elephant at the Alaska Zoo. By the time she arrived at the sanctuary, she was in such poor condition she could barely stand. She is now a thriving, socially active elephant. Indeed she is considered to be PAWS' most social elephant.

There are many such stories of elephants who have been released to sanctuaries and thrived. It serves only the Bronx Zoo’s interests, not Happy’s who came to the zoo in 1977, to ignore them. For Happy it was the beginning of years of imprisonment in an environment that has caused her severe psychological and physical stress.


The Tennessee Aquarium's ongoing effort to safeguard two turtle species against the possibility of extinction has produced four adorable signs of continued success. During back-to-back incubator inspections on May 18 and 19, Aquarium herpetologists discovered a pair of recently hatched Four-eyed Turtles. Less than two weeks later, another hatchling emerged from the nest of a critically endangered — and closely related — species, the Beale's Four-eyed Turtle. A second Beal's hatchling appeared two weeks after, the offspring of a pair of adults that have been at the Aquarium since 1996.

In June 2007, the Aquarium made national headlines for hatching a Beale's Four-eyed Turtle, one of only 18 individuals of this Southeast Asian species known to be cared for at a facility accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums at the time. During the same period, the Aquarium hatched 40 Four-eyed Turtles, a species which has been listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature since 2000. Even after so many years of success, it's still exciting to see the arrival of these tiny turtles, which usually hatch between late May and early June, says Senior Herpetologist Bill Hughes.

As the manager of Species Survival Plans for both turtle species, Hughes helps to strengthen the health of the population housed in animal care institutions by pairing individuals together to produce genetically robust offspring.  Four-eyed Turtles and Beale's Four-eyed Turtles are so named for the false eye spots on top of their heads. Both species belong to the genus Sacalia and are native to Southeast Asia, where their numbers have been declining due to habitat loss and over-collection from the wild.

Despite having produced dozens of hatchlings, successfully breeding these endangered turtle species is a significant challenge. Unlike some turtle species that can produce multiple clutches of eggs annually, Four-eyed and Beale's Four-eyed Turtles lay only a single clutch of two to three eggs each year. Once the eggs arrive, hatchlings aren't guaranteed. Changes to ambient temperature and humidity or any number of other carefully controlled environmental factors could negatively impact their viability. That inherent difficulty makes each healthy hatchling feel like a victory, Hughes says.  "If I have a bad year, in terms of breeding, I have to wait a year to try again. This is playing the long game," he says. "When one hatches, you feel like you've conquered a challenge; you've won."

Over the years, the Aquarium has sent its Beale's Four-eyed Turtle and Four-eyed Turtle hatchlings to institutions throughout the U.S, including the Knoxville Zoo (Knoxville, Tennessee), the Bronx Zoo (New York City) and Cameron Park Zoo (Waco, Texas). By spreading the population between many different institutions, the species, as a whole, is even better secured against the possibility of extinction, Hughes says. "We're not keeping all of our eggs in one basket, so to speak.

"And despite the fact that they don't get big, these turtles do take up some room, so you can't keep them all. You have to share the love."

The $27 billion U.S. retail sales of dog and cat food market continues to grow, but it’s facing “enormous headwinds,” according to market research firm Packaged Facts.

“For pet food, retail, marketing, and new product initiatives are hopping,” says David Sprinkle, research director for Packaged Facts. “And from a merger and acquisition perspective, the past couple of years have been nothing short of dynamic.”

But as in almost every consumer product category, e-commerce continues to upend traditional retail as more pet owners opt to buy their pet food online instead of, or in addition to, from brick-and-mortar sellers. That’s one finding from the new Packaged Facts report Pet Food in the U.S., 14th Edition.

For pet food, a side effect has been to speed up the dissolution of the pet specialty/mass channel divide that has long helped to justify the “superpremium” prices of brands sold only by pet specialty retailers, according to Packaged Facts.

Specialty retailers have for years bolstered dollar sales absent volume growth by converting pet owners to higher-priced fare. At the core of the premiumization trend have been natural products, including grain-free formulas, which have driven pet food sales growth for over a decade.

Now, however, virtually all pet food brands are available online, accelerating the “mass premiumization” trend whereby pet-specialty-type products are now widely available in the grocery and mass channels, Packaged Facts notes.

As online sellers including Amazon, Chewy, and Walmart battle it out, including via private labels, the upshot is downward pricing pressure market-wide even as the costs of producing pet food continue to rise.

Since the dog and cat population is not growing enough to provide much of a volume lift, pet food marketers and retailers will have to come up with new and compelling premiumization drivers in order to maintain dollar sales gains, according to the report.


Reese Witherspoon‘s family just got a little bigger — and cuter.

On Tuesday, the 43-year-old actress shared an adorable snap of her new bulldog Lou to Instagram, captioning the photo, “Welcome to the family, Lou!” Witherspoon also added the hashtag “#lovemybulldog.”

The Legally Blonde actress shared more clips of Lou to her Instagram Story on Tuesday, showing him sitting in his bed and stretching his legs in the backyard.

As Lou attempted to run around the yard, often falling down over his little legs, Witherspoon played the tune “I Get Around” by The Beach Boys in the background. “Oh boy!” she captioned the footage.

Witherspoon’s famous friends were quick to gush over her new pup in the comments section of her post.

“Get out of town!” Jennifer Garner wrote, alongside three heart-eyed emojis.

“Omg no way! He’s beautiful!!!” Eva Longoria added, while Witherspoon’s Big Little Lies costar Shailene Woodley chimed in, “stop!!!!!!!”

The addition of Lou comes almost two months after the death of Witherspoon’s dog Nash in April.

“Rest In Peace, our Sweet dog, Nash,” she captioned a stunning Instagram shot of Nash standing in a garden at the time. “Hope you are running through gorgeous fields of grass and eating all the treats you want in Dog Heaven.”

Witherspoon is also mom to a French bulldog named Pepper and a brown Labrador named Hank.

A puppy’s loyalty to his owner nearly cost him his life after he was heartlessly abandoned on the side of a remote Mississippi road with only a recliner chair and television. Since he was rescued earlier this week, the 4-month-old puppy, who was affectionately named La-Z-Boy Gatson (after the recliner and street he was found on), has been receiving proper care and love at a local veterinary clinic. He is expected to be placed for adoption soon by the Brookhaven Animal Rescue League.

On Monday, Sharon Norris, an animal control officer with the Brookhaven Police Department, said she received a message informing her that a puppy was sitting on the side of the road by himself in a recliner, according to her post on Facebook.

After pulling up to the scene, Norris noticed the pup sitting alone in a giant brown recliner — his ribs clearly noticeable through his brown fur. Next to him, a discarded television laid face-down in the grass, while some kibble was scattered on the chair.

Norris said the puppy, whom she believed was a hound/Doberman pinscher mix, was likely too afraid to leave the chair and disobey his owner, so instead, he patiently waited while starving in the process. “He was just too scared because it was a strange area,” she told Today. “It’s a deserted road. On both sides, it was nothing but woods.”

“That poor baby; he’d been a good four or five days without food,” she added to the outlet. “I mean, he was skinny… I felt sick to my stomach.” Though the terrified puppy initially refused to leave the recliner, Norris said she was able to hand-feed him food, which caused him to slowly let down his guard.

The officer, who also previously worked as a veterinary technician, was then able to pick up the pup and carry him to her truck. She also helped bathe him and get him medical attention, before affectionately naming him La-Z-Boy Gatson, Today reports. Throughout that process, Norris said she could notice how La-Z-Boy Gatson’s demeanor quickly started to change. “He was so happy because he knew he was going to get food now,” she recalled to Today. “He was rescued and safe.”

Following his rescue on Monday, La-Z-Boy Gatson was spending time at Brookhaven City Shelter as their medical team focused on aiding him back to health, according to Norris’ Facebook post. He was later transferred to Brookhaven Animal Rescue League but has not yet been placed for adoption. In already two days, however, several families have expressed interest in bringing La-Z-Boy Gatson home to be their newest family member, according to Today.

In the meantime, Norris is hoping that someone will recognize the recliner and report the person who heartlessly abandoned La-Z-Boy Gatson to city officials. Though she acknowledged to Today that the person would likely only receive a small fine for illegal dumping, as dogs are considered property in Mississippi, she said she was confident that fate would work in La-Z-Boy Gatson’s favor. “To the person that dumped this chair, your puppy was waiting for you to come back, slowly starving to death because it was afraid to leave the chair to find food,” she wrote on Facebook. “shame on you for doing this to this puppy.. but one day Karma will meet up with you.”

Read 1141 times Last modified on Saturday, 06 July 2019 15:34
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