{Guest Article} The Reclaimed Heart by Denise Hildreth Jones

We were lost. Hopelessly lost. It wasn’t until we found ourselves right smack dab in a parade in Helen, Georgia that we figured out we had just traveled way out of our way and we weren’t even close to where we were supposed to be. I also realized on this trip that I am not…



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Sunflower Faith

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Part 2: Head Lice to Dead Lice (English)

Part 2: A preview of the award-winning video, “Head Lice to Dead Lice.” This hilarious video, straight from the Lice Ladies at HeadLicetoDeadLice.com, is inf…
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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Liver Disease in Dogs

There are some man-made chemicals that are toxic and can cause liver disease in dogs as well as humans. The list of these chemicals includes phosphorus, selenium, carbon tetrachloride, insecticides, and toxic amounts of arsenic, lead and iron.

Most people are not aware that liver disease in dogs can also be caused by some over-the-counter medicines and also prescription medications. Antibiotics, antifungals, anticonvulsants, corticosteroids, dewormers and diuretics can all cause adverse reactions in a dog and possibly lead to liver disease if an excessive dosage is given or there is prolonged use of the medication.

Another cause of liver disease in dogs can be traced to a dog consuming certain plants and herbs. These include some mushrooms, blue-green algae, and the mold aflatoxin that grows on corn. If aflatoxin accidentally manages to enter the dog food manufacturing process it can contaminate any canned or dry dog food it comes into contact with and can result in severe liver damage. The damage comes from gallstones, tumors, and liver flukes that form and block the dog’s bile ducts.

To determine the best method of treating liver disease, a veterinarian will first order blood tests followed by ultrasound or CT scans. The scans can reveal damage to the liver but the only conclusive test is a biopsy of the dog’s liver. Whether or not a dog will recover from liver disease is dependent on how long the dog has been sick, the full extent of the liver damage, and whether surgery is necessary or if the disease can be controlled with medications. Surgical procedures are usually recommended to correct bile duct obstructions and some primary tumors of the liver.

Liver disease in dogs is a very serious condition and after treatment by a vet you will need to control and prevent any further complications such as bleeding. Your dog may also require a special diet low in protein to complete its recovery.

Liver disease in dogs is something that must be treated as quickly as possible to protect your pet and give it the ability to live a long and disease-free life.

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May 22, Choose the Best Dog Food | How to rules by Best Dog Food Guide

You can choose the best dog food, here’s how to. Make sure your furry friend is living happier, healthier and longer by choosing the right kind of dog food for him or her.
Dog Food Blog | Best Dog Food Guide

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Mighty Mite

Check out these Mite images:

Mighty Mite
Mite

Image by Kelly Colgan Azar
Downy Woodpecker

www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Downy_Woodpecker/id

This Downy frequently interrupted his search for breakfast to stab at mites in his feathers.
"Most bird mite species can complete development in five to twelve days with optimal temperatures and host presence. This short life cycle makes it is possible for mite populations to attain tens of thousands of mites in bird nests during the rearing of young birds." (http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/bird-mites)

Member of the Flickr Bird Brigade
Activists for birds and wildlife

Cassava green spider mite
Mite

Image by IITA Image Library
Predatory mites feeding on the eggs of cassava green spider mite on the under surface of cassava leaf.

Burying Beetle Mites
Mite

Image by ap.
A burying beetle with mites. I found out the mites help the beetle by eating fly eggs off the dead rodents the burying beetle uses as it’s putrid nursery. Sept 2006.

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3 Easy Ways to Ruin Your Dog’s Summer

It’s summer, hooray! Now that everyone is out with their dog enjoying the sunshine, it’s time to revisit some of those top causes of mid-summer angst. Go forth, have fun, and if you want to have a stress free season, avoid my Top 3 Ways to Ruin Your Dog’s Summer.

1. Forget to bring enough water

I’m working on a pithy catchphrase about the dangers of summer heat. (I think I have it.) We all know that leaving the dog in the car is a Very Bad Thing, but there’s many more subtle things we do that can also lead to an ER visit:

  • We don’t provide proper shade
  • We exercise our out of shape pups in the middle of the day
  • We leave for a trip without enough water. Such a big one and often overlooked.

Dogs, especially overweight, brachycephalic, or dark coated dogs, overheat awfully rapidly. We have a whole sweaty body over which water can evaporate and carry away heat; dogs have only their tongues. Keeping your dog hydrated plays a big part in preventing heat exhaustion; in addition, you can dump it on your dog to give their body heat something to dissipate into. Water is everyone’s friend; don’t skimp on it.

One of about a billion ways to provide your dog with H20.

One of about a billion ways to provide your dog with H20.

Here goes: Heat stroke ain’t no joke. BOOM

2. Use a retractable lead

Once upon a time, a sweet elderly couple was walking their Pomeranian on a retractable lead when a large dog in a passing pickup jumped out and attacked the Pom, yanking the handle out of the elderly lady’s hand with the force of a pulley. Neither dog was controllable in this situation. The pickup truck driver jumped out to grab his dog, but he forgot to put on the emergency brake and the truck rolled down the hill and smashed into a bus. The Pomeranian died. The elderly man was so distraught at this horrible scene that he fell down on the ground and had a heart attack. He lived to tell the tale to me several months later. Yes, this happened to a client of mine.

Those long skinny strings provide no sense of control, just a false sense of security. They are thin enough to provide a real entanglement risk: people have lost fingers, dogs get tangled in each other, around objects, or loose and injured. No matter how many times you say “Oh, my dog is 100% perfect and never out of control” the bottom line is, there are external factors very much out of your control.

Oh, and this quote from Donna C. on Facebook: “I worked the Emergency Room while training to be an EMT. The number one cause of amputated fingers was from extendible leashes.” Yikes.

All those leashes are good for is hamstringing your enemies and, in a pinch, use as a garrote. Not that I’ve, uh, tried.

hitman-blood-money

lead ow

 

3. Let their vaccines expire

We all know that the immune system is not binary; your dog is not 100% protected against rabies 2 years and 364 days post vaccine and 100% susceptible to infection when the clock strikes 12. However, the bureaucracy is binary. You are legal one day and illegal the next, and that is that.

From a medical perspective, your dog is very likely protected for some time after their vaccinations officially expire. However, if you have an emergency or a sudden invitation to Lake Como (it could happen!) and need to leave right away , most boarding facilities won’t let your dog in without current vaccines. Not only that, most of them want a 48 hour period after vaccination before they’ll let you board. The rules may be arbitrary, but they’re seldom negotiable.

Let’s take it one step further, another example from real life: your lovely sweet dog who has never had an issue is attacked by another dog while out on a summer hike. While trying to separate them, the other dog’s owner gets bitten; because it’s not clear who bit the guy, both dogs are ordered to produce proof of vaccination. Your dog is several months overdue, and in the eye of the law is unvaccinated. Commence nightmare.

If you’re going the titer route, same rules apply. Get your ducks in order before the official expiry date and document, document, document.

All right, you crazy kids. Go out there and have fun! And bring your water!

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

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Barfy Scorpion Launches TV Network

True American Dog

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Jesus Teaches about the Widow’s Mites

A poor widow contributes her all into the temple treasury. Jesus teaches that her contribution is greater than that of the rich who gave of their abundance. …
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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Dr Greg’s 11 Practical Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats

It’s unnerving enough…just finding out that your dog or cat is swollen somewhere that it shouldn’t be, shaking and scratching at its painful ears, sneezing blood, holding up a sore leg, yelping in pain when you pick it up or move its head, acting listless, puking, scratching itchy skin until it’s raw, straining, suffering from runny diarrhea with spots of blood in it…and, well, bleeding from anywhere. The only thing worse is when you realize it is after clinic hours and you may have to seek emergency care. You may think it’s time to panic. Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. 

  I’ve got some advice and rules of thumb that may help you to help your dog or cat…until you can get in to see your regular vet.

First, let me stress that if your pet seems to be very sick, in pain, or bleeding profusely there is no decision to make. Call and seek help immediately. If it’s after hours, however, prepare yourself for a much more expensive veterinary visit. Emergency clinics are staffed nights, holidays and weekends with veterinarians that specialize in trauma and critical care, along with a full staff of technicians and veterinary assistants, all of whom provide treatment and monitoring all night or weekend long. That’s good news when your sick or injured pet needs immediate help!

The bad news is, it will cost you anywhere from a minimum of $ 200 to several $ 1000—even if what you thought was a serious problem….isn’t. If the symptoms are not obviously life threatening, here are two options you may consider:

1.If you are unsure of the severity of the condition, you may get an exam at the emergency clinic and delay expensive treatment until your vet opens the next day (when the same treatment may be less costly),   

2. If you are reasonably sure that the condition is mild, not too uncomfortable for your pet, and treatment could wait a few hours or even a day, you could administer some home first aid. This guide—while not a diagnostic tool—lists some safe medications you can administer for temporary relief. 

WARNING: While some over-the-counter medication can provide your pet with temporary relief, you need to be very careful NOT to give your dog or cat Tylenol (acetaminophen is the generic form) or ibuprofen. And while dogs can have aspirin (see dosage recommendations in 5, below) do NOT give aspirin to your cat. Pain relievers for cats are best purchased from your vet.

Here’s the link!

Dr Greg’s 11 Practical Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats

Dr. Greg’s Dog Dish Diet

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Dogs Help Seniors Stay Fit

Dogs are a favorite pet for senior citizens and there is plenty of research showing that dogs help seniors stay fit by urging them to exercise. The way the dog does this is by insisting that it be walked every day or be joined in a game of catch the ball or frisbee. Dogs also encourage seniors to participate in other activities with them.

Walking is by far the favorite way for seniors to exercise with their dog. According to a poll by AARP, sixty one percent of people aged 65 or older who own a dog, exercise by walking their dog. What may surprise a few people is another statistic from the same poll: fifty four percent of people between the ages of 50 and 64 who have a dog also exercise by walking with their pet.

Of this same group of 50-64 year olds, forty two percent also play catch or toss a Frisbee with their dog as a fitness routine, while twenty six percent of the seniors aged 65 or older who own a dog, exercise with their dog in the same way. Other favorite ways of exercising that both age groups regularly do is jogging and wrestling. Yes, wrestling with their dog. Respondents said that they love to wrestle at home with their dog and also when they go to a park for exercise.

The frequency that dog owners exercise with their dogs varies substantially between the age groups. Twenty two percent of people aged 50 to 64 regularly exercise with their dog, while thirty three percent of the seniors 65 and older exercise with their dogs more than once a day.

The difference between the regularity of exercising with their dog may possibly be attributed to work responsibilities or more active social lives. Of those who don’t exercise every day with their dog, about seventeen percent exercise with their best canine friend two to three times per week. As for the slackers, fifteen percent say they never exercise with their dog.

Research seems to indicate that people who exercise with their pets are more likely to stay on a regular fitness program. Walking, jogging, or playing catch with their dog provides the same exercise benefits for both the person and the dog, helping keep muscles and joints flexible and aiding in controlling weight gain for both.

Companionship is the primary reason that people aged 65 and older decided to get a pet. Companionship was also the major reason people aged 50-64 chose to adopt a pet.

Taking care of a dog is not something everyone can do or is willing to do every day of their lives. Dogs come with a lot of responsibility for the owner. A dog must be fed regularly and always have access to fresh water. Dogs need a fenced in yard to play in or they must be taken for a walk at least twice a day to take care of their biological needs.

The cost of buying pet food, regular checkups by a veterinarian, and necessary vaccinations can place a heavy burden on seniors dependent upon Social Security for their retirement income. Sixty percent of people 65 and older and thirty seven percent of those between the ages of 50 and 64, say they don’t own a pet for these very reasons.

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