Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Greetings from Finland

I received these photos from a breeder friend in Finland. The photo with the tennis balls is of her Mellows Ruby Tuesday. She notes that record for her is 5 balls at the same time in her mouth! So what will we learn from this photo? besides a BIG heart the Labrador has also got quite a BIG mouth......
She also attached a photo of her import Marshy Hope's American Dream who is a son of Ch. Surry's Brick in the Wall.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Behavior at dog park

I took a couple of dogs to the dog park today. It is always an interesting experience. Sometimes I wonder whether it is more interesting to watch the dog or human behavior.

My dogs seem to take things in stride. They are friendly and enjoy watching as "newcomers" come through the gates of the park. I've observed all kinds of canine behavior at the park. There is the rough and tumble style with lots of growling, grabbing, wrestling and tackling. Some dogs are daintier with bowing and chasing but not much physical contact. A few dogs are ball obsessive and only want to fetch or play frisbee. Some dogs like to herd other dogs, and may bark and nip at them. I've seen a few skirmishes but no outright dog fights. In fact, everyone seems to get along fairly well.

One of the things that I watch is how my dogs are interacting and how the other dog is responding. Mine are friendly but often prefer to hang around me. Hoffa, the greyhound, likes to be the greeter and loves to run beside others when a ball is thrown. She doesn't try to take the ball so she isn't perceived as a threat.

The Labradors enjoy retrieving but when they get hot, they would rather go lie in the cool sand near the water fountain. If I go to the dog park with the lake, then they like to wade through the water or lie down in it.

The people at the park generally share information about their dog. Most seem totally devoted to their dog and enjoy watching the antics of everyone. I've never seen anyone be abusive which is a good thing! Today, I overheard a few people talking to a fellow about whether he was going to breed his young male boxer. I generally have to bite my tongue when these conversations come up, especially when an owner says that a dog has a genetic problem but is too "pretty" not to breed.

Here is an especially good article about dog park etiquette. The point of not bringing small children to the park is a good one. I've seen little puppies and little people get bowled over. I don't think it's a good idea to bring either to the park. I would worry about puppies being around large dogs that might step on them and perhaps picking up an illness from another dog. And it's obvious why small children and infants are better off not going to a dog park.

Hopefully, your experience at the dog park will be as much fun as mine has been.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I was walking a friend's dog the other day. He did his usual sniffing about and then defecated. Being a dog person, I took a look to see if the stool looked "healthy". It looked normal, except for a small white writhing ribbon like object that I recognized as a tapeworm proglottid.

Tapeworms are common this time of year in dogs. The worm is segmented and the segments, called proglottids, are what show up in dog feces. Proglottids are the reproductive segments and are what is commonly seen moving in feces. Each proglottid is actually a reproducing unit and are mobile which is why they often irritate the anal area causing a dog to scoot along the floor. The proglottids contain eggs that are eaten by fleas. Fleas get on the dog and the dog chews or licks its skin as a flea bites; the flea is then swallowed. As the flea is digested, the tapeworm hatches and anchors itself to the intestinal lining. So you can see it's fairly easy for dogs to be infected with tapeworms.

The tapeworm will attach to the wall of the small intestine and begin growing more proglottids. The lifecycle will repeat as the proglottids break free and are passed with the feces. I've included a photo that shows the life cycle.

The tapeworm doesn't have disastrous consequences for your dog. However, most people don't like the idea of having worms in their pets. So it's important to check your dog for fleas and take a look at fresh fecal matter to see if there are any proglottids in it.

Treatment is simple and effective. We use Droncit which is in tablet form. These tablets are reasonable in price and can be gotten from your vet. The drug kills tapeworms causing them to dissolve within the intestines. Since the worm is usually digested before it passes, it is not visible in your dog's stool.

The real issue here is fleas and getting them under control. Flea control involves treatment of your dog, the indoor environment and the outdoor environment if your dog is in a kennel. We use Frontline as a topical treatment. We have also used Interceptor as larval preventor. Frequent vacuuming is necessary for rugs. And aerosol "bomb" insecticides are useful indoors. I don't bathe the Labradors much but when I do, I use a pyrethrin-based flea shampoo. All of these in combination will help keep fleas off your dog and will prevent infestation with tapeworms.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Dog Legislation SC

I'm not sure whether this bill has passed or not but thought that I'd show it here. It is for the purpose of prohibiting long term tethering or chaining of dogs. It does not mention crates specifically as a previous version did.



Amend Title To Conform

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION 1. Chapter 1, Title 47 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

“Section 47‑1‑45. (A) It is unlawful to knowingly or intentionally confine or restrain an animal in a cruel manner or knowingly or intentionally cause such cruel confinement or restraining of an animal.

(B) For purposes of this section:

(1) ‘Confine an animal in a cruel manner’ or ‘cruel confinement of an animal’ means confining an animal by means of a pen or similar confinement under circumstances in which the person intends to endanger the animal’s health or safety, or the person reasonably should have known would endanger the animal’s health or safety. ‘Confine an animal in a cruel manner’ or ‘cruel confinement of an animal’ includes, but is not limited to, a confinement that:

(a) confines an animal for such an unreasonable period of time that the animal’s health or safety is endangered;

(b) does not permit an animal to stand, turn around, sit, and lie down in a normal position;

(c) causes bodily injury to an animal;

(d) does not permit an animal access to sustenance;

(e) does not permit proper ventilation for an animal; or

(f) is not kept in a sanitary condition.

(2) ‘Restrain an animal in a cruel manner’ or ‘cruel restraining of an animal’ means tethering, fastening, chaining, tying, attaching, or otherwise restraining an animal to a tree, fence, post, or other stationary object or a running line, pulley, cable trolley system, or similar system by means of a chain, rope, tether, leash, cable, or similar restraint under circumstances in which the person intends to endanger the animal’s health or safety, or the person reasonably should have known would endanger the animal’s health or safety. ‘Restrain an animal in a cruel manner’ or ‘cruel restraining of an animal’ includes, but is not limited to, a restraint that:

(a) restricts an animal’s movement for such an unreasonable period of time that the animal’s health or safety is endangered;

(b) is of a weight that excessively burdens an animal;

(c) causes an animal to choke or causes bodily injury to an animal;

(d) is too short for an animal to move around or for an animal to urinate or defecate in a separate area from the area where the animal must eat, drink, or lie down;

(e) is situated such that an animal will likely become entangled;

(f) does not permit an animal access to sustenance and shelter;

(g) does not permit an animal to escape reasonably foreseeable harm;

(h) is attached to an animal by means of a collar, harness, or similar device that is not properly fitted for the age and size of the animal such that the collar, harness, or similar device causes trauma or injury to the animal; or

(i) is attached to an unsupervised animal by means of a choke‑type or pronged collar.

(C) A person who knowingly or intentionally violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be punished by imprisonment not exceeding sixty days or by a fine not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, or both, for a first offense; by imprisonment not exceeding ninety days or by a fine not exceeding eight hundred dollars, or both, for a second offense; or by imprisonment not exceeding two years or by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars, or both, for a third or subsequent offense. A person may be issued a correction warning in lieu of an infraction requiring the person to correct the cruel confinement or restraining of an animal within seventy‑two hours unless the violation endangers the health or safety of the animal, the animal has been wounded as a result of the violation, or a correction warning has previously been issued to the person.

(D) This section does not apply to fowl, accepted animal husbandry practices of farm operations and the training of animals, animal exhibitions or shows, pet shops, the practice of veterinary medicine, agricultural practices, forestry and silvacultural practices, wildlife management practices, and to activities, exhibitions, transportation, and other events related to activities authorized by Title 50.

(E) Nothing in this section prohibits local governments from adopting more stringent local ordinances governing the confinement or restraining of an animal; however, a local government may assess only civil penalties for such ordinances.”

SECTION 2. This act becomes effective July 1, 2008.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Those silly Labradors

I received this from Justin Holofchak who owns Bess. Bess evidently thinks that she is a large bird. Justin wrote that Bess usually puts her paws up to play in the bird bath but this time she decided to take a leap of faith. She stayed in the bird bath for about 2 or 3 minutes. It must be one of the funniest Labrador photos of all time. What won't they do?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Neilley's travel home

I heard from Ann and Paul Key that they have a new travel home. Neilley, aka The Pinkster, seems right at home in the photo above. They recently went on a trip with their new vehicle to Huntington Beach State Park. Neilley, of course, had a great time.

Neilley also found that the bed in the motor home was just as nice as the one at home!

I must be in the minority because I've never had dogs in bed--it's enough to have two cats jumping up and down on my back at night. Having a panting Labrador that snores and sheds is just too much for me. I'll provide the best doggy beds anywhere but the human bed remains to be used for humans.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Fleas are about

It's flea time again. I haven't seen any scratching here but have heard from an owner that his bitch has been scratching some. He takes her for long walks through trails and to the various dog parks. Either place could provide a haven for fleas.

The important thing about flea control is that there has to be premise control in addition to getting fleas off the dog. For Labradors, frequent bathing isn't good. But a flea dip might help. Also applying topical monthly treatments such as Frontline are advised.

But the real thing here is to control fleas in your house or yard. Using boric acid crystals on carpet is one treatment. But it is probably necessary to also use insecticide "bombs" that will treat an area of your house. These should be released when no one is home. And the house must remain shut up for several hours. Frequent vacuuming is also necessary in flea control.

So it's that time of year. And it's a good time to incorporate flea eradication into your spring cleaning routine.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Pouncing cats and pacing hounds

Esther, the Siamese kitten, has become the adolescent terror. She will sleep until about 4 AM and then will decide that it's time for play. She will pounce on my back, lick my face and then bite my nose.

Often Rachael and Esther will get into a tussling contest in which lots of "fake" biting, growls, and chases occur. This gets Hoffa, the greyhound, excited and a bit intimidated. Hoffa doesn't have a strong prey drive. She would rather look at squirrels than chase them. And she would rather that the cats not pounce on her or swat at her tail.

So even though the alarm is set for 5:15 AM, the day has been starting much earlier for me. After several minutes of Esther's pouncing and licking, I generally decide to take her upstairs for her kitty kibble and shut her in the upstairs bedroom. Then I try to get back to sleep.

It's been a while since I've had a Siamese kitten. Now I know why. She's adorable and very playful. I'm longing for the mature laid-back stage to start!