National Canine Cancer Foundation to fund a new innovative Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) Research Project

June 19th, 2014

I have some new exciting news. As you all know we are always trying to find an new edge in the battle against canine cancer. And Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) is one of those cancers we would like to get a better handle on since it seems to end up being diagnosed too late to save the dog. In fact, we are so keen on finding out how to deal with HSA that we have actually initiated our own research project on HSA with G. Elizabeth Pluhar, D.V.M., Ph.D., and John Ohlfest, Ph.D. This is very exciting for the NCCF because this type of research on HSA has never been tried. Let me tell you how it all came about by first talking about a dog name Batman.

Batman was the first dog to undergo a breakthrough experimental treatment for brain cancer, led by doctors, G. Elizabeth Pluhar, D.V.M., Ph.D., and John Ohlfest, Ph.D. They developed a combination treatment plan for dogs with glioma, a very aggressive and relatively common form of brain cancer. First they removed the tumor surgically. Then, in some cases, they use local gene therapy to attract immune cells to destroy remaining tumor cells, and finally they created a personalized anti-cancer vaccine made from the dog’s own cancer cells to prevent tumor recurrence.

I personally love the thought of taking a cancer that was killing a dog and turning it into a personalized vaccine to kill the cancer!

Dr. Pluhar, a surgeon at the Veterinary Medical Center, and Dr. Ohlfest, head of the neurosurgery gene therapy program at the Masonic Cancer Center, gave Batman his initial treatment in August 2008. Batman led a normal life unaffected by his tumor until his death from cardiac failure in February 2010, there was no tumor recurrence. According to the Dean of the College, Trevor Ames, DVM, MS, “the far-reaching implications of this promising new treatment are almost difficult to fathom; not only could these treatments lead to a cure for brain and other systemic cancers in dogs, but because dogs and humans share many physiological traits, dogs could also be the missing link in the cure for brain cancer in humans.”

Then something interesting happened. Almost one year ago, Davis Hawn’s then 8-year-old yellow lab, Booster, was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in his nasal sinus. Booster was given three weeks to live. Hawn did not want to accept the death sentence and began searching the country for a cure. His search led him to doctors in Florida who removed Booster’s tumor and gave him chemo. An online search then led him to Dr. Elizabeth Pluhar from the University of Minnesota’s canine brain tumor clinical program. Davis asked her to help his dog, but Dr. Pluhar had never made a vaccine for this type of cancer before. But Davis was not going to take no for an answer so she did agree to try. She shipped the vaccine off and ten months later Booster is cancer free.

Then after Davis contacted the NCCF to tell us about how well the vaccine works, we contacted Dr. Pluhar to ask if she would be willing to try the same research that was successful with brain cancer and skin cancer, and use the same protocol to try dealing with splenic HSA. The NCCF’s thinking is that with all these other cancers, the similarities were that the cancer had to be removed and a vaccine needed to be created from the cancer cells. With splenic HSA, one of the more common forms of HSA, the spleen is typically removed so we felt that Dr. Pluhar’s research could possibly work. With that in mind, we asked her if she could try and apply her protocol on splenic HSA. After doing some initial research she agreed to do the study based on reaching certain goals before going on to the next level.

First, she needs to insure that we can culture the cancer cells in the lab,

Second, she needs to insure that the tumor vaccines stimulate immune cells to attack tumor cells. If she can achieve these two steps she can go on to treat the HSA cancer. We could not be happier and are guardedly optimistic over this research project.

The cost for this project will be $55,500. I hope you are all as excited as we are about this research and will help fund the project. If you want to help with funding this new innovative NCCF’s initiated project please CLICK HERE or got to this link

Thank you

Gary D. Nice
President and Founder
National Canine Cancer Foundation

Supercharge your Dog's Health with these 10 Human Foods

October 23rd, 2014

People food bad for Pooches? No way! Contrary to what many people think when it comes to feeding your furkid there are 10 readily available, relatively cheap human foods that are especially good for their health that can be used in conjunction with any commercial or homemade food.

We’ve all seen the specially formulated pet diet ‘boosters’, supplements and vitamins, but these 10 natural foods will absolutely supercharge your dog’s diet and improve not only their skin and coat but their overall health – 100% Guaranteed! If you’re already doing it, keep up the good work! If not, try adding some of these readily available items from the Health Food Shop, Greengrocer or Supermarket to their diet on a regular basis.

1. Coconut

If you haven’t jumped on the Coconut Oil bandwagon yet, it’s high time. Coconut contains medium-chain saturated fats which have anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce bacterial growth. You can simply add coconut oil to your dog’s food or sprinkle organic and unsweetened coconut on the food. For more info on the benefits of Coconut Oil and how much to feed your dog, check out this post. Coconut Oil can also be used topically to heal skin abrasions, dry spots and sores.

2. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a rich source of antioxidants, B vitamins, and numerous minerals (e.g. calcium, copper, iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and magnesium). They also contain loads of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an essential Omega-3 fatty acid for dogs. Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and are effective in combating chronic skin problems such as inflammation and infection. To add chia seeds to your dog’s diet, simply sprinkle the seeds on top of your dog’s food every day.

Coconut Oil, Chia Seeds and Carob

3. Carob

We know dogs shouldn’t have sugar or chocolate, but they do ruv the taste of carob because it is sweet. Carob is also nutritious – it is jam-packed with vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, E) and minerals (e.g. calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus). The vitamin E in carob supports the skin since vitamin E has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Use carob or carob chips when baking dog biscuits for your dog.

4. Sardines in Water

Sardines provide a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and support the skin and coat. Once or twice a week, add some sardines in spring water to your dog’s meals. They absolutely love the taste!

5. Manuka Honey

Raw, unfiltered honey is packed with nutrition that can benefit you and your pooch. High in antioxidants, anti-microbials and natural enzymes, medical studies have identified raw honey’s ability to help heal gut problems, manage diarrhea and soothe sore throats. Known as “The King of honey”, Manuka is celebrated for its super health benefits and has been shown in clinical trials to kill more than 250 strains of bacteria. It can also be used topically to heal wounds and burns. Please note: If your pet is diabetic, consult with a vet before feeding honey, since its high sugar content can increase insulin levels. Also avoid feeding honey to overweight pets; at 64 calories per tablespoon, it can contribute to weight gain! (We don’t recommend giving honey to very young or immune compromised pets due to botulism risks).

6. Organic Alfalfa Powder

Alfalfa contains a broad spectrum of nutrients, including protein trace minerals, dietary fiber, and vitamins A, B1, B12, C, D, E, and K. It is also very high in chlorophyll, which is to serve as an antioxidant in the bloodstream. But in addition to being highly nutritive, alfalfa can bring long term relief from arthritis to dogs and cats who receive it as a daily food supplement. Alfalfa also possesses cancer preventative qualities. It is believed that alfalfa induces complex cellular activities that serve to inactivate chemical carcinogens in the liver and small intestine before they can cause damage; thus helping to reduce the risk of cancerous growth.

Sardines in Springwater, Manuka Honey and Organic Alfalfa Powder

7. Kefir

Kefir is a creamy, dairy based food made from the milk of cows or goats and is one of the oldest forms of cultured milk. Often labeled a “Probiotic Drink”, it is similar in taste and consistency to yoghurt, but kefir provides even more health benefits to your dog (and to you). One tablespoon of kefir typically contains about 10 strains and 5 billion beneficial bacteria. Wow! Only the best of Probiotic Supplements for dogs even comes close, and it comes to you at a fraction of the price of prepared supplement.

8. Organic Kelp Powder

Kelp is a great source of minerals, such as iodine, iron, and Vitamins B1, B2, C, and E. These vitamins are important for maintaining proper health and are responsible for bone growth, heart health, and maintaining muscle strength. Kelp also acts to increase metabolism and balance blood lipid concentrations.

9. Sweet Potato

Unlike their boring white cousins, sweet potatoes contain high levels of vitamins A, C, and E and beta-carotene, as well as a host of minerals such as calcium, iron, copper and potassium. Vitamin E supports the skin, and so does vitamin C – it helps speed up healing and supports collagen production. Try making sweet potato chips for your dog – sprinkle olive oil on thinly sliced sweet potatoes and bake them in the oven until they turn crispy. Delicious and healthy for both humans and dogs.

Kefir, Organic Kelp Powder, Sweet Potato and Eggs

10. Eggs

Cheap and safe, raw OR cooked, the egg is one of the most complete and nutritious foods you can feed your Pooch. Containing Vitamin A, Riboflavin, Folate, B12, Iron, Selenium and Fatty Acids; a fresh, free range egg a few times a week is an awesome addition to your dog’s diet.

Article reposted from:

Written by: Alla Keogh

Pet owner drove hundreds of miles a week to care for her sick dog

October 22nd, 2014

An animal lover who spent more than £1,000 per month and drove hundreds of miles a week to care for her sick dog has been named Britain’s most dedicated pet owner.

Committed Christie Hanson embarked on a 150-mile round trip every week, at the same time as racking up thousands of pounds worth of vets’ bills, in order to give her German Shepherd Roxie “the best possible chance” of fighting cancer.

Prize winner Christie Hanson, left, and tragic German Shepherd Roxie, right

The 25-year-old video game designer, from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, had lived happily with her two adorable rescue dogs – Copper and Roxie – for more than six years.

However, in April, Christie began to notice something wrong with her beloved Roxie.

She described how she realized her seven-year-old pet was “a bit off” and “wasn’t behaving in her normal way”.

After rushing Roxie to her local vets, Christie was told how her dog had lymphoma.

Despite regularly visiting her local vets – where she held Roxie’s trembling paw as she endured blood tests and chemotherapy – after three months of treatment in Huddersfield, Christie was told that their treatments were not helping and Roxie would need to see a specialist in Liverpool, more than 75 miles away.

It was then that Christie took the decision to commit hours of her time, driving up and down the motorway, and a large sum of money to continue Roxie’s treatment.

On being given the offer of specialist treatment, Christie explained: “Of course I snapped it up – I said ‘Yeah, When can we go? What do we need to do?’.”

Christie Hanson with her dog Roxie

Praising the work of the Liverpool Small Animal Teaching Hospital, Christie described how she helped Roxie’s treatment by creating a special diet for her pet – filled with Omega 3, fresh meat and organic vegetables.

She said: “One thing we that found really difficult with her having chemotherapy was the next day she’d occasionally go off her food.

“This food was brilliant, it was very palatable.

“It got to the point that Roxie would wander around the house with a can of food in her mouth, to tell us she was hungry!”

The only drawback was that Christie had to make sure her other dog Copper – adopted from Marina Kennels in Huddersfield – was getting the same level of culinary service.

She added: “[Copper] was sat there, with her eyes asking – why does Roxie get it and I don’t?”

Despite a “hiccup” in August, Roxie began to improve when the Liverpool clinic suggested another treatment, with Christie describing how she “was a normal dog for a good week or two”.

However, the good news failed to last and Roxie sadly died in September as Christie made the heartbreaking decision to have her pet put down.

By that point, Christie had run up a bill of around £6,500 on her pet’s treatment.

She said: “It’s an awful decision. You know, it’s the one you have to do as an owner. Every decision I made for her was the right one.

“I’m one hundred per cent certain of it. I’ve got no regrets about doing any of it.”

Two weeks after losing her precious Roxie, Christie discovered she had been named the UK’s most dedicated pet owner.

Picked more than 540 entries, the competition – run by Frontline Spot On – handpicked the heartbreaking story Christie had submitted about Roxie during one of her lunchbreaks at work.

She said: “I just came across it on Facebook in my lunchtime and thought it looked like a good little competition to enter.

“So I thought – ‘why not?’

“I’m absolutely thrilled to have won the competition but it was a moment of sadness as well that Roxie wasn’t here to share it with me.

“To many people, pets are a huge part of the family and for us; Roxie & Copper are no different.

“Roxie was a real fighter and I’m so proud of Copper’s devotedness to her best friend, I’ve learnt to cherish every moment with my dogs and will ensure Copper is doted on.”

As a prize, Christie won a sparkling trophy, a pet-friendly holiday for her and her family and a years worth of Frontline Spot On flea and tick protection.

Story reposted from:

Written by: Aaron Brown

Getting Ticks Off of Your Dog

October 20th, 2014

If your dog spends time outside in areas where ticks like to hang out, a tick check should be part of your daily routine.

Even the best repellents may not prevent these parasites from latching onto your pooch. And since it can take 24 to 48 hours for an attached tick to transmit an infection to its host, it’s important to promptly and properly remove these parasites.

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Check, please!

First, run your fingers slowly over your dog’s entire body. If you feel a bump or swollen area, check to see if a tick has burrowed there. Don’t limit your search to your dog’s torso: check between his toes, under his armpits, the insides of his ears, and around his face and chin.

Don’t limit tick checks to your canine family members. Dogs can’t directly transmit tick-borne illnesses to people, but ticks can move from host to host. A tick may enter your home on your dog’s back and move on to another pet or human, or a tick could hitch a ride on you and then move on to one of your pets. A good tick prevention strategy includes checking all family members for these parasites, especially after outdoor activities in wooded, leafy, or grassy areas.

Is it a tick?

Ticks can be black, brown, or tan, and they have eight legs. Ticks are arachnids and related to spiders, not insects. They can also be tiny—some tick species are only as large as the head of a pin—so look carefully.

In some areas of the United States where there is no real winter, ticks are active all year, not just in the summer months. Even in areas where there has been a killing frost with the approach of winter, ticks can become active again if the weather turns warm for more than a day or two.

Safe tick removal

If you find a tick on your dog, don’t panic! Follow these quick and easy steps to safely remove the pest.

1: Get your gear

  • Pair of gloves
  • Clean pair of tweezers or a commercial tick remover
  • Antiseptic
  • Isopropyl alcohol

2: Remove the tick

Wear gloves while removing the tick to avoid contact with your skin (ticks can transmit diseases to people, too).

If you’re using tweezers:

  • Grasp the tick as close to your dog’s skin as possible, but be gentle! Try not to pinch your dog’s skin.
  • Pull outward in a straight, steady motion, making sure that you’ve removed the entire tick, since anything left behind could lead to an infection.

If you’re using a tick remover:

  • Gently press the remover against your dog’s skin near the tick.
  • Slide the notch of the remover under the tick.
  • Continue sliding the remover until the tick is caught in the small end of the notch and is pulled free. (The tick will remain in the bowl of the remover.)

3: Store the evidence

Drop the tick into a small container that contains isopropyl alcohol (the alcohol will quickly kill the tick), and mark the date on the container. If your dog begins displaying symptoms of a tick-borne illness, your veterinarian may want to identify or test the tick.

4: Praise your patient

Clean your dog’s skin with antiseptic and make sure to clean your tweezers or tick remover with isopropyl alcohol. Wash your hands, too! Then give your pup a treat for being a trooper in the fight against ticks.

Follow up

Keep an eye on the area where the tick was to see if an infection surfaces. If the skin remains irritated or infected, make an appointment with your veterinarian.

Watch your dog for symptoms of tick-borne diseases. Some symptoms include arthritis or lameness that lasts for three to four days, reluctance to move, swollen joints, fever, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, loss of appetite, and neurological problems.

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7 Top Canine Health Problems

October 19th, 2014

Canines unfortunately do not complain of their health or tell you they are in pain. The most serious health problems can be prevented by vaccinations and regular treatment, yet it would help to have a look at the 7 top canine health problems.

1) Vomiting and Diarrhea:

It could be caused by an infection known as parvovirus, or when the canine swallows inappropriate foods and objects like little toys, items of clothing, chocolate, or gum wrappers. It is the cause of concern when a dog repeatedly vomits for more than a day and it is characterized with blood in vomit or diarrhea, dark or black diarrhea, lethargy, weight loss, fever, or a change in appetite. Prevent dehydration by giving the dog plenty of fresh water to drink. As a general rule avoid feeding your dog food for 12 to 24 hours or until your vet advices you.

2) Heartworms:

It is a serious and potentially deadly disease where parasites infect the dog’s heart and arteries and show up as symptoms like coughing to lethargy, collapsing, and depression. Developed when canines are exposed to the larvae by a mosquito bite, these larvae could develop into large worms that could progress to heart failure and death. Treatment includes medications to kill the parasites and surgery in advanced cases. Heart worms can however be prevented by daily oral medications, topicals, injections, and a simple, once-a-month pill.

3) Kennel Cough:

Known to be a highly contagious form of bronchitis, it creates inflammation in the dog’s voice box and windpipe. Most commonly caused by exposure to other infected dogs, either at doggie daycare, the groomer’s, or a kennel, the treatment lies in giving the canine antibiotics as well as letting it run its course. It would help using a humidifier or taking your pet dog into a steam filled bathroom.

4) Lower urinary tract problems:

Some of the most common problems include incontinence, bacterial infections, bladder stones, and even cancer and could cause symptoms like frequent urination, producing small amounts of urine, blood in the urine, incontinence, straining or crying in pain when trying to urinate, vomiting, fever, and weight loss. Some of the treatment options include antibiotics, dietary changes, and surgery to remove bladder stones or a tumor.

5) Obesity:

Also a common health problem in canines, dogs could face risks of joint pain, diabetes, and liver disease. Consult a vet for a suitable diet and exercise plan if your dog is overweight and you cannot feel its backbone and ribs without pressing.  Increase the calorie output and decrease the calorie input by reducing snacks or treats, feed him small meals throughout the day, and make it a point to take him to the park to play and run around.

6) Broken bones or fractures:

One of the most common problem, it could show up as symptoms like limping, not moving, with its treatment lying in surgery, splint or a cast.

7) Dental disease:

Periodontal disease, an infection of the gums affects most dogs by the age of 2 and could be linked to heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and other serious dog health problems. Symptoms range from smelly breath to difficulty eating and facial swelling, with the treatment lying in removing dental plaque and teeth if necessary. This disease could be prevented by regular check-ups with a vet dentist, giving your dog rawhide chews, and regularly brushing your pet’s teeth with dog toothpaste.

Regular vet visits and preventive steps with prompt attention from a vet in case of any unusual behavior or symptom could keep your canine in good health and also lead to speedy recovery.

Article reposted from:


October 17th, 2014

1) Walking:

Walking is a great activity for any dog. Walking doesn’t stress joints, can be done in almost any weather, and lets your dog explore.

No matter how well behaved and trained you believe your dog is, keep him on a leash. The local wildlife, other dogs, people and other outside activities can be a big distraction, and you don’t want your friend to run out of sight or into a street. For off-leash fun, explore your local off-leash dog park.

2) Jogging and Running:

Slowly introduce jogging if your dog is new to the activity. Speed up the pace gradually over several weeks, and watch your dog for signs of fatigue. Keep in mind that the best canine companions for running are medium- to large dogs that are energetic and in excellent health. If you have any questions or concerns if your dog is fit enough to run, consult your veterinarian.

A couple of cautions:

  • Don’t feed your dog in the hour before or after a run; doing so can cause bloat.
  • Watch the heat! Don’t run with your dog on very hot days as it can lead to heat exhaustion or heatstroke.
  • Pavement can hurt your dog’s paw pads. Look for softer ground like grass or a park.

3) Swimming:

Swimming is a great complete workout that offers both muscle toning and aerobic benefits. It also makes a great lifelong sport because it’s easy on the joints, and a good exercise for dogs with hip dysplasia or arthritis. If mobility or stiffness is a problem for your pet, try to minimize stress on the joints by picking a swimming location that won’t require your pet to maneuver an awkward dock or a steep incline.

Some dogs, including the retrieving breeds, are natural swimmers, while others have no interest in water. If your dog refuses to consider water sports, don’t force it. If your dog is just lukewarm about swimming, don’t give up right away. Many dogs grow to enjoy it if they’re introduced to the sport gently and gradually. And it’s a great choice in the summer because your dog won’t overheat.

Keep the first session short and stay at your dog’s side, praising and encouraging forward paddling. If your dog only uses the front legs to swim, you can help by placing a hand under the lower abdomen for support. Soon your dog will get the hang of it and use his rear legs, too.

After a few minutes, show your dog where to get out of the water. With a low-pressure approach, your dog may be swimming in no time. If your dog likes to fetch, toss a buoyant toy into the water.

Watch your dog during any swimming session. If his swimming motion slows down, it’s time to quit for the day. Rinse your dog off to remove any chlorine or give him a quick bath.

4) Fetch:

Most dogs love a good game of fetch, and it can be a lot of fun as well as great exercise.

Choose a toy that your dog likes to hold in the mouth. Soft balls, frisbees, squeaky toys and fleece toys are all good choices. Avoid small balls that your dog could swallow or inhale, and never use sticks because they can tear or puncture your dog’s mouth. Fenced yards or parks are the best places to play – your dog won’t run into foot traffic or the path of a moving vehicle.

5) Activities to Avoid:

Biking and in-line skating are fun for people, but for most dogs, keeping up is too hard. It could be especially dangerous if your pet runs free near roads and traffic. If your dog is on a leash, the strap could tangle in the wheels of your bike or blades and you or your dog could end up seriously hurt.

Exercising with your dog can lead to a lifetime of good health and good times. You may need to adjust your pet’s routine to suit age and physical condition, so check in with your veterinarian.

Article reposted from:


10 Awesome Miracle Dogs Who Beat Cancer

October 16th, 2014

There is nothing quite like the thrill of finding out that your dog is cancer free. Your dog has been given a clean bill of health and a new lease on life. You know that you have been granted the honor of spending more loving time with your pet and enjoying more special moments together. Here are 10 brave and awesome dogs who kicked cancer’s butt!!!

This doggie took her last chemo pill. Now that’s a cancer free smile.

This sweet old dog beat cancer and his family wanted to share it with the world.

Dakota, a 10 year old mutt rescued from a landfill when she was a puppy, has been cancer free for 8 months.

Molly a Yellow Labrador suffered abuse, neglect and then cancer. Southern California Labrador Rescue and Good Samaritans paid for her surgery and the cancer is behind her. She now works as a therapy dog for cancer patients – something she was always meant to do.

This dog, is happy to be cancer free for 6 months. A year after they got her, she stopped a robbery in progress in the middle of the night while everybody was sleeping. That was about 14 years ago, and her family is happy that they got to repay the favor!

Roxy, a Boxer was found as a stray and her new family helped her beat mast cell cancer.

This gorgeous girl is all smiles after beating her doggie cancer.

This brave Boxer Gabby had to have her leg amputated due to her cancer, 23 months cancer free.

Retired Greyhound racing dog TJ, lost his leg to bone cancer but that didn’t deter him from continuing to be the awesome therapy dog that he was

And Randy the Boxer who is going to kick cancer’s butt too. No doubt about it Randy!!!

As well as this little sweetie, Miss Dora, whose oncologist said that even with chemotherapy, Dora would likely only live 6 months. That was 30 months ago. And she is still her wonderful, hoarding, food stealing, loving and adorable self.

It is always great news and heart warming to hear of a dog who has beat cancer. Why not share these heart warming tales of dogs who beat cancer.

Story reposted from:

16 Most Common Myths About Dog Health Debunked!

October 15th, 2014

1. Dogs should have a litter before they are spayed.

This is not true. Dogs that have a litter before they are spayed are not better for it in any way. In fact, spayed dogs are at lower risk for breast cancer and uterine infections.

2. Dogs are sick when their noses are warm.

The temperature of a dogs nose does not indicate health or illness or if they have a fever. There is an “old wives tale” that cold wet noses indicate health. And Warm or dry noses indicate a fever or illness. The only accurate method to access a dog’s temperature is to take it with a thermometer. Normal dog temperature is 100.5 to 102.5 degrees F.

3. Mutts are always healthier than purebred dogs.

This is not true. Both mutts and purebred dogs can be unhealthy. Both can have diseases, however, mutts generally do not have many of the genetic diseases common in purebred lines.

4. All dogs like to be petted on their heads.

Some dogs do like to be petted on their heads but many do NOT.

5. Happy dogs wag their tails.

This may be true but aggressive dogs often wag their tails too. There are several physical body motions and cues that help dogs to communicate their intent. A wagging tail can mean agitation or excitement. A dog that wags his tail slowly and moves his all rear end or crouches down in the classic “play bow” position is usually a friendly wag. Tails that are wagged when held higher, twitches or wagging while held over the back may be associated with aggression.

(Image Source: flickr - Andzs Flaksis)

6. Only male dogs will “hump” or lift their leg to urinate.

This is not true. Female dogs, especially dominant female dogs, will lift their leg to urinate and “hump” other dogs or objects. This can be true even if they are spayed.

7. Table scraps are good for dogs.

Some table scraps such as bones and pieces of fat can be dangerous to some pets. They may not digest the bones and the fat may cause gastrointestinal problems such as pancreatitis.

8. Garlic prevents fleas.

Garlic has not been proven to be helpful for flea control. Large amounts of garlic can even be harmful.

9. Household “pet dogs” don’t need to be trained.

This is not true. Every dog should be trained.

10. Dogs eat grass when they are sick.

Dog descended from wild wolves and foxes that ate all parts of their “kill.” This included the stomach contents of many animals that ate berries and grass. Many scientists believe grass was once part of their normal diet and eating small amounts is normal.

11. Dogs like tasty food.

Dogs have very poor taste buds and eat primarily based on their sense of smell.

12. Licking is Healing.

It is natural for a dog to lick its wound but this not necessarily always “healing.” Too much licking can actually prohibit healing.

13. Dogs will let you know when they are sick.

This is not true. Dogs generally are very good at hiding that they are sick by survival instinct, thus not to appear vulnerable to “prey.” Often by the time they show you that they are sick, their disease or condition is quite advanced.

14. Dogs that are mostly indoors don’t need heartworm prevention.

This is not true. Indoor pets are also at risk for heartworm disease. Heartworm disease is spread by mosquitoes which can come inside.

15. Dogs eat rocks, lick concrete or eat their or another animals stools because of nutrient imbalances.

No one knows why dogs eat “stuff” that they shouldn’t eat. Some veterinarians believe that some dogs that eat “things” may be trying to get attention or acting out of boredom. It is important for dogs to eat a well balanced diet that will fulfill their dietary and nutrient requirements.

16. Dogs don’t need to housebroken–they naturally know where to go.

Oh, if only this were true. You need to train your dog on where to go. This preferably happens when you start young and give him positive encouragement for jobs well done.

Article reposted from:

By Dr. Debra Primovic (

Runners take on canine cancer

October 14th, 2014

For many families, a pet’s health is the utmost importance, and dealing with a disease like canine cancer can be difficult. On Sunday the mission to find a cure brought Vermonters together in South Burlington.

“Her name is Dezi – she just turned eight four days ago,” said Rich Armstrong, Dezi’s owner.

The golden retriever mix was diagnosed with cancer six months ago. She lost her front leg but never lost her loving personality. “She was wagging her tail within a few hours of surgery and she’s just really been an inspiration. She’s a really brave dog,” Armstrong said.

Dezi is just one of countless dogs who have been diagnosed with some form of cancer. It’s a disease the Chase Away K9 Cancer 5k hopes to help families overcome. “I wanted to do something to kind of help the cause and make my own mark and do something for the Vermont community,” said Debbie Safran, one of the event’s organizers.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says nearly 50 percent of pets over the age of 10 will develop some type of cancer. It’s the leading cause of non-accidental death in dogs. Organizers of Sunday’s 5k hope to raise around 7-thousand dollars. “Every dollar that we raise will eventually make it’s way to a grant that will hopefully find a treatment — better yet a cure for canine cancer,” Safran said.

It’s a disease that dog owners like Diane Popke see everyday in her line of work at the Animal Hospital of Hinesburg. “We came out here to support all the dogs, all the parents, see the success stories, see the happy endings that we were are part of — their success story,” she said.

This is the walk’s 4th year and it’s a day where dog owners are able to see that there is life for their pets even after a battle with cancer. “For a lot of people its hard to wrap their head around — ‘Gosh my dog with three legs. I don’t know that she can handle that.’ But you give these guys a chance, they can do amazing things,” Armstrong said.

If you didn’t make it to Dorset Park for the fundraiser, you can still check out the Chase Away 5K Facebook page and make a donation to help fight canine cancer.

Story reposted from:

Written by: Melissa Howell

Hector the Pit Bull Has Cancer But Says: I Win, Find Out Why?

October 13th, 2014

Hector the Pit Bull has led a life full of ups and downs. Hector spent his first two years as one of Michael Vick’s pit bulls. He was being groomed for the dog fighting world, but fortunately was able to find a loving home in Minnesota after the Vick dog fighting ring was dismantled in 2007.

The pit bull was adopted by Roo and Clara Yori, with whom he has lived the past seven years as a therapy dog. Hector has a purpose in life. A purpose to prove that dogs like him, even when saved from the most horrible situations, can make a wonderful pet if given the chance. Unfortunately, it seems that Hector the pit bull’s journey is almost over.

Hector was diagnosed with cancer and the prognosis was not good. In fact, the Yori family had already scheduled a date to euthanize Hector as he began to deteriorate in health. However, before his passing, the family uploaded some final photos to Hector’s Facebook account to outline why Hector can say “I won” to Michael Vick.

“As I prepare to pass and say good-bye, I want to thank all the people that were responsible for giving me the chance I deserved, and all the people that help save other dogs from similar circumstances. Thanks to you, after a couple of really crappy years with Vick and his buddies, I was able to enjoy 7 years of love and fun adventures! I was able to meet all kinds of really cool people, and prove that even dogs saved from horrendous situations should get a shot to show what they are made of. Ideally, it would have been nice for Vick to reconcile with me and all the other dogs from that time, but that didn’t happen. That’s his choice, and that says something in my opinion. My choice, though, was not to allow that past to dictate who I am. As a result, I can say this in regards to my life: I Win!”

Hector truly is a winner, and has even stood up against his cancer and proven to his family that he isn’t ready to go just yet. The euthanization was scheduled for October 9, but after taking some touching last photos with Project Cleo, Hector went on a final walk with the Yori family. It was in that walk that Hector gave it his all and said he was not ready to go. The family said his energy levels came up and he ate two meals. Therefore, they canceled the euthanization and decided to let Hector go on his own terms. A Facebook post from October 10 said, “To confirm that I still have some zest left, today I went for a long walk with Scooby and ate both breakfast and dinner.”

Though Hector’s life started with a battle and will end with a very real battle with cancer, the time the Pit Bull spent spreading his love and joy for life will not soon be forgotten.

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