Yippee! A new episode of the most popular pet podcast on the planet, Pets Teach Us So Much, is now available for download or listen on the TPPC.tv site. Dr. Patrick Mahaney is our guest this week as we talk about icky ol’ flea born diseases. You don’t want to miss it.
The Pet Podcast Channel, (TPPC.tv) is thrill to welcome back one of our favorite guests, Dr. Patrick Mahaney. Dr. Pat joins us Nov. 6 to talk about vaccinosis (over vaccinating) in pets as well as Ebola.
We have another fabulous pet podcast lined up for you this week. Actually, we are global pet radio that goes to podcast for your enjoyment and entertainment. Thank you for making Joseph and Robbin Everett the global King and Queen of Pet Related Entertainment, pet radio shows, pet podcasts, animal radio shows, etc., LOL!
Does your pet get the itches and scratches or worse? Dr. Patrick Mahaney joins us to talk about pet allergies-how to diagnose and treat allergies that affect so many of our pets.
Patrick Mahaney, VDM, CVA, CVJ
Plus we have a fair amount of mayhem and fun planned. See you Thursday, (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/tppctv ) July 17 at 6:00PM ET or join us on the down load here, iTunes or on Stitcher.
About Dr. Mahaney:
Patrick Mahaney VMD, CVA, CVJ
Dr. Patrick Mahaney is a veterinarian and certified veterinary acupuncturist providing services to Los Angeles-based clients both on a house call and in-clinic basis. Dr. Mahaney’s unique approach integrating eastern and western medical perspectives has evolved into a concierge house call practice, California Pet Acupuncture and Wellness (CPAW), Inc. Additionally, Dr. Mahaney offers holistic treatment for canine and feline cancer patients at the Veterinary Cancer Group (Culver City, CA).
As a veterinarian providing on-the-go-care for his patients, Dr. Mahaney’s has partnered with Blue Star Jets and New York/Hamptons celebrity veterinarian, Dr. Cindy Bressler, as the west coast director of JetSetVets, the first private jet service capable of providing in-flight medical treatment for pets.
Dr. Mahaney is affiliated with Amazon CARES, which provides pro-bono veterinary services in Iquitos, Peru and remote villages on the Amazon River. He traveled to Peru in 2011 and was inspired to create a television “dream project” involving veterinary volunteerism and public health education through partnerships with rescue organizations on a worldwide basis.
Diagnosing and Treating Aggressive Behavior in Older Dogs
Beautiful Senior Doggy (Photo: ASPCA.org)
In case you are not already aware, I have another weekly pet-health column inspired by the less serious topic of celebrity lifestyle. The portrayal of celebrities and their pets in the media sends a variety of messages — positive, negative, and in-between — to viewers on a worldwide basis. My veterinary spin on celebrities, pets, and health is called Pet-Lebrity News and is featured onpet360.com. Come visit me there, and if you are interested, please sign up for convenient e-mail delivery.
Well, I always enjoy the chance to have a dialogue with my readers and was very enthused to receive an e-mail from Christine after she read my article, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ Kim Richards Attempts Training with New Dog. Christine sought guidance on her own dog Lucy’s behavior in the following message:
Hi, I am a Real Housewives fan and I read your article on Kim’s pit, Kingsley. I rescued a female pit about four years ago. At the time I got her she was over two years old. She is an extremely sweet dog, but severely unsocialized with humans and fearful of strangers. She loved whoever was in her family circle but was extremely scared of new people, especially teenaged boys.
Ironically, she does very well with other dogs, especially small dogs. I have fostered some small dogs and she did very well with them. I have done my best and she has done wonders in these years. However, she is still very cautious of strangers (aloof as you would call it). She never attacks strangers, actually shows interest in a lot of them, but shows signs of stress when meeting them at first.
The thing is, she is extremely good looking and cute, and so calm, and she has a very sweet temperament. People are drawn to her and because I have trained her so well. She doesn’t bark or act aggressively toward dogs and people in public, sits at my side, and is very affectionate to me; people assume she is extremely friendly and are drawn to her.
I always corrected her and put her on time outs, but she is a powerful dog and I don’t want anyone to get hurt. I learned that she needs time to calm down, so she will go to a designated area (like her bed) until she is calm and then is able to interact with guests. I don’t let strangers pet her, as in the beginning when I first got her she would show interest in strangers by sniffing them, but as soon as they went to pet her she would snap at them. I feel this is something she learned prior to coming to me: people will leave me alone if I snap. I felt this made her feel powerful, so simply she is allowed when I or the person who wants to say hi shows interest.
In the beginning I did muzzle her, but she didn’t remain calm and would pant with it on. When I didn’t muzzle her, she would remain calm and still. All of this is a whole lot better now, but I would like to know, from all of what I told you, what should be my next steps in her rehabilitation? I heard from numerous people that because of her age (she was over two when we got her) this will always be an issue, that she will always be weary of strangers, and simply since her aggression only comes when strangers try to pet her, don’t let strangers pet her. They have been right, I must admit.
Just a short story. My niece came to visit. As soon as she walked in the door Lucy’s hair went up on her back, her tail went between her legs, she lowered her head (a sign of submission), she sniffed my niece’s feet, began to wag her tail, and then brushed up against my niece. I told my niece “no touch” and “no eye contact.” After about a day or two, Lucy was best of friends with my niece. Because of her scruff being raised I have to be very cautious; however I do have difficulty determining when it’s appropriate for others to pet her or when to gauge stress levels.
What is your advice to help me with my pit, Lucy?
Thank you, Christine, for your question. Behavior issues can be challenging for all involved family members, as the familiar dynamic of interaction is altered by the undesirable conduct of the pet. My top recommendation in managing bad behaviors that an owner can’t sufficiently control is to bring a veterinarian into the scene to provide consultation from a medical perspective.
In general, if an animal is prone to bad behavior, owners must recognize the potential contributions of underlying health conditions. The history you provide will be paired with your veterinarian’s physical examination to establish a series of differential diagnoses.
Besides a physical exam, diagnostics may be needed to work out the potential reasons for a pet’s behavior problems. Useful diagnostics include blood/urine/fecal testing, radiographs (X-rays), ultrasound, MRI, CT, etc.
There are many conditions that can adversely affect the behavior of our canine and feline companions, some of which cannot be observed with an untrained eye, including those affecting the following body systems:
Endocrine — hyperthyroidism (more common in cats), hypothyroidism(more common in dogs), hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s disease), kidneyand liver disease, obesity, etc.
Urinary — urinary crystals, protein, infection, etc.
Immune — cancer (lymphoma, brain tumors, etc.), allergic diseases (seasonal and nonseasonal environment and food allergies affecting the digestive tract, skin, etc.), immune-mediated diseases (IMHA, IMTP, etc.), etc.
Oral Cavity — Periodontal disease (inflammation/infection of the teethand their associated structures), abnormally developed teeth, dental trauma, etc.
Reproductive — Sex-hormone related issues (intact male and female dogs,ovarian remnant syndrome, estrus cycle, etc.), pyometra, etc.
Basically, any disease condition my patients face can correlate with one or multiple behavior changes. If your pet is cleared of the concern for health problems contributing to objectionable conduct, then a behavior problem can be appropriately diagnosed.
Pet owners can work with a reputable trainer or pursue a consultation with aBoard Certified Veterinary Behaviorist. The veterinary behavior consultation is an involved and thorough process, but it truly helps teach owners to positively handle their pet’s undesirable behaviors and may even incorporate psychopharmaceuticals (behavior modifying medications) when appropriate.
In the case of Lucy’s behavior, it sounds as though you have figured out a system that works for her, to permit her to calm down and feel comfortable when meeting new people. Great job!
Yet, as Lucy is an adult dog who is on the cusp of being a senior (she should be around six years now if you got her four years ago at the suspected age of two), make sure your veterinarian is aware of her behavior, has explored her body for underlying health concerns, and has taken the steps to resolve all underlying disease.
– See more at: http://www.patrickmahaney.com/news/diagnosing-and-treating-aggressive-behavior-in-older-dogs/#sthash.z4F9PiKX.dpuf
Not just for the holidays, Dr. Patrick talks about the Obama’s experience with visitors around our pets. There is a lesson to be learned here…we almost must remain vigilant with our pets every time a visitor is in the house. Dr. Pat gives some great tips on how to prepare a pet for a visitor…
Sunny Obama (Photo: CelebrityPetNews.com)
Sunny Obama Knocks Over Child at White House Holiday Party
Have you been keeping an eye on the holiday happenings at the White House this year? I sure have been, as my client Jane Lynch emceed the annual lighting of the National Christmas Tree. In addition to the first family, Jane got to share the stage with a variety of amazing musical talents, including The Avett Brothers, Joshua Bell, Mariah Carey, Renée Fleming, Forte, Aretha Franklin, Janelle Monáe (a funky favorite of mine), Prince Royce, Arturo Sandoval, Train, and Nolan Williams, Jr. and Voices of Inspiration.
Besides the national Christmas Tree Lighting, other festive events have been going on involving the entire Obama family, including their Portuguese Water Dogs Sunny and Bo. Michelle Obama recently hosted a special event to show her appreciation for military families by inviting them into the White House to see the holiday decorations. The First Dogs made personal appearances at the event and and also had their likenesses represented in the holiday decor. According to the New York Daily News, “two life-sized replicas of the Portuguese water dogs made of satin ribbons are one of the first things an expected 70,000 White House visitors will see this month. Dark chocolate miniatures of the first pets are also part of the annual gingerbread White House display. Another highlight is the towering Blue Room tree, dedicated to military families and trimmed with photos of their joyous homecomings. Mrs. Obama says she wants Americans to never forget the debt they owe service members and their families for the sacrifices they make in serving the country.”
I have the utmost respect for Mrs. Obama, as she always radiates such charm, intelligence, class, and now even the utmost sense of responsibility surrounding the management of her dogs. The New York Daily News article This New York Daily News article recounts the First Lady jumping to action to restrain Sunny during a moment of excitement involving a youthful holiday visitor.
First Dog Gets Excited
Allegedly, Sunny was intrigued by the presence of two-year-old Ashtyn Gardner of Mobile, AL, and excitedly scampered over to greet the young girl. Gardner reportedly lost her balance upon Sunny’s enthused greeting and tumbled to the floor. Mrs. Obama immediately took control of Sunny by grasping the leash and pulling her away from the discombobulated child. Fortunately, Gardner was not injured in the fall nor was she harmed by a scratch or bite from Sunny.
I must give the First Lady accolades for keeping both Bo and Sunny attached to their festive-looking red leashes instead of roaming free among the White House guests. Ultimately the situation appeared to end well, as Obama gave the seemingly unharmed Gardner a reassuring hug.
As I often preach, there are many occasions where pets and crowds don’t necessarily mix well. The excitement of the goings-on at festive gatherings can be stressful to pets and cause them to exhibit behavior changes to which they are often not otherwise prone. Vocalizing (whining, barking, etc.), aggression, escape attempts, pacing, cowering, destructive tendencies, inappropriate urination or defecation, or other behavior can all occur when a pet encounters circumstances causing stress.
Staying Stress Free
If your canine or feline companion is prone to such behaviors, it’s vital to the pet’s well being and a more pleasant holiday experience to minimize any stressing triggers. If you plan to keep your pet at home, engage in an energy draining activity a few hours before the perceived stressful event. This may be a longer walk, a more vigorous hike, a few more throws of the ball, an extra 15 minutes of laser-pointer play, or another exercise of your choice. Otherwise, arrange for an overnight stay in a non-celebratory household or boarding facility. Additionally some veterinary recommended natural products or prescription medications can help relieve anxiety or induce a sedated state on an as-needed basis.
JJ THE AMERICAN STREET DOG AND HOW HE CAME TO LIVE IN OUR HOUSE
By Diane Rose-Solomon
New Children’s Book About Animal Rescue Teaches Good Adoption Values
LOS ANGELES – JJ the American Street Dog and How He Came to Live in Our House, winner of the Mom’s Choice Award,is the first book in a series by Diane Rose-Solomon. Children ages five to nine will identify with six-year-old Maya who has wanted a dog for as long as she can remember. When her uncle finds a homeless puppy (JJ), Maya begs to keep him. But her mom isn’t sure. In the end, Maya and her family learn that adopting a rescue pet is a win-win. JJ gets a loving home, and Maya gets the dog she’s always wanted.
JJ The American Street Dog is anexciting and uplifting, beautifully illustrated story that teaches kids and adultsabout animal homelessness, basic animal care, spay and neuter (worded appropriately for children), pet adoption, and the unconditional love people get from their family pet. Children also can draw a parallel between themselves and animals when they feel excluded, and learn that everyone matters.
The timing of the book is perfect as Los Angeles recently voted to ban the sale of commercially bred pets in pet stores. Other major cities plan to follow suit.
“I hope all children read this book and help homeless animals…” Paula Fasseas, Founder and Chair of PAWS Chicago (Pets are Worth Saving).
“What a wonderful and heart warming story about a child’s first rescue pet…”
Dr. Jessica H. Waldman, VMD, CVA, CCRT California Animal Rehabilitation.
“A little love makes the world better for everyone. JJ The American Street Dog is an inspirational children’s picture book from Diane Rose-Solomon and illustrator Rachel Cellinese as she presents a story of young Maya, who wants to take in a homeless dogfrom the street and names it JJ. Teaching a lesson about strays and helping prevent dogoverpopulation, JJ The American Street Dog is a must for dog loving kids picture book collections., recommended.”James A. Cox, TheMidwest Book Review
Pregnant Emily Blunt Sets Great Example for Human and Dog Fitness
Families adding humans take note. (Photo: CelebrityPetNews.com)
With the holiday season and the general tendency of Americans to overindulge on festive foods and beverages, there’s the unfortunate trend for weight gain around this time of year. The same thing goes for our pets, as the normal routines of daily physical activity may be replaced by traveling, shopping, and attending parties. Additionally, people often share their holiday foods with their pets (although I’m an advocate of doing so in reasonable amounts. See Can You Feed Your Pet Thanksgiving Foods?) or provide calorie-laden, pet treats.
Emily Blunt and Her Canine’s Workout
One celebrity who’s not just sitting back this holiday season is The Devil Wears Prada and Looper’s (one of my favorite flicks) Emily Blunt. A Daily Mail article features photographs of Blunt taking her dog, Finn, for a vigorous hike through Los Angeles’ Runyon Canon (a frequent fitness spot for my dog Cardiff and me).
I must give credit to Blunt for getting out and about to provide her pooch with activity, especially since she’s quite visibly pregnant. Blunt is setting a great example for the general public and pet owners, as she truly personifies how fitness can be pursued even when life’s challenges (pregnancy, schedules, holidays, etc.) get in the way.
A Growing Epidemic: Obesity
Many people don’t think that being overweight is a problem, there are a variety of potentially irreversible health problems associated with being overweight or obese.
Obesity is a growing epidemic afflicting both pets and people. Greater than 50% of pets in the United States are overweight or obese according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP). That’s at least 89 million cats and dogs that are more prone to musculoskeletal problems (osteoarthritis, traumatic joint injury, etc.), hormonal imbalance, heart and lung disease, dermatologic abnormalities, cancer, skin problems, and more.
The tendency for traumatic joint injuries was evaluated through a market study performed byFlexcin, which reports, “New parents represent the fastest-growing demographic inquiring about dog-joint health issues relating to pet obesity. Flexcin analyzed demographic data from its team of customer advisor specialists to determine the largest percentage of pet obesity-related inquiries. In a six-month analysis from June through December in 2010, new parents represented roughly a third (32.3 percent) of all dog-joint health inquiries tied to overweight pets (up from 25.7 percent in 2008). Elderly pet owners came in second at 28.5 percent.”
Why is this the case? It comes down to the calories being consumed exceeding daily requirements, combined with reduced activity. The Flexcin study also determined:
-78.4 percent of new parents said their dog was able to freely eat food that dropped from the baby’s high-chair.
-67.7 percent said they paid less attention to their dog’s food portions.
-64.6 percent said they had less time for dog walks or didn’t feel comfortable bringing the dog during baby stroller walks.
Do Things Change Once a Baby Arrives?
In my veterinary practice, I’ve definitely observed the trend of pets, especially dogs, putting on weight when living in households where a new baby or young child needing frequent attention is incorporated into the family fold.
In such cases, it’s important to still prioritize the health of our animal companions by making time for daily activity and employing strict calorie restrictions. If the unpredictable tendencies of your newborn prevents you from having time to get your pooch out for daily exercise, hire a dog walker to do so. Additionally, if your canine is prone to consuming more calories from the baby’s high-chair, make sure to cut back on his daily portions of regular food (I suggest by 25-33%).
Not every pregnant woman may be physically well enough to take her dog for a walk or hike like Blunt. So, doing less-intense activities while expecting is understandable. Yet, both women and men should learn from Blunt’s example of staying active despite physical challenges. The emotional roadblocks (too busy, too tired, etc.) humans are prone to placing in the way of exercising or partaking in mindfulness activities (meditation, etc.) don’t need to control our lives as we sometimes let them.
Have a healthy start to embarking upon life-long and quality-of-life improving activities in 2014. Hopefully, Cardiff and I will get to meet Blunt and Finn on Runyon Canyon’s trail sometime soon.
***Note*** Dr. Pat wrote the fabulous article below about Elwood the “World’s Ugliest Dog”. We had the pleasure of interviewing Elwood and his mom Karen at a MCSPCA event we attended several years ago. He was truly a special little guy, who brought so many smiles to so many people. RIP little Elwood, the world is missing a star, but we are sure you are up at the Rainbow Bridge having fun with so many of our friends.
I am a huge fan of the Huffington Post’s Weird News section. For complete disclosure, reading the always intriguing and sometimes shocking examples of weird news is part of my evening wind-down routine, as the section often serves as inspiration for my columns.
Recently, the world lost a well-known canine compatriot who at one time was the World’s Ugliest Dog. Elwood, a Chinese Crested-Chihuahua mix hailing from New Jersey, was runner up at the annual event gathering prime examples of ugly dogs at the Sonoma-Marin County Fair in 2006. He then took top prize in 2007 and went on to lead a rich life making appearances at media events before suddenly passing on Thanksgiving day (2013).
Elwood had quite the unique look, as he lacked hair on much of his body but for a white sprig atop his head. He also had a tongue that hung out the left side of his mouth on a seemingly constant basis. Elwood’s owner, Karen Quigley, states that the cause of his ever-present tongue was that “he just does not have teeth on that side of his mouth”. His overall lack of hair and dark skin pigmentation make him appear more consistent with the Chinese Crested, while the compact cranium featuring a “short or broad head” (brachycephalic) lends the likeness of the Chihuahua.
A Heartwarming Tale
Reportedly, Elwood’s breeder was going to euthanize him until Quigley’s boyfriend, who was working as a New Jersey SPCA investigative officer, saved the pooch as part of an rescue operation. The breeder ultimately surrendered Elwood and 10 other dogs. Elwood ended up going home with Quigley and they were inseparable up until his unfortunate departure.
Quigley penned a children’s book titled Everyone Loves Elwood, which tells his story and spreads the word of acceptance of those who look different. In his lifetime, Elwoood made over 200 media appearances and regularly visited schools to share his message of positivity with children, their teachers, and his general admirers. Quigley states that the main lesson Elwood taught others was that “you don’t have to be perfect to be special.”
Elwood is survived by Quigley and a household full of other rescue dogs. The touching Animal Planet video Meet Elwood tells his story and shows the positive effect he had on all those he encountered.
Elwood’s cause of death has not been revealed, but Quigley reported that he had fallen ill a short time before his departure. Yet, the somewhat sudden nature of Elwood’s passing could mean that a variety of causes could have been factors, including:
Metabolic Disease (kidney, liver, pancreas, adrenal and thyroid glands, etc.)
As Elwood’s breeding is a cross of the Chinese Crested and Chihuahua, there could have been a number of breed-associated illness affecting him. Since he was a petite pooch (likely less than 10 pounds), it’s more likely that a condition related to his smaller stature factored into his passing instead of one specifically related to him having genetics in both the Chinese Crested or Chihuahua breed.
The Chinese Crested has a variety of disease conditions related to its genetics. Problems affecting the skin are near the top of the list of common Chinese Crested problems, including:
Additionally, the Hairless version of the Chinese Crested (yes, there are haired Powderpuffs and Hairless versions) may have a congenital absence of teeth. This is because the gene that causing a lack of hair can be linked to the gene causing missing teeth.
The Chihuahua also is well known for its breed-related health concerns, including:
Brachicephalic airway syndrome (respiratory issues related to having a short and board head)
Patellar laxation (sliding kneecap)
Hydrocephalus (fluid accumulation inside the skull cavity)
Molera (incomplete closure of skull bones)
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar, especially during puppyhood)
Seizure disorder (epilepsy)
Hepatic (liver) shunt
Rest in peace Elwood. The world will miss you, but your legacy will live on forever in the hearts and minds of all those you touched in your short life.