Archive | July, 2012

A Penguin with Happy Feet

29 Jul

I just thought that I would pass on this cute story about a penguin who can now live his life to the fullest due to a special sneaker designed for his deformed foot. This story should inspire you to do anything, no matter the deformity or disadvantages that can impede your determination. It’s amazing what a small penguin, with the help of his zookeepers, could accomplish. Congratulations Lucky!

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Team USA: Olympic Pets

27 Jul

The 2012 Summer Olympics are here! A time to set all of our differences apart to support our home country and all of our U.S.A. athletes. This morning I saw a video about the London Olympics, but it wasn’t focused on the athletes, rather it was about their pets. I thought that I would share. Enjoy!

Olympic Pets



Quote by Russell E. Train

26 Jul

“If we’re to be responsible, we must accept the fact that we owe a massive debt to our environment. It won’t be settled in a matter of months, and it won’t be forgiven us.”

– Russell E. Train, 1970

Animal Hoarding

20 Jul

Monsters aren’t real, but humans are. Let us not be the monsters in an animal’s life. Animal Hoarding is a big issue, and hopefully this blog post will inform you about this issue.

What is animal hoarding?

– Public health and community issue
– When someone has more than the typical number of domestic animals as pets
– Inability to give the proper treatment, such as nutrition, sanitation, shelter and veterinary care
– Often leads to animal illness, starvation, and death
– Denial
– Many do not know how many animals they are “caring” for

Who are hoarders and why do they hoard?

– Knows no age, gender, or socioeconomic boundaries
– Observed in men, women, the young and old, the married and widowed, and in people with professional jobs
– However, the elderly tend to be more at risk due to their own deteriorating health and isolation from community and social groups
– Animal hoarders appear intelligent and they believe that they are helping their animals
– Failure to understand the severity of the situation
– Difficulties understanding animal needs
– Inaccurate appreciation of a situation and its consequences
– Being unable to reason about treatment options and alternative courses of action
– Psychological defenses and behaviors in response to stress
– Magical thinking
– Depression
– Paranoia

How common is animal hoarding?

– Estimated that there are 900 to 2,000 new cases every year in the United States
– A quarter million animals falling victim
– Normally cats, dogs, reptiles, rodents, birds, exotics and farm animals
– Any animal can be a victim of hoarding
– Many call themselves “Animal Sanctuaries” or “Rescue Groups”
– The majority of animal hoarders will continue to hoard, even after an intervention, unless they receive help

What are the consequences of animal hoarding? Are there laws against it?

– Deteriorating home
– Strong smell of ammonia
– Dried feces, urine, and vomit around the house
– Animals are not well socialized and lethargic
– Infestation of fleas
– Animal owner is isolated from the community
– Insists that his animals are happy and healthy, even with the clear signs of animal illness and distress
– Often emotionally troubled, rather than a “criminal”
– Against the law – stated in every state’s animal cruelty law
– Illinois and Hawaii have separate laws
Illinois Companion Animal Hoarder Act was created in 2001 to create a legal definition for “companion animal hoarder” and mandate counseling for those convicted of animal cruelty who meet the definition – animal hoarding itself is not prohibited by the law.
Hawaii’s 2008 law – only state law specifically outlawing animal hoarding – does not mandate psychological counseling for convicted hoarders or restrict future animal ownership.

What can I do to help?

– Call local humane law enforcements, police department or animal shelter – first step for help if you witness hoarding
– Educate others – pass on this information
– Contact social service groups – get the animal hoarder connected to the right services from mental health agencies
– Reassure the hoarder – they are usually worried that their animals are in the wrong hands, when in reality, the animals will be better off with professionals
– Volunteer to help walk dogs and clean cages in shelters to help all the animals that had to go through the traumatic experience of animal hoarding
– Keep in touch – make sure that if the hoarder does acquire a new pet, that it is properly spayed or neutered, vaccinated and in good health
– “Hoarding Prevention Team” and Intervention Program by the ASPCA – to date, the program has assisted more than 20 animal hoarders and rescued nearly 200 animals.

Click the link below to check out an Animal Planet Confessions: Animal Hoarding episode:
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Pet Poisons

18 Jul

Since it is summer, your pet may be spending more time outside in the sun. This means that they can get into fertilizers and other outdoor poisons. So, what is considered poisonous for dogs and cats? Well, here’s your answer (in a super long blog post)…

Most Common Poisons for CATS:

1 – Lilies
2 – Canine permethrin insecticides (topical flea and tick medicine for dogs)
3 – Household cleaners
4 – Rodenticides (mouse and rat poison)
5 – Paints and varnishes
6 – Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory veterinary medications such as meloxicam, Rimadyl, and Daramaxx
7 – Glow Sticks/ Glow jewelry
8 – Amphetamines, such as ADD/ADHD drug
9 – Acetaminophen (Tylenol in brand name or generic form)
10 – Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin in brand name or generic form)

Most Common Poisons for DOGS:
1 – Chocolate
2 – Insect bait stations
3 – Rodenticides (mouse and rat poison)
4 – Fertilizers
5 – Xylitol-containing products such as sugar-free gums and candies
6 – Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin in brand name or generic form)
7 – Acetaminophen (Tylenol in brand name or generic form)
8 – Silica gel packs
9 – Amphetamines, such as ADD/ADHD drug
10 – Household cleaners
For your pet’s safety, you should always have this phone number at hand:
PET POISON HELPLINE: 800 – 213 – 6680
This helpline is available 24/7, with a one-time consolation fee of $35. 
When you call the number be sure to include:
  • What your pet ingested and when
  • How much your pet ingested (how many pills, what milligram strength were the pills)
  • Pet’s current weight
  • Pet’s known medical history, including any medications (prescriptions and supplements)

I Think My Pet’s Been Poisoned – What Should I Do? What Should I Not Do?

1 – Safely remove any remaining poisonous material from your pet’s reach
2 – Gather the container or substance to bring to the veterinary hospital or to describe to the Pet Poison Helpline expert.
3 – Collect a sample of any material that your pet may have vomited.

If your pet has ingested something that could be harmful, even if there are no immediate symptoms, follow the rules above. It is better to get help early, since decontamination (such as induced vomiting, having the stomach pumped, or administering activated charcoal) can only be performed in a narrow window of time.

To Vomit or Not to Vomit

Many people believe that if your pet vomits then it will solve the problem. Forcing your pet to vomit could actually cause more harm than good if it is performed at the wrong time.

1 – If your pet is already showing signs of poisoning, it’s too late to induce vomiting.

2 – If your pet has certain medical problems (like larynegeal paralysis or brachycephalic syndrome), induced vomiting is not recommended and can make your pet’s condition worse.

3 – Certain toxins (such as corrosive cleaners and hydrocarbons such as gasoline, paints thinners and kerosene) should NOT be brought back up. Inducing vomiting after the ingestion of a corrosive material may ultimately cause more harm to your pet.

Home Remedies

Normally, if an owner is in a panic of poisonings, they give their pets staples like milk, peanut butter, vegetable oil or salt, none of which should EVER be given to an animal in distress.
Contact a veterinarian or Pet Poison Hot line before you so anything!

Transporting a Poisoned Pet
– Requires extra precautions, and safety for both you and your pet
– Carefully transport him/her in a car, or have someone drive for you while you watch your pet, if it is unconscious, convulsing or having difficulty breathing go immediately to the vet!
– Call the veterinary office before hand, if possible, to give them time to set up the necessary equipment and meet you out in the parking lot.
– In rare circumstances, if your pet ingested a specific gofer or mole poison (zinc phosphide), contact Pet Poison experts because these byproducts can be extremely harmful to humans as well.
Poisoning First Aid Kit

These materials will make it easier for you to work with the Pet Poison Helpline experts:

– Hydrogen peroxide 3% (non-expired)
– Liquid dish washing detergent (such as Palmolive or Dawn)
– Rubber gloves
– Triple antibiotic ointment (such as Neosporin)
– Vitamin E oil or capsules
– Diphenhydramine liquid or 25 mg tablets (such as Benadryl) with no other combination ingredients
– Ophthalmic saline solution or artificial tears, with no other combination ingredients
– Can of tuna packed in water, chicken broth or some type of tasty canned pet food
– Sweet electrolyte beverage (such as Gatorade)
– Corn syrup

Poisonous Plants
Autumn Crocus – highly toxic. If ingested, this plant can cause severe vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, liver and kidney damage and respiratory failure.
Azalea – eating a few of these leave can result in vomiting, diarrhea and excessive drooling. The pet can fall into a coma and possibly die.
Cyclamen – can cause severe vomiting
Daffodil Bulbs – can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. More serious reactions include abnormal heart rate or changes in respiration.
Dieffenbachia – can cause intense oral irritation, drooling, nausea, vomiting and difficulty swallowing
Hyacinth/ Tulip Bulbs – contain concentrated amounts of toxins in the bulb. If ingested in large amounts, bulbs can affect breathing and cause severe vomiting, diarrhea and an increase in heart rate.
Kalanchoe – can cause vomiting, diarrhea and heart arrhythmia
Lily – certain types, such as tier, day, Asiatic, Easter and Japanese lilies, are highly toxic to cats. Severe kidney failure can result from ingesting even a dew petals or leaves. See a veterinarian immediately if it is ingested.
Oleander – which is an outdoor shrub, has extremely toxic leaves and flowers that can cause severe vomiting, slow heart rate and possibly death.
Sago Palm– the leaves and seeds and cause vomiting, bloody stools, damage to the stomach lining, severe liver failure, and even death.

Garden Dangers

– Baits for rodents, snails and slugs –  can result in blood clotting disorders, brain swelling or kidney failure, or even severe tremors or seizing.
– Blood meal – used as an organic fertilizer, can cause vomiting, diarrhea and severe inflammation of the pancreas.
– Bone Meal – organic fertilizer made from animal bones that have been ground to powder, which cab form a concrete-like obstruction in the stomach that could require surgical removal.
– Insecticides – gastrointestinal irritants to pets
– Fertilizers – some are combined with dangerous chemicals and compounds called organophosphates or carbamates, which can be harmful to pets, which can result in drooling, watery eyes, urination, defecation, seizures, difficulty breathing, fever and death.

Household Toxins
Cleaning solution, antifreeze, fragrance sprays and other common household chemicals are often stored under sinks or on garage shelves where pets can gain easy access.- Acids (such as drain and toilet cleaners)
– Alkalis (such as ammonia, lye, and some types of drain and toilet cleaners)
– Batteries
– Bleach
– Enzymatic cleaners (used for breaking down proteins and organic matter)
– Fabric softeners
– Glow jewelry
– Ice melt products that contain sodium or salt-like ingredients
– Liquid potpourri
– Mothballs
– Paint solvents and lacquers
– Paint balls
– Pine oils/ essential oils
– Solvents (such as cleaners used to remove oil, grease and grime)
– Teflon-coated cookware (birds only)

Non-Ingested Poisons  –  Inhaled Poisons

– Carbon Monoxide, smoke and chemical fumes
– Can result in coughing, disorientation or unconsciousness
– Move him/her to fresh air immediately
– Install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and change the batteries every six months
– Have adequate ventilation in the room
– Learn pet CPR (will be a separate blog post)
– If a poison is entered through the skin, use soap and water to thoroughly clean your pet’s belly, legs and feet

Toxic Table Scraps
– Alcohol
– Caffeine
– Chocolate
– Fatty Foods
– Grapes and Raisins
– Macadamia Nuts
– Onions and Garlic
– Salt
– Sweeteners
– Yeast Dough

How do you pet proof your home?

– Cover trash bins – or better yet, store them in a pantry or closet
– Fence off compost bins – the the sake of your pets and the wildlife
– Install baby locks on cabinets that house cleaning solutions
– Don’t store pills in plastic zipper bags or weekly pill storage containers, as these are eay for dogs to chew through.
– Store medications in secure, elevated cabinets
– Close toilet lids, especially if you use automatic or clip-on toilet bowl cleaners
– Know that Top Ten Poisonous Plants before purchasing a plant for your household
– Wipe down your pet’s belly, legs and paws after being outdoors, especially in the winter
– Keep your purse (and its contents, such as gum) away from your pet
– Double check the pills you are administering to your pets and to yourself
– Don’t leave pills out, even for a few seconds, as your pet could knock them off the counter and ingest them quickly

Thanks for reading! Hopefully this was informative. Please follow AnimalChamps blog for more posts.

AE Journal #3 – All about Chinchillas!

6 Jul

After completing my third and fourth days of my internship, I have come to the realization that I am absolutely in LOVE with chinchillas. That being said, here are some interesting facts about our furry little friends:

  • Originally from the Andes Mountains in South America
  • Odorless animals
  • Very dense fur, therefore they do not get fleas or other nusiances 
  • Prized for their soft fur – hunted and skinned nearly to extinction
  • Love to jump and climb
  • In the wild they take dust baths in volcanic ash as a form of bathing
  • They can jump over 6 feet in height!
  • In the wild, they can live in groups of up to 100 members
Chinchillas are adorable animals, and they can be very great indoor pets, but remember, these animals belong where they were found: in the wild. Unfortunately, pet stores and breeders sell chinchillas as if they are domesticated dogs or cats. These super-fluffy animals should be roaming free in Chile or Peru! Therefore if you are thinking about adopting a chinchilla, be absolutely sure that you can adequtely care for this animal for the rest of his/her life (normally between 15 to 20 years old). It’s a huge commitment – as if you are caring for a child.

Ticks – What are they? How do you remove them?

2 Jul

It’s tick season! Check out these tips on how to stay tick-free during the Summer heat.

1. What are ticks?

– Parasites that feed on the blood of animals (that would be us, and our pets!)

– They tend to be the most active during late spring and summer

– Live in tall brush or grass

– Can carry diseases such as: Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Babesia

2. How do I remove a tick?

1. Prepare its death bed:

– Throwing it away or flushing it down the toilet will not kill it

– Prepare: A screw-top jar,  rubbing alcohol, tweezers, latex/rubber gloves

2. Don’t Bare-Hand It:

– Use latex or rubber gloves to avoid contact

3. Get a helping-hand

– To help hold down the animal while you are removing the tick

4. The Removal:

– Disinfect surrounding area, and equipment with rubbing alcohol

– Grab the tick as close to the animal’s skin as possible with the tweezers

– Pull the tick straight upwards with an even pressure

– Place the tick in the jar to later bring to the vet

– Do not twist, jerk, squeeze or crush the tick – it may contain infectious organisms

5. Getting the remainders:

– If the area is not red or inflamed, simply disinfect it with rubbing alcohol

– If it is inflamed, put a warm compress on the area to expel the remaining pieces

– Do not go after remainders in the skin with tweezers!

6. Clean up and Keep Watch:

– Disinfect area, hands, and tweezers

– Bring your pet and the jar with the tick to the vet! Visit your veterinarian immediately even if the animal seems to be acting normal, or if the bite area is not inflamed or red.

Enjoy your summer! Please follow this blog for updates on how to keep your pet healthy, happy, and safe.

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