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Zoran Jankovic

 

Fear of  loud and sudden noises is very common in dogs. Some breeds like Australian Shepherd, Border Collie and German Shepherd seem to be particularly predisposed to it.

This problem in canine family members is certainly no laughing matter. If left untreated this condition will certainly get worse. In mild cases dogs with noise phobia react by freezing and withdrawing while the others try to escape and may injure themselves trying to break through windows or chewing through restraints and enclosures.

Both mild and severe cases indicate profound suffering and damage to nerve cells.  Here are some tips to alleviate this problem.

Some people think shaving dogs is fun, little do they know about all implications of this act. In my opinion shaving double coated dogs should be considered animal cruelty.

As the summer approaches I see more and more completely shaved dogs. Regardless of the type of the coat i.e double coated (breeds like Samoyeds, Huskies, Border Collies, German Shepherds, etc., which have two layers of hair, fine undercoat and top coat) or not- you should never shave your dog and here is why:

©Mila Perry

"Eppur si muove" - And yet it moves - were the words Italian mathematician and physicist Galileo Galilei allegedly uttered after being sentenced by the Inquisition for heresy. Galileo's heresy was his opinion that the Sun lies motionless, that the Earth is not at the centre of universe, and that it moves. Unlike those around him who were quite happy to blindly follow dogma concerning the universal order, Galileo observed the world around him, measured different parameters and finally, after he analysed enough collected data, worked out that the Earth is moving around the Sun. Galileo was certainly luckier then Giordano Bruno, another Italian mathematician, who was burned at the stake in 1600 for advocating the same idea.

People who attack homeopathy these days do so with the same fervor as the Inquisitors. With their small, medieval minds, they repeat the same nonsense and misconceptions about homeopathy, over and over, without making the slightest effort to conduct their own research or empirical quest. I have to admit that my first reaction to homeopathy was of a similar myopic nature, my 'conventional scientific mind' immediately dismissed it as nonsense, and I had no desire to study the subject further.

The oldest-known dog on record, according to Guinness, was an Australian cattle dog named Bluey, who lived to the ripe old age of 29 years and five months before it was put down in November 1939.

Today it is widely accepted processed foods are unhealthy for humans yet according to the pet food industry  and those in bed with it, millions of dogs  and cats are "safely' eating kibble with "no ill effects" caused by these diets.  Indeed, millions of pets  eat kibble, and also millions of pets fill the waiting rooms of veterinarians, bad breath and all.

These pets suffer from skin problems of all sorts, or from cancers, joint problems, heart problems, kidney problems, digestive problems ("lack of enzymes"), liver problems, pancreas problems, coat problems, tooth problems, anal gland problems, glandular disorders, allergies, and soft doughy bodies brought on by eating a grain-based, artificial, highly-processed, additive-filled food touted as "healthy" for your pet.

In reality these animals are merely existing.  They are being maintained on an artificial, grain-based diets containing synthetic vitamins and minerals plus a myriad of chemical preservatives and additives—the collective effects of which have NEVER been researched.

Feeding species appropriate diet is easy and simple, unfortunately there a many misconception about raw feeding. Here are the  most common myths:

In late 80-ies, Alabama Rot decimated greyhound population in the USA.

We live in the world were media reporting has very little to do with the truth, and everything to do with sensationalism, fear mongering and, very often, corporate and financial interests. Most of what passes for human "nutritional science" these days is not the result of objective scientific research, but rather the skewed and manipulated "findings" of scientists working for, and entirely beholden to, the food industry and the 'bottom line' of multi-national corporations.

The very same can be said when it comes to the research into the nutritional health needs of  pets.

Yesterday, the British broadsheet The Telegraph published an article with a rather bombastic title: Raw meat could be the cause of dead dogs, scientis warns. 'Bombastic', as in, 'high-sounding but with little meaning; inflated' is precisely what this title and entire article is.

Most of the dog owners I know will meticulously clean after their dogs, even when nobody can see them on the most remote part of the beach. Unfortunately, as the saying goes -  all it takes is one (or few) rotten apple to spoil  the whole barrel. 

It seems that lately,  Sliema promenade and beaches have been under increased attack of  autistic  dog owners who inflict not only a great damage to the reputation of dogs and their owners in general but also present public health threat. 

Although the fines help,  it looks like they do little to solve the problem  and in my opinion the best way to tackle this problem is to widely educate dog owners about the immense impact of dogs'  excrement on our fragile enivronment in one of the most densly populated places on the planet. I sincerely hope local councils  will come up with more proactive approach to this issue in near future. For a start I suggest more bilboards like the one on the photo.

Pets are often stoic about pain. As predators, dogs and especially cats are adept at masking their pain. So as a pet owner, you need to keep a keen eye on your furry friends in order to detect aches and pains early.

If you are still feeding commercial diets please read your pet food labels carefully, if it contains corn or soy the chances are it contains genetically modified grains.

Never-Before-Seen-Evidence points to genetically engineered foods as a major contributor to rising disease rates in the US population, especially among children. Gastrointestinal disorders, allergies, inflammatory diseases, and infertility are just some of the problems implicated in humans, pets, livestock, and lab animals that eat genetically modified soybeans and corn.

This week's Daily Pet video feature will change the way you look at grains forever...

They may look cute, but hairy caterpillars are certainly not to be messed with.

Few weeks ago I attended to a dog with pretty unusual symptoms and this immediately made me think of  caterpillar poisoning.

Hairy caterpillars are usually irresistible to dogs, they will try to play with them, sniff them or nibble on them. Some veterinarians think its because of their smell but I am not sure how they came to this conclusion. Cats generally avoid hairy caterpillars and they seem to be afraid of them.

Whatever the case these caterpillars can be very poisonous. Some species acquire poisonous chemicals from their host plants and some species also have the ability to make their own defences. Common defences include: cardiac glycosides (or cardenolides), pyrrolizidine alkaloids, pyrazines and histamines.

Although you may not think of your cuddly pooch as a predator this is what he essentially is. And like all predators dogs have a set of glands located on the both sides of the rectum, with their ducts emptying slightly below the anus.

Ferrets and cats too have these glands but in cats anal gland impaction is very rare.

Anal glands are often misunderstood and many vets don’t learn enough about them in school. Well at least this was true in my case. Not surprisingly most of the dog owners are not even aware of their existence.   Today we will try to demystify this unsightly and smelly part of your dog’s anatomy.

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