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Archive for the ‘Canine Health’ Category

Rescued Pitt Bull Needs Help

I found “Jade,” a pregnant lab/pit mix, with a companion, stuck between the inner and outer lanes of I-485 (Mile marker 9.6). Jade was actually in the center lane making her way to the median in the middle of the highway which consisted of metal rails and a patch of grass.

Oddly there were no cars ahead of me or behind me at the time. I began slowing down and swerving the car to capture the attention of the dogs and any cars coming up from behind in the distance.

I managed to corral the dogs with the car and out of oncoming traffic (for the moment).

The companion dog was obviously scared and aggressive. He wanted nothing to do with people. I rustled through the car looking for ANY food I might have. As fate would have it I found a Ziploc bag with about three puppy treats in it (I ended up with this bag the night before when a teammate forgot her new puppy’s items, leaving them behind at the field. She asked me to grab them for her.)

I used the three treats as slowly as possible. As soon as the attention from the dogs would fade, and they would start off towards the rear of the car to cross the highway, I’d whistle them back and drop a little bit of treat to the ground. I found a granola bar as well which they enjoyed. Jade just sat and watched me, wanting more food passed out the window.

During all of this I was on the phone with 911, 311, and ultimately, Animal Control. Approximately 15 minutes passed until AC arrived. They caught Jade as she put up no fight. The other dog was aggressively restrained and added to the truck.

This was on a Sunday.

Tuesday afternoon I stopped by Animal Control after work. I wanted to check on the dogs and see if it would be possible to take a few photos to put on facebook to help in the adoption process.

Animal Control informed me that Pit Bulls were not permitted to be adopted “out” in Mecklenburg County and that the female would be destroyed, regardless of her pregnancy. The male was apparently put down immediately due to his aggressiveness. They theorized he was “wild.”

After trying to listen and understand the county’s stance on Pit Bulls I was unable to contain my disgust. An employee at AC pulled me aside and told me of the only possible way to save the dog. It would require not only finding an adoptive parent for her but a “rescue” group to “bail” her out (as rescue groups here are typically too full to take in an addition).

Let me just say that at no point did I feel as though Animal Control wanted to do anything other than destroy this dog. There was ABSOLUTELY NO EFFORT on their part to help. I even asked for a photo. They told me to get the one online. I left Animal Control feeling an immense sense of responsibility to save this dog’s life. After all, it was because of me that she was now in this horrible predicament.

When I found the image online, I had to do a screen-grab, save it, open it in Photoshop, crop it, and save it. Not exactly “user-friendly.” Way to go GovCo!

I utilized my knowledge of social media to start spreading the word. Wilson, from Fox News Rising, and I have bantered back and forth on occasion as he is a HUGE SPEED fan (where I work). He was kind enough to mention the situation several times on his morning show and, as luck would have it, he knew someone at Project Halo and reached out to them.

Project Halo stepped up and offered to “bail” her out as long as I had a foster home for her. Finally, a friend of a friend said, “I’ll take her…” I promised as much effort to help her with the cost of the puppies and medical treatment for the entire family. I have since set up a “Chip-In” account for donations to help with medical needs. (Donation Page)

Jade’s “extermination” date was Thursday, April 22nd. I called and emailed Animal Control several times to be sure they understood she was officially being rescued. They said they would begin the health check on Thursday morning. We bailed her out that evening around 6:30pm. The medical checkup before her found that she had heartworm. Additional tests revealed she was beginning to go into labor.

On Saturday, April 24th, Jade had 9 puppies. Each healthy and happy. If you’ve seen the photos you can see the pride in her eyes.

Everything in this world is cyclical. Never believe otherwise. The coincidence, timing, and outcome of this were absolute fate, without a doubt.

Dogs Bad Breath

When puppies are little they have that wonderful puppy breath. Today, my lab came up and all I could think was WOAH that stinks! His breath has just gotten bad. I started digging in and doing some research on how to solve this dogs bad breath problem.

Typically bad breath comes from plaque. If this is the case your vet can help by doing a dental cleaning. Most vets recommend this once a year. Along with brushing daily (using doggie tooth paste) this can really solve the problem. Lots of people like to feed their dogs raw food, bones or turkey necks. This can also really help keep plaque at bay. I personally do this with my dogs, but as with anything check with your vet prior to starting something new.

Another reason for bad breath is if your doggie eats something yucky outside. My lab loves to eat rabbit poo which is just gross. We have a few things in place to help with this problem. We watch him when he goes out and we tell him to leave it if we see him sniffing too long in the yard.

There is another product called oxyfresh. I have yet to try it but have placed my order. We’ll see how it goes and post the updates!

Rawhides for dogs

It was Christmas morning, and my mom came over with gifts for all, including our dog Nitro. He loves food, and he loves to chew. He immediately tore into his gift which was a nice big rawhide. He’s never had one in his life, so he was excited.

He sat down with his rawhide which was made in the USA. I do not recommend buying rawhides from other countries as you dont know what they use for a preservative – I have heard it can have levels of arsenic. I haven’t verified if that is true. In about an hour, the rawhide was gone. I knew that meant troubl, he would likely have some upset tummy issues later that day and sure enough he did.

My recommendation on raw hides is they are OK every once in a while, buy only the ones from the USA (made in the USA) and watch your dog. They can get stuck in their throats. I take away the end pieces. My preference is to only give your dog raw bones or my favorite – deer antlers. You can purchase deer antlers at They last a long time and are well worth the money!

Anal Gland Disease in Dogs

Anal gland problems are just no fun for anyone. They are sacs that in normal animals get expressed naturally when they go potty or when they are frightened. If you have a dog with this issue, you will see signs like sniffing, scooting, and biting or licking the rear area. Its a very unpleasant odor.

When you see the first signs of this issue I recommend you get to your vet or groomer to have the anal glands expressed. This is typically included in the grooming fee but can be around $15 at the vet. I do not recommend trying to do this yourself, its messy and if done wrong can cause problems.

We have a dog with anal gland disease and he is on a high quality food but it has low fiber content. Since he has allergies its hard to find a higher fiber food for him. We are going to try supplementing with veggies or bananas. When you do this you have to add it slowly to their diet as you don’t want to cause an upset stomach. Hopefully it will help our poor doggie! If not the next step may be a raw diet. Check back and I’ll post an update.

Pet Insurance for your Dog or Puppy

Should you get pet insurance?

Trying to decide if you should get insurance on your pet? There are of course pro’s and con’s to it. Years ago I decided to try it out. I thought, if something happened, it would be a good decision to have it. Some plans will cover basic vet care and heartworm and things like that. Read through the information below and make a decision for you and your beloved pets.

Standard Care is the essential care that is required for any pet. This usually includes shots, heartworm tests and supplies, and any other preventitive care that is required through an animals life. This is usually not covered by most insurance plans and requires a special extra fee. Calculate the cost of this fee and then call your local vets office to get a price quote and compare the two. Keep in mind that sometimes your vet may be more costly than using an online pharmacy, so price out those options as well.

Accidents happen to pets all the time. Just the other day, my dog broke his nail. We had to go to the vet, have it removed, and get a shot of antibiotics. The total cost was $50 for this procedure. Of course, not everything is covered so you need to discuss this with the insurance company and find out exactly what is covered. When I was with one insurance company I actually got charged for submitting claims that weren’t covered. Of course I had no way of knowing what was covered and what wasn’t.

Every owners fear is the dreaded Cancer word. At least I know it is mine. Cancer procedures and testing is not covered by most companies. There are special riders for this as well. But you have to purchase them BEFORE the dog has cancer. Otherwise it is excluded as preexisting.

The bottom line is do your research, talk to your vet, talk to different companies and try to make the best decision you can for your loved ones. I know that vet insurance has worked for so many people. In the long run, I think its a gamble, just like life insurance. If you dont have it and something happens you kick yourself that you should have just done it. But in other cases, you do have it, and nothing thankfully ever goes wrong.