Helping Lost Dogs Go Home Again.
Lost Dogs of Wisconsin and Illinois offer these suggestions.
Earlier this week a story in Time magazine online reported on a new recruiting effort focused on pet dogs with naturally occurring cancer that offers researchers an opportunity to learn more about cancer in people.
From Time story–
“…If slobbery kisses and adoring tail wags weren’t enough to secure dogs’ reputation as man’s best friend, a new initiative from some creative cancer researchers may do just that. By recruiting pet dogs with naturally occurring cancers into clinical trials, oncologists may be able to develop treatments that could eventually be used effectively in humans as well…”
A paper published this week in the Public Library of Science’s open-access journal PLoS Medicine by researchers at the National Cancer Institute explain how recruiting dogs for cancer research trials offers researchers ways to consider the many similarities in the progression of cancers in humans and canines—similarities that often cannot be recreated in mice in the lab.
Reported in the Time story, the researchers wrote, “Similar environmental, nutrition, age, sex, and reproductive factors lead to tumor development and progression in human and canine cancers. They share similar features such as histologic appearance, tumor genetics, biological behavior, molecular targets, therapeutic response, and unfortunately, acquired resistance, recurrence, and metastasis.”
The National Cancer Institute’s Comparative Oncology Trials Consortium leads the effort and involves 18 different veterinary institutions across the U.S. The Canine Comparative Oncology & Genomics Consortium is responsible for a tissue bank of canine tumors.
Because dogs share the same environment as people and are genetically similar in some respects to people, with their shorter life expectancy they can be bellwethers for various human diseases.
The paper is Open Access and available at http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.1000161
Canine Comparative Oncology & Genomics Consortium
National Cancer Institute (includes map of vet school partner locations)
Days of rain have hung up in the top few inches of soil and created a good environment for growing mushrooms. Unfortunately, the fungi tend to be poisonous to dogs and children. Some deadly.
Mushrooms have grown around some of the old maple and oak trees on my place before but in the past couple of weeks they seem to be everywhere and of many different varieties. From tiny orange dots scattered among tiny mosses, to half pound white globes growing at the base of the long dead cottonwood tree.
Some look like clam shells partially open and are almost as big as dinner plates. Others have cherry red dusted tops or are orange slimy orbs.
According to experts, most mushrooms are toxic and can affect liver, heart, kidneys and neurological systems. If you see them, you best assume they are poisonous and the prevent your dog from ingesting them.
Because there are so many types of mushrooms this year, I’ve been removing them by hand wearing gloves and going around the property a couple times a day. I put them into a plastic bag, tie it closed and place it in the garbage can. That is the safest way to dispose of them and limit spreading. After I am done picking the day’s crop, I leave my garden gloves in the garage where the dogs cannot sniff them. Then I go into the house and wash my hands and arms with warm, soapy water. Be careful not to carry bits of mushrooms into the house or dog areas on your shoes.
It usually takes a couple of walks around the yard to be sure I have most of the fungi. Because the tree leaves are beginning to fall, and changing light during the day it is easy to mistake a mushroom cap for a leaf.
Among the most deadly is the Amanita phalloides or Death Cap mushroom. For more information on types of mushrooms visit http://americanmushrooms.com.
If you suspect your dog has ingested a mushroom, call your vet immediately for directions to make him/her vomit. Try and collect bits of the mushroom or take a photo for identification and give it to your vet. They will be able to help your pet recover and limit organ damage or even safe the dog’s life.
Be extra careful to remove those “schrooms” because where a dog can reach them, so could a toddler or small, curious child.
By Bobbie Kolehouse
Everyone knows about the importance of keeping our teeth clean with regular brushing , flossing and dental check-ups but for some of us, it maybe was less purposeful and more of a nagging drilled into us from childhood.
“Did you brush your teeth?”
Recent studies have demonstrated the importance of good oral health to our overall health. Chronic gum infections can affect all of our vital organs and compromise our immune systems in ways that put us at risk for serious illness. Abscesses deep in the gums can foster infections that can kill. A bright smile is much more than a cosmetic indulgence, but a basic health concern.
It is the same for your dog. Gum health is the measure of oral health. Tartar and plaque build-up under the gum line and can affect your dog’s health. It can cause mild to severe gum infections that can compromise your dog’s health and shorten its life.
The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends daily brushing with a toothpaste made for dogs. The AVMA website has launched a new instructional video of how to brush your dog’s teeth, http://tinyurl.com/d4m6lw. Dr. Sheldon Rubin demonstrates easy, step-by-step instructions on how to teach a dog to accept a daily tooth brushing and describes healthy treats.
Additional tools and resources are available on the “Pets Need Dental Care, Too” website http://tinyurl.com/aqf465 and an informal survey of experts on Cocker Spaniels found several products they’ve used successfully in addition to daily brushing. They are,
- MaxiGuard oral cleaner
- PetzLife Gel
- CET toothpaste and sprays
- Twistix dental chews (wheat and soy free, low fat)
- Greenies dental chews
- Nyla-Bone Pearly Whites chews
- Hartz Mountain electric toothbrush (low vibration and tone dogs seem to tolerate)
- Finger brushes made for pets
Never use any product containing xylitol. It is toxic to dogs and cats in small amounts. Only use products made for dogs and or cats.
Your dog’s oral health involves more than bad breath. Dental disease can harm your dog’s health in ways that damage its heart, liver, kidneys and other organs, and can compromise its immune system in ways that put her at risk for life-threatening disease. But you can manage this to reduce your dog’s risk for serious complications of dental disease with daily brushing, use of plaque removing treatments, and regular veterinary check-ups. With regular care your dog can have sparkling good health.