Tag Archives: dogs

Owning a Dog makes You live Longer

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Having a dog can bring a lot of love into your life. It could also make it last a little longer.

A group of academics from Uppsala University in Sweden analyzed the health records of 3.4 million people in that northern European country, where databases contain detailed information on everyone’s hospitalizations, medical history and even whether they own a dog. Such detailed records made it relatively easy to suss out the impact of having a canine companion.

People in possession of a pooch were less likely to have cardiovascular disease or die from any cause during the 12 years covered by the research, according to the study published in Scientific Reports. The impact was greatest for single people, said Mwenya Mubanga, an author of the paper from the university’s Department of Medical Sciences and the Science for Life Laboratory.

“Dog ownership was especially prominent as a protective factor in persons living alone, which is a group reported previously to be at higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death,” Mubanga said. “Perhaps a dog may stand in as an important family member in the single households.”

 

Humans Love Dogs More than Humans

Humans love dogs more than their fellow man.

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Two major studies showed that mankind has more empathy for pooches in dire circumstances than suffering people, according to a report in the Times of London.
A UK medical research charity staged two phony donation campaigns – one with a dog and the other featuring a man. Of course, the pooch drew more contributions.
“Would you give pounds 5 to save Harrison from a slow, painful death?” the separate ads said, featuring a canine and human “Harrison.”

Then a Northeastern University study showed that only a baby human could compete with man’s best friend.
Students were showed fake newspaper clippings about a baseball-bat attack on a puppy, an adult dog, a year-old infant and 30-year-old adult. They were asked questions to gauge their empathy and the adult finished last in sympathy.
“Respondents were significantly less distressed when adult humans were victimized, in comparison with human babies, puppies and adult dogs,” according to Northeastern researchers. “Only relative to the infant victim did the adult dog receive lower scores of empathy.

Dogs in Space

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Ben Marks of Collectors Weekly says: “Lisa Hix has just written a very cool piece about Laika, Belka, Strelka, and the other canine cosmonauts who paved the way for Russian Yuri Gagarin’s maiden orbit of the Earth in 1961.

With interviews and images supplied by the author and publisher of Soviet Space Dogs, Lisa’s story answers questions about how these animals were selected for training, how they relieved themselves in space, and what sort of welcome they could expect if they returned safely to Earth (not all did).”

Dogs had a history of scientific experimentation in the USSR. Petrovich Pavlov had used them to great effect in his studies of the reflex system. Despite this, apes were initially considered as they more closely resemble man in many ways. Dr. Oleg Gazenko, one of the leading scientists of the space program, even visited the circus to observe the famous monkey handler Capellini, who convinced him that monkeys were, in fact, problematic.

They required intense training and numerous vaccines and were emotionally unstable. (Cats did not tolerate flight conditions; that was later proved by French missions in 1963.)

The decision was made: Dogs would be the first cosmonauts.

Source: boing boing

Human Food for the Dog

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We know it’s best to avoid feeding man’s best friend with table scraps, but sometimes those puppy-dog eyes get the best of us and we can’t resist slipping them a treat from our plates.

MDC says, ” read those ingredients, and make sure to avoid the made in china ” treats.

But just because a food is good for us doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe for dogs.

Here’s a list of dog-approved people foods, as well as some items you should never share with your canine companion.

Keep in mind though that every dog is different, so try these foods in small amounts, and if your dog has a reaction to any of them, consult a veterinarian.

Do-your-doggie-good foods:

Peanut butter: Giving your dog the occasional tablespoon of unsalted peanut butter is a treat you can both enjoy. It’s a great source of protein and healthy fats for dogs, and it’s a perfect photo opportunity for you.

Yogurt: High in protein and calcium, plain yogurt is an ideal treat for dogs, especially if your pooch suffers from digestion problems. Make sure you opt for yogurts that don’t contain added sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a good source of fiber, making it great for dogs with bowel irregularity issues, and it’s also safe for dogs with wheat allergies. Before serving it to your pet, cook the oatmeal and don’t add any sugar.

Chicken: If your dog requires extra protein in his diet, cooked, unseasoned chicken is an easy addition to his regular food. It also makes a good meal replacement if you’re out of dog food.

Salmon: Dogs can benefit from omega 3 fatty acids too, so slip some cooked salmon into the food bowl for a healthier, shinier coat.

Broccoli: This vitamin-rich vegetable can be a great occasional nutrition boost for dogs. However, it shouldn’t make up more than 10 percent of a dog’s diet as it could cause gastrointestinal irritation.

Pumpkin: You can serve your dog pumpkin — raw or in a can — as a source of fiber or vitamin A. It’s also a helpful addition to doggie diets if your pooch is experiencing digestion problems.

Green beans: Nutritious and low in calories, green beans are a good choice that will load dogs up with iron and vitamins. Make sure to feed your dog only fresh beans or canned ones with no added salt.

Cottage cheese: This bland food is high in calcium and protein, so it can be a good addition to dog food. However, avoid it if your dog has issues digesting dairy.

Carrots: This vegetable is low in calories and high in fiber and vitamins. Plus, crunching on carrots can be good for dogs’ teeth.

Eggs: If your pooch needs a protein boost, scramble an egg for a healthy snack.

Foods not fit for Fido:

Chocolate: You’ve likely heard that you’re never supposed to feed a dog chocolate, and there’s a reason for that. That delicious candy contains caffeine-like stimulants known as methylxanthines. If ingested in large amounts, chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, seizures and even death.

Grapes and raisins: While this fruit is nutritious for you, it’s toxic to dogs and can cause kidney failure.

Onions: They may make you cry, but they can make your dog very sick by causing damage to his red blood cells.

Avocado: Avocado leaves, fruit, seeds and bark contain a toxin called persin that can cause upset stomach and breathing difficulties.

Alcohol: Even drinking a small amount of alcohol can result in significant intoxication for a dog, which can lead to vomiting, seizures and even death.

Source: mother jones network

Seizure Dog

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No one is sure why some dogs are able to sense an impending attack but for years they have been trained to alert their owners, providing a vital early warning.

Hetty, a two-year-old golden retriever-Labrador cross, has a 100 per cent success rate in predicting Tony’s regular seizures allowing the 41-year-old to be in a safe place when they begin.

Uniquely Hetty is also a fully-fledged guide dog for Tony who has been registered blind for five years. “She’s a superdog,” says Tony from Tunbridge Wells in Kent, who was diagnosed with epilepsy in her 20s.

Despite taking medication which limits seizures these frightening episodes strike regularly.

In the past she has broken ribs and other bones by collapsing without warning, striking furniture as she fell. In another incident while she was cooking Tony suffered a mini-seizure causing her to lose awareness for a few minutes. Fat in a pan overheated and spat into her eyes contributing to her blindness.

She was given her first seizure dog in 1995. At that time she was suffering 12 major attacks a week and up to 40 minor episodes.

“They can be dangerous,” says Tony, a mother-of-two girls Grace, 11 and Mimi, five.

“I once fell through a glass shower screen. Receiving a warning makes all the difference.”

However her advancing blindness, also caused by a retinal disease, created a new problem.

So two organisations Guide Dogs For The Blind and Support Dogs went into partnership to train the first animal in the UK to have the dual roles.

Hetty began as one of 1,300 dogs a year specially bred to become guiders. About 900 come through the training process and Hetty was chosen to take on the second job because of her excellent temperament, boundless energy, intelligence and loyalty.

Almost 200 support dogs have been trained since 1993.

In addition to her advanced guide-dog training in Sheffield, Hetty spent one day a week learning to become a seizure dog.

It included working with Tony and beginning to recognise advance signs of her seizures which are imperceptible to humans. Typically these dogs appear to be able to provide about 40 minutes warning probably by sensing some physiological change. Some dogs bark but Hetty’s warning is to rest her head on Tony’s leg and nudge her. Additionally if there is a major seizure on the way she will paw Tony’s leg.

“There was an immediate bond between us,” recalls Tony, who is married to Dan, 48, an engineer. “Now she’s never more than a few feet away and we’ve nicknamed her ‘my little shadow’. Having Hetty gives me my independence and the confidence to leave the house.

“Guiding requires great concentration in a dog, helping me avoid cars, bins and everything that gets left on the pavements.

“Then there’s the extra strain of alerting me to a seizure but I can set my watch by how reliable she is.

“When I have a seizure Hetty lies behind me until I recover. They usually last between five and 10 minutes but if you have a warning, the fear is taken away.

“Before I had no way of knowing if they were coming. Now if I’m out shopping I can jump on the bus and get home or at least warn people around me what is about to happen.

“She is phenomenal and with Hetty on duty 24 hours a day I feel safe. She’s a bright dog who is always up for the challenge. Hetty is one of the family.” The dog is also able to unload a washing machine and pick up small fallen objects which Tony is unable to see.

The collaboration between the two charities is likely to open the way for more dogs being trained to take on dual roles to help people with several disabilities. Dogs are already trained to help people who are both deaf and blind.

Although some breeds aren’t suitable, Labradors and golden retrievers do especially well. However becoming a successful guider is more about the personality of the animal.

It was important to ensure that giving the dog another role did not compromise the guiding ability says Lee Stanway of Guide Dogs For The Blind who arranged Hetty’s training.

“We started with a group of eight dogs and ended up with two including Hetty,” he says.

“We think only about five to 10 per cent of the dogs we breed might be capable of doing both jobs.

“It’s not easy and we are looking for dogs who are gregarious, adaptable and confident.

“Hetty ticked all the boxes. We did have a few doubts but it was fantastic to see everything work out.”

Source: For more information about the work of the two organisations involved in Hetty’s training visit www.guidedogs.org.uk and www.support-dogs.org.uk

Happy Passover

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Earlier this week, as she prepared for Passover, Shannon Gessner suddenly remembered her dog, Marcy.

“This is our first Passover together,” says the 32-year-old account manager who lives on the Upper West Side with her 3-year-old mini-schnauzer. An observant “modern Orthodox” Jewish woman, Gessner has had the stray rescue since July and didn’t know what to do about her pup’s food for the upcoming holy festival, which starts Monday and lasts eight days.

“I e-mailed my rabbi about how to prepare for Passover when you have a dog,” says Gessner.

When it comes to the annual celebration, some observant pet owners don’t only avoid eating grains and leavened breads, known as chametz, themselves; they also have Fido and Fluffy abide by the dietary restrictions to keep their homes holy.

MDC keeps the fantastic shi-tzu Hazel consuming only homemade items during the Passover holiday.

For the past 20 years, Star-K, a kosher certification agency, has been publishing an annual list of Passover-friendly pet foods. The brands on the list aren’t necessarily kosher, but they are Passover-friendly in that they are free of wheat and rice.

This year’s list was posted in early March, since many pet owners make the food transitions slowly so their pets have time to get used to the new foods.
“It’s not soon enough,” jokes Rabbi Zvi Goldberg with Star-K. “We get calls about Passover even in January.”

Rebecca Singer Walker, the 30-year-old director of the Israeliness Community at the 92Y, doesn’t look to the Star-K list for her 8-year-old Yorkie, Miles. She just feeds him what she eats.

“I’m going to be cooking beef or chicken or fish,” says Walker, a Riverdale resident.

For some, tweaking their pets’ diet is too much hassle, and they go for other options. “Depending on how strict you are, some people might board their pet for a week,” says Rabbi Ayelet S. Cohen, the director of the Center for Jewish Living at the Jewish Community Center on the Upper West Side.
Others ceremoniously “sell” their pet’s food to a nonobservant friend for Passover. That way, Cohen explains, “the food doesn’t belong to you, it just lives in your house.”

That’s what Rikki Davidson, 29, plans to do. Davidson, who lives on the Upper West side with her husband, her son and her 7-year-old Maltese, Zoe, doesn’t want to be wasteful, so she plans to sell Zoe’s favorite treat, Nutri Dent, to a nonobserver and keep it in their house. After the holiday, she’ll buy it back. The dog’s regular kibble isn’t an issue.

“Zoe happens to be on a grain-free dog food,” Davidson explains.
Things aren’t so convenient for Gessner and Marcy.

I was hoping I would get away with feeding her dog food, but [my rabbi] wants to err on the side of caution, so we’re going to be cooking for her,” says Gessner.

She plans to feed Marcy “human food,” which will include organic kosher meat and apples, instead of her typical diet of Orijen kibble. The pup will also have to forego her favorite treats, Wagatha’s biscuits and chewy bully sticks.

“It’s going to be hard, though, because she loves to chew,” says Gessner. “But I’m handmaking her breakfast and dinner, so she’ll survive.”

Source: nypost

Dog to the Rescue

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It’s been said that dogs are able to read our body language. They know when we’re ready to take them for a walk or when we’re getting ready to feed them.

In January, BBC Earth uploaded a video which takes us behind the scenes of the loving relationship between Maureen Burns and her dog, Max.

When her then-9-year-old collie cross, who was normally so full of life, began acting strangely, Burns was worried that he was dying.

“The odd signs were when he would come up and touch my breast with his nose, and back off so desperately unhappy with such a sad look in his eyes,” Burns said in the video.

Burns had a lump in her breast, but her last mammogram had been clear so she didn’t think anything of it. That is, until she linked the lump to Max’s behavior, and decided to get a scan and a mammogram, both of which came back negative again. Eventually, after undergoing a surgical biopsy, cancer was detected in Burns’ breast.

According to the BBC, many dogs can smell the chemicals given off by cancerous tumors.

In 2003, the InSitu Foundation performed a study and found the canines can sniff out lung and breast cancer by smelling a patient’s breath, the New York Daily News reported.

According to the InSitu Foundation, dogs accuracy levels for the early detection of lung and breast cancer has been found to be 88 percent specific and 99 percent sensitive.

When Burns left the hospital after having the lump removed, she says immediately noticed a change in Max’s behavior.

“He put his nose across my breast to check where the operation had been and was wagging his tail and his eyes were happy,” Burns said in the video. “I love Max and I owe him so much.”

Bordetella Scam

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MDC says, if you are a dog owner please research your veterinarian. Just like your local doctor offering the flu shot, please read the fine print. These are all financial medical instruments utilized for revenue without any proper testing .

Bordetella or Kennel Cough is commonly required by boarding kennels and veterinary hospitals. These vaccinations are delivered to a staggeringly large percentage of dogs and the reason is not to protect your dog: the reason is to protect these facilities against liability.

The proprietors who push for these vaccines may be assuming more liability than they can handle and the stakes are very high. The truth is, the vaccines are not only ineffective but they are far from safe. Yet they are routinely given to combat a self limiting disease that amounts to as much danger to your dog as the common cold does to you.

What is interesting is that when you bring your dog to the vet for his Bordetella vaccination, he will have already been exposed to the natural flora: all animals are exposed to both Bordetella and Parainfluenza prior to vaccination. It makes little sense to vaccinate an animal for something he has already been exposed to.

There are at least forty agents capable of initiating Bordetella so vaccination might appear to be prudent if it weren’t for the fact that only two of these agents are contained in the intranasal vaccine. This poor percentage truly makes the Bordetella vaccine a shot in the dark. The lack of efficacy is well summarized by noted immunologist Dr. Ronald Schultz: “Kennel Cough is not a vaccinatable disease”.

Despite the lack of any real effectiveness, the Bordetella vaccine is routinely given and touted as safe, especially in the intranasal form. Make no mistake however: the dangers and misinformation surrounding this seemingly innocuous spray are just as tangible and frightening as any other vaccination. A major problem with the Bordetella vaccine is that it is part of a combination vaccine. Unbeknownst to most pet owners, the Bordetella intranasal spray also contains Parainfluenza (the vaccine for which is not surprisingly, just as ineffective as Bordetella). The problems with the Parainfluenza portion
are threefold.

First, there is a real danger of dangerous immunological overload when vaccinations are offered in combination. Second, like Bordetella, most dogs have already been exposed to Parainfluenza, making the necessity of vaccination questionable. Third, the Parainfluenza vaccine is just as ineffective as the Bordetella vaccine because the vaccine does not provide antibody against Parainfluenza where it is most needed: on the mucosal surfaces.

Other dangers associated with the Bordetella vaccine are obviously not far removed from the dangers associated with any other vaccination. Although Bordetella is a bacterial vaccine, we now know that bacterial vaccines present the same threat as Modified Live Vaccines. Modified Live Viruses from human vaccines are now known to become incorporated in the genes of the host and can shuffle, reassert, and reactivate thirty or more years after vaccination.

Bacterial genes are capable of the same activity, lurking in the genetic makeup, waiting to replicate and awaken. The intranasal Bordetella vaccine has
been known to activate a previously asymptomatic collapsing trachea and disrupt phagocytic activity which can progress to pneumonia. The toxins from the vaccine will also kill the ciliated lining of the trachea, creating a denuded area susceptible to anything coming down the windpipe. Perhaps collapsing trachea, irritable tracheas and pneumonias are all complications of Bordetella and the Bordetella vaccine.

Vaccination of any sort also elevates histamine which can promote cancer, chronic inflammation and loss of tolerance. In general, all vaccination creates immune dysregulation and is responsible for a vast array of pathology. The Bordetella vaccine can wreak havoc outside the body as well. Bordetella will shed from a vaccinated host for seven weeks while Parainfluenza will shed for a week. This means that every vaccinated dog is a walking dispenser of potentially damaging bacteria.

While the risk to other dogs is obvious, it should be of little concern to healthy dogs because Bordetella is generally a self limiting disease. What you might find surprising is that the shed bacteria is a risk to other animals…and to people. The reason we now have a feline Bordetella (and not surprisingly, a feline Bordetella vaccine), is likely thanks to the widespread use and subsequent shedding of Bordetella from vaccinated dogs to cats sharing the household. If this seems hard to imagine, consider how dogs first fell victim to Canine Influenza.

Canine Influenza was initially documented in racing greyhounds. It is worth noting that many of these dogs shared tracks with race horses: race horses who are routinely vaccinated with Equine Influenza. It is not a stretch to predict Bordetella will infect gerbils, hamsters and rabbits in the near future and it is with certainty that the vaccine manufacturers will be well rewarded with the continued fruits of their canine Bordetella vaccine.

Not surprisingly, humans are not left out of the equation. Ruth Berkelman MD (Former Assistant Surgeon General, US Public Health Service) writes: “The potential for both exposure and for adverse consequences secondary to exposure to veterinary vaccines in humans is growing. Enhanced efforts are needed to recognize and to prevent human illness associated with the use of veterinary vaccines”. Dr. Berkelman noted that pertussis an whooping cough-like complaints in children followed exposure to Bordetella bronchiseptica from the Bordetella vaccine and it is no coincidence that Bordetella bronchiseptica and whooping cough pertussis are very closely related. Interestingly, the rate of whooping cough is highest in highly vaccinated populations.

Immunocompromised humans and animals are at an elevated risk of infection from these canine vaccines. There is a recently reported case of Bordetella bronchiseptica pneumonia in a kidney and pancreas transplant patient who had to board and subsequently vaccinate her dogs at a veterinary clinic while she was hospitalized. Vaccines contain contaminating agents including mycoplasmas which are also very communicable to humans and other mammals.

In the end, vaccination for Bordetella is at best fruitless and at worst, a pathetic fraudulence at the hands of veterinarians and vaccine manufacturers. It is up to you whether or not your dog receives this vaccination and that is not overstating the obvious. Sadly, most pet owners are aware of this but choose vaccination because they feel they are at the mercy of boarding kennels, training schools and veterinarians.

Source: Patricia Monahan Jordan is a graduate of the North Carolina College of Veterinary Medicine. She practiced conventional veterinary medicine for twenty years and founded six different veterinary facilities in North Carolina. Dr. Jordan has traced the paths of immunopathology to vaccine administration and uncovered the cycle of disease and the endless cycle of disease management that results from vaccine administration. Dr. Jordan can be reached at www.dr-jordan.com.

Poop Research

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MDC says, a study published this week in the journal Frontiers in Zoology suggests that dogs choose to relieve themselves along a north-south axis in line with Earth’s magnetic field. The Motherboard blog reported on the study’s findings, saying that the research was carried out by a team of Czech and German scientists.

“Dogs are sensitive to small variations of the Earth’s magnetic field,” said the research team. “Dogs preferred to excrete with the body being aligned along the North-south axis” rather than the East-west axis.

The study examined the daily habits of 70 dogs during 1,893 defecations and 5,582 urinations over the course of two years. Consistently, during times of calm electromagnetic “weather,” the dogs chose to eliminate while facing north or south.

Dogs are not the only animals that are sensitive to the Earth’s magnetism. When it comes time for them to mate, salmon use their sense of the Earth’s magnetism to find their way back to the spawning grounds where they were born. Birds, similarly, migrate along magnetic lines. Even ants have been proven to have a sense of the Earth’s alignment and to distinguish between north, south, east and west.

As to why the dogs prefer to poop facing north or south rather than east or west, that’s still a mystery.

“It is still enigmatic why the dogs do align at all, whether they do it ‘consciously’ (i.e., whether the magnetic field is sensorial perceived (the dogs ‘see,’ ‘hear’ or ‘smell’ the compass direction or perceive it as a haptic stimulus) or whether its reception is controlled on the vegetative level (they ‘feel better/more comfortable or worse/less comfortable’ in a certain direction),” wrote researchers, “Our analysis of the raw data (not shown here) indicates that dogs not only prefer N-S direction, but at the same time they also avoid E-W direction.”

The dogs did not exhibit the preference, however, when they were being walked on leashes. It was only when left to their own devices that they expressed the preference.

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Don’t beat Animals

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MDC and The NYPD has a message for any creep who would hurt an animal: Beware of the cops.
Starting next year, cops will respond to all complaints of animal cruelty in a collaboration with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) — a move that will put the society’s current humane law enforcement unit out of work. Previously, people would report animal cruelty or neglect to an ASPCA hotline, and the unit, composed of former cops, would investigate.

MDC says, just another example of diligent activism work stemming from a citizen being harassed and than beaten with his dog in his arms by the parks department . (Gonna get Ya)

Previously, people would report animal cruelty or neglect to an ASPCA hotline, and the unit, composed of former cops, would investigate. Humane law enforcement investigators predict the NYPD won’t be able to handle the extra cases.

But beginning next year, people will call 311 or 911. An NYPD cop will take the complaint and hand the case over to precinct detectives.

In turn, the ASPCA will treat the injured animals and conduct forensic evaluations, officials said.

Humane law enforcement investigators were told Wednesday that Dec. 31 would be their last day as animal cops — and they predicted the NYPD wouldn’t be able to handle the extra cases.