Category Archives: Professor Scamp Ph.D (Pretty Happy Dog)

Vol. 12, No. 5 – Dec 5 – Dec 18, 2018 – The Pet Page

• Razzle Dazzle some cat stole your photo so please send it to us again.

Therapy dogs bring joy to patients at CMH.

• Therapy dogs Lola, Herbie, Livi, Posey, Molli and Jock currently visit the patients and staff at CMHS twice a month. They meet at 11am in the lobby and visit patients who would like to see the dogs on the sixth floor and, if there are patients in Pediatrics on 7, they visit with them. They visit in teams of two. It brings such joy to patients, staff, families and visitors. Much more so than a human.

They represent the Dr Peter Gall Therapy Dog Program

Five new Search Teams were partnered at the National Training Center.

•On October 26, five new Search Teams were partnered at the National Training Center as the training team officially handed the Search Dogs’ leashes over to their new firefighter-handlers. With nearly 100 friends, family, SDF staff and volunteers in attendance, they welcomed the newest teams to the SDF family: Mike Devine & Sonny and Ryan Greenup & Koda (both with Los Angeles County Fire Department/California Task Force 2), Michael Bruce & Cooper, Imelda Cordova & Knox, both Orange County Fire Authority, and Wade Haller & Dallas of Long Beach Fire Department (all with California Task Force 5). Congratulations to the new teams and a big thank you to everyone who helped these dogs and handlers achieve this first major milestone in their careers together!

• By Hannah Beers

Cats and dogs may occupy similar places in people’s hearts, but when it comes to the two species’ hearts—and heart disease—there are a lot of differences. Dr. Ryan Fries, a veterinary cardiologist at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, explains some of these differences and how he is working to improve the prospects for afflicted cats.

Chronic valvular disease is the most common type of heart disease in dogs. In it, the valves degenerate and become misshapen, causing the valves to leak. Occasionally cats are born with heart valve disease, but the development of degenerative valvular disease over time, as it occurs in dogs, is not seen in cats.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, on the other hand, accounts for 80 percent of cases of heart disease in domestic cats but is rare in dogs. In this disease, one or several areas of the walls of the heart become abnormally thickened.

“Certain breeds, such as Maine Coon and Ragdoll cats, are genetically predisposed to developing hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, but any cat can develop this disease,” says Dr. Fries.

Genetic tests are available for predisposed breeds to identify cats that carry the genetic mutation for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Cats carrying this mutation should not be bred.

Restrictive cardiomyopathy and dilated cardiomyopathy are rarely seen in cats.

“Dilated cardiomyopathy was actually very common in cats before the 1980s. Then, veterinarians discovered that dilated cardiomyopathy was linked to a taurine deficiency in commercial cat food. Now that taurine is appropriately added to cat food, this problem is quite rare in cats,” explains Dr. Fries.

Not only do the types of heart disease cats and dogs acquire differ, so do the clinical manifestations of heart disease. “Dogs almost always have an audible murmur, meaning it can be detected with a stethoscope by a veterinarian. This is not true in cats,” he says.

Radiographs (X-rays) of the chest are also commonly used to diagnose heart disease in dogs but are not as useful in cats. “We need an echocardiogram to definitively diagnose heart disease in a cat,” says Dr. Fries.

Symptoms of heart disease in cats can be subtle and non-specific. Owners may notice that their feline friends are hiding more, are less interested in the food, or generally more lethargic. Cats are masters at hiding sickness, so any changes in behavior should tip off an owner that something isn’t quite right. Cats may also show signs of respiratory distress, such as labored breathing, panting, and open-mouth breathing.

Because of changes in blood flow and enlargement of the left atrium, cats with heart disease are at increased risk for blood clot formation within the heart. Pieces of these clots may break off, being swept by the bloodstream to locations distant from the heart (thromboembolism).

The most common site for thromboembolism in cats is the back legs (saddle thrombus). This leads to acute weakness/paralysis and pain in these limbs. Cats showing signs like this should be taken to a veterinarian immediately.

“Bringing your cat for annual examinations and talking to your veterinarian when you notice any changes in your cat’s behavior are the best ways to catch heart disease at earlier stages,” recommends Dr. Fries.

“There are basically two stages of heart disease in cats, and each hold a different prognosis. In the first stage, the cat has confirmed heart disease and is at risk of developing clinical problems,” says Dr. Fries. “In the later stage, the cat has heart disease as well as clinical problems, such as heart failure or thromboembolism. An echocardiogram with a veterinary cardiologist can determine which stage a cat is in.”

“Heart health is just as vital to cats as it is to dogs, but heart disease is much more difficult to detect in cats. Regular visits to your veterinarian can help protect your cat’s heart and overall health,” says Dr. Fries.

Vol. 12, No. 4 – Nov 21 – Dec 4, 2018 – The Pet Page

•Bio-Detection by Victoria Usher

At the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in New Orleans, double-blind lab tests have shown how two canines can correctly pick out the scent of children infected with malaria parasites seventy percent of the time. While all the schoolchildren appeared healthy, blood tests administered on-site discovered that thirty children were actually carrying the disease. This work is just a proof of concept, but the hope is that one day bio-detection dogs could be deployed at airports, ports of entry, or other border crossings, in order to prevent asymptomatic carriers of the parasite that causes malaria from bringing it back into areas where the disease has been eradicated.

The work was funded by a $100,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has made malaria a priority in recent years. In their facilities an hour outside of London, human trainers place a few drops of a standard training liquid into small glass jars. The dogs are instructed to walk down the line, pausing to sniff each one. If they stop at the new smell a trainer croons, “That’s it, good dog.” The dogs eventually learn that if they stop, sit, and point at the right jar, they will get a treat.

• Some specialist toothpastes for human-use contain ingredients which are unsafe for pets, for example xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is very poisonous to dogs. Chewable treats and bespoke dental diets aimed at preventing plaque hardening are recommended as alternatives.

More than half of the dog owners surveyed by OnePoll said they thought bad breath was normal, rather than a symptom of poor dental health.  Some admitted giving their dog chewing gum when bad breath struck, while others thought a haircut would purify the scent.

There were also respondents who thought their dog’s unsavory habits might be the root cause – and sought to keep toilet lids firmly shut to stop them drinking the water.

Only a fifth of dog owners worried about bad dog breath being a sign of a serious health problem, the survey found.

Rodney Zasman, a leading London veterinary surgeon, said: “A lot of dog owners aren’t aware of how important it is to look after their dog’s dental health.”Poor care of dogs’ dental hygiene can result in complications such as dental plaque, gum disease, tooth abscesses and difficulty eating.

”Bacteria can spread from the teeth and gums causing damage to the kidneys, liver and the heart. Painful and extensive dental surgery and treatment may be needed to cure this.”

•Recently a group of Illinois veterinary students went on an unusual field trip. The board of the Human Animal Bond Association student chapter organized a trip to tour the new dog training program located at Shawnee Correctional Center (SCC) in the small town of Vienna, Ill.

SCC houses about 1800 inmates and is a medium to maximum security prison. The program called SWATT, or Shawnee Wellness Assistance Therapy Training, was started in March, 2018 and is run by Angela Galbraith in conjunction with Project Hope Humane Society of Metropolis, Ill., which supplies the dogs and the funding for their care.

A unique feature of SWATT is that, while the program helps both the inmates and the dogs, it also helps our U.S. veterans. When the dogs graduate the training program at the correctional center, they are given, free of charge, to veterans who have applied to adopt them.

The dogs receive basic obedience training from the inmates with the assistance of a professional dog trainer, who donates her services to the prison. The dogs receive their Canine Good Citizen Ready certificate and then are ready for advanced training, which involves more specialized skills and varies according to the needs of their future owners.

The dogs are taught about wheelchairs and how to properly approach people in them. They are taught about navigating stairs and elevators or retrieving items. Also, during their stay in the prison, the dogs are brought out to local veterans’ events to help acclimate them to different social situations. They visit the VA homes and attend local parades. Angela said the veterans just love when the dogs visit; the visits really brighten their day.

•A woman who bred and sold sick puppies from her Plainfield home to people across New Jersey will never own a pet in the state again, under a sentence handed down.

Suzie Bourdouvales, 38, pled guilty to two counts of third-degree animal cruelty and was sentenced to probation. She was barred for life from owning, breeding, or selling pets in New Jersey.

The New Jersey SPCA and the prosecutor’s office searched her home after a yearlong investigation and seized 19 puppies of “varying ages and medical states” that were living in “unsafe and unsanitary conditions,” Union County Assistant Prosecutor Patricia Cronin said in the release.

Authorities said Bourdouvales had hoarded dozens of sick puppies, many of which died under her care.

Many of the dogs she sold died despite their new owners’ desperate attempts to save them, officials said.

This was not her first time selling sick animals. She previously pled guilty to selling them out of her car in Plainfield in 2015, and she was ordered to pay nearly $20,000 in restitution, the prosecutor’s office said.

The dogs seized from her home were placed into the care of the Cranford-based Best Friend Dog and Animal Adoption and Traveling Paws Animal Rescue, as well as Brendan’s Meadows Rescue in Mountainside.

Bourdouvales must also pay over $30,000 in restitution to her customers, undergo a psychological evaluation, comply with all ordered treatment, and submit to periodic monitoring.

R.I.P. Ethel

Ethel was half of a pair of Siamese sisters – her twin being Lucy (of course).  Ethel was a cross-eyed little bundle of fun and the loved and loving companion of Jane Van Note for all of her sixteen years.  She will be deeply missed by Jane, Lucy, Copper, Jack, Charlie, Princess, Orange, Alice, Taz and Cappi

Vol. 12, No. 3 – Nov 7 – Nov 20, 2018 – The Pet Page

Best in Show at the Ventura Harbor Village Howl-O-Ween contest.

• A correction to the photo and caption published in the Nov. 6th Ventura Breeze. The two that tied for Best in Show at the Ventura Harbor Village Howl-O-Ween dog costume contest were the train with the conductor and # 26 the race car dog. The later was to the right of the train and not shown in the picture published. the dog’s name is Turbo, pictured with his owner Michael DiGiulio and girlfriend Jia Wiebe.

• Can dogs help us figure out cancer?

Two recent articles published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment suggest that man’s best friend could light the path towards fighting cancer.

A team of researchers from across Europe have found that canine breast cancer remarkably resembles human breast cancer, suggesting that treatments effective on dogs could be as beneficial to their owners.

In the two related studies, researchers from France, Spain, Portugal, and Germany studied 350 dogs of various breeds with breast cancer. The first article details how factors used in human prognosis—tumor size, lymph node malignancy, kidney function, and other criteria—were applied to dogs with mastectomies, successfully predicting their survival rates.

The second study examines how chemical analysis, which is common in human diagnosis, applies to canine cancer cells. Researchers here discovered that more than three-fourths of those dogs developed an especially aggressive type of breast cancer for which there is currently no targeted treatment.

Dog access to the Botanical Gardens is limited to two days.

•Researchers at an Ontario university have used 3D-printing technology to replace the majority of a dog’s cancer-ridden skull, a novel procedure they say marks a major advancement in veterinary medicine.

Michelle Oblak, a veterinary surgical oncologist with the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College, said she believes the procedure is the first of its kind in North America and a substantive leap from one other known case. “Our hope is this is something that could be more widely available on a broad scale,” Oblak said. “It went very well.”

Patches, the nine-year-old dachshund at the center of the procedure, had a brain tumor the size of an orange that grew through her skull and would have been fatal if not treated.

“We called her our little unicorn because she had this bump on her head, but it would have killed her,” said Danielle Dymeck, who is from Willamsport, Pa. “It’s pretty amazing what they did for my girl.”

• By Dr. Celeste Conn who has a house call practice in Kent County. Visit her website at

My pets don’t brush their teeth every day. Do yours? Probably not.

While the best current advice is for owners to fulfill this task daily for our animals, my guess is few do.

Veterinarians routinely advise daily tooth brushing, advanced at-home care and routine hospital cleanings.

Just why is dental care so important? Obviously, we don’t brush teeth so dogs have nice white smiles. We perform home care for the same reason humans do — to minimize bacterial buildup on the tooth surface and to decrease plaque formation.

Plaque is a combination of bacteria, chemicals from saliva and food bits, which when not removed, accumulate to form a hard deposit on the tooth surface. Plaque can mineralize into tartar in a scant 36 hours.

Tartar, or calculus, can cut into the gum line, extending to the part of the tooth hidden under the gum. It can push the gum away from the tooth surface, allowing a pocket to form which accumulates more bacteria, food particles and debris. That’s why daily brushing is recommended-to stop the cascade.

Tooth decay, halitosis (bad breath), then bone loss occurs around a diseased tooth. It happens because the attachment of the tooth to the socket it sits in is lost.

The rules for good oral health are the same, whether dog, cat or human. Daily brushing, using a soft brush certainly helps to prevent plaque from becoming tartar. And there are animal-specific toothpastes which are not harmful if swallowed.

Animal pastes do not form suds like ours do and are flavored to increase acceptance. Dental rinses, treats and diets contribute to good oral health too.

Dental diets, which are veterinary prescription products, act to physically abrade tartar from the tooth surface by virtue of their large size and honeycomb architecture. Dental treats often use chemical means to scrub off plaque and encourage chewing.

Because in-hospital dental cleaning must be performed under anesthesia, animals need blood work to ensure their major organs can tolerate sedation. The frequency with which the procedure is done varies from pet to pet. Small breed dogs often require yearly or even biannual cleanings whereas larger breed dogs whose teeth are not so crowded may go several years between. Whether animals eat canned or dry food can also influence frequency.

Neglecting an animal’s oral hygiene has significant impact on his or her overall health. Bacteria from a diseased mouth can easily spread to other parts of the body. The valves of the heart are a notorious target for bacterial contamination as are the filtering cells of the kidney. Owners and veterinarians can and should work together to keep pets healthier through good dental care.

Vol. 12, No. 2 – Oct 24 – Nov 6, 2018 – The Pet Page

•Free pet clinic helping dogs of the homeless community. Free dog vaccinations. Friday, Oct.26, 12-2pm. SPAN 110 N. Olive, Ventura. There will also be food, toys, collars, harnesses and leashes.  Buddy Nation will be there to help and SPAN has graciously donated the space in front of their store.

•Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center (SPARC) has received a new $20,000 grant from PetSmart Charities. The grant has been earmarked to support the pet retention efforts of the Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center, so they can continue helping homeless pets in the City of Santa Paula.

On Oct. 20, a large cheering (and warm) crowd enjoyed the Howl-O-Ween costume dog contest held at the Ventura Harbor Village. The selected judges chose these 2 (a tie) as the best in show.

Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center, SPARC, is a No-Kill, No-Excuses, 501(C3) city pound in Santa Paula where every single animal arriving gets a second chance at life.

•A team of researchers at Cornell University has found evidence suggesting that little dogs lift their legs when peeing at a higher angle than bigger dogs as a means of tricking other dogs into thinking they are bigger. In their paper published in Journal of Zoology, the group describes a study they carried out and what they found.

Most anyone familiar with dogs knows that they tend to pee in a lot of spots, especially males. They also seem to like peeing on objects that extend up from the ground, such as bushes, fire hydrants, etc. Prior research has suggested that such behavior is a way for dogs to communicate with one another. Communications can occur because dogs have very keen noses and brain parts able to tease out specifics from other dogs simply by sniffing their urine. By sniffing dogs can learn a lot about the dog—such as its gender, age, fertility and some aspects of its health. These communications occur as a means for dogs to learn more about other dogs in the area. And now it seems that some dogs have added a little something to the message they want to convey—some trickery involving size.

Their study consisted of taking many dogs of all sizes out for walks and observing very closely how they behaved when peeing. One important factor they noted was the angle of the leg when raised. Another was measuring where on an object the urine wound up.

The team found that little dogs lifted their legs at a higher angle than bigger dogs and in so doing caused their pee to be applied higher up on targeted objects than it would be otherwise. The researchers suggest this likely indicates that the little dogs are attempting to trick others dogs in the area into thinking they are bigger than they actually are.

•Dogs form an attachment to their owner and as a result can find it stressful to be separated from them. It used to be conventional wisdom that you should ignore your dog before you go out, but a pilot study finds gentle petting of dogs before a short separation makes them more calm than if they were ignored before the separation.

Separation-related issues are a welfare concern for dogs and may affect the human-animal bond. But how to help dogs who don’t have separation-related issues has received very little attention.

A new study by Dr. Chiara Mariti et al, published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior, looks at the effects of gentle petting on dogs’ stress response to separation.

As it is a pilot study, there were only 10 dogs. The study took place at a field which was a neutral location, away from the dogs’ homes where they were used to being left, and the dogs were on leash.

All dogs took part in two conditions. In the gentle petting condition, the owner spent one minute petting the dog before going away and leaving the dog with the experimenter.

In the neutral condition, owners ignored the dog for one minute prior to going away and leaving the dog with the experimenter.

The dogs were not highly stressed by the separation, as shown by low salivary cortisol levels and by their behaviors.

When dogs were petted before the absence, they spent more time showing calm behaviors during the absence, and their heart rate was lower after the test, compared to when they were ignored before the absence.

Calm behaviors were lying down, and sniffing the ground for a period of 3 seconds or longer (sniffing for a shorter period was seen as a stress signal, as sniffing can be a sign of stress in dogs).

The paper concludes. “This pilot study suggests that petting a dog before a brief separation from the owner may have a positive effect, making the dog calmer during the separation itself. Further studies are needed to analyze more in depth its effectiveness, especially in dogs affected by separation anxiety.”

Vol. 12, No. 1 – Oct 10 – Oct 23, 2018 – The Pet Page

•SPAN Thrift Store is providing $10 spays and neuters for low income cat and dog friends.

New Location is at Albert H. Soliz Library – El Rio, 2820 Jourdan St., Oxnard on Friday, October 26th. Please call to schedule an appointment 805-584-3823.

•On October 27 WHO LET THE DOGS OUT FAMILY FUN FESTIVAL, A COMMUNITY FUNDRAISER on behalf of Ventura Police K-9 Partners will be held at the Harbor Cove Café located in Ventura Harbor. 100% of proceeds go to the K-9’s medical fund.

There will be a singles auction with a surprise auctionee even though he is not single. Look for the advertisement in the Ventura Breeze November 24 issue and find out who you can bid on to spend a glorious two hours with.

Even ducks visited the CARL grand opening

•On Saturday, September 28, the Canine Adoption and Rescue League (C.A.R.L.) held their grand opening for the CARL Boutique Thrift Store new location.

Canine Adoption and Rescue League (C.A.R.L.) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit all breed, no-kill dog rescue and adoption organization. Since 1996, C.A.R.L. has rescued and placed thousands of unwanted, sick, abandoned, and homeless dogs. Dogs in their adoption program are placed in pre-screened, loving and secure homes. CARL makes a lifetime commitment to all their dogs.

CARL’s mission is to advocate for animal welfare, seeking to end the needless deaths of companion animals through its adoption, education, and outreach programs. They rely entirely on donations and do not receive government, state or city funding.

The thrift store was created to help CARL in their mission to help animals. All proceeds from the thrift store go directly to help the animals. The former thrift store had been open for 3 years and was located at 4160 Market Street.

​The new store location is at 2750 E Main St. (in the “old Sears building) next to Smart & Final.

The store is receiving donations of clothing, house wares, books, furniture and jewelry. Drop off time for donations are Tuesday – Saturday 11:00 am – 4:00 pm.

For more information about the store, donating or volunteering, go to They can also be reached at (805) 667-9111 or email at:

For more information about Canine Adoption and Rescue League (C.A.R.L.) please visit

•The National Police Dog Foundation is very pleased to announce the availability of another 50 (12-month health insurance) K-9 Health Insurance Grants. They are now accepting applications.

In 2017 they launched their K-9 Health Insurance Fund, which was established from an initial donation by Petplan Pet Insurance. The fund is supported by designated gifts from the public to the National Police Dog Foundation and a $50 donation from Petplan for each new pet insurance policy booked by the public using the campaign code NPDF10 at Pet parents who use the code can also receive a 10% discount on their new policy.

The purpose of the fund is to offer grants to law enforcement K-9 units, ensuring the continued well-being of the K-9s.

Petplan’s support of the K-9 Health Insurance Fund, and their passion for improving the quality of life and access to essential veterinary care for K-9s, is the driving force and the major sponsor of the fund.

In 2017 they were only able to offer 5 grants. Thanks to Petplan and your donations, earlier this year they granted 50 health insurance policies, and now are offering another 50 grants to pay for 12 months of K-9 medical insurance. The grants are limited to 1-4-year-old K-9s and a maximum of two grants will be granted to each agency.

This is the season of giving. They need your support to be able to continue to offer grants that will keep your local K-9s healthy, on-the-job and ready to protect you.

Grant application deadline for these 50 (12-month health insurance) grants is October 26th, 2018. No applications will be accepted after this date.

To apply and for more details, please go to

•by Victoria Usher

Madison Square Garden in New York City has always hosted the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, where a plethora of dogs come from far and wide along with their owners in order to compete. The dog show has pups of all shapes, sizes, and personalities, but there was one beagle pup named Uno who became a crowd favorite and was able to capture the hearts of everyone watching. Uno was special because he was so much more than just a show dog; he was kind, playful, and a truly lovable pup. Everyone watching the dog show and all of the fans were able to easily imagine him being their dog because of his wonderfully unique personality.

Ch. K-Run’s Park Me In First, also known as Uno was a 15-inch beagle from Belleville, Illinois, who won Best in Show in the 2008 Westminster Kennel Club dog show. He was the first beagle to claim the top prize at Westminster and the first beagle to win the hound group since 1939.

Sadly, Uno recently passed away at the age of thirteen from cancer. He was loved, and he lived a happy life on a ranch in Austin, Texas. The all-American dog named Uno will never be forgotten, he will always be in our hearts.

Vol. 11, No. 26 – Sept 26 – Oct 9, 2018 – The Pet Page

Search team Marshia Hall & Lilah stand ready to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence and other disasters.

• SDF-trained Search Teams are currently deployed across the United States. Five SDF Search Teams have responded to help local authorities prepare for any rescues needed in the aftermath of Hurricanes Florence and Olivia.
Founded in 1996, the local National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Santa Paula (but it seems like Ventura). Their mission is to strengthen disaster response in America by rescuing and recruiting dogs and partnering them with firefighters and other first responders to find people buried alive in the wreckage of disasters.

National Training Center, 6800 Wheeler Canyon Rd., Santa Paula.

I’m Charles a cuddly 115 pound certified therapy dog. My job is to bring comfort and joy to folks at Kids & Families Together. There is an article about them in this issue so be sure to read it.

• Even though no human or animal illnesses have been reported to date Bravo Packing of Carneys Point, N.J., is recalling all Performance Dog products, a frozen raw pet food. The products may be contaminated with Salmonella.

The recalled products come frozen in 2-pound and 5-pound plastic sleeves with the manufacture date code 071418 printed on the boxes that contain the plastic sleeves, but not on the individual plastic sleeves. Therefore, if the cardboard box has been discarded, there are no unique identification numbers on the individual sleeves that allow customers to determine that they possess the recalled products.

What to do

If customers purchased these products since July 14, 2018, and cannot determine whether it is affected by the recall, they should discard the product.

Consumers with questions may contact Bravo Packing at (856) 299-1044 Monday – Friday from 6:00AM-2:00PM, and on Saturday from 4:00AM-9:00AM EST) or online at

• By Beth Mueller

Senior cats are at a greater risk for developing hyperthyroidism than any other age group of cats. In fact, 95% of cats with hyperthyroid disease are 10 years old or older. Dr. Gary Brummet, the small animal primary care veterinarian at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, sees several of these cases each year.

Hyperthyroidism is a disease in which there is an overproduction of thyroid hormone in the body. Thyroid hormone regulates the body’s metabolism, heart rate, and digestive function. When the hormone level becomes excessive, some life-threatening symptoms may occur.

Hyperthyroidism Signs

“Typical signs of hyperthyroidism in cats include rapid weight loss, rapid heart rate, and increased hunger,” Dr. Brummet says.

It is typical for older cats to lose weight as they age, making it hard to distinguish hyperthyroidism from normal aging. If left undiagnosed, hyperthyroidism may cause eye problems. Dr. Brummet takes into account the cat’s history and other symptoms for a proper diagnosis. Some less common symptoms he sees are an increase in meowing and behavioral changes.

It is common for a veterinarian to perform a blood work panel on senior cats during their clinic visit. The thyroid hormone levels are tested in this panel to detect any abnormalities. Abnormal thyroid hormone levels cause an increase in blood pressure.

“Most cases of hyperthyroidism are caught in the early stage because the owners notice the changes in their cat and seek the help of their veterinarian right away,” Dr. Brummet says. A treatment plan is tailored to the needs of the patient.

Speaking of cats they have a reputation for being low-maintenance, independent creatures, especially in comparison with dogs. But the truth is that providing a healthy, happy life for your cat involves a lot more than just a daily meal and clean litter box.

The American Association of Feline Practitioners and International Society of Feline Medicine have identified five pillars of a healthy feline environment.

  • Provide your cat with a safe space.
  • Provide your cat with multiple and separated key resources.
  • Provide your cat with the opportunity for play and predatory behavior.
  • Provide your cat with positive, consistent and predictable social interactions.
  • Provide your cat with an environment that respects the importance of his sense of smell.

Once your cat’s basic needs have been met think about enrichment for your cat; in other words, provide ways to add variety and interest to your cat’s daily existence.

•A Missouri man who brought his puppy to a dog show at the state fairgrounds in Des Moines wound up taking the dog to the veterinarian instead after it was exposed to methamphetamine.

Matthew Palmer said he believes his dog was exposed to meth at his hotel room.

Palmer planned to show 5-month-old Kingsley at his very first dog show but the pup was acting strangely and was taken to the 24-hour Iowa Veterinary Specialties.

Kingsley’s head was bobbing and had tremoring agitation, symptoms that are “not mentally appropriate for a healthy puppy,” said Dr. Leah Brass, with Iowa Veterinary Specialties.

Brass did not examine Kingsley but said the veterinarian on call concluded that Kingsley was probably exposed to amphetamine.

Kingsley was doing much better by Friday afternoon.

Vol. 11, No. 25 – Sept 12 – Sept 25, 2018 – The Pet Page

Nanuk needs some special care and love.

•Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center (SPARC) is in need of assistance for the care of Nanuk, an 11 month old male husky puppy with Megaesophagus. Megaesophagus is somewhat common for dogs. It is an enlargement of the esophagus—the muscular tube leading to the stomach—with decreased or absent motility. Motility the muscular activity that is necessary to move food and liquids through the digestive tract.

“Nanuk needs to be fed in a special chair in the begging position and then he must wait about 30 minutes for gravity to move the food down to his stomach,” said Nicky Gore-Jones, Executive Director. “While this is not too difficult to accomplish, it takes some time and patience to feed him twice a day. It is not practical for us because of the commotion in our environment and the number of other animals we have in our care.”

Nanuk is working with trainers this week to learn how to sit and be comfortable in his new chair. Other than the special feeding, this young pup can lead a relatively normal life and needs an active lifestyle. He loves to play ball and go for walks or hikes.

SPARC is seeking donations for his medical care and patient individuals with a calm atmosphere who are interested in either adopting or fostering the active young puppy. Donations may be mailed to the shelter or submitted electronically via the website at:

Those who are interested fostering or adopting him should contact Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center at 805-525-8609. SPARC is a No-Kill, No-Excuses, 501(C3) city pound in Santa Paula where every single animal arriving gets a second chance at life

Buddy is in need of a new home and family.

• The good news is that JohnPaul and Karen are moving to Ventura. The sad news is that they aren’t able to take their dear 14-year-old English Staffordshire pooch to live with them. When Buddy came into their lives one year ago, they didn’t know they we were going to have to move due to some family health needs. They certainly didn’t know how difficult it was going to be to get a landlord who was willing to take their dear doggie, and couldn’t find one.

Buddy is a lover to the core. And he is so, so easy to take care of. All he requires is a lot of loving/petting, a couple short walks a day and time to sleep and be with people. He has a stronger bladder than any dog they have ever had. He can go up to 14 hours in the house without having to go out. His license and shots are current.

If you know anyone who would love to have a gentle, healing and loving companion, please let them know at 708-257-8732 or 708-603-4482 .

• Millennials are having a love affair with pets — so much so that they’re often putting their furry friends’ needs at the top of their list when shopping for a home.

Luxury landlords have been catering to this millennial trend for years, putting in dog runs on rental tower roofs and pet salons off lobbies. Now more millennials are buying homes, and seeking the same amenities.

A full 73 percent of millennials currently own a pet, according to the American Pet Products Association. That is a larger share than any other demographic. For buyers it’s even bigger. A whopping 89 percent of millennials who bought a home so far this year own a pet, according to

And once millennials purchase a home, they often put big bucks into upgrades for their pets. One owner put $12,000 into her row house, adding a higher fence so her pets couldn’t jump out and other pets couldn’t jump in. She also added a modern pet door and renovated the basement bathroom for Lucy, even though the basement itself is unfinished.

She just wanted her house to be pet-friendly overall, not just for herself but for her friends, most of who also have pets. “I think I tend to connect more with other people with pets because we can do pet-friendly things together,” she said.

By Diana Olick CNBC Real Estate Reporter


Vol. 11, No. 24 – Aug 29 – Sept 11, 2018 – The Pet Page

• On September 16, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm Ventura Pet Wellness & Dog Training Center presents Have You Always Dreamed of Working with Animals as a Career? Ventura Pet Wellness & Dog Training Center will be hosting our 2nd Annual Animal Career Fair!

Located at 3521 Arundell Circle #B Ventura.

This event is free to the public. Everyone is welcome!

Please visit for an updated list of some professions that will be represented. (Children 14 years and younger must be accompanied by an adult)

• Paw’s Corner
by Sam Mazzotta

Fat Cat Brought to Tears by Diet

Dear Paw’s Corner: Help! My 6-year-old cat, “Misti,” has a serious weight problem, and the veterinarian said she needs to drop several pounds. The vet told me to feed her less, but Misti cries constantly around feeding time and won’t let up until I put more food into her bowl. What else can I do? Are there weight-loss supplements for cats? — Helen T.

Dear Helen: Helping your cat lose weight can be a struggle, but we all know that getting Misti down to a healthier weight will improve her quality of life.

There are several supplements and cat foods formulated specifically for cats that say they help with weight control. One supplement, L-Carnitine, may be helpful, but consult Misti’s vet first for the proper amount to give her.

A calorie-restricted diet is the most effective way for Misti to lose weight. However, according to veterinarianÊand clinical researcher Dr. Mark E. Peterson, reducing calories alone isn’t effective. You must increase the amount of protein that Misti gets and reduce the amount of carbohydrates. The way to do this is to replace part of her dry food with real meat (plain chicken, steamed and cooled, for example). A high-quality canned food also may help increase protein, but read the labels very carefully.

To make the diet easier on both of you, prepare Misti’s food a few days ahead, separating each day’s fresh and dry food into separate containers. Dole out her meals twice a day. Save a little each time and when she cries for more food, place that small amount into her bowl. That trick, plus the increased protein, will help satiate Misti as she adjusts to the new diet.

(c) 2018 King Features Synd., Inc.

• By Dr. Jerry Klein, CVO

I have a local professional groomer that my dog and I both adore but costs prohibitive to take my dog as often as I would like, yet I’m intimidated to bathe, groom, and trim my dog’s nails on my own. What are some ways I can manage my dog’s hygiene and grooming on my own?

While good hygiene habits are essential for a healthy dog, unlike humans, most dogs do not require daily hygiene and grooming habits. What is required, and how often, depends on the breed. Hygiene such as teeth brushing, ear cleaning, nail trimming, and brushing are most certainly an essential aspect of regular dog care, regardless of the breed. A lot of people do not enjoy the process of grooming their dog, especially the less pleasant parts, i.e teeth brushing and nail trimming. If you are unsure when it comes to clipping dog nails that are too long, there are many online guides you can find that can help you in this process. You might struggle with everything though when it comes to dog grooming. You might not know what to use, what products to get etc. . . When it comes to things like ear cleaning though then it might be a good idea to check out this article here (visit to help you figure out what products you should get. You might not get everything perfect from the start, but just remember that your dog will always love you. That’s why dogs are great.

Professional dog groomers, professional dog handlers, and some veterinary technicians are well trained in grooming, so you can be assured that your pup is in good hands. However, it’s certainly useful for owners to learn maintenance grooming to keep their dogs looking sharp in-between visits to the groomer.

One of the best sources of information for grooming can be your dog’s breeder. An AKC responsible breeder will often have a wealth of knowledge .

Dog Grooming at Home: Obtain the right tools: the mentors listed above will help guide you in the purchase of the right nail trimmers, a styptic powder used to stop nail bleeding such as Kwik Stop, teeth cleaning tools, brushes, wide and fine-tooth combs, shampoos, and even blow dryers if needed. They can also help you learn about proper tables used for grooming and even a grooming arm that will hold your pup in place.

Use a brush that is intended for the coat of your dog breed. For example, bristle brushes are preferred for short-haired breeds and sleeker types of brushes are preferred for long-haired breeds. Check with your professional groomer, breeder, or veterinarian to ensure you are using the best option before making your purchase.

With the appropriate brush for your dog’s coat, brush your canine companion every other day (even short-haired breeds) to remove dirt and debris, prevent matting, control shedding, and create a shiny coat.

Keep your dog’s nails trimmed. Your vet and/or groomer can show you how to safely trim nails. Before you start trimming nails, make sure you have easy access to a product that will stop the nail from bleeding if cut too short, such as a styptic pencil or a cauterizing powder.

Is your dog a breed that has hair covering his eyes? If so, clean with a damp cloth and keep the hair trimmed. Make sure the cut doesn’t cause hair to fall into your dog’s eyes and irritate them.

Daily brushing of your dog’s teeth is best, but you should brush your dog’s teeth at least a few times per week. Plaque starts to build up after 48 hours. You can also try wrapping your finger with gauze or a washcloth. Wipe the teeth and massage the gums. Dental problems in dogs can lead to other problems, including serious health issues such as heart disease, kidney disease, and more.

Do not use “human” beauty and hygiene products such as shampoo, conditioner, and toothpaste on your dog. Many human toothpastes contain xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.

•A dog or puppy is a huge commitment of time, money, and energy, and you need to make sure that you’re ready before you bring a pet home. You also have to consider a dog’s potential needs in the future. Adopting a puppy is different from adopting an adult dog, and adopting a senior dog has its own challenges, too. With puppies, you’ll have to factor in the cost of vaccination, spaying and neutering, training and socialization classes, and new equipment like leashes, bowls, toys, and more. Puppies require a lot of stimulation and play, and also frequent naps. Their immune systems are not always fully developed, and they may have medical needs that adult dogs don’t have. They may not be potty trained, so be prepared to clean up some accidents.

Adult dogs are usually up-to-date on vaccines and already spayed or neutered by their shelter. They tend to have a grasp on basic commands and may have started some sort of behavior training. Good shelters and rescue groups will often work with dogs in their care to teach them to be social and well-behaved, as it increases their chances of being adopted. This is something you should ask your local shelter about. Adult dogs have exercise needs and require mental stimulation. It is important that you can keep up with them. You may have to hire a dog walker if you’re gone for most of the day or a pet sitter if you travel.

Senior dogs tend to be more relaxed. While their exercise needs may not be as extreme as puppies or adult dogs, they do sometimes come with health issues that must be addressed. You will also have to be prepared for end-of-life care. That said, senior dogs tend to be more used to living with humans and are able to become very attached easily. They make for great cuddle buddies, and they are often a dog of choice for senior owners who want a loving pet that has a manageable energy level.

Before you bring a dog home, you need to have a good, long talk with your family. Make sure everyone is on the same page, and that everyone’s responsibilities are made clear. Who will be the primary caretaker? Who will do the feeding, the bathing, the walking, and so on? Once your human family is on board, you also need to make sure that your other furry family members, if you have any, are ready.

Vol. 11, No. 22 – Aug 1 – Aug 14, 2018 – The Pet Page

Best low fat dog food
by Adam Conrad

Low-fat dog food can be extremely helpful for dogs with pancreatic problems or dogs struggling with obesity. It is easy to find low-fat brands, but it can be difficult to find low-fat brands that still have all the necessities for your dog. Many companies cut fat out of their dog food by cutting meat out of the food. Cutting some meat can be helpful, but if you cut too much meat out of the food you are eliminating a valuable protein and energy source for your dog.

So how do you find the best low-fat dog food? Just like when buying regular dog food, you must pay close attention to the ingredients. It is easy to cut out protein and add carbs as fillers when making a low-fat dog food, but carbs are the things to avoid for your dog because they are not very beneficial and do not provide very much energy for you dog.

They make your dog feel full, but other than that carbs do not have great nutritional value. Unfortunately, carbs are often used to replace nutritious, protein packed meat that will provide your dog with lots of natural energy. But because meat can have a high fat content, it can often be the first ingredient but in low-fat dog foods.

The top ingredients to eliminate for the bets low-fat diets and dog foods are preservatives, like BHA, artificial flavorings and dyes, animal fat, vegetable oil, fat trimmings, and overall, anything that is processed or unnatural. Instead of these ingredients it is important to have natural fibers and proteins. Brown rice is an example of a healthy grain ingredient with fiber.

Unprocessed lamb or chicken are great meat choices that provide protein. Carrots are also a key ingredient that will provide vitamin A in your dog’s diet. And oatmeal is a great ingredient that will give your dog more vitamin E. In general, you want to look for low-fat dog foods that are filled with fruits, omega 3 and omega 6, L-carnitine, and amino acids.

All these ingredients enhance you dogs fiber and protein, which are necessary for energy, and help strengthen bones and provide lots of healthy vitamins. Stay away from carb heavy ingredients, processed meats, and unnatural hormones.

It is important to keep your dog on a low-fat diet if your dog has specific health problems like pancreatitis, diabetes, or obesity. In general, though, keeping your dog on a low-fat diet will prevent future problems for your dog.

If you want your dog to avoid health problems as they age, then find them low-fat brands that feed them protein, vitamins, fruits and vegetables, and don’t use processed ingredients and hormones. Fat in dog foods is not all bad, but too much of it can create serious health problems, and it is simply not the best thing for your dog’s health and longevity.

Adam Conrad is a passionate writer and a dad of 5 Shih Tzu pups. He loves to write about dog grooming, best food for dogs and CDV (Canine Distemper Virus). His guides are aimed at pet parents to help them look after their pups. He writes for the blog The Shih Tzu Expert.

Paw’s Corner

By Sam Mazzotta

More Ways to Foil High-Flying Felines

Dear Paw’s Corner: I read with interest the recent column where a reader put aluminum pie plates on surfaces, like the stove, where cats weren’t allowed. That sounds like a good solution to stopping cats from jumping onto the countertops.

Our cats, when they were young, would jump 5 feet straight up to the tops of kitchen cabinets. Needless to say, this was annoying and more than a little concerning.

My wife got some plastic rug runners that had knubby things on the bottom to keep the runners from moving on a carpet. She cut pieces and laid them on top of the cabinets with the knubby side up. It took only a few times for the cats to realize the cabinet tops were not comfortable. The knubby things could not hurt the cats, but they certainly didn’t feel good. — Bob R.

Dear Bob: Thank you for the suggestion! Readers, if you try this solution, be sure to use rug runners with nylon or softer plastic nubs. Essentially, discouraging cats from jumping onto surfaces where you don’t want them requires you to put something on those surfaces that they don’t like, but which won’t hurt them. An unfamiliar texture will keep them from hanging around on those surfaces.

High-pitched noises can send them away, such as the rattle of an aluminum pie plate. Some cat owners keep a shaker can handy — a small can with a lid, like a potato chip can, filled with pennies or other objects that make a jangling, high-pitched noise when shaken.

Keep in mind that these are all forms of negative reinforcement, so try to limit their use to stopping very specific behaviors that might endanger your cat.

(c) 2018 King Features Synd., Inc.

On July 28, the Harbor Cove Café hosted the VPD K-9 “Who Let The Dogs Out” featuring zombie poker and wine tasting. All proceeds went to the Ventura Police K-9 Partners “medical needs.” Pictured are Amber Adam(in the middle) the creator and special event coordinator of the Who Let The Dogs Out and attendees.

Vol. 11, No. 21 – July 18 – July 31, 2018 – The Pet Page

•SPAN Thrift Store is providing $10 spays and neuters for low income cat and dog friends. Two opportunities. New Location: Albert H. Soliz Library – El Rio, 2820 Jourdan St., Oxnard, on Friday, July 20th. Also in Ventura, in the SPAN Thrift Store parking lot 110 N. Olive St. (behind Vons on Main St.) Friday, July 27th. Please call to schedule an appointment 805-584-3823.

• Canine Adoption And Rescue League (CARL) Thrift Boutique will be re locating shortly to their

new location at 2750 E Main St. Ventura, next to Smart & Final Grocery store. This all volunteer store will continue to offer men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing, household wares, and furniture.

All sales proceeds go toward maintaining rescue dogs in the best condition they are able to provide.

Please come and support the dogs at this wonderful new location.

Koda is already proving that he has what it takes to be a great search dog!

•Search Dog Foundation-Koda was originally rescued from a shelter by Lab Rescue OK, Inc. before being homed with a fellow firefighter who recognized his Search Dog potential and contacted Jason Smith, a former Handler in Oklahoma City with Oklahoma Task Force 1. Jason evaluated Koda and he quickly noticed this Yellow Lab’s high drive and potential for work.

Sure enough, Koda is already proving that he has what it takes to be a great search dog! Working in barrels during training, he is using his nose to pinpoint the “victims’” locations and barking loudly. Even with food distractions, Koda is dedicated to his training, leaving delicious treats behind in favor of focusing on the search. This dedicated candidate has developed a nice, strong bark alert on the rubble that will serve he and his Handler well in the future!

The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation is honored to share that the Rachael Ray Foundation™ collaboration is at it again, actively supporting the recruitment of rescued dogs for their Class of 2018 training program and caring for them throughout their entire lives.

With a generous grant of $200,000, The Rachael Ray Foundation™ is leading the charge once more to help SDF give rescued dogs across the country a home and a job that they love. The goal is to raise $400,000 by August 31, and now we’re already halfway there!

For almost a decade, Rachael Ray has been and continues to be one of SDF most generous supporters. A portion of proceeds from each sale of Rachael’s pet food, Nutrish®, is donated to help animals in need through The Rachael Ray Foundation.

SDF is grateful to be among the organizations supported by The Rachael Ray Foundation and for the significant role their grants play in their capacity to recruit rescued dogs for the training program.

The Rachael Ray Rescue Brigade gives everyone the opportunity to join the mission of turning shelter dogs into Search Dogs. To donate go to

Founded in 1996, the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Santa Paula(even though it seems like Ventura). Their mission is to strengthen disaster response in America by rescuing and recruiting dogs and partnering them with firefighters and other first responders to find people buried alive in the wreckage of disasters.

National Training Center
6800 Wheeler Canyon Rd.
Santa Paula, CA 93060

•Dogs & Food Behavior
by Victoria Usher

Researchers in Hungary completed a study that have helped them discover that normal and overweight dogs both behave differently when it comes to tasks involving food. The researchers put down two bowls in front of a series of dogs, one bowl contained a good meal and another bowl next to it contained a less attractive meal. The study found that canines of a normal weight continued to obey instructions to check the second bowl for food, but the obese ones refused after a couple of rounds.

“We expected the overweight dogs to do anything to get best food for german shepherd puppy for , but in this test, we saw the opposite. The overweight dogs took a negative view,” test leader Orsolya Torda said. The behavior had possible parallels with overweight people who see food as a reward,” said the paper published in the Royal Society Open Science journal. According to the authors of Budapest’s ELTE University paper, this study has suggested that dogs could be used as models for future research of the causes and psychological impacts of human obesity.

•How to handle a territorial dog, Establish yourself as the Pack Leader.

Dogs crave rules, boundaries and limitations. It is not a good idea to allow your dog to roam all over the house, sit on furniture, eat from the table, or engage in any other type of disruptive behavior. Although your dog is your companion, it is a follower in your pack, not a leader. You can reduce this type of behavior by asserting yourself as the pack leader by using calm, assertive energy. Make your dog earn food, water, and affection through exercise and discipline — exercise via two or more daily walks to drain her energy, and discipline through setting those rules, boundaries and limitations.

These types of issues are often exacerbated by a lack of training and discipline for your pet. If this seems to be a big problem, then you may want to consider an obedience class for your dog or speak to your veterinarian for some other solutions.

•Paw’s Corner

By Sam Mazzotta

Dear Paw’s Corner: I deliver packages on a long route around town every day. It seems that we’ve been inundated with warnings over the past few years about the dangers of leaving pets inside the car on a hot day while their owners go shopping or run errands. And yet, almost every day of the summer, I am calling emergency services or asking store managers to page customers because I see pets panting behind rolled-up car windows.

Please, please remind pet owners to leave their pets at home when they’re running errands! — Concerned Delivery Driver

Dear Driver: I absolutely agree, and I thank you for insisting on this reminder!

Even on a day that doesn’t seem too hot — say, 78 degrees — the interior of a car can heat to well over 110 degrees within five minutes. Now that we’re in the hottest part of the year, that interior temperature climbs faster and higher and can reach 120 degrees easily. No pet can withstand such suffocating heat for long.

For short trips to the store or to run errands, leave your pet at home. If they must come with you (such as during long road trips), they should be left with an adult, and the air conditioning needs to be turned on.

Of course, a planned outing with your dog is a lot of fun just about any time. But always be mindful of the heat. Bring water for your dog to drink. Head home if your dog is panting heavily and not very active. And do not leave your pet in the car.

(c) 2018 King Features Synd., Inc.