Vol. 13, No. 10 – Feb 12 – Feb 25, 2020 – The Pet Page

∙SPAN Thrift Store is providing $10 spays and neuters for low income households with cats and dogs.

Two upcoming clinics are: Wednesday, February 19th at SPAN Thrift Store parking lot 110 N. Olive St. (behind Vons on Main), and a second at Albert H. Soliz Library – El Rio, 2820 Jourdan St., Oxnard, 93036 on Wednesday, March 4th.

Please call to schedule an appointment (805) 584-3823.

∙ An appeal from Buddy Nation

We provided pet food and supplies for more than 350 people and their pets and paid veterinary bills. We find housing for people and their pets. We take calls 7 days a week, and if we couldn’t help, we referred to someone who could. We cried with people whose pets died and arranged for private cremations. We rejoiced when people got jobs or housing. We encouraged people to get into drug or alcohol programs. Sometimes we just listened and commiserated. In other words, we were good neighbors.

One of the bills which we are still paying was a $5,139 emergency bill to save the life of a tiny Maltese Terrier we have been fostering for a woman who escaped domestic violence. Without warning, little Princess started hemorrhaging. By the time we got her to Horizon ER, her eyes had rolled back in her head. They brought her back to life. She crashed again a few hours later and they saved her. She was there for 5 days, and finally she was able to eat and we knew she would survive. We put her on the phone to her Mom (who has also recovered from her trauma). In May, she will be driven across country to reunite with her person.

We are asking the community to help Buddy Nation help others. One donation can make a difference in a person’s and pet’s lives. People ask how they, as individuals, can make a difference … that is how.

Please send checks made out to Buddy Nation to 159 West Prospect Street, Ventura 93001 or to PayPal Credit/Debit Cards: [email protected] . Tax ID 81-3432620

∙ By Eric Lagatta The Columbus Dispatch

No dogs will be harmed in The Dog Aging Project as 40 scientists from across the country study 75,000 canines. Researchers are looking for ways to help people and dogs live longer, healthier lives.

They’re also looking for more dogs — all ages, breeds and mixed breeds — to participate in the study. In fact, they’re trying to find the oldest dog in America, said veterinarian Audrey Ruple.

The dogs will be studied for 10 years as they live out their lives at home, said Dr. Ruple, an epidemiologist and assistant professor at Purdue University and one of the 40 researchers working on The Dog Aging Project (dogagingproject.org). It costs nothing to participate.

This is “a citizen science project” that will collect data “to advance our understanding of how genes, lifestyle and environment influence aging.” It includes looking at how chemical exposures and noise pollution impact health and longevity. On the website, click on “nominate your dog” if you wish to participate.

Researchers want to know if the dog is neutered or spayed, frequency of veterinarian visits, and where it sleeps at night.

Going forward, owners will be asked to periodically complete online surveys. Dogs go to their own veterinarians once a year for exams. Some people will be sent kits for their vets to collect blood, urine and other samples. Veterinary records in some cases will need to be uploaded to the researchers.

“Dogs are good models for humans,” Dr. Ruple said. “They have similar genetics, share our environment, and have similar diseases and health issues. We will be asking ‘How do dogs age healthfully?’ in order to better understand how we can age healthfully, too.”

Most of the funding for The Dog Aging Project comes from the National Institute of Aging, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. Total funding so far is $22.8 million, which includes private donations. Donations are solicited on project’s website.

Co-directors of the study are Daniel Promislow and Matt Kaeberlein of the University of Washington. Chief veterinary officer is Kate E. Creevy of Texas A&M University.

∙ Kerry Kay saw the dog as he was pulling out of the Dollar General in Hilliard.

Wandering among four lanes of traffic on Hilliard-Rome Road, the pooch seemed unaware of the dangerous circumstances.

“No fear on that road,” Kay, 56, recalled of the Dec. 3 incident. “People were swerving and missing him.”

Fortunately, Kay and a few other passers-by were able to help the dog to safety.

And when the dog’s owners came rushing from a nearby home, he found out why the canine seemed confused about the situation: dementia.

Dementia in aging dogs isn’t uncommon, said Meghan Herron, associate professor in veterinary behavior at Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

“Some people may not realize,” Herron said. “They may think ‘Oh, he’s just old,’ but it’s actually a disease. Dogs are living longer, so we’re seeing it more,” she said.

Known clinically as cognitive dysfunction syndrome, the disease is partly attributable to improved diets and medicine, which allow pets’ bodies to outlive their brains.

28% of dogs ages 11 to 12 and 68% of dogs ages 15 to 16 showed one or more signs of cognitive impairment, according to a 2001 study by the school of veterinary medicine at the University of California, Davis. Cats, too, are prone to the disease.

“If you suspect your pet is exhibiting signs of CDS, it’s important to go to your veterinarian to determine the best course of action to take,” Morrison said.

Ohio State veterinarians will diagnosis CDS if a dog meets at least one of the so-called DISHA criteria:

Disorientation: Pets often lose their ability to navigate their home as they once did.

Interactions: Changes can include a loss of interest in greeting owners or in being petted.

Sleep changes: Among the alterations can be restlessness at night or prolonged sleep during the day.

House soiling: This becomes more prevalent as pets become incontinent or forget to signal their need to go outside.

Activity changes: They can be accompanied by decreased appetite, increased anxiety and a lessened response to stimuli.

CDS has no known cure, but treatment options are available to maintain a semblance of quality of life and slow the disease’s progression. Included, Herron said, are dietary changes, supplements, medication and environmental enrichment in the form of exercise, new toys and mental stimulation.

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