Out2 October Bark Byte Detecting Allergies in Dogs
Article by: Robin Hall – Out2News
After going through countless frustrations with my dog "Boo" I once again took him to my vet to determine what was going on. Boo was licking his paws, scratching, biting his fur and after waking up and seeing purple and red spots on his skin, I just wanted to get this taken care of once and for all! Off to the vet we went!
Man’s best friend can suffer from allergies in the same way many humans are affected by them. A wide variety of things may cause allergic reactions in dogs, and it may be difficult to pin down the exact cause in your dog. Dander is often the culprit for allergies in dogs; it is the flakes of dead skin that gets lodged in the fur coat of the animal. Fleas can also spark an allergic reaction in dogs, as well as other inhalants and even certain food products. Inhalants that may cause allergies are pollen, dust, or mold. Some dogs may also have allergic reactions from contacting toxic plants and chemicals, or fabrics such as nylon. The symptoms of allergic reactions can also vary widely from dog to dog. If you notice rashes or hives appearing on the skin of your dog, chances are that allergens are the cause. If a dog is suffering from food allergies, it will likely be scratching itself more than usual due to the skin irritation caused by an allergic food reaction. Other symptoms include coughing, sneezing, or vomiting. If your dog is showing any symptoms or even simply behaving differently or unusually, then it will be a good idea to ask your vet about possible allergy concerns.
If you and your vet determine that allergies are a likely cause of your dog’s suffering, it will be a good idea to run a test to determine the exact cause of the allergic reaction in the dog. A blood test is taken and sent to a lab that specializes in allergies. The lab will search the blood for specific allergens that are causing the symptoms your dog is displaying. Skin patch tests are another way to determine the specific allergens that are causing symptoms in your dog. In skin patch testing, which are also called intradermal testing, the vet injects a small amount of a specific allergen then observes the animal for any allergic reaction on the skin where the injection took place. An allergic reaction usually appears in approximately five or six hours. This test, however, may not be the best choice because it is time intensive and costly. If you do use the skin patch test however, it is important to tell your vet of possible allergens that your pet has encounter. This way, your vet can test these allergens first to see if they are the cause of your dog’s allergic reactions.
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HSTC Pets of the Week
Anastasia is a very special bunny. She came to HSTC in early May nearly dead. She was severely underweight, had a nasty ear mite infestation in both ears, was missing fur, and her skin was inflamed. She had a splayed hind leg, difficulty
moving, and was clearly in a lot of pain. Immediately upon her arrival she was seen by our shelter vet and began treatment in the comfort of a bunny-savvy foster home. Anastasia now has most of her fur, is ear-mite free, and is no longer in pain. She still
has a bit of weakness in her hind-end, but this doesn’t stop her from exploring. Anastasia is 6 years old, so she is a bit of an elder bun. She is looking for a bunny-savvy home with no young children and lots of room to hop around. Her favorite hobbies are
redecorating her living space, snacking on a tiny bit of banana, and exploring new bunny-proof areas. Anastasia has been described by her foster-mom as an outgoing and curious bun. Her absolute favorite snack foods are greens of many varieties but especially
herbs like parsley, cilantro, basil, and mint. Another wonderful thing about Anastasia -- she has excellent litterbox habits!
Anastasia is currently accepting visitors at the HSTC main shelter. Please call us at 772-223-8822 to schedule an appointment!
Cranberry is an extra special cat looking for an extra special home. She has Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome (sometimes called “rolling-skin syndrome”). This causes sensitivity and seizure-like episodes with no known triggers.
Cranberry is currently on 3 different medications to help her manage her symptoms and will most likely be on medications for life. She is currently enjoying the comforts of a foster home where she is making friends with the household cat;
she has also interacted with a few dogs and done a-okay. She just turned a year old and is very active.
If you would like additional information on Cranberry or would like to schedule a meeting with her, please call the HSTC main shelter at 772-223-8822.
The Humane Society of St. Lucie County Revitalizes : New Leadership & No-Kill Status
In Photo: Board Members - Melissa Fox, Rosa Fox, Sandee Allen, Dan Wire, Dr. Leonard Fox
Article by: Wendy Dwyer
The Humane Society of St. Lucie County (HSSLC) is making a strong community comeback with new leadership and new successes in 2020 amidst a global pandemic. HSSLC Executive Director, Melissa McInturff, brings infectious energy and a strong management skill set to shelter operations which now proudly proclaims a first time ever “no-kill” status since October 2019. Live release rates and documents are posted on the HSSLC website.
HSSLC was recently recognized for its persistence in the mission of wanting to find a better, healthier life and forever family for abused and neglected animals throughout St. Lucie County and won the Dyer Difference Award this summer. Additionally, HSSLC has kicked off its biggest fundraiser of the year, a brand new vehicle raffle. One lucky winner will take home a 2020 Chevy Equinox from Dyer Chevrolet Ft. Pierce on December 12th, 2020. 2nd place prize is a 75” 4k smart LED TV courtesy of Jetson TV & Appliance, and the 3rd place prize is a brand new iPad Pro courtesy of A&G Concrete Pools, Inc. There are only 5,000 tickets available via website and at the shelter.
HSSLC has revitalized and reorganized with new management and a new board of directors to help promote the organization’s mission of providing compassionate care and safe shelter for homeless animals while educating the community on responsible pet ownership. For more information, contact The Humane Society of St. Lucie County at 772.238.5631 or visit www.hsslc.org.
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Vehicle Pic - Jonathan Dyer & Ilena Luts
Minimize Separation Anxiety During Extended Stays at Home
Getting stuck at home can be a great excuse to spend more time with your dog. However, once your stay has come to an end, don’t expect your dog to be happy about you going back to work or spending longer periods of time away. They may not understand why, all of the sudden, you are leaving again. While you’re away, they may begin to show signs of distress, like barking and destructive chewing, and even have potty accidents or episodes of self-harm. These signs can be caused from Isolation Distress (ID) or Separation Anxiety (SA).
Dogs with ID show distress while alone. Their symptoms subside as long as someone is with them. They are not particular as to who. They may even be fine with another dog or animal in the home with them.
Dogs with SA show distress when one particular person is gone. They could be home with others in the family but still show symptoms of SA.
Seeing dogs with ID or SA is heartbreaking. We recommend consulting with your veterinarian for help. And there are also some measures you can take at home to help prevent the onset of ID and SA. Here are some tips to try during your extended home stay:
Keep a schedule. Changes in routine can be challenging for your dog. Make sure you keep as close to your regular schedule as possible. For example, if you normally take morning walks, keep those walks at the same time during your extended time at home.
Create a crate routine. If your dog normally stays in their crate while you are away, practice keeping them in their crate for short periods of time while you are home and gradually lengthen the time they are crated.
Practice leaving the house for short periods of time. Not being home, even for brief intervals, can help maintain a sense of normalcy and help prevent your dog from becoming too dependent on your presence.
Keep leaving and coming home low-key. Building excitement during your leaving increases your dog’s excitement and can amplify SA symptoms. Also, don’t make your return a party! Say a quick hello and do not interact until your dog is calm.
Desensitize signals that you are leaving. We tend to create patterns of behavior before leaving the house which can cause a buildup of tension in your dog and ultimately be a precursor to separation anxiety.
Typical cues can be:
Getting your coffee/ making breakfast
Putting on your shoes
Grabbing your keys
Walking to the front door
Jiggling the handle of the front door
Opening the front door
To desensitize, practice the cues randomly throughout the day. The idea is that you will present the cues but NOT actually leave. This will help undo the classical conditioning between the cues and you leaving, preventing anxiety build-up.
To take it a step further, you could even pair the cues with positive rewards like praise and treats, which work to change the conditioned response in your dog’s brain. The goal is to have your dog respond to your “leaving” cues with expectation of a reward rather than anxiety about you leaving.
Once you return to your normal routine, here are a few more tips to continue preventing ID and SA:
Provide regular mental and physical exercise
Use calming products like plug-ins and sprays to help create a sense of calm.
While getting to spend more time with your dog is the positive side to being stuck at home for long periods, it is important to take steps during your stay to prevent Separation Anxiety.
Article by: Pet MD & Robin Hall - Out2News
Many pet owners are all too familiar with their own seasonal allergies, from pollen to mold to insect bites. But what about your dog’s allergies? Pets can suffer from seasonal allergies just as much as their owners, and it is important to recognize the symptoms of summer allergies in dogs to help your pet find relief.
Seasonal Allergies in Dogs
Dogs are subject to the same seasonal allergy triggers as many humans, and may be allergic to tree and grass pollen, mold, insect stings, flea bites, feathers, and other allergens that have seasonal fluctuations. A pet’s allergen intolerance can develop over time, and a dog may suddenly seem to be allergic when no allergy symptoms have been obvious in the past. This can also be the result of a change in local conditions, such as planting new trees or bushes in the yard that produce excessive pollen that will trigger the dog’s allergies, or moving to a new area with a different climate and different allergen load. As a dog ages its sensitivity to different allergens may change, and allergy symptoms may become more acute and noticeable.
Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies
Your dog can’t tell you how it feels about allergy symptoms, but there are physical indications of allergic reactions that every pet owner should be aware of. Depending on the type of allergen and the severity of a dog’s reaction, allergy symptoms could include:
Excessive itching or licking, especially of the paws, groin, or bare skin
Red, swollen, or watery eyes or excessive eye discharge
Hives, rashes, or other visible skin irritation
Chronic ear infections
If your dog shows signs of potential allergic reactions, consult your veterinarian for a proper allergy diagnosis. This will help gauge exactly which allergens are most irritating to your pet, as well as how severe their reactions may be. Allergies can be diagnosed by both skin tests and blood tests, and your vet will ask questions about the animal’s reactions, changes in local conditions, when the symptoms are most severe, and whether there have been any recent dietary changes or other factors that could be causing similar reactions.
Managing Your Dog’s Seasonal Allergies
Once your dog’s seasonal allergies have been identified, there are many different options to manage the problem and provide relief. Depending on the severity of the allergies and the exact allergens that most impact your pet, you may want to consider…
Medication: Your vet could prescribe allergy medications, including antihistamine or steroid pills, to help manage your dog’s reactions. Topical creams may also be effective.
Injections: Pets with moderate to severe seasonal allergies may need regular allergy shots. You can easily administer these at home, and gradually build up the dose to give your pet relief.
Nutrition: Adjusting your dog’s diet to nourish healthy skin can help the animal resist mild allergy symptoms. Adding the proper fatty acids to the dog’s diet can be effective.
Baths: Removing allergens from your dog’s skin with soothing baths can minimize allergic reactions. Avoid perfumed soaps or shampoos, however, which could aggravate tender skin.
Wiping Paws: Wiping your dog’s paws and underbelly after every walk or outside playtime can remove irritating allergens from bare skin, minimizing allergic reactions.
Cleaning: Regularly cleaning your dog’s bedding and toys will remove many allergens. Similarly, vacuum and clean flooring, draperies, and upholstery regularly to minimize indoor allergens.
Air Quality: Improve indoor air quality by using allergen-reducing air filters to help your pet breathe easier. In damp areas, a dehumidifier can reduce mold that may trigger allergies.
Exposure: If your pet reacts to specific plants, avoid playing or walking where those plants are abundant. Remove strong allergens from your yard to give your pet a safe place to play.
Booties: Wearing pet socks, boots, or booties can help dogs with very sensitive feet avoid the most common allergens, and the footwear can easily be washed.
Pest Control: If your dog reacts to flea bites or insect stings, take steps to make your home and yard less hospitable to those insects, and consider flea treatments or other preventative measures.
Seasonal allergies cannot be cured, but once you recognize summer season allergies in your dog, you can take steps to minimize any reactions and discomfort. For the best results, use multiple techniques to keep your pet healthy and comfortable, and stay alert to any changes or additional reactions that may indicate different allergy developments. With proper care, your dog can have a happy, comfortable life with minimal allergy complications.
Keeping your Pet Busy During Quarantine Time
Article by: Robin Hall - Out2News/Out2martincounty.com
DogTV is worth booting up for pooch pleasure
The only thing better than binge-watching episodes of “Friday Night Lights” or “The West Wing” while social distancing is doing so with a furry friend. When you take a break or read a book, though, log onto DogTV so they can have some entertainment, too. There’s currently a 30-day free trial period for the streaming website, which features several canine-friendly videos for stimulation, relaxation and exposure. (Also on tap: lots of helpful how-to videos for owners, including how to make liver pate!) It’s pretty fun for a human to watch, too, with all kinds of cute dogs, though the soothing music might put you and nearby companions in a napping mindset.
Playing outside is refreshing but keep it fun inside, too
In a period of self-isolation, it’s still OK to walk your dog in your neighborhood or, if you have a fenced-in backyard, let them loose to run around. Invest in a Chuckit! launcher or just grab a tennis ball and play fetch – it’s especially fun if you have a young child who needs some exercise, too. The fun doesn’t have to end inside, though. Treat-dispensing puzzle toys where dogs have to use their noggins to get a snack are good to have around the house (especially if you’re trying to get work done or homeschooling your human children), rubber toys and plastic keys are favorite chewing items, but also have options like ropes for tug of war where you can also have a blast.
Healthy treats will help everybody get through mealtime
Being home a lot more means a lot more meals where hungry pups might be hanging around begging or at least annoyingly parked at your feet. That might be a good time for a treat, though don’t make them a peanut butter and jelly sandwich if you’re having one. Instead, opt for apple slices, celery or carrots that will quell their taste buds as you finish up. (Good luck getting them off your case if you’re making a steak sandwich.)
Show them all the love
Engaging with your pet is important – maybe you want to take funny pictures of them to send to social-distancing relatives or re-create famous movie scenes for a blog (pictures are what I'm all about). Some extra care and attention are also key because if this coronavirus crisis is stressing you out, they’ll feel it, too. If your dog loves napping next to you, have a stack of blankets for snuggling. Or if your dog is more like a cat, let him have enough alone time. A bond between human and canine is strong, and fostering that will help everybody through tough times.
Questions Answers for Your Pets During Coronavirus Pandemic
Article by: Cesar Pet Products
Can my Pet Catch Coronavirus?
There is no evidence that pets can be infected with the human COVID-19 virus and no evidence they can be a source of infection to people. Coronaviruses tend to be species specific, i.e., dogs and cats have their own version of the virus and are not affected by human viruses.
Should my pet wear a mask?
There’s no scientific evidence that masks protect pets from infectious diseases or air pollutants. Pets’ faces are more varied than human faces so a mask is unlikely to fit properly. We can't explain to pets why we are putting something on their face so they may get scared.
Is There a Risk my Pet Could get Coronavirus From Your Food?
Please be assured that the current coronavirus outbreak does not pose a food safety risk to humans or pets, either through packaging or the food itself. The processing conditions involved in the production of our food products are sufficient to destroy the virus.
What's the Best Way to Protect my Pet From Getting Coronavirus?
There's no evidence that pets can be infected with the human COVID-19 virus and no evidence they can be a source of infection to people. We recommend:
- thorough hand-washing
- keeping pets away from anyone infected
- confining pets if they've been around someone infected
I Can't Get my Usual Food. Is it OK for me to Switch Diet?
Yes! Ideally, choose a similar food (dry or wet) and slowly incorporate small amounts of the new food over the course of one week to ensure that a sudden change does not cause a dietary upset.
Should I still take my pet for a walk?
Absolutely - take your pet for a walk on a leash, preferably with limited to no interaction with other people or pets. It's good for you too.
TIPS TO KEEP YOUR PETS ON THE RIGHT DIET
Article by: Latasha Ball
Does your dog have food allergies? Here’s why a limited ingredient formula may be the best way to accommodate her dietary needs.
Is your dog licking her paws excessively? Does she seem to be itching her ears or body at every available moment? Chances are she may be suffering from food or environmental allergies. But how do you know for sure? And if it is a food allergy, what type of diet is best for your pup? Let’s look into this further.
Food allergies: what are they and how do they affect my dog?
Food allergies are immune system reactions to a certain ingredient that your dog is exposed to. Symptoms can include itchy skin, hives, upset stomach, swollen facial features, and reoccurring ear or paw infections. Typically, food allergies develop when a dog has been exposed to the same ingredient repeatedly throughout her life. “Some think that rotating protein and fiber sources in your dog’s diet may help to minimize the occurrence of food allergies,” says veterinarian Dr. Bradley Quest. “Although this is not scientifically proven, it may help some individuals because the dog’s immune system is not constantly exposed to the same food ingredients all the time.”
According to Dr. Quest, a food intolerance – as opposed to an allergy – can occur at the initial exposure to a specific food ingredient and is usually not a result of an immune system reaction. “Food intolerances usually manifest as gastrointestinal symptoms,” he says. Gastrointestinal symptoms in dogs consist of but are not limited to a change in appetite, changes in stool quality or quantity, weight loss, and abdominal pain.
How to know if your dog has a food allergy
The best way to know if your dog has a food allergy is to talk with your veterinarian. He or she knows your dog best, and can properly diagnose your pup. Once the diagnosis is made, your vet may put your dog on a food elimination diet – a diet that involves feeding your dog a single protein and a single fiber source for anywhere from 8–12 weeks as needed. If you notice during this period that your dog’s allergic symptoms do not surface or reoccur, then you can rule that the allergy was not the result of the ingredients she was eating.
Do Dogs Dream?
Whether or not dogs dream isn’t known with scientific certainty, but it sure is difficult to imagine that they don’t. We’ve all watched our dogs demonstrate behaviors in their sleep that resemble what they do in a fully awake state. Paddling legs, whining, growling, wagging tails, chewing jowls, and twitching noses inspire us to wonder what our dogs are dreaming about.
What we know about dogs and dreams
While our knowledge on this topic is very limited, the following known information helps us believe that dogs do indeed experience dreams. When we observe our dogs as they sleep, it’s just about impossible to imagine that they are not dreaming. Just like the rats studied by Wilson and Louie, it is tempting to believe that our four-legged best buddies are reenacting their recent experiences; playing at the dog park, sniffing in the woods, chewing on a treasured bone, and chasing squirrels.The National Institutes of Health says that Sigmund Freud theorized that dreaming was a “safety valve” for our unconscious desires. Perhaps he is correct, and, when our dogs sleep, they dream about catching the neighbor’s pesky cat, continuous belly rubs in conjunction with unlimited dog treats, and stealing the Thanksgiving turkey from the dining room table.
Homemade Peanut Butter Dog Treats
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 large eggs
3 cups whole wheat flour, or more, as needed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat pumpkin puree, peanut butter and eggs on medium-high until well combined, about 1-2 minutes. Gradually add 2 1/2 cups flour at low speed, beating just until incorporated. Add an additional 1/4 cup flour at a time just until the dough is no longer sticky.
Working on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 3-4 times until it comes together. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes and place onto the prepared baking sheet.
Place into oven and bake until the edges are golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.*
Let cool completely.
DIY Homemade Dog Food
1 1/2 cups brown rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 pounds ground turkey
3 cups baby spinach, chopped
2 carrots, shredded
1 zucchini, shredded
1/2 cup peas, canned or frozen
In a large saucepan of 3 cups water, cook rice according to package instructions; set aside
Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add ground turkey and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the turkey as it cooks.
Stir in spinach, carrots, zucchini, peas and brown rice until the spinach has wilted and the mixture is heated through, about 3-5 minutes.
Let cool completely.
For more information call them
OUT2NEWS 2020 PETS OF THE WEEK!
ALL PETS GO TO HEAVEN
Article by: Robin Hall – Out2News/Out2martincounty.com
There is a very special place where beloved pets go after they die. This is only a temporary location. But there are trees and grass and lakes, and everything they love. Here they can play and eat and sleep, even better than they did, before they died. Now, there are no aches or worries or dangers of any kind to trouble or threaten them. The only joy missing is their beloved human companion, you.
All health is restored completely, and all injuries are healed. Dogs and cats play with each other like youngsters, and they do not have time to feel lonely for you. They miss you, and with the special wisdom that animals have, they trust that this condition will get better. And they confidently wait as they frolic.
A wonderful day will come for each of them, when in the middle of playing they will suddenly feel something is different. And all their senses will be at the height of excitement and exuberance. They will sniff the air and look off in the distance where they recognize that dearly loved special presence. Then they will call out in elation, and with eyes shining and tail going wild, tear off at a full gallop, almost flying over the green grass.
The bond that we form with animals can be very deep and fulfilling, and the loss of a beloved animal can have an impact on us that is as great, or even greater, than the loss of a family member or friend. This bond is what makes our interactions with animals rich and rewarding, but also what makes the grief process so complicated. The grief can seem to come in waves, may be brought on more intensely by a sight or sound that sparks your memory, and may seem overwhelming at times.
After your pet has died or been lost, it is natural and normal to feel grief and sorrow. The amount of time a person grieves for the loss of their pet may be very different for different people. Although grief is an internal and private response, there are certain stages of grief that most people experience, and not everyone experiences them all or in the same order.Anger and guilt often follow denial.
Your anger may be directed toward people you normally love and respect, including your family, friends or your veterinarian. People coping with death will often say things that they do not really mean, unintentionally hurting those whom they do not mean to hurt.
Depression is a common experience after the death of a special pet. The tears flow, there are knots in your stomach, and you feel drained of all your energy. Day-to-day tasks can seem impossible to perform and you may feel is isolated and alone. Many depressed people will avoid the company of friends and family.
You will come to terms with your feelings. You begin to accept your pet’s death. Resolution has occurred when you can remember your pet and your time with them without feeling the intense grief and emotional pain you previously felt. Acceptance and resolution are normal and do not mean that you no longer feel a sense of loss, just that you have come to terms with the fact that your pet has died. Everyone experiences the stages of grief, grieving is always a very personal process. Allow yourself time to grieve and heal, and be thankful that your life was made that much better by sharing it with your beloved pet.
Memorializing a pet can be a healthy part of the grieving process. A framed photo or a photo album can help remind a pet parent of their pet. Some people keep the ashes of their pets and bury them in a spot favored by their pet. Creating a journal that includes stories about the things your dog did will help you focus on the good times you spent together. Photographs record those special moments and lock them forever in time. Have a professional portrait painted as a memorial to your dog companion. If you enjoy gardening, plant a tree, perennial, bush or shrub in memory of your dog. Donate to an animal organization in your dog’s name. Some pet lovers place a brick or stone with their pet’s name painted on it in their gardens or they buy specially designed and inscribed grave markers if their pet is buried on their property.
Realizing that a seemingly trifle, yet possibly most-significant part of pet ownership is doing the right thing for our pets at the end of their lives. Sometimes the hardest things to do are the best things we can do. Loving animals teaches us something about ourselves and so does letting them go…
Out2 Bark Byte is dedicated to Robin Hall’s – Owner of Out2News best friend “Teddy”. RIP 8/4/2015
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