Archive for March, 2010

Beds, Arms, and Broken Bones: The Dangers of Being A Small Dog

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

     Every year, Veterinary Pet Insurance releases some of the data that it garners about pets and their owners, and one tidbit worth repeating is the most common reasons dogs and cats break their bones.  Not surprisingly, getting hit by a car tops the list.  Yep, that’ll definitely break a bone—or worse—so it’s a good reminder to keep dogs on leash at all times when they’re outdoors and to keep your cats inside.  And while being hit by a car accounted for 40% of all VPI’s claims for broken bones, the next 40% was attributed to pets jumping or falling from furniture or other high places. 
     At Scout’s House, we can attest to how dangerous it is for pets, particularly small dogs, to jump or fall from a height.  Some of the dogs we’ve seen have fractured their front legs by suddenly jumping out of their owners’ arms or by launching themselves off beds (usually to “answer the doorbell”).  It happens most with small dogs, especially the teacup and toy breeds, but we’ve also had patients as big as Lhasa Apsos, Shih Tzus, and Shelties.  And overweight pets are at even greater risk, for obvious reasons.
     Granted, they’re just being themselves and jumping off things is what dogs and cats do, but you can lower your pet’s chances of breaking a bone by putting ramps and stairs in strategic spots around the house—leading up to sofas and beds—and then training your dog to actually use them.  And never, ever let a dog or cat  jump from your arms or your lap, no matter how often that doorbell rings.  Hang on tight until you can put Fluffy down on the ground and you just might save your pet the pain of a needless injury–and save yourself the $1500-$2600 it costs to surgically repair a broken bone.

What Would Happen to Your Pet If Something Happened to You?

Monday, March 29th, 2010

What would happen to your pets if something should happen to you?  Find out how to create a lifetime care plan for your pets when we talk with Amy Shever of 2nd Chance 4 Pets tomrrow, Tuesday, March 30th, at 1pm Pacific time at http://specialpetsspecialneeds.com

Fish Oil and Your Pet: How Useful? How Safe?

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

by Lisa Stahr

I was so excited by the paper in the March issue of  JAVMA (the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association) about the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for dogs with osteoarthritis.  How wonderful that something as simple as omega-3 fatty acids can help pets with arthritis move better and live with less pain.
But then I saw the article in the San Francisco Chronicle on March 22nd (“Wading into fish oil supplement safety“) that said that ten popular fish oil supplements taken by people were found to contain PCBs (which can cause cancer and reproductive problems in humans), even though the manufacturers didn’t list PCBs in their products as mandated by California’s Proposition 65 disclosure rules.  Tested by the Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation of Eureka, all ten fish oil supplements showed levels of PCBs and three of those ten exceeded California’s standard for “no significant risk” from carcinogens.
Not great news, but I don’t take fish oil supplements—however, my dog does.  On the advice of our veterinary oncologist, I’ve been giving Rerun omega-3 fatty acid capsules everyday for the last two years because omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help fend off Rerun’s particular form of cancer: T-cell lymphoma.  And that’s why the article alarmed me, because it made me realize that if the supplements tested—supplements that are over-the-counter fish oil products made for humanscontain PCBs, what do you suppose is in the fish oil supplements made for pets?  There’s  no regulation regarding the purity of pet supplements, which means we really don’t know what’s in the stuff we’re giving our dogs and cats, do we?
Now I’m freaked.
So I called the manufacturer of Omega-3 Pet, which are the fish oil supplements we sell at Scout’s House.  Our pet nutritionist at Scout’s House, Sandy Gregory, insisted that we buy these supplements from Nordic Naturals because Sandy had faith in the purity of their pet products.
And, it turns out, for good reason.
Bonnie Johnson of Nordic Naturals explained that third-party tests show that their Omega-3 Pet soft gel capsules have no detectable levels at one part per trillion of Non-Ortho and Mono-Ortho PCBs.  And, she added, the Pet capsules use the same oil as is used in the Omega-3 product for humans, so its held to the same standards.  Although this doesn’t guarantee that there are no PCBs in my dog’s omega-3 supplements, it does tell me that the numbers are very low.
And thanks to Bonnie, I understand a little more why that’s true.  Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet oil is derived from anchovies and sardines, which are smaller fish, and that’s important because PCB concentrations in fish depend, in part, on what kind of fish is used to make the oil (older, bigger fish build up more PCBs in their fatty tissues than smaller fish), as well as on where the fish live.  Nordic Naturals, I was glad to hear, harvests anchovies and sardines from the Norwegian Sea and the Southern Pacific Ocean, which are some of the world’s healthiest waters.
I can’t completely protect my dog from cancer, I know that.  She got T-cell lymphoma despite all my best efforts.  But I can maintain a healthy skepticism about the supplements I give her.  And so can you about the supplements you give your pet.  Don’t just assume a pet product is good for your dog or cat just because it says so–or worse, because your friend says so.  Read the labels, call the company for more information, and—above all—ask your veterinarian.  Until there are regulations regarding the food, treats, and supplements we give our pets, it’s up to you to determine the purity of what goes in your pet’s mouth.

Who Doesn’t Love Free Dog Stuff?

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Especially when you have a special needs pet?  All that “stuff” they need can really add up!  But we just did some serious “spring cleaning” at Scout’s House and have a ton of stuff to give away and sell!  Need a bath tub for washing your dog?  Or a dog ramp (or two)?  Or harnesses, boots, diapers, or other accoutrement for your special needs pet?  Go to our new Community Forum page on our website (https://scoutshouse.com/forum).  Post there if you see anything you’d like and we’ll get back to you about sending it.  And please post things of your own, if you’d like, to buy, sell, or give away.  Or, even better, start a discussion about your special needs pet!

Who Doesn't Love Free Dog Stuff?

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Especially when you have a special needs pet?  All that “stuff” they need can really add up!  But we just did some serious “spring cleaning” at Scout’s House and have a ton of stuff to give away and sell!  Need a bath tub for washing your dog?  Or a dog ramp (or two)?  Or harnesses, boots, diapers, or other accoutrement for your special needs pet?  Go to our new Community Forum page on our website (https://scoutshouse.com/forum).  Post there if you see anything you’d like and we’ll get back to you about sending it.  And please post things of your own, if you’d like, to buy, sell, or give away.  Or, even better, start a discussion about your special needs pet!

FRIENDS & FANS ALERT!

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

For Scout’s House Rehab clients:  Be the 1st to call Scout’s House today, Saturday, March 20th, and win a free rehab session for your dog!  This offer is good today only, so as they say on TV, CALL NOW!

FRIENDS & FANS ALERT!

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

For Scout’s House Rehab clients:  Be the 1st to call Scout’s House today, Saturday, March 20th, and win a free rehab session for your dog!  This offer is good today only, so as they say on TV, CALL NOW!

FRIENDS & FANS ALERT: Help for Your Pet’s Arthritis

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Scout’s House Friends & Fans may benefit from a research study just published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association on the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on dogs with arthritis.  The study by Fritsch et al showed that that omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the dose of carprofen (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories marketed as Rimadyl® and Novox®) needed for pain relief in dogs with chronic osteoarthritis.  And research showed that dogs whose diets were supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids showed significant improvement in their abilities to get up and move around after 12 weeks of supplementation over dogs who did not receive the fish oil.
Friends & Fans who would like to see if it can help their arthritic dog or cat can go to our Health Supplements section of our online store (https://www.scoutshouse.com/store) and get 15% off their first purchase of Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet, which we believe is the highest quality omega-3 fatty acids you can find for your dog or cat.  Just enter discount coupon code FFNN at checkout for your 15% discount on either 90-count or 180-count bottles.

FRIENDS & FANS ALERT: Help for Your Pet's Arthritis

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Scout’s House Friends & Fans may benefit from a research study just published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association on the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on dogs with arthritis.  The study by Fritsch et al showed that that omega-3 fatty acids can reduce the dose of carprofen (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories marketed as Rimadyl® and Novox®) needed for pain relief in dogs with chronic osteoarthritis.  And research showed that dogs whose diets were supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids showed significant improvement in their abilities to get up and move around after 12 weeks of supplementation over dogs who did not receive the fish oil.
Friends & Fans who would like to see if it can help their arthritic dog or cat can go to our Health Supplements section of our online store (https://www.scoutshouse.com/store) and get 15% off their first purchase of Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet, which we believe is the highest quality omega-3 fatty acids you can find for your dog or cat.  Just enter discount coupon code FFNN at checkout for your 15% discount on either 90-count or 180-count bottles.

The Top Five Behavior Problems in Dogs–And What You Can Do About Them

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Join us tomorrow on Special Pets, Special Needs when acclaimed animal behaviorist Dr. Sophia Yin describes the most common behavior issues in dogs–and tells us how to fix them.  That’s Tuesday, March 2nd, at 1pm Pacific time on PDX.FM.