It is estimated that pet owners spent more than $36 billion dollars on their pets in 2006. Despite all the medical care, toys, special diets, and other accessories, far too many dogs still fall victim to a disease that can easily be prevented. The calamity of canine heartworm disease continues to prove deadly to dogs across the United States. What might be worse is that the warming of our planet may actually be contributing to the spread of this disease.
Dogs & Puppies
When Terry Woodford first conceived of the ‘Baby-Go-To-Sleep’ Heartbeat Music Therapy CD in 1985, he had no intention of comforting and calming any baby other than human preemies and fussy toddlers. But as this successful music industry executive discovered, babies, either human or canine, respond to his simple, repetitive classic lullabies in which the sound of a human heart beat is superimposed. And the response is striking. They relax and fall asleep within a few minutes of listening to the special mix.
Avian flu is in the news, but did you know that dogs also have a new flu virus and it is spreading rapidly.
It all began in January 2004 with a sudden outbreak of respiratory disease among 22 racing greyhounds at a Florida racetrack. Most of the dogs developed a mild fever followed by a cough that lasted about 14 days, and then recovered. But slightly more than one third of the dogs died after developing hemorrhaging in the lungs. Within six months, the virus turned up in other racing greyhounds at tracks in six other states- then at 20 tracks in 11 states, and now the new virus has affected pet dogs in over 20 states.
The stories are terrible…children mauled, adults attacked, other pets killed. Aggressive dogs make headlines across the nation and so do the efforts to control them. The problem? Quick Fix laws don’t work!
Since the 1980s, breed specific legislation (BSLs) or aggressive dog laws have been working their way across the United States and Canada. Touted by many to be the answer to vicious dog attacks, BSL initiatives are more frequently seen in state legislatures, city council meetings, and small town agendas.
They are all the rage across the United States and beyond. Cross-breed dogs such as cock-a-poos have been around for many years, while newer crosses, such as labradoodles and puggles have just begun to become popular. So, are these dogs a new “hot” breed or just a designer mutt?
Some historians, and dog enthusiasts, have traced breeds of dogs back almost 8,000 years. This lineage may show that humans began selective breeding of dogs soon after first domesticating the wild ancestors of our family pet. The American Kennel Club officially recognizes more than 150 breeds with another 50 listed as Foundation Stock. With all these breeds to choose from, why would anyone want to create another?
Everyone knows that stress can lead to high blood pressure. Worrying about finances, eating too much fast food, and being addicted to nicotine certainly raises our blood pressure. But do our dogs get affected? They certainly don’t smoke or worry about bills, so why are veterinarians worried about “doggie hypertension”?
The faces in the exam room were grave. Their doctor had just explained that dietary changes and potential exercise changes may be necessary. A long-term, probably life time medication would need to be started. The problem was a blood pressure reading well in excess of normal. Meanwhile, the patient continued to chew on his treat and wag his tail, clueless to the concern of the humans in the room.