Saturday, October 20, 2018

JACK RUSSEL TERRIER - The facts every owner of this dog breed should know

English: A Jack Russell Terrier wearing a blue...
A Jack Russell Terrier wearing a blue harness. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Originally bred in the 19th century by Parson Jack Russell, an avid hunter, selected traits that would assist him in hunting. Working dogs, Jack Russell Terriers were bred to be fearless and feisty to flush out prey from the forest, particular foxes. As a working dog, Jack Russell Terriers tend to have an athletic build and boundless energy. Jack Russell Terriers are very intelligent, but also willful and stubborn, which can make them extremely difficult to train without consistency.

As a hunting and working dog, Jack Russell Terriers do have the hunting instinct in them and have been knowing to consider smaller household pets prey. However, this does not mean that they cannot be good family pets. Jack Russell Terriers are usually very good with children and gentle with them if they understand how to approach dogs. Jack Russell Terriers live 15 years or more. They grow to an average of 10 to 12 inches in height and 14 to 18 pounds in weight. Jack Russell Terriers have several different types of coats of the shorthaired variety (some are smooth, some are not) but all are easy to maintain with regular brushing.

Jack Russell Terriers are suited for all kinds of living but do need to be exercised regularly, at least once a day, due to their seemingly boundless energy. Without regular opportunities to exercise and play, they will become bored and begin to bark at everything and become destructive. If a Jack Russell Terrier must be left alone for an extended period of time without the opportunity to exercise, it is recommended that they are crated until it is possible to let them exercise.

Jack Russell Terriers are fearless and will run off without thinking. A fenced in area is a must for a Jack Russell Terrier, but the fence needs to be deep enough as they are diggers, and tall enough to not jump over. An average sized Jack Russell Terrier can jump five feet quite easily. There are some health concerns with the breed. Some Jack Russell Terriers are prone to dislocation of the kneecaps, inherited eye diseases, deafness, Legg Perthes - a disease of the hip joints, and cataracts. Currently, there is some dispute about the breed and breed standards. The AKC does not officially recognize the Jack Russell Terrier, considered a working dog. It only officially recognizes the Parson Russell Terrier.

    By Robert W. Benjamin - Copyright © 2007


Friday, October 19, 2018

KITTEN VACCINATIONS: Types of Vaccinations

Feline viral rhinotracheitis infection
Feline viral rhinotracheitis infection (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In recent years, the vaccination of cats has become more popular. The three most common vaccines give protection against feline infectious enteritis (FIE), feline influenza (cat flu) and feline leukemia (FeLV). An initial course of two injections, the first at nine weeks are usually given, and yearly boosters are recommended thereafter.

FIE causes vomiting and diarrhea, and the cat develops a very high temperature. Before the vaccine was introduced, it killed a great many cats by dehydration due to the bowel symptoms. Cat flu is caused by two viruses: the feline rhinotracheitis (FCV). FVR is the more severe of the two, causing coughing, sneezing, and nasal and eye discharges.

FVC has milder discharges but more gum inflammation and mouth ulcers. Neither FCV nor FVR is usually deadly but the infection can linger on in the form of snuffles, and some cats become symptomless carriers of the disease. When stressed, these cats develop mild symptoms and spread the virus.

FeLV suppresses the activity of the cat's immune system, allowing a wide range of symptoms to develop. It often results in the death of the cat after several months of illness. The virus is spread mainly in the cat's saliva. It is a disease of cats that fight a lot, and of cats in large colonies, who share the same food and water bowls. It should not be a threat in a well-run boarding cattery, where the feeding and grooming utensils are properly cleaned, and the cats do not mix with each other.

A vaccine exists against the chlamydial organism, which can cause not only mild eye and nasal symptoms, but more importantly, infertility and abortion. This vaccine is used mainly in breeding colonies to protect against infertility.



Thursday, October 18, 2018

BONES for Your Dog - Delicious Treat or A Deadly Snack?

Photo: Pixabay
There is a difference of opinion among canine experts as to whether bones should be given to a dog raw, cooked, hard, or soft, and even whether they should be given at all. On one point, however, there is total agreement, never give a dog splintering bones from chicken, pork, fowl, and rabbit, (although chicken bones that have been cooked in a pressure cooker until they are very soft can be quite nourishing and safe).

A marrow bone is the traditional symbol of a treat for a dog, and he obviously appreciates it. It may be too big and hard for small dogs. In fact, large breeds generally handle bones much better than small ones. Bones that are mostly cartilage, such as spinal and shoulder bones of veal, knuckle bones, and soft rib bones, are good chewing material that can be entirely consumed.

The real danger is intestinal compaction, especially in small dogs, if the masticated bone has not been mixed with another residue in the dog's stomach. A small amount should cause no trouble if it is given right after a meal. Chop and steak bones are more dangerous. Careful eaters simply clean off the meat and fat, but greedy gobblers run the risk of internal injury from jagged bone splinters. The same is true of a leg of lamb bone.

What is the best policy to follow with a dog of your own? A teething puppy between four and six months of age should always have a bone, real or imitation, to chew on. You might give an adult dog a suitable bone as an occasional treat - for example, once a week. It will give him enormous pleasure, will help to keep his teeth clean and free from tartar, and will occupy him for several hours. But a nylon bone offers the same advantages without the risk!



Wednesday, October 17, 2018

CANINE DIABETES; is Your Dog at Risk?

Army Sgt. William A. Peyton, Jr. a JDOG dog ha...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The classic early warning signs of diabetes were all present when I brought my canine companion of twelve years into the Veterinarian's clinic. Muffy was lethargic, unsteady on her feet, drinking large amounts of water, and experiencing incontinence for the first time in her life. I knew something was seriously wrong.

After blood work and a physical examination, the veterinarian said that Muffy had developed type-two canine diabetes. After a brief discussion, we decided to try and regulate her blood sugar level with diet modification and insulin twice daily. 

At first, it was rough going. Weekly checkups revealed Muffy's sugar levels continued to bounce from one extreme to the other. Determined not give up, I monitored her urine samples at home for sugar content and adjusted insulin injections as necessary. Gradually, we began to see improvement.

After just a few months Muffy was once again her frisky self. You would never know by watching her race about that she had a serious health problem. A special diet, proper amounts of insulin and regular exercise have worked together with Muffy's routine veterinary care to turn the tide. As a result, I can look forward to many more happy years with my little dog.

Wyoming veterinarian Mary Flitner, who recently moved her practice to New Mexico, received her D.V.M. degree at Colorado State University and an award for excellence in large animal surgery in 1997. Flitner states that diabetes in dogs and cats is more common than most people realize. According to Flitner, a pet's chance of developing diabetes will increase with age. 

"This is especially true in overweight, less active dogs."

Besides weight and age, diet is another significant factor. Dogs given table scraps without discrimination are, particularly at risk. The importance of diet cannot be overemphasized, warns Flitner. 

"A high fiber diet, low in fat and sugar, is vital. And an annual checkup by a qualified professional is also an important part of proper pet care, as early detection of health complications increase successful management of the problem and helps prolong the quality of life for that pet." 

Flitner notes many pet owners mistakenly feel caring for a diabetic pet would be too difficult for them, an assumption that complicates the decision making the process at a critical time. 

"A diagnosis of diabetes in a family pet is hard enough to handle without misconceptions compounding the problem," said Flitner thoughtfully.


For instance, a pet owner might opt to euthanize a pet diagnosed with diabetes because they feel incapable of managing the problem. However, with proper instruction and guidance, that same pet owner could gain the confidence necessary to properly follow the care plan developed by the veterinarian, and enjoy many more quality years together with their pet. 

"People need to know by regulating their pet's diabetes, that pet can still live to their full potential," said Flitner, acknowledging most caregivers consider their pet an important part the family and struggle to make right health care decisions for them. 

Flitner notes grocery store quality pet foods are not good choices for diabetic pets because of added fillers and sugars used to improve the taste. 

"Some grocery store brands of cat food actually have trace elements of antifreeze in them, because cats are attracted to it. These type foods often have a high content of sodium, which is also unhealthy for the pet.

"A healthy well-balanced diet is important for any pet, but especially for those diagnosed with diabetes." 

Early warning signs that might indicate diabetes in your pet include: an unusually high consumption of water, increase in appetite, incontinence, lethargy, extreme changes in eyes (i.e. cataracts), lack of coordination, and vomiting. Caregivers who note such changes in their dog should promptly call a qualified professional because examination by a veterinarian is important and necessary for proper diagnosis. 

Flitner also acknowledges the temptation to remove the water bowl from the pet's reach if incontinence is a problem. 

"But, this is not the correct thing to do," instructs Flitner. 

In the case of diabetic canines, drinking large amounts of water is the dog's attempt to flush glucose out of the kidneys which have spilled over from the blood. If the glucose doesn't get flushed out, serious damage to the kidneys and other organs can develop. 

The best preventative measures against serious health problems in the family pet remain simple and practical: regular veterinary check-ups and a healthy diet. Exercise is also very important. Among other benefits, exercise helps increase the body's effective use of insulin

© Lori S. Anton
Savvy Pet Editor



Tuesday, October 16, 2018

BELGIAN LAEKENOIS - The Rare Belgian Sheepdog

Righel, a nine months old Belgian shepherd Lae...
Righel, a nine months old Belgian shepherd Laekenois.
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
This medium-sized breed weighs between 50-65 pounds and reaches between 22" to 26" in height. Their name is pronounced LAK-in-wah. The Belgian Laekenois is the rarest of four Belgian Sheepdogs. Bred to herd sheep, this breed remains a working breed today. 

The AKC recognizes three of the Belgian Sheepdogs but does not recognize the Belgian Laekenois. Their color ranges from red to fawn and mahogany to gray. They may or may not have a dark masking on their face. Their harsh, rough, wiry coat is over 2" in length and gives them an unkempt or tousled appearance. Their coat is waterproofed and they should not be bathed on a regular basis. They only require minimal grooming and should never be clipped too closely.

This energetic, protective and intelligent breed is more of a working dog than a family companion. The Belgian Laekenois loves to work and is happiest when they have a job to do. They are excellent farm dogs, herding dogs and watchdogs. They can also make a good family pet for active families. The Belgian Laekenois has an abundance of energy and loves to be on the go. They are not meant to be indoors all day and are happiest when they have plenty of room to run and play. Early socialization is a must for other pets, dogs and children. Early training is also recommended. They have a herding instinct and will herd family and pets alike. 

The Belgian Laekenois originated in Belgium. It is one of four Belgian Sheepdogs. They are often recognized as distinct breeds, but in some countries, they are actually all considered to be one breed. Originally bred to watch over linen bleaching fields, they were later used to watch over sheep. They are now used for herding and as guard dogs.



Work, work and more work is the Belgian Laekenois' motto. They love to have a job to do and are not a lazy breed by any means. To have a happy Belgian Laekenois, they need a family that will recognize their energy level and work instinct and makes sure that both those needs are met. If you are a family that likes to relax inside all the time, then the Belgian Laekenois is probably not for you.