Daily Paws

Pet news, tips, entertainment and opinions from VetLocator.com

Archive for May, 2010

A unique oil spill cleanup solution

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010
BP Gulf Oil Spill, 5.20.2010, @40,000 feet.
Image by zphone via Flickr

There have been many proposed helpful solutions to help clean up the oil that is spreading across the Gulf including oil booms, fires, dispersing agents and several others.

One of the more unique solutions come from hair salons collecting human hair from their hair cuts to be used to soak up the oil.  Now a Dallas pet groomer is doing the same with pet hair.

The Petropolitan is collecting an incredible amount of pet hair that will be shipped south on June 10 to be made into a hair boom which will be placed on shorelines to collect oil that makes it to the shore.

“A hair boom is a piece of pantyhose shoved full of about 20 pounds of pet and human hair. According to Petropolitan co-owner Chris Watts, 20 pounds of pet hair can collect 200 pounds of oil. The bags of hair will be shipped to representatives of the non-profit Matter of Trust, who have been given approval by the Coast Guard to donate booms for the coast.”

How to Make a Hair Boom

Unfortunately, engineers working to clean up the oil spill just announced they will not use hair booms in their efforts as they feel their commercial booms work better.

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To wrap up Dog Bite prevention week – help request from mailmen across America

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

Dog bites are one of the hazards of being a postal carrier is the risk of being bitten by a dog.

Here are some tips from Katu.com:

“To spread the word that dog bites are preventable, the Postal Service is working with the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Other organizations include the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery and Prevent The Bite. The Verterinary Medical Association’s brochure, “What you should know about dog bite prevention,” offers tips on how to avoid being bitten, what dog owners can do to prevent their dogs from biting and how to treat dog bites.

Tips include picking a dog that is a good match for your home, socializing a pet and avoiding aggressive games. Meanwhile, the Postal Service offers these tips for avoiding a bite:

  • Don’t run past a dog. The dog’s natural instinct is to chase and catch prey.
  • If a dog threatens you, don’t scream. Avoid eye contact. Try to remain motionless until the dog leaves, then back away slowly until the dog is out of sight.
  • Don’t approach a strange dog, especially one that’s tethered or confined.
  • While letter carriers are discouraged from petting animals, people who choose to pet dogs should always let a dog see and sniff them before petting the animal.
  • If you believe a dog is about to attack you, try to place something between yourself and the dog, such as a backpack or a bicycle.

[Dog Bites can be prevented]

It’s good to be familiar with what you can do to prevent being bitten by a dog and how you can help our mail carriers remain safe from bites as well.

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Pet Freebie: Arm & Hammer offers free cat id tag with purchase

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Arm & Hammer

Arm & Hammer

Arm & Hammer is partnering with North Shore Animal League America (NSALA) to educate cat owners about the importance of pet identification tags.

To support the collaboration, Arm & Hammer has launched an integrated marketing campaign with the tagline: “Tag a Cat, Save a Life.” Ads will appear on packages of Arm & Hammer cat litter products, online and in handouts delivered to new cat owners at the point of pet adoption.

A print campaign will appear in consumer magazines throughout the summer, including Martha Stewart Living, Redbook, Ladies Home Journal and Family Circle. The campaign also includes online ads on sites including Pet Place, DogTime and Cat Channel.

Model and author Beth Ostrosky Stern (wife of Howard Stern) is a volunteer with NSALA and is a spokesperson for the effort, but will not appear in any A&H marketing materials. She will conduct a radio media tour, says an Arm & Hammer spokesperson.

Cat owners can obtain a free personalized ID tag via mail with the purchase of any two Arm & Hammer cat litters. The promotion ends Dec. 31 and requests must be postmarked by Jan. 15. The campaign will direct consumers to www.pettagoffer.com. The effort was created by Ferrara & Company for Arm & Hammer parent company Church & Dwight. Both are based in Princeton, N.J.  <read more>

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Your pet’s name – is it a reflection on you? According to your vet, the answer is yes.

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Dr. Patty Khulyx

According to a recent post in USA Today, many veterinarians have distinct opinions on what we name our animals.
“Less-than-fetching pet names can reflect back on owners,” Florida-based veterinarian Dr. Patty Khuly says that what a cat or dog is named can reveal quite a bit about the pet parent.

So what does your pet’s name say about you?

Whether it’s the twentysomething’s Rottweiler named “FUBAR” or the newlywed couple’s first kitten registered as “Emma,” veterinarians usually get the picture.

Dr. Khuly says that trends and the person’s attitude toward their pet is reflected in their name and their name reflects back on you.

“Though I may make fun, I do understand that our pets’ names are justifiably sacred. The bond we share with them gets its early start when we offer them a denomination (or epithet, as the case may be) and is constantly reinforced with each call and response.”

That’s right.  Just don’t make fun of me for having no imagination because I named our white cat…White Cat.

Linda Ferguson

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What if your pet gets sick, you get help..but then your pet dies anyway?

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
Image by andy castro via Flickr

Every once in awhile I’ll come across something someone has written that so perfectly showcases challenges a pet parent will face one day that I don’t want to even try to give my take on it.

And that’s how I feel about this blog post that I discovered recently.  It perfectly shows what we’ll all be faced with at some time and very importantly what your vet’s responsibility in those scenarios are and what YOURS are as well.

Well written from the point of a veterinary technician, someone who sees these dramas played out on a daily basis.


What if….

Scenario 1:

What if your pet was very sick and when you took them to the vet they said that they didn’t know what was wrong with him, just take him home and make him comfortable. No offer of any diagnostics whatsoever. Then your pet died.

Scenario 2:

What if your vet did offer you diagnostics? But you elected to not have them done, it doesn’t matter the reason. Then your pet died.

Which scenario is the fault of the veterinarian?

Scenario 3:

What if your vet was given permission to do the diagnostics, got an idea what could possibly be wrong but wasn’t sure without further testing, but didn’t offer it to you because the testing was quite expensive and your pet died?

Scenario 4:

What if the vet did offer to do further testing you declined and your pet died?

Which scenario is the fault of the veterinarian.

Scenario 5:

Okay, you opted for all the possible testing, the vet made a definitive diagnosis, knew of a fantastic treatment protocol that could (nothing in life is a guarantee) save your dog BUT it’s very expensive and maybe your pet would die anyway. So the vet elects to not even mention it, after all, why would anyone want to spend that kind of money on a pet? Your pet dies a week later after treatments that were much more affordable and could possibly save your pet…but doesn’t.

Scenario 6:

Same as #5 but this time the vet DOES offer you the expensive treatment that you decline due to cost. Sadly the outcome is the same as #5.

Scenario 7:

Same as #5, but this time you opt to go for the more expensive treatment and though things look pretty good at first, your pet dies anyway. 🙁

Which scenario is the fault of the veterinarian?

If you said; #1, #3 and #5 you would be correct.

Does that make you at fault for the others? Absolutely not!!! Sometimes, our beloved pets die, no matter how much money we throw at their problem, no matter how much we love them. It sucks, but it’s not ALL about blame.

The problem that I’m trying to outline (I never claimed to be a writer folks, LOL) is that a veterinarian is under a moral & legal obligation to offer to you every thing that he or she knows is available that may help your pet when it is ill. It’s not a financial obligation. It’s what’s right. It would be downright mean and irresponsible to not inform you of ALL of your options to help your friend and companion.

Your obligation is to do what you’re capable of doing.

Don’t feel guilty because you can’t afford a treatment out of your financial capacity, it’s okay.

I can’t afford a lot of treatments for my own pets either. It hurts like hell, but it’s the truth. We hear stories of people taking out a 2nd mortgage for cancer treatments and the like for the pets, but they’re not common. One client I know sold her car! That was what THEY chose to do, but it’s not expected, by any stretch of the imagination, for every pet owner to do so.

Don’t be shy, say no if you need to do so. Above all…don’t feel guilty. It really is OK that you can’t afford an MRI, expensive cancer treatments or thousands of dollars worth of testing.

Nancy Campbell, RVT (Registered Veterinary Technician)


Linda Ferguson

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