Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Worldess Wednesday: Birthday Present Fail

I saw a video once of a dog having a blast with a water bottle pyramid. Since Cookie loves playing with them too, we decided to build a pyramid for her as well. Little girly was confused, "All I need is one at the time," she was saying.


Monday, March 2, 2015

Adoption Monday: Martha, Rottweiler Mix: Amherst, NY

This sweet girl is still listed for adoption!

I first found her listing when we were looking for a Rottweiler girl to follow in Jasmine's footsteps.

Because of the location, we had to pass. Seems like everybody else is passing too.

Check out this sweet girl, let's find her a home.

Martha was found wandering the streets, and brought into the pound. Her left rear leg was broken in half. It is not clear if she had been hit by a car, or had some other kind of accident. She was scheduled to be euthanized, but was a lucky dog!

She is now under foster care, and has recovered completely. Martha was born around 2007.

She's very friendly, and loves people! 

She is a bit needy, and wants to be close to people. Martha has been spayed, she's up to date with vaccinations, and she's on Heartworm preventative.


Based in Amherst, NY, Broken Down Dogs, Inc. is a non-profit organization that was formed to help homeless animals find permanent, loving homes.   

Broken Down Dogs, Inc are always in need of foster homes in the Buffalo area to temporarily house  rescued animals until a match with a new owner can be made. Contact them if you are interested in fostering a homeless animal!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Big Three: Happy Birthday, Cookie

Cookie has turned three today! It was a year and a half ago when she came to us. She quickly found a way into our hearts and I think she's quite happy with her new life too.

She got lots of treats and loving, and, of course, a birthday steak. The weather was nice and mild so she got some very good long walksies too.

After a whole day of partying, she was quite tired.

Happy birthday, little girly.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Nutrigenomics, Medical Causes behind Weight Gain and More

Does Your Veterinarian Owe You a Guarantee? 

Is there any way veterinarians could offer a guarantee of services when dealing with a complicated living organism? Surely it would be nice. But is it possible? Would it be just an empty promise? See what Dr. Intile thinks on the subject.

7 Medical Causes Behind Weight Gain 

There are times, though where weight gain has a medical cause. These include pregnancy, fluid retention, parasites, endocrine disorders and some medications. The article includes bloat as well—that causes appearance of SUDDEN expansion of the abdomen.

Can hyper dogs become happy dogs?

A complaint of dog's hyperactivity needs to be viewed in context. Is the dog really hyper or is their activity level beyond the owner's coping abilities? Those can be very different scenarios.

Whether or not a dog's behavior is normal, owner's expectations are key to keeping the dog as opposed to surrendering them as unmanageable. Education is a key.

The Natural Approach to Canine Arthritis

Jasmine and drugs didn't mix very well. We had to seek natural and alternative ways to deal with her arthritis and other ailments. I am very happy that we explored those alternatives as they worked really well for Jasmine, kept her healthier and allowed her to enjoy full life. Dr. Patrick Mahaney shares his recommendations to natural approach to arthritis in dogs.

An Explanation of Nutrigenomics

I first encountered this term during my Integrative Canine Nutrition course. Nutrigenomics is the science examining how nutrition affects gene expression. And you still don't know what I'm talking about, do you?

If we compared the a body's cell to a kitchen, the DNA would be a fancy cookbook, containing recipes for everything and anything you might wish to make. But as with a cookbook, you wouldn't make all the meals all the time. You make them to order. There are a number of things which control which meals are made. Nutrients present in the body have influence on the recipe selection.

Of course, the cell doesn't make meals, it makes proteins. The function of proteins in the body goes far beyond being building blocks of tissues. Proteins are workers that perform most of the daily tasks in the body. Each of them made for a specific task. If the protein is missing, the task cannot be performed. If they are too many of them, they might get carried away while looking for something to do.

For example, a certain type of proteins are the clean-up crew to take apart damaged cartilage. If too many of them are made, they will start taking apart cartilage which had nothing wrong with it too. That makes existing arthritis worse. Omega-3 fatty acids actually help put a cap on the number of cartilage clean-up workers, preserving cartilage that is still healthy. Let me know if you can make sense of this.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Veterinary Highlights: Biological Trigger for Bone Cancer in Dogs Found?

Why only some cancer cells form tumors?

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) might have found the answer. Their recent study discovered a connection between increased expression of a particular gene and bone cancer.

There are several hundred genes that express differently in tumor-forming and nontumor-forming cells.

One protein (Frizzled-6), however, was present in substantially higher levels in cells that did form tumors. 

This protein involved in communication between the outside and the inside of a cell. When the communication goes awry, it might contribute to tumor development. Whether or not glitch in expression of this protein is solely responsible for tumor formation or it is just one piece of the puzzle remains to be found.

While this discovery will need more research, it might eventually provide another target for therapy.

Source article:
Study reveals possible biological trigger for canine bone cancer

Thursday, February 26, 2015

What Happens in a Dog's Body with Severe Vomiting?

by Jennifer Coates, DVM

We all know that vomiting is bad, but many dog owners don’t understand exactly how much damage severe or prolonged vomiting can do to a dog’s body.


Severe vomiting causes direct loss of water from the body but equally important is the fact that it prevents dogs from holding down and absorbing water that they try to drink to correct the problem. This combination quickly leads to dehydration, particularly if it is accompanied by diarrhea.

Dehydration has damaging effects throughout the body including:
  • Abnormal mental activity leading to confusion, depression, etc.
  • Inability to form tears, which can cause corneal damage
  • Low blood pressure that can result in organ damage and failure (especially the kidneys)
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Seizures
  • Permanent brain damage

Dehydration can cause shock and death when a dog’s blood pressure becomes so low and the blood becomes so thick (viscous) that adequate amounts of oxygen and other vital substances cannot be delivered to tissues throughout the body.

Electrolyte Loss

Sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, and phosphate are examples of electrolytes without which cells cannot function normally.

Profuse or prolonged vomiting results in a significant loss of electrolytes. Electrolytes play many roles in the body. For instance, sodium is needed to generate the electrical signals that allow parts of the body communicate with one another and potassium helps regulate heart rhythm.

Acid-Base Imbalances

Vomit contains gastric acid, which is made, in part, of hydrogen ions. Losing hydrogen ions causes the body to become more alkaline. Since chemical reactions are designed to take place in a relatively narrow range of pH, alkalosis (as this condition is called) has a widespread effect.

The most obvious symptom is often muscle twitches. Interestingly, the body tries to compensate for alkalosis by slowing down breathing. This leads to an accumulation of carbon dioxide in the blood stream, and since carbon dioxide is an acid it can help correct the body’s pH.

Aspiration Pneumonia

The tube that leads to the lungs (the trachea) lies right next to the opening through which vomit enters the mouth. The epiglottis is designed to prevent anything other than air from entering the trachea, but it doesn’t always perform perfectly in cases of extreme vomiting. The presence of vomit in the lungs is irritating, interferes with the normal exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, and provides the perfect environment for a bacterial infection to flourish.

Damage to the Esophagus

Stomach acid is powerful stuff. The lining of the stomach is built to handle it but the esophagus is not. When the relatively delicate lining of the esophagus is repeatedly exposed to stomach acid it becomes inflamed and may develop ulcerations, both of which can subsequently interfere with its ability to move food and water into the stomach. Sometimes dogs will begin to regurgitate due to this esophageal damage after they have stopped vomiting.

Occasionally, the damage can be so severe that it results in a tear in the esophagus. This allows vomit and other material to flow into adjacent parts of the body. Esophageal tears are fatal without aggressive treatment.

The take home message? Severe or prolonged vomiting always warrants a veterinary visit.


Jennifer Coates, DVM graduated with honors from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 1999.  In the years since, she has practiced veterinary medicine in Virginia, Wyoming, and Colorado.  She is the author of several books about veterinary medicine and animal care, including the Dictionary of Veterinary Terms: Vet-speak Deciphered for the Non-veterinarian

Dr. Coates has recently joined the PetMD team and she is now writing for the Fully Vetted column; great blog, do check it out.

Jennifer also writes short stories that focus on the strength and importance of the human-animal bond and freelance articles relating to a variety of animal care and veterinary topics.  Dr. Coates lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with her husband, daughter, and pets.

Articles by Dr. Coates:
Kidney Disease – Say What? 
What Happens In The Dog's Body When The Kidneys Fail To Function Properly? 
Heat Stroke: What Happens In The Dog's Body?  
The Perplexities of Pancreatitis
The Other Side Of The Coin: The Cost Of Defensive Medicine
To Neuter Or Not To Neuter… That Is The Question
Don’t Forget the Physical Therapy
Common Misdiagnoses (Part 1)
Common Misdiagnoses (Part 2)
Picking the Right Dog to Breed
When Is It An Emergency?
Dog Allergies: Common, Commonly Misdiagnosed, or Both? 
Why Does The Spleen Get No Respect?
Protect Your Dog From Snake Bites 
More Creepy Crawlies
Why I Dislike Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Salmonella – A Significant Problem, Or Not? 
What’s In the Vomit?
Cortisol: What Happens In A Dog’s Body When It Goes Awry?
What Happens In The Dog's Body With Zinc Toxicity? 
What Happens In The Dog’s Body: Xylitol Poisoning 
What Happens In The Dog's Body: Insulin 
When Is Hypothyroidism not Hypothyroidism?

Related articles:
Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog: Vomiting
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