Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June 23rd is Take Your Dog to Work Day

Simple Tips to Make the Day a Success
Business goes to the dogs as workplaces across the country celebrate the annual Take Your Dog to Work Day. The temporary office canines won’t be barking out orders to employees or wagging approval after a presentation, although some might be helping the receptionist greet visitors. The day is an opportunity to celebrate dogs’ special abilities to reduce stress in the workplace and increase job satisfaction, skills confirmed in a study published in 2012 by Virginia Commonwealth University.
Take Your Dog to Work Day  was created by Pet Sitters International and first celebrated in 1999. PSI created the day to encourage businesses to allow dogs in the workplace for one Friday each year to celebrate the great companions dogs make and promote their adoptions from local shelters, rescue groups and humane societies. PSI believes that through the event dogless co-workers will be encouraged to adopt when they witness the human/animal bond. The week leading up to Take Your Dog To Work Day is Take Your Pet To Work Week.
But before you put a tie around his neck and print out an employee badge for Fido, take some common-sense steps to help the workday go smoothly for all involved.

  1. Check in with your co-workers.
Even if Rover’s home base is your office or cubicle, be sure that everyone is looking forward to her presence.  Be sympathetic to fears and allergies.
  1. Pack for the day.
Be sure that you have everything you need to make the day a happy one for your pals, both 2- and 4-legged.  Food and water dishes, toys, shareable treats, a comfy mat or towel, leash and poop bags for a start.  Homey things go a long way to the office experience.
  1. A little grooming goes a long, long way
Admit it- even you don’t like a smelly dog.  Give him a bath and a good brushing.    Is he a kisser?  Brush his teeth so he has nice breath when he meets the boss.
  1. Dog-proof your workspace.
So many new temptations!  Prep the area by lifting power cords, emptying the trash and removing little items like paper clips.  Make sure that there’s nothing on the floor or desk that Rover might find appealing.
  1. Do a good deed for dogs.
Find out if your company will OK a raffle, a guest speaker from a local shelter, visits from dogs in need of rescue etc.  Even people who don’t bring in their pets enjoy the opportunity to interact with other people’s dogs and meet vendors.
  1. Don’t bring Fido in if you can’t rely on his good manners and housetraining.
  2. Don’t bring Fido if he’s sick.
  3. Don’t let Fido wander around off leash.

The most important thing – Everyone should have a great time…Fido included!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

June is National Adopt a Shelter Cat Month

June is a very important month for organizations, nationwide, that work with the community to find permanent homes for rescued cats.  June is National Adopt a Shelter Cat Month.   You may wonder why June was chosen  as the month for this very special service.  The short answer- June is kitten season. It is the time of the year when cats give birth, and flood animal shelters and rescue groups across the nation with homeless litters.   More than 3 million cats end up in shelters each year. This situation makes it more difficult for shelters to find  permanent homes for their rescue cats.  National Adopt a Shelter Cat Month was created to bring awareness and encourage people to ADOPT a shelter cat rather than purchase one from a pet shop.
A new survey of American adults shows that a majority of cat owners believe that cats are intelligent (77%) and independent (71%), which confirms what many of us already know – cats are smart animals that make excellent companions.
They are also skilled hunters that will help keep the bug population down in your home, as well as those hair-raising lizards, mice, moths, etc.
Another good reason to adopt a cat is they make the great cuddle companions.  They are warm and fuzzy and love to snuggle.
And finally…most importantly, you will be saving a life. Each year 3-4 million unadopted shelter cats are eventually euthanized. You could be the one who saves a life.
But what if you can’t adopt?
Here are some easy ways you can still help:
Donate to your favorite animal rescue organization. Not just money, but old towels/blankets, pillows, collars, etc.   Ask the shelter about food needs.
Donate your Facebook status. Just paste this message into the “What’s on your mind?” box at the top of your page: “June is Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month. Save a life: Adopt a cat! https://www.petfinder.com/pet-search?shelter_id=PA695”
Tweet, retweet, repeat the following (or your own engaging message): “June is Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month. Save a life: Adopt a cat! https://www.petfinder.com/pet-search?shelter_id=PA695”
Share an adoptable cat, cat-care or adoption article or any other appropriate story through your blog, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter accounts each day of the month.
Sign up as a foster parent or shelter volunteer then tell your friends how great it is. Contact your local shelter, ASPCA, etc. to register as a volunteer.
Pass on an understanding of the importance of pet adoption to the next generation. Talk to your kids, nieces, nephews, grandchildren and other up-and-comers about animal shelters and why Adopt  a Shelter Cat Month, and pet adoption in general, is important.

As part of the ASPCA’s 150th anniversary celebration, a campaign has been created to inspire the nation to take 150,000 actions for animals in just 150 days! If you adopt a cat, help a stray or donate your time to animals in need during Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, be sure to log your action for the chance win a $150,000 grand prize for your favorite shelter!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Equine Respiratory Allergies - Heaves

The respiratory illness commonly known as “heaves” or “broken wind” was, until recently, referred to as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in the medical community. It has been renamed Recurrent Airway Obstruction (RAO) to indicate that it is not the same condition as the COPD found in humans.  Affecting mostly older horses, heaves arises when lung cells react to allergens by swelling and thickening air passage linings and increasing mucus secretions. If thickened airways trap enough bacteria, the horse could develop pneumonia or other respiratory infections.

RAO is an episodic disease triggered by exposure to
  • moldy, dusty or poorly-cured feed
  • long-term confinement to a stable environment
  • inadequate or absent stable ventilation
  • dust
  • pollen
The exact cause of the disease is not known, but research suggests that the characteristic inflammation of the small airways results from an allergic response to dust, mold, or other trigger factors.

Symptoms of RAO include:
  • nasal discharge
  • chronic coughing which may or may not produce mucous
  • flared nostrils in the resting state
  • labored breathing with elevated respiratory rate
  • exercise avoidance
  • increased abdominal movement during breathing
  • depression

RAO is diagnosed through history (especially of recurrent coughing episodes), physical examination, and blood work.  In particularly difficult or ongoing cases, successful diagnosis may include radiography, endoscopy, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), and pulmonary function testing.

Commonly, treatment of Heaves requires management and changes in diet and environment;  a clinician may also prescribe medications. The main goal is to reduce a horse's exposure to organic dust. Hay should be thoroughly soaked or replaced with a dust-free source of fiber, and horses should be kept outdoors as much as possible. Horses with RAO often improve dramatically when removed entirely from an indoor barn or stable environment. Dusty riding rings can also trigger episodes and should be avoided. Corticosteroids may be prescribed to reduce inflammation, and bronchodilators may be given to relieve spasms in the airways. Properly managed, horses with RAO can lead normal lives; but they may remain permanently sensitive to various trigger factors.
Researchers are only just beginning to understand how equine allergies work and how they differ from those occurring in other species. The hope is that someday even the most sever equine allergy will be fully treatable, and a thing of the past.