Please note:

We hope that you enjoy the DOT posts and the different views from everyone included. We promise lots of cute pictures, laughter, maybe a tear or two, and some information. Please note that the views and opinions expressed here are each author's own and do not necessarily represent DOT as a whole.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Travelin' Pooch

Hi everyone! Penny here. Since the last time we barked, I've been on a vacation! I took my very first out of state trip with my pack. Mom and Dad were nervous about how I'd behave, but of course, a Princess has to be on her best behavior at all times with her subjects, so naturally, I put my best paw forward!

We traveled by van from the Atlanta area (my home den) to Pigeon Forge, TN, where my parents and Grandma were checking out the outlets. My parents are very safety conscious, so they got my very own car seat for me to ride in. At first I wasn't quite sure about it, but it was quite comfy and I had my own view of the countryside.
We stayed in a pet friendly hotel. There weren't too many other pooches there, but I did make friends with a little Yorkie that was out for a walk at the same time I was. Did you know that there are a lot of hotels that are pet friendly? If you want to travel with your pack, get your folks to search on "pet friendly hotels" on the internet and they may be surprised at how many they'll find! Some charge an extra "cleaning fee" (as if I'm dirty! I got a day at the spa before I traveled), and most require that you sleep in your crate if your parents leave you in the room by yourself. My folks don't do that -- they got take out food and brought it back for all of us to share. Mmmm. Steak!

We did our fair share of shopping at the outlets. Most of the stores were very nice and allowed me to come in either carried safely in Dad's arms or in my stroller. My folks didn't ask to bring me in anywhere that served food -- evidently some folks are funny about that, and some entity called the "health department" gets really tense. I got a lot of attention!!

The whole shopping experience was exhausting.

Yeah, that's me... sacked out in the stroller. Being a Princess is hard work!

But you know what followed us to Pigeon Forge? Thunder!!! That's right! I couldn't believe it. It never did show its face, either. I had to bark at it again to chase it off. Coward.

So we had a good trip. I didn't bark too much at the hotel (except at the cowardly thunder), so Mom & Dad say we're taking another trip this summer. More people to adore me!!!

Everyone have a good month. I'll bark at you next time!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Can I vent?

How can I say this in a manner that won't offend or upset any of our readers?

Maybe just by saying up front that this post is not to criticize but rather to educate anyone who comes across this page if they would happen to google puppies or dogs.

It has happened again in our neighborhood where a person has gone to a pound and adopted a puppy only to surrender it to the same pound in less then a year when the puppy has grown into all 75 pounds.

The reason? They didn't realize it was going to be so big, it wasn't obedient, it barked and they have neighbors, etc.

Did they spend time walking, playing, grooming, teaching, etc. on a daily basis? NO. Did they take it for basic obedience training? NO. What they did do was upon advise of an "expert" was to put a shock collar on the puppy that would shock the puppy when it barked. Of course with disasterous results, ie. the puppy would bark again, then yelp, then howl, etc...

I would encourage anyone who knows of someone who is about to adopt an adult dog or puppy to take the following list with them:

--Is this dog an owner turn-in, a stray dog, or a shelter save? Most likely, the shelter will have more information if it is an owner turn-in.

--Why did the owners give him up? Did the family give any information about the dog? It will be helpful for you to find out everything you can about the dog’s past so you can train him well.

--What is the age of the dog (it can be approximate)? If it is a rescue dog, he can range anywhere from 8 weeks to 15 years.

--How long has this dog been in the shelter or foster care? If he has been in the shelter for a long time, he may have some kennel-related behavior issues, and may have a need for remedial housetraining. If the dog has been with a foster family for awhile, the family may give you valuable information about him.

--Upon arrival, has he had any medical or behavioral problems? They may or may not be serious.

--What kind of medical treatment has the dog had? See if there are any treatments that need to continue or if there is any long term effect.

--While in the foster home or shelter, has the dog been getting any training or socialization? Does the training need to keep going?

--Are there any training or behavior issues that need to be addressed, such as housetraining or dog aggression? Make sure you can handle these issues.

--What is the activity level of this dog? What are the exercise needs? Choose a dog who has the activity level that is the same as yours.

--Will this dog be compatible with my lifestyle? A shelter or a rescue should be able to help you find a perfect dog for your lifestyle.

--Does the dog have any signs of aggression with people or animals? If the dog has aggressive behavior, he will need extra training. Don’t choose this dog if you have no idea how to train an aggressive dog.

--Does the dog prefer a certain type of people—men, women, kids, or the elderly? Try for a good match, even though dogs are adaptable.

--Does the dog need to have another dog in the house? When you are adopting, don’t forget about your existing pets.

--What is the return policy of this rescue group or shelter? Will they take the dog back if the new home doesn’t work out for him or he has a major medical problem? If the dog has major medical or behavior problems, a good shelter or rescue group will usually accommodate a return.

--Has the dog been altered and has he got his first vaccines and worming? Usually this will be done. However, the majority of the municipal shelters will do just the bare minimum.

or buying a puppy:

--Have I found the right breed to fit into my lifestyle and home?
--How big will this dog get?
--What are the breed characteristics?
--Will you have enough time to spend training, grooming and exercising a dog?
--Am I willing to spend the resources to ensure the best future for a dog?

While I know that there can be extenuating circumstanes that some may have to make the decision to rehome a dog, too many "cute puppies" grow up to be very large dogs or have different characteristics then what a person expects and end up in the pound or rescue.

Luckily for the dog above, he was rescued from the pound and then finally adopted. I hope he has found his ever-after home this time!

Thank you for reading, I will get down off my soapbox now.

Give your dog a hug today,

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ocular Disorders

This post is about some of the more common disease of the eye seen in pets.

Nuclear or Lenticular sclerosis is a normal age related change of the lens. This is what gives your older dog that hazy look in his eye. This causes no appreciable vision loss, is not a cataract and does not proceed to blindness.

Cataracts are an opacity of the lens. They can be congenital, inherited, secondary to diabetes, traumatic, secondary to other intraocular disease, or toxins. There are other less common causes as well. Rate of progression is very variable and can take from days to years to reach full maturity and blindness. Cataracts can be surgically removed but patients must undergo some other testing to make sure they are an appropriate candidate for this procedure.

Conjunctivitis is a very common ocular disorder. This in inflammation or reddening of the conjunctiva, or the pink fleshly lining of the eye, essentially "pink eye." This is most commonly caused by allergies, infection, foreign objects or other irritants. It can be associated with ocular discharge of various character-serous (clear), mucoid (mucus), or mucopurulent (pus-like mucus). It is typically treated with drops or ointment containing a steroid plus or minus an antibiotic and usually resolves uneventfully. Some dogs with chronic allergies use these drops on a regular or as-needed basis. This can occur in one or both eyes.

Corneal ulcers are a scratch or defect in the cornea-the clear covering of the eye. This can be caused by any number of things-cat scratch, dog pawing at it's eye, running through the weeds/brush, etc. Uncomplicated superficial ulcers usually heal quickly and with no complications. They are treated with antibiotic drops and sometimes anti-inflammatory pain medications. E-collars are frequently placed if the animal is bothering the eye. Deep, infected, or chronically non-healing ulcers are treated more aggressively because the more weakened the cornea is the more chance there is for rupture of the cornea-a very serious side effect. These are often treated with more powerful antibiotics, serum from the dog's own blood, and various surgical procedures depending on the situation. Some of these are even serious enough to be treated by a specialist. Corneal ulcers are especially prevalent in dogs like pugs or boston terriers due to their ocular conformation.

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) or Dry Eye is a deficiency of tear production. This leads to inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva with secondary ulcers, infection, and pigmentation of the cornea. This a disease that is very painful left untreated and typically requires life-long therapy. Causes can be congenital (rare), drug induced, autoimmune-mediated inflammation, endocrine and other systemic diseases. Diagnosis is made by measuring the amount of tears produced in a minute. A strip of paper is placed under the lower eyelid which has millimeters marked on it with a dye. As the tear fluid flows up the paper the dye is diluted and shows "how many" tears the pet has made. Treatment is aimed at clearing up any infection and keeping the eye hydrated. Artificial tears are used as often as possible, especially in the early stages. Topical cyclosporine is the gold standard of treatment and helps to increase the tear production of the affected eye. Other options are available if cyclosporine does not work but can be very expensive.

Glaucoma is a painful condition where the pressure inside the eye rises above normal. The pressure rises because of an increased production of the fluid inside the eye, or an inability for the fluid to drain. This condition, in addition to causing discomfort, can lead to blindness. Signs of glaucoma include a dilated pupil, reddening of the conjunctiva, enlargement of the eye, a blue color to the eye and signs of pain or vision loss. Treatment for glaucoma varies widely from patient to patient based on time of presentation ( if caught early enough, emergency treatment can be instituted to save vision), goal of the owner (maintain comfort vs. vision vs. maintain eye), demeanor of the dog (many topical meds will need to be given) and financial limitations. Treatment can include hospitalization, referral to a specialist, medications, and or surgery up to and including removal of the eye.

Most often ocular related problems are simple and non-emergent. But because some of them are truly emergencies and require aggressive therapy is it best not to "wait and see" when your dog is having an eye problem. Sometimes even a matter of a few hours can make a difference and there is not a way to tell over the phone if your pet is having one of those problems. As you have noticed a lot of eye problems can present as redness and squinting-but some are more serious than others!

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Our apologies that this post is so late and a very quick one at that. Our grandma arrived from way down south somewhere so our mom is taken up with her and other human family!

Grandma came with some treats, but she forgot to bring Izzy, so Sampson has been very cross with her. He even growls at her! Mom gives him time out in his kennel when he does this.

I of course, have been Grandma's angel, and give her lots of slobbers so she won't miss Izzy as much.

Happy DOT's,
HoneyDew (Doggy Angel) Switzer