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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, October 29, 2009

Happy Hallowiener!!!

Hello, all! Penny here for the latest installment of Dogs on Thursday. I'm a little tardy... my mom got confused because she thought the 4th Thursday was today, but it was last week... and, since I'm a puppy, I can't take responsibility for such things. You know how it is.

So Saturday is Halloween! Be sure to watch after all your pooches, because I hear that a lot of them get kind of spooked with all the activity going on. And make sure they don't get into the candy (although I also hear that it's ultra yummy but bad for dogs -- pooh). Mom and Dad say that they're interested to see how I do with all the goblins who will be coming to our door. See, I love everybody. And I think they're all here just to see me! Isn't that how it's supposed to be for a princess??

Earlier this month my folks took me to an event sponsored by one of the dachshund rescue groups here in Atlanta called the HowlOWeenie. I have to be honest -- I was a little bit overwhelmed by all the wiener dogs there! So many in one place... a lot were dressed in costume... some were in carts since their back legs didn't work well anymore... some were bigger than me... some were smaller... There were more pooches there than I had ever seen before! We saw a couple who were black and tan dapples like me.There were wiener dogs in costume. I wonder if they went trick-or-treating afterwards? Do people give out snausages as treats??This little lady is in the red hat society. I'm hoping that's in dog years...And Elvis even made an appearance... complete with his security detail:All in all we had a good time. Visited some vendors there; Mom bought a new fleecy jacket for me to wear when the weather gets chilly here. She says she's "knitting" a sweater for me... the yarn is really tasty tho, and I don't understand why she gets so annoyed when I'm sampling it while she's playing with it and those sticks. Honestly, don't have it out where I can get to it if you don't want me to eat it!

I hope everyone has a good month of November ahead. I'll bark at you next month!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Safety Tips

Can you believe it is already October 15th? Halloween is only a little over two weeks away. I was reminded of this when checking out one of my favorite sites for my daily chuckle, and saw this picture:

As many of us participate in the activities surrounding Halloween in one manner or the other whether actually dressing up our dogs or passing out treats to little goblins or princesses, I thought I would do a little research for suggested tips to keep our pets safe.

There are several sites that do list some tips/guidelines for us and here are the ones from

1. No tricks, no treats: That bowlful of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy.
Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Symptoms of significant chocolate ingestion may include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, increased thirst, urination and heart rate—and even seizures.
Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol sweetener can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, which leads to depression, lack of coordination and seizures. In cases of significantly low blood sugar, liver failure has been known to occur. Ingesting tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockage.

2. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, yet they can produce gastrointestinal upset should pets ingest them. Intestinal blockage could even occur if large pieces are swallowed.

3. Keep wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet could experience damage to his mouth from shards of glass or plastic, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

4. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise extreme caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.

5. Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets. Please don't put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). For pets who prefer their “birthday suits,” however, wearing a costume can cause undue stress.

6. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn't annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal's movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au naturel or donning a festive bandana.

7. Take a closer look at your pet’s costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.

8. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treat visiting hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.

9. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn't dart outside.

10. IDs, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and become lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can increase the chances that he or she will be returned to you

Other sites that have helpful information are:

No matter how you celebrate, have a howling, and safe, good time!

Happy DOT's,

Tina, HoneyDew and Sampson too

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Annual Blood Screens

Annual Blood Screening For Your Pet

This month we are going to talk a little about annual blood screens. This is a series of simple blood tests your vet would like to run on your pet at his or her annual examination. The older your pet becomes the more important and more comprehensive the bloood screening becomes. The tests included may vary from clinic to clinic but examples of them most common tests are explained below.

Why does your pet need annual blood screening?

Blood work allows us to evaluate things we cannot see on physical exam and gives us a more complete picture of your pet’s health. This way we can identify potential problems early and intervene with treatment or further diagnostics early on. Problems that are identified and treated early have a better prognosis for long term health

Blood work lets us know what is normal for your pet. Each value on a blood screen has a reference range of what is normal for most pets. Annual screening will let us know where your pet falls in that range. That way if he or she ever becomes sick we will know what changes on the blood work are significant or abnormal for him or her.

Blood work allows us to see trends in your pet’s values. A value may be in the normal range for many years but may be continually creeping up over time. This can alert us to an impending problem and we can institute an appropriate therapy as needed. This is why it is especially important to have the blood screen done yearly.

What is included on an annual blood screen?

Heartworm test: Heartworms are a very serious parasite. All pets in Missouri need to be on heartworm prevention. If they are not yet on prevention this test will let us know if they are negative so that it will be safe to start a preventative program. For pets that are on routine prevention this will let us know that our preventative program is effective.

Complete Blood Count
1. Hematocrit or Packed Cell Volume: measures the percentage of red blood cells to assess anemia and hydration status
2. White blood cell count: White blood cells can be indicators of infection, disease, or allergic conditions
3. Platelets: Platelets are a part of the clotting system and adequate numbers are needed to prevent excessive bleeding

Serum Chemistry Panel
1. Albumin: Albumin is a serum protein that helps evaluate hydration, hemorrhage, and intestinal, liver, and kidney disease
2. Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP): ALP is an enzyme that can indicate liver, gallbladder, or Cushing’s disease. It also indicates active bone growth in young pets.
3. Alanine Aminotranferase (ALT): ALT is an indicator of liver damage
4. Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN): BUN can be an indicator of dehydration, kidney, or liver function
5. Creatinine: Creatinine is an indicator of kidney function
6. Globulins: Globulins are blood proteins that often increased with chronic inflammation and certain disease states
7. Glucose: Glucose is a blood sugar. Elevated levels may indicate Diabetes and other diseases. Low levels can cause collapse, seizures, or coma
8. Total Bilirubin: Elevations may indicate liver or hemolytic disease. This test can help identify bile duct problems or certain kinds of anemia.
9. Total Protein: This is an indicator of hydration status and provides additional information about the liver, kidneys, and infectious diseases.
10. Other values are assessed in older pets because they are more prone to age related diseases and these additional values give us a better picture of their health.

Thyroid hormone level (older pets only): Decreased levels of thyroid hormone, or hypothyroidism is a common endocrine disease in older dogs. Increased levels of thyroid hormone, or hyperthyroidism is a common endocrine disease of older cats.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dog Lover's Daily Companion

Hi, and welcome to this week's Dogs on Thursday!

We have a couple new members of our pack. Please go over and welcome Janet! If you would like to join us, please email me at gnatchat (at)

Yesterday I came home to a wonderful surprise, I had received a book in the mail to review! I immediately sat down and read the intro and started flipping through the pages. I am really enjoying it and I just had to share it even though I haven't read it cover to cover yet.

The book I got in the mail is called Dog Lover's Daily Companion: 365 Days of Tips, Tricks, and Techniques for Living a Rich Life with Your Dog (The Devotional Series) by Wendy Nan Fees and Kristen Hampshire. Can I just say first off, this is a genius idea for a book!

The idea behind it is to get out of your old habits and to stimulate both your body and mind and your dogs. The sections are broken out in to days and each day has a certain theme. It goes from Mondays which are basics of dog ownership and to Weekends, which are reserved fro bonding and relationship building and everything in between. The book talks about crafts you can do that are dog related building a doghouse...I must discuss this one with my husband Kenny to see if we can do this together. It also gives you many tips for keeping your dog healthy and happy. It even has a page about Dog Blogging, day 365 + 367.

I think this book is a must have for any new or old doggie parent. It's a great gift for a fellow dog lover and with the holiday's coming up I'm sure most of you can use a gift idea. So, please go check out this book. I'm very impressed with this book and can't wait to read it every day and also to give a copy to my dog friends who I know can use many of the ideas and knowledge in this book to help their relationship with their furbaby.

and if you happen to have other animals they do have these books as well...

Hope you enjoyed this review and have a great week. Until next Dogs on Thursday! Don't forget to give all you can to your furry baby because the more you give the more you receive from them. They love you with all they have and you are there person!

Happy Dogs on Thursday!