Monthly Archives: February 2009


To your dog or cat, the outside world is a playground, and coming head to head–or head to tail–with a skunk is just one more adventure. For you, the smell of adventure may be a little hard to take inside the house. You can take heart, however–there are ways to banish that skunky smell and welcome your pet back into the living room.

The most important thing to do if your pet has been sprayed is check his eyes, nose, and mouth. If he was sprayed in the face–which is exactly where skunks tend to aim–the chemicals in the spray could cause irritation and inflammation. They could even inflame the lining of your pet’s throat and lungs, if inhaled. If your pet was sprayed in the face, rinse his eyes, nose, and mouth with water. If, after rinsing, his eyes look red or he rubs at his face, he should be seen by a veterinarian. The veterinarian can make sure his eyes aren’t damaged and prescribe an ointment to soothe the irritation.

If your pet’s eyes, nose, and mouth check out okay, the next step is getting rid of the smell. The traditional remedy of soaking in tomato juice can reduce the odor somewhat. It will be more effective if you give him a bath with dog or cat shampoo first. Another home remedy that can cut down on odor is a mixture made of one teaspoon of dish washing liquid and one cup of baking soda dissolved in one quart of hydrogen peroxide (three percent strength). After thoroughly soaking your pet in the mixture, rinse him with clean tap water.

Commercial products made to remove skunk odor will most likely work better than either of these options, however. Shampoos and sprays that are formulated to neutralize the foul-smelling chemicals in skunk spray are available from your veterinarian and at most pet stores. If you use them according to their labels, you should have a nice-smelling dog or cat again. You may have to cut some of the hair off of a long-haired dog or cat to remove the lingering odor, though, particularly if his fur is tangled or matted.

Once you’ve cleared the air, you can think about how to prevent this smelly situation from happening again. Skunks can be more than a nuisance; they have sharp claws and teeth that could injure your pet in a fight. Some may even carry diseases that could infect your pet. So, instead of letting your kitty or pooch run loose, you may want to consider fencing in your yard, which will both keep your pet in and unfriendly wildlife out. When your pet gets the urge to roam, you can take him on long walks on a leash (yes, cats too!). Not only will this cut down on skunky-smelling incidents, it will also keep your pet safely away from traffic, hazardous chemicals, construction sites, and all the other dangers he could find outside.

Interesting Dog Facts

There are more than five million puppies born in the United States each year.

When a puppy is born, he is blind, deaf, and toothless.

Dogs don’t actually sweat by salivating. They sweat through the pads on their feet.

The Taco Bell dog is actually a female Chihuahua named Gidget.

The oldest recorded age for a dog is 29.

Greyhounds can reach a speed of up to 45 miles per hour.

There are over 800 different dog breeds.

There is only one barkless dog in the world, the Basenji.

Dalmations are born without their spots. The spots appear as they mature.

Smiling at a dog causes him to think you are baring your teeth to show aggression.

There are about 68 million dogs with owners in the United States.

If a dog lives to be 11 years old, it will cost approximately $13,550 to own that dog.

The top five favorite breeds of dogs in the US are:
Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, German Shepherd, Beagle, and Dachshund.

“My goal in life is to become as wonderful as my dog thinks I am.”
Toby Green

Presidential Pups

There has been a dog in the White House since 1920. Do you remember their names and breeds?

Charlie (Welsh Terrier)/John F. Kennedy

Liberty (Golden Retriever)/Gerald Ford

Him and Her (Beagles)/Lyndon B. Johnson

Millie (Springer Spaniel)/George Bush

FaLa (Scottish Terrier)/Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Laddie Boy (Airdale)/Warren Harding

Sweetlips (Hound)/George Washington

LeBeau (Greyhound)/John Tyler

Hector and Nellie (Shepherd dogs)/Rutherford Hayes

Faithful (Newfoundland)/Ulysses S. Grant

Mike (Irish Setter)/Harry S. Truman

Pete (Bull Terrier)/Theodore Roosevelt

King Tut (Police dog)/Herbert Hoover

Buddy (Chocolate Lab)/Bill Clinton

Checkers (Cocker Spaniel)/ Richard Nixon

Barney (Scottish Terrier)/George W. Bush

Lucky (Bouvier des Flanders)/ Ronald Reagan

Heidi (Weimaraner)/ Dwight D. Eisenhower

Tidbits: Factual, Funny, Fascinating

* The story of a rescued cat that lived for 19 years in a small town library has sold for about $1.25 million. Grand Central Publishing bought the book, entitled “Dewey, a Small Town, a Library and the World’s Most Beloved Cat.” New York Times 4/4/07

* National Human Genome Research Institute is looking into the reasons why dogs vary so much in size, which can improve understanding of diseases caused by growth gone awry. Associated Press 4/5/07

* Missing sleep may cause the brain to stop producing new cells. A team from Princeton University found a lack of sleep in rats affected the hippocampus, a brain region involved in forming memories. BBC News 2/7/07

* The last animal listed in the American Heritage Dictionary, 2000, is the Zyzzyva, a tropical weevil.

* A new study ranked U.S. cities that exemplify superior care, services, and legislation for pet’s health and well being. It analyzed 30 different criteria ranging from veterinarian-to-pet ratios to incidence of obesity to rabies legislation. The top five cities are: 1. Denver, 2. Oakland, Portland, Anaheim, and San Francisco. Press release 3/19/07

* A Boston terrier named Mickey that disappeared 4 years ago from his Kansas City backyard was reunited with his owners. They received a call from an animal shelter 1,100 miles away in Montana thanks to an embedded microchip. Associated Press 4/5/07

Interesting Pet Facts

The fastest dog, the greyhound, can reach speeds of upto 41.7 miles per hour. The breed was known to exist in ancient Egypt 6,000 years ago.

A cat cannot see directly under its nose. This is why the cat cannot seem to find tidbits on the floor.

Cat’s urine glows under a black light.

The pet ferret was domesticated more than 500 years before the house cat.

The normal temperature of a cat is 101.5 degrees.

The only two animals that can see behind itself without turning it’s head are the rabbit and the parrot.

Boxers are named for their playful habit of using their front paws in frolic.

Of people with companion animals, 18% sleep with them.

About 22% of the world’s catch of tuna goes into cat food in the United States.

The female flea consumes 15 times her own body weight in blood daily.

Each day in the US, animal shelters are forced to destroy 30,000 dogs and cats.

The slightest touch on a cat’s whiskers will make its eyes blink.

The average outdoor only cat has a lifespan of about three years. Indoor only cats can live sixteen years and longer.

Cats purr at about 26 cycles per second, the same frequency as an idling diesel engine.

Only 2 out of 10 kittens born in the U.S. ever find a life-long home.

Dachshunds are the smallest breed of dog used for hunting. They are low to the ground, which allows them to enter and maneuver through tunnels easily.

Cats cannot survive on a vegetarian diet.

French poodles did not originate in France. Poodles were originally used as hunting dogs in Europe. The dogs thick coats were a hindrance in water and thick brush, so hunters sheared the hindquarters, with cuffs left around the ankles and hips to protect against rheumatism. Each hunter marked his dogs’ heads with a ribbon of his own color, allowing groups of hunters to tell their dogs apart.

Catnip can affect lions and tigers as well as house cats. It excites them because it contains a chemical that resembles an excretion of the dominant female’s urine.

The Maine Coon cat is America’s only natural breed of domestic feline.

The bloodhound is the only animal whose evidence is admissible in an American court.

Tapeworms range in size from about 0.04 inch to more than 50 feet in length.

A female dog, her mate and her puppies can produce 12,288 dogs in five years.

Cats respond most readily to names that end in an “ee” sound.

Ticks can be as small as a grain of rice and grow to be as big as a marble.

Sweet Treat Warning

Did You Know…Certain types of candy and other goodies that are so popular during this romantic time of year can be harmful to pets?

For example, dogs ingesting significant amounts of gum or candies solely or largely sweetened with xylitol may develop a fairly sudden drop in blood sugar, resulting in depression, loss of coordination and seizures. These signs can develop quite rapidly, so it is important that pet owners seek veterinary treatment immediately. According to experts at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, some data also appears to point to a possible link between xylitol ingestions and the development of liver failure in dogs.

Chocolate is another treat well loved by humans that could make pets ill. Depending on the form involved, it can contain high amounts of fat and caffeine-like substances known as methylxanthines. If ingested in significant amounts, chocolate can potentially produce clinical effects ranging from vomiting and diarrhea to panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death in severe cases.

Typically, the darker the chocolate, the higher the potential for clinical problems from methylxanthine poisoning. White chocolate has the lowest methylxanthine content, while baking chocolate contains the highest. As little as 20 ounces of milk chocolate, or only two ounces of baking chocolate can cause serious problems in a 10-pound dog. While white chocolate may not have the same potential as darker forms to cause a methylxanthine poisoning, the high fat content of lighter chocolates could still lead to vomiting and diarrhea, as well as the possible development of life-threatening pancreatitis, an inflammatory condition of the pancreas.

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center advises pet owners avoid offering their animals food meant for human consumption, and to be especially diligent in keeping candy, gum or other foods containing chocolate or xylitol out of the reach of pets.

Tidbits: Factual, Funny, Fascinating

* The Association of American Veterinary Colleges (AAVMC) has established the Senator John Melcher DVM Leadership in Public Policy Award to be given annually to a current or former faculty or staff member at an AAVMC member institution. Senator John Melcher, an advocate for veterinary medicine on Capitol Hill at the White House, was the first recipient. Press release 3/8/07

* A Veterinary Pet Insurance survey indicates that pets have moved from the backyard to the bedroom: 56% of respondents reported that their pet sleeps right next to them every night while only 1% said their pet sleeps outside. PRNewswire 2/8/07

* Can birds plan ahead? Experiments done at the University of Cambridge suggest they can. Birds stored snacks when they detected that food would be in short supply and also planned for a balanced diet by storing combinations of foods in different places. LiveScience 2/21/07

* Digital cameras already remove red eye in photos of humans. However, animal eyes reflect light differently creating an eerie glow. A new camera from Hewlett-Packard can now remove animal “glow eye” as well as blemishes and wrinkles in photos of humans. Press Release 3/11/07

* Of the 750 respondents to a recent American Kennel Club dog owners study-a majority of whom were female-42% said they own a dog to enhance their personal health and reduce stress. The top activity enjoyed by dog owners is a good old-fashioned walk. Dog ownership also heavily influenced purchasing habits-owners considered their pets 47% of the time when purchasing a car. PRNewswire 2/11/07

Ten Tips for Preventing Pet Behavior Problems

1. Set rules immediately and be consistent.

2. Avoid situations that promote inappropriate behavior.

3. Observe the pet and provide what it needs (food, care, attention and entertainment).

4. Supervise the new pet diligently through undivided individual attention and training, and restrict the pet’s access to a limited area of the house until training is completed.

5. Set them up to succeed! Encourage good behavior with praise and attention.

6. Correct bad behaviors by providing positive alternatives (A toy for a slipper, scratching post for the sofa).

7. Never physically punish or force compliance to commands. This may lead to fear biting or aggression.

8. Don’t play rough or encourage aggression or play biting.

9. Expose pets to lots of people, animals, and environments where you want them to live.

10. See your veterinarian if serious or unresolved behavior problems exist.

Pet Dental Health Month

STEP 1: Take your pet to the veterinarian for a dental exam. Don’t wait for his annual checkup if you suspect a problem.

STEP 2: Begin a dental care regimen at home. Your veterinarian can suggest steps that may include brushing your pet’s teeth. One of the most convenient and effective ways to combat oral disease is feeding specially formulated foods proven effective in combating plaque and tartar buildup. The Seal of Acceptance from the Veterinary Oral Health Council, an organization initiated by the American Veterinary Dental Society to guide consumers, appears on products that meet defined standards for plaque and tartar control in dogs and cats. For further information on the VOHC or their product standards, visit

STEP 3: Schedule regular veterinary checkups. These are essential in helping your veterinarian monitor the progress of your pet’s dental health routine. Your veterinary health care team can help you schedule the appropriate visits.

Carolina Prime Pet Announces Nationwide Recall of Dog Treats

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Murphy, North Carolina – Jan. 27, 2009 – Carolina Prime Pet, a manufacturer and distributor of dog treats, is voluntarily recalling four of its dog treats that contain peanut butter made by Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). PCA is the focus of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigation into potential salmonella contamination of peanut butter and paste.

Salmonella is an organism that can potentially be transferred to people handling these pet treats, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products. Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Well animals can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

The recalled treats are sold at various retail establishments in the U.S. and Canada. Although Carolina Prime Pet is not aware of any reported cases of illness related to these products, it has issued this voluntary recall as a precautionary measure.

The recalled products include only the following types of Carolina Prime Pet treats in single unit packages with lot date codes between 081508 and 010909:

6″ Beef Shank Peanut Butter, UPC 063725542007
2pk Hooves Peanut Butter, UPC 063725542000
4″ Rawhide Bone Peanut Butter, UPC 063725542003
6″ Rawhide Bone Peanut Butter, UPC 063725542005
6” Healthy Hide Beef Shank Peanut Butter, UPC 09109333479
Customers who purchased the recalled dog treats should discontinue use immediately, and return items to the purchase location for replacement or refund.

No other products or flavors are included in this recall.