Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pregnant Dog Adopts Hurt Squirrel

"Dog Makes It Pick Of New Litter As Human Nurses It Back To Health"

(CBS) "When a very young squirrel fell from a tree, little did it know that would mark the start of a most unusual relationship. A woman found the squirrel and its sister lying on the ground. They had fallen about 40 feet out of their nest. The sister was dead. The woman asked animal lover Debby Cantlon, well known in the Seattle area for nursing injured animals back to health, to care for the squirrel, and Cantlon agreed." For more of this incredible story, including the video, go to: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/10/14/earlyshow/living/petplanet/main943873.shtml

Finnegan was resting in a nest in a cage just days before Giselle was due to deliver her puppies. Cantlon and her husband watched as the dog dragged the squirrel's cage — twice — to her own bedside before she gave birth. Cantlon was concerned, yet ultimately decided to allow the squirrel out — and the inter-species bonding began. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/living/2002552799_squirrel11.html

"Finnegan" curls up with puppies from the litter recently born to "Mademoiselle Giselle", a dog belonging to Debbie Cantlon. For almost as long as she can remember, Debby Cantlon has been the person people bring sick and abandoned aminals to. On September 6, Cantlon was brought a newborn squirrel, probably less than one week old, dehydrated and orphaned, which she attempted to nurse back to health. Much to her surprise however, her Papillion, Mademoiselle Giselle, decided to nurse the squirrel along with her litter of five newborn puppies. And even more surprising was that all - squirrel and dogs - bonded.


For a video of the puppies and squirrel nursing together go to: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9685476/

"After goodbye visit, squirrel moves on"
The adoption story concludes with Finnegan's starting a new life.
"... When Finnegan was 8 weeks old, Cantlon decided he was old enough to be on his own and began putting him outside. He'd run around but would stay in the yard. Each night, he would scratch at the back door or at Cantlon's daughter's window to be let in for the night...."

Friday, September 26, 2008

Heimlich Maneuver for Dogs

My humans want everyone to know what to do if their dog starts to choke on something, like a piece of rawhide, or a meatball. Several years ago, before I was born, my vet-human was working at a small vet clinic one day, when a frantic man came running in, carrying his English bull dog. The dog's tongue was purple and she was dead. After my partner had confirmed the fact that this beautiful dog had passed away, the dog's distraught owner said that he had given her a meatball--something that he had done many times before, and she had started to choke. Not knowing what to do, he had rushed her to the vet clinic, but it was too late by the time they had arrived.

Here is what to do if your dog happens to choke:


Monday, September 22, 2008

Another Pet Food Recall

The Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association alerted my vet partner to another pet food recall: http://www.fda.gov/oc/po/firmrecalls/marspetcare09_08.html

It is a voluntary recall by Mars Petcare US, "of products manufactured at its Everson, Pennsylvania facility. The pet food is being voluntarily recalled because of potential contamination with Salmonella serotypeSchwarzengrund. This voluntary recall only affects the United States.

"Salmonella can cause serious infections in dogs and cats, and, if there is cross contamination caused by handling of the pet food, in people as well, especially children, the aged, and people with compromised immune systems. Healthy people potentially infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. On rare occasions, 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. Animals can be carriers with no visible symptoms and can potentially infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

"The company stopped production at the Everson facility on July 29, 2008 when it was alerted of a possible link between dry pet food produced at the plant and two isolated cases of people infected with Salmonella Schwarzengrund...." [See the article for complete text.]

American pet owners had already been sensitized by the illnesses and deaths caused by food made with tainted gluten exported from China to the United States. A February 6, 2008, ABC News report (See http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/Story?id=4251655&page=1) by Pierre Thomas, Jason Ryan and Scott Michels, states that, "A U.S. food importing company, its owners and two Chinese businesses were indicted today [2/6/08] by a federal grand jury in Kansas for their roles in allegedly manufacturing and importing a tainted pet food ingredient that may have killed thousands of cats and dogs.

"The U.S. company, called ChemNutra and run by husband and wife Stephen and Sally Miller, imported and distributed wheat gluten, a protein-rich ingredient commonly used in pet food. The gluten contained melamine, a poisonous chemical that is used to create plastics, cleaning products, countertops, glues, inks and fertilizers, the indictment states.

"The indictments allege that more than 800 metric tons of tainted gluten was exported from China to the United States between November 2006 and February 2007. ChemNutra and the Millers received the melamine-tainted product and sold it to their customers, who used it to manufacture various brands of pet food, according to the indictment.

"Melamine was allegedly added to make it appear that the wheat gluten had more protein than it really contained, the authorities said.

'Chem Nutra and Sally and Stephen Miller deny the allegations in the strongest of terms and look forward to proving their innocence at trial,' said spokesman Steve Stern. 'They had neither the intent to defraud or knowledge of wrongdoing.'

"The allegedly tainted products led to a massive pet food recall last year [2007]. Though it is not clear how many pets died from the tainted food, the Food and Drug Administration estimates that about 1,950 cats and 2,200 dogs were killed...." [See the article for the complete text.]

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I try not to discriminate against a species that is "less fortunate" than mine.