The Pet Gazette

The Pet Gazette

The Pet Gazette is
published by
Pet Media, Inc.
11 Market Street, #549
P.O. Box 549
Mashpee, MA 02649

Telephone: 508-419-6356
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Preventing conflicts with wildlife

Spring is here, and wild animals are active!  This is a fantastic time of year for wildlife watching, but also a time to be vigilant to prevent conflicts with wild animals.
They’re hungry after a long, hard winter, so they may be raiding your trash can, compost pile, or garden - or eating the cat food you put out for the neighborhood strays.  Some wildlife, such as coyotes, fishers, foxes, weasels, birds of prey, and even bears, may kill your livestock or small pets if they have the chance.  You can prevent this by predator-proofing chicken coops and other outdoor enclosures for domestic animals (on the bottom, sides, and top to protect from predators who climb, dig, and fly).

Mugzy, the Old English Sheepdog

Some of the cutest stuffed animals are in my likeness- and I am one big stuffed animal come to life! I am Mugzy, an Old English Sheepdog, easily recognized, but not so common that you see one of us every day.  As puppies we are one of the most irresistible breeds out there- but beware- we need lots of care and attention that requires careful consideration before you devote yourself to one of us.  No matter how charming, delightful, and cute we are (and we will play it up to the hilt to catch all of your attention) - you must resist until you really get to know our breed.  We demand time and an emotional commitment more so than most breeds, but we return and inspire love by tenfold.  We like to be the center of attention and have fun and be sure everyone around us joins in the fun!  We are called clownish and rambunctious at playtime and have been described as being “an eternal teenager”- always looking for fun and mischief, but after all that fun; I need my sleepy time too! 

Macaw on the Merry-Go-Round

With their talking ability, intelligence and gaudy coloration it’s often love at first sight for perspective parrot purchasers – not realizing until too late the drawbacks that they could be stuck with for up to the next 100 years.  When they DO realize, parrots are often passed from person to person becoming “merry-go-round birds”; a phrase coined by Marc Johnson of Foster Parrots.  Paul Brennan, also of Foster Parrots, offers this cautionary tale. 
 Paul shared a love of animals with his mother, who took in and rehabilitated strays and orphaned wild animals. At 14, he built a flight cage stocked with a dozen parakeets and cockatiels; but Paul wanted a large parrot; and used $1500 of inheritance money to purchase Oakley, the blue and gold macaw.
Paul read books, mostly by pet trade interests. He elaborates, “I was led to believe that taking care of her would be far easier. My future life changes were not considered, particularly the changes that accompany any person as they transition from their teens to twenties and into adulthood.”

I owned a sacked-out broke-to-ride horse

There are certain words that people associate,
with training of horses when they negotiate,
a vocabulary that clearly impedes,
the suppleing and training of  most of these steeds.
Some of these words have a long history,
but why they’re current is still quite a mystery.
We know that our words oft dictate our actions,
So let us explore some of these abstractions.

Bury Your Dead Deep

In this column last month I presented the topic of euthanasia and a little of the process by which people come to their decisions.  Last month was a dead serious, solemn topic.  This month’s topic is about what you do with your dead once your pet has died.  My focus here is on the smaller animals since that is what we mostly see at the Odd Pet Vet. I am not concerned about the dead elephant, horse, cow, or even the dog or cat.
I’ve gone through these parameters before but the average weight of our patients at the Odd Pet Vet is somewhere around 100 grams.  That is just over 3 ounces.  Nevertheless some very big personalities have lived in some very small bodies.  Take EB White’s Stuart, he was a mouse and he lived in a body a thousand times smaller than mine.  His personality was so large that he became world famous. I am a thousand times larger and a hundred million times less well known.  We don’t bury personalities, just their bodies.

Animal cruelty: What is it and what would you do?

Animal cruelty, animal abuse, animal mistreatment, all of these words send a shiver up and down our spines when we hear stories about what humans have done to animals.
As you may know, there is a popular TV show which revolves around scenarios and asks people the question, “What would you do?”  Let’s begin with these scenarios:

Laparoscopic Prophylactic Gastropexy

Gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV), also known as bloat, is a common life-threatening condition that can affect many breeds of large and medium-sized dogs. The cause of this condition is unknown, but involves rapid distention of the stomach with gas, food and fluid, with subsequent twisting (volvulus) of the stomach - resulting in life-threatening consequences. Dogs who suffer from this condition can rapidly deteriorate and go into shock, and ultimately may die even with emergency treatment. Several canine breeds are commonly affected, including Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, German Shepherds, Standard Poodles and Bloodhounds. Large breed dogs are the most commonly affected, and medical and surgical procedures have been developed and perfected to treat the condition once it occurs.  If GDV occurs in your pet, emergency medical treatment, followed by surgery, is needed if the pet is to survive. Surgery involves “untwisting” of the stomach, followed by a procedure known as a “gastropexy”, which involves permanently “tacking” (attaching) the right side of the dog’s stomach to the right side of the body wall, thus preventing GDV from reoccurring in the future.

Cold Blooded Vet: Euthanasia

Euthanasia is not a happy place. However you cut the cake there is sadness  and confusion about the event.  It may be the kinder thing to do; it may be the expedient thing to do; it is nevertheless an act fraught with conflict and regret.

Horse Talk: The Difference

The difference between a bribe and a reward is a question of who is in charge. You may have seen someone trying to entice a pony onto a trailer using a bucket of grain.  If you are a bystander, it can be endlessly amusing to see the pony get a mouthful of grain then back off the trailer.  As the bucket holder who just wants to load and go, it is maddening.  Who’s in charge?

By the Breed: Meet Duke, the Bloodhound

I have the most famous nose in the dog world; my breed is instantly recognized by our wrinkly, sad looking faces.  I am Duke the Bloodhound.  Our sad faces are covered with folds of wrinkles all about our face and neck- and they serve an important purpose which makes us the most famous of man trailing dogs.  Our history is very long, as we are the oldest example of scent hounds today. 

There’s Gold in Them Macaws

Giant yellow parrots are the big news in the companion bird world; specifically golden macaws.  These “rarest macaws in the world” do not occur naturally but rather are  specially bred lutino versions of the blue and gold macaw.  It wasn’t just the birds chattering at January’s Parrot Festival in Houston, Texas - the humans were all abuzz about the announcement that the golden macaws’ “coming out party” will be part of the American Federation for Aviculture’s 38th annual convention, to be held in San Antonio, TX. 8/15-18.