Notice To All Of My Readers

Notice To All Of My Readers


After having to go through the loss of my friend’s parents dog last month, I never thought that something like that would happen any too soon again. I was oh so wrong.

My guinea pig, Alisha is now resting in peace. Here is a picture of me holding Alisha, my furry baby, and of her getting ready to give me kisses. I loved her so dearly. My friend had listened with a stethoscope and had heard at least three if not four baby’s heartbeats. I was so excited that we were going to have babies again. This was to be the last time. We never let any of our guinea pigs have more than three litters and this was her third litter.

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Wednesday, February 3rd, she seemed to be going into labor to have her babies. When I woke up Wednesday morning, there was every indication that she was in labor and had already had one still born baby. There was a lot of blood covered bedding in the cage. I was a little sad not to see a live baby, but not too concerned because I didn’t know how long it had been since she had had the still born baby.

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She was just staying in the corner being very quiet. I tried to pet her, but all she would do was shiver all over. I left her alone to see if she would finish having the babies. After about three or four hours I went to check on her and see how many babies she had had. To my dismay, she had not had any more babies, but was still bleeding. I thought that she was still having babies, but apparently they were all being still born. It was a very sad time not to see any live babies.

On Thursday, February 4th, when I first looked in on her, she was just the same as I had left her the night before. I also noticed that she had not eaten anything and had not had any water either. I had put a piece of tape on the line where the water was to check on her water intake.

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Throughout the day I continued to check on her and to pet her. Being scared that she was not going to make it, I had my friend to take some pictures of me holding her, for what could possibly be the last time. They are below.



A few hours later I went back to check on her, but still no more babies. Not knowing anything else to do, I covered her cage up and left her alone for the night hoping to see babies in the morning.

But, that was not to happen. Much to my dismay, in the morning, Friday, February 5th, there still were no live babies to be seen. But Alisha was still very big, so I knew that there were still babies to be born.  But she was sitting in the corner differently from what she had been the day before. Now she was pressing her head up against the side of the cage and breathing very quickly. The carrot that I had given her the night before was dried up and still beside her. Obviously she still was not eating or drinking.

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My friends and I started trying to force water into her by using a small syringe and giving her a few drops at the time. We were hoping that after doing that, she would have the babies. So once again, we left her alone for three or four hours at the time, in between trying to give her water. At around 7:00 PM I went to check on her, and to hold her and hug her just for a little while. I had my friend to listen to her and to see if he could hear the babies’ heart beats. Unfortunately, he couldn’t hear any and could barely hear her heart beat. He thought that she had a collapsed lung. When I picked her up, she had an accident on me.

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I was a little alarmed, but thought that maybe she was getting ready to have her now dead babies. That, she had been in labor too long and the babies had all died. So once again, I went out and left her alone for an hour. My thoughts were that if she had the dead babies, just maybe, then she could rebound and be OK. At least that was what I was hoping.

At 8:00 PM I went back to check on her and her babies. There were no babies, and she was not breathing either. I had my friend to listen again, and he confirmed my worst fears. Alisha had died. She had died from the exhaustion of trying to have her babies. She had apparently been pushing so hard to have them that her lung collapsed and she just could not rebound from that stress. At least she is no longer suffering from her ordeal. I will miss her dearly.

All day Saturday (yesterday), February 6, I was just sort of in shock. I had been counting on watching the last babies grow up and go to loving homes. That was not to happen. Instead, I had to say “Good-Bye” forever to Alisha, my furry baby.

I am sorry that I have been unable to do my blogs during this time, but to me, my furry baby was more important. I loved her so much. I watched her grow up from the day she was born, and I bought her from my friends, when she was old enough to be taken away from her mother. It had been a wonderful time with her, and I certainly was not ready to let her go. I know that at least she will not suffer anymore.

I hope that this is the end of anybody that I know losing a pet to an untimely death. They are having a really bad effect on me lately, and I am sort of befuddled to understand as to why.

Taking Care Of Guinea Pigs

It is proven knowledge that people always live better lives when they have a pet of some type. The people and pets interact in many different ways. I am constantly amazed at how many different things people have taught their various animals to do. Most people have the normal types of pets. Some however will only go for the exotic animals. For the most part, it is usually very rich people than can afford to purchase the exotic animal and whatever special food these exotic animal needs. I have seen videos of squirrels riding tiny surf boards in swimming pools all the way to parrots riding little bicycles, and cats walking on tight ropes. But to each his own.

Lately many people are talking about and asking questions about guinea pigs. My friends used to breed them, but had to stop because they found it to be too difficult in a small apartment. At one time they had six adults and about seventeen babies from the three females. There were literally cages all over the place. they were in the bedrooms and in the living room, and the entry hall. Once those babies were sold, the decision was made that there would be no more babies. The older males were sold, as was two of the breeding females. The first guinea pig they had was kept, as well as the first breeding female. I bought the first female baby that was born, and the last male baby that was born went to the friends. The first guinea pig that they got was kept because she is so old. Nobody thought that it would be right to giver her away when she is so used to them. They also wanted to keep the first breeding female because she was the beginning of their very educational breeding journey. I have still got the first female baby that was born, and they still have the last male that was born. So between them and myself, we have the beginning and the end of the breeding career.

Taking care of guinea pigs is different from other animals, yet the same. You have to feed them, bathe them, give them a place to sleep and run in and give them a variety of food to eat, and you have to give then something to chew on the keep their teeth from getting too long. Their teeth never stop growing. I have hanging wooden toys in their cages. These are ones that are especially made for the guinea pigs. You can find many different things for them to chew on at pet stores that have guinea pig supplies, and at Amazon.

Guinea pigs actually need small amounts of fruits and vegetables in their diets. This is in addition to the specially formulated pellets, and hay that they need to have twice a day. When there are babies in the mix, there also needs to be alfalfa hay for them. The babies need the alfalfa to mature properly. There are certain chemicals that naturally occur in the alfalfa that the babies and the nursing moms need. I feed the adults 2 tablespoons of pellets and a closed hand full of hay twice a day. I also give them one baby carrot twice a day. I will give them little pieces of fruit every week or so, such as a couple of seedless grapes, 1 strawberry, a small piece of apple, fruits like that. There are some places that sell the pellets with pieces of fruit and vegetables in them. I buy this every now and then and mix it up with the regular pellets for a change for them. My friends and I purchase most of our guinea pig supplies from Amazon.

The guinea pigs need to be socialized so that they won’t be so skiddish every time you go to pick them up just to hold and pet them. the two at my apartment will come to the door and actually give me a kiss when I open the door. They will also take the carrot out of my mouth. I hold it between my lips and they come and get it out of my lips. They know the sound of the bag rustling when I get the carrots. They are right at the front of the cage waiting for me to give them the carrot, by the time I ever even get to their cages. I absolutely love it. they also let me reach in and just pet them any time I want to.

At night I cover them up with a throw cover. To my way of thinking, I like covers on me when I sleep, so why shouldn’t they have a cover over them when they sleep? They know when I cover them up that it is time for them to quieten down and go to sleep.

I change their cages once a week, and weigh them at that time. I give them a bath every two to three weeks. This keeps them clean and keeps them smelling nice too. After I give them a bath, I clip their little toenails with special scissors.

When I change their cages, I like to use the Carefresh Brand(they are not a sponsor) from Amazon, because I have found that it works best for not creating stains in the bottom of the cages. The wood shavings tend to hold the moisture so much that it stays wet most of the time. The wetness is what causes the stains, because there is so much calcium in the guinea pigs urine. I have pictures of two different types below. I think the reason these seem to be so much better is because these three types of bedding are recycled paper shavings. They absorb the moisture and do not stain like the wood shavings do. They also have odor control already in them. There is no odor control with wood shavings.

Carefresh Natural

Carefresh ShavingsPlus

The wood shavings are cheaper than the paper shavings. The Carefresh Brand is more expensive. However, if you want to, you may buy both the wood shavings and the paper shavings and mix them to make the bedding go further. I say this because, that way you will have the benefit of having more bedding for the price, and still have some protection from the stains and odor.

For example: I am using easy to understand money amounts for clarity. I haven’t bought wood shavings in a while, so I don’t know what the price is. Let’s say wood shavings are $10 for 25 liters, and Carefresh is 10$ for 12.5 liters. You can see that the Carefresh costs twice as much as the wood shavings. it would cost you a total of $30 if you wanted 50 liters of bedding. But remember, the liters shown will usually double once the package is broken open. So if you actually purchased the 50 liters, you would end up with 100 liters of bedding. That’s a lot of bedding. If you used only the one bag of each, you would end up with 75 liters of bedding for $20 if you mixed them together. You may be asking how do you mix them together. You have to open both bags very carefully and pour out only as much as you can comfortable mix together at one time. You mix it by putting both hands in the bedding and keep on going down to the bottom of the bedding and bringing it up to the top. You will need to do this until you see an equal amount of each type of bedding in each handful that you bring up. Keep repeating this until you have as much as you need mixed up. Try to keep as much as you can in the bags until you are ready to mix it up. By doing this you won’t have to have as much room to store them in.


The Carefresh Shavings Plus, has typically been an add on item from Amazon. being an add on item, it is usually much cheaper that if it was by itself. But this could change at any time.



The Dog Had Been Missing For Seven Months


This Dog Was Missing For 7 Months. This Is The Moment She’s Re-United With Her Family.

If there’s one thing that I have always been afraid of, it’s losing my dog. We used to live in a house with a small park directly behind our back yard and one day, while out in the yard with my dog, I ran in to answer the phone. In what seemed like seconds, my dog dug a hole under the fence and was running wild in the park. Luckily, my dog was scooped up by a neighbor that was in the park at the time. If not for her, I fear I could have lost my beloved dog as it would have taken me quite a while to make my way into the park. A very scary moment indeed.

In the video below, Dora the German Shepherd was missing for 7 months, but thanks to a microchip that was implanted under her skin, she was finally reunited with her family at Collin County Animals Services in Mckinney, TX. Her reaction is nothing short of amazing, and it brought tears to my eyes! I can only imagine the sense of relief that her family felt as Dora was finally back in their arms.

Please SHARE this incredible moment!

Watch Flint firefighter rescue dog from behind burning home

Watch Flint firefighter rescue dog from behind burning home

Firefighter removes dog from behind home during Flint house blazeA Flint firefighter removes a dog Sunday, Sept. 28 from behind a West Paterson Street home during a house fire. The dog did not appear to be injured. The vacant home was a total loss and damaged an occupied home next door.

Roberto Acosta | racosta1@mlive.comBy Roberto Acosta |
on September 29, 2014 at 5:45 PM, updated September 30, 2014 at 12:22 PM

FLINT, MI — As a vacant-house fire crackled Sunday, Sept. 28, on West Paterson Street, Flint firefighters set about saving homes around the blaze that destroyed the structure.

But a video shot at the scene of the raging fire captures one thing that was saved during the course of the effort by firefighters: a dog.

Firefighter Jeremy Yonan responded to the scene around 3 p.m. Sunday in the 4300 block of West Paterson. In the video, Yonan can be seen for the first few seconds carrying the dog toward Fire Engine 62.

He can also be spotted, at 30 seconds, kneeling down and cradling the dogs in his arms, as well as a close-up of Yonan and the dog for roughly the last 15 seconds of the video.

Flint fire Battalion Chief Mark Kovach, who was in command at the scene, said Monday, Sept. 29, it appears the dog belongs to someone in the neighborhood, noting, “They had it chained up in the rear of the house.”

“Because of the amount of heat being generated at the time, they might not have been able to go to the back of the house,” said Kovach of the neighbors. “Poor little guy took a lot of heat, it looked like.”

The dog appeared to be in good condition following the fire. Yonan could not be reached for comment Monday regarding the incident.

A Great Dane Named Dinky Has A Tantrum – Caught On Video

This Dog Throws A Major Tantrum. The Last 15 Seconds Of This Video Are TOO CUTE!

The owner is petting another dog and Dinky throws a tantrum. The owner and the dog keep “talking” back and forth. The dog keep going over to the owner, and the owner keeps telling the dog to go back to the couch. The dog obeys his owner’s commands, and continues “talking” back and forth to the owner. Finally the dog does something so cute, you just have to watch it. If you don’t laugh, then you are obviously having a BAD DAY. just wish that i could post copies of the still pictures, but they won’t paste to my website. But once you watch the video, you will be glad you did.


Removing Cat And Dog Teeth – A Veterinarian’s Lament

Here’s a question for you: Imagine your pet goes in for a dental cleaning and check-up from a veterinarian you know and trust. While doing the procedure, the vet sees a serious problem requiring you to remove one of the pet’s teeth. They are unable to reach you by phone.

Would you want the vet to go ahead and remove the tooth in order to spare your pet pain and the risk of an additional anesthesia, or would you want the vet to wait until you could be reached?

Dental Extractions: a Veterinarian’s Lament


Closeup of dog's teeth


I have to confess: Last week I performed an unexpected dental extraction on a patient whose owner was unavailable via telephone to OK the procedure. Now, it’s my policy to clear any extractions with owners beforehand. But since I knew this client well and the tooth was really far gone, I took the leap and extracted it anyway.

Of course, this turned out to be a terrible decision. In fact, this owner was so upset over my transgression that I had to apologize profusely and offer her the procedure as a courtesy (no charge). Truly, this had been a bad move on my part. But, in my defense, this tooth had really, really needed to be extracted.

Still, clients can be very sensitive about this issue, and I should have known better. After all, I deal in this kind of crisis on an almost daily basis. Periodontal disease is serious. It’s ugly. And tooth extractions can be necessary. Yet four out of five times, the conversation goes badly. Here’s a sampling of the most typical reactions to my recommendation to extract one or more teeth:

“But how is she going to eat?”

“Is that really necessary?”

“Seriously? She went in for a simple dental and now you want to pull her teeth?”

The pushback is enough to make a veterinarian want to give in to the pressure of owner expectations — or throw up her hands in frustration. But that wouldn’t be right — not when we’ve exhausted all alternatives (root planing, root canal, etc.) and know for sure that extraction is absolutely what’s best for the patient.

It’s Not Always Obvious on the Surface

To be fair, many “bad” teeth don’t really look all that horrible when they’re sitting placidly in the mouth. Even when they’re surrounded by red gums and smocked in heavy tartar, it’s hard to predict what’s happening underneath the gum tissue. In many cases, it’s only when the animal is anesthetized and each tooth is individually examined and X-rayed that you can find the fractured or abscessed tooth. The bone destruction in the jaw. And even the fistula, or hole, between the mouth and the nasal cavity.

Because pet owners generally don’t get to view these harrowing sights, dental denial is absolutely understandable: “But they look just fine. How bad can they be?”


Do dogs become depressed?


Pug Hiding Under BlanketMy late Mother, Virginia, who birthed in me a great love of all animals (we lived on a small family farm) was proud of my professional accomplishments but over-the-top, boastfully proud, on only two occasions. Both happened in the late 1980s, once when she was sitting on the toilet reading Reader’s Digest and saw a feature article I’d written, and later when I spoke at the Smithsonian Institution.

At the Smithsonian, I debated a knitted-brow intellectual on whether or not dogs have emotions or whether we just anthropomorphize them.

The grey-haired guy in the tweed sport-coat went first, saying dogs were incapable of being depressed, making you feel guilty for leaving them, or falling in love with another animal.

He referenced books and studies and gave a passionate talk to a stone-faced audience. When it was my turn I started out by saying something like, “It’s obvious you don’t own a dog or you would know your argument is a bunch of BS. Everybody in this room who’s owned by a dog has experienced a pet being depressed, upset with you for not coming home early enough, or having fallen in love with another pet or special person.”

The crowd erupted in clapping and cheers in a way that still moves me over 30-years later.

I recently got an email from a reader who asked if pets can become severely depressed when another family pet passes. Yes! I’ve experienced this personally with multiple pets and witnessed this phenomenon literally hundreds of times being a practicing veterinarian.

Pets can also become dispirited when a human family member dies. In the early 1990s I was in New Zealand lecturing to veterinarians about the human-animal Bond when I was asked if I wanted to accompany a family member taking their dog, Sam, to the local mortuary to visit a family member who’d passed.

This Golden Retriever had been severely depressed, not eating or playing, not wanting to get out of bed even to go potty. I have to admit I’m creeped out a little by dead bodies, but what I witnessed that day gave new life to my understanding and appreciation of animal emotions and the Bond.

When the dog saw his best friend laying in the casket, he went wild! Surging on the leash, tail like a helicopter rotor, he jumped up and started licking the man’s face, knocking off his glasses in the process. The mortician rushed forward to the man’s glasses on, only to have the dog nudge them off with his nose. This was repeated one more time and then the spouse, speaking through happy tears explained, “Tom always sleeps with his glasses off.” And with that she tucked his glasses in the pocket of his suit coat and a calm came over the room.

Almost 25 years ago I found out it was not unusual in New Zealand for pet owners to take pets to see deceased family members, and I started mentioning and promoting this in lectures to veterinarians in my travels to dozens of countries. I also started recommending it to my own clients, friends, and family members, and I’ve been part of several of these special encounters. Time and time again I’ve seen pets who were crestfallen rise back up to normal.

As a veterinary student, Dr. Karen Sueda, a board certified veterinary behaviorist at the VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital, was a volunteer and ultimately the student coordinator for the UC Davis Pet Loss Support Hotline.  She said it was very common for owners to comment that the other family pets would become depressed or withdrawn when a housemate passed away.

Sueda told me via email that, although we don’t know how a pet “feels” or what he or she is thinking, we can observe the pet’s behavior.  If a pet seems to be listless or withdrawn; has a loss of interest in normal, pleasurable activities; loses his or her appetite; experiences agitation, anxiety or restlessness — clinical signs of depression in people — then it’s very possible the pet is experiencing what we would call “depression.”

Dogs, cats, birds, horses, etc. are social species that have evolved to care for, depend on, and bond with others.  It’s not a stretch to think they would experience sadness or loss when that bond is broken.

Pets form special friendships or loves with other pets. My daughter Mikkel’s two Pugs, Willy and Bruce, will sleep right on top of each other even if inside a carrier big enough for a Great Dane. Our two canine cocktails, Quixote and Quora, play every day, ritualistically groom each other, and love to bark side-by-side when we have visitors. Dogs can also form close relationships with other species, including cats, bunnies, and horses; I’ve even seen them become friends with sheep, goats, and pigs.

When an animal dies or is ready for the final grace (euthanasia) here’s what I recommend:

  • Strongly consider home euthanasia where the other pets can bear witness.
  • Take the other pets to the veterinary hospital so they can be with their buddy when she draws her final breath and can come away with clues helping understand their friend has passed.
  • Keep objects from the deceased animal around (at least in a transition period) for them to smell and be comforted by.
  • Increase the animal’s activity.
  • Don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian to discuss your pet’s behavior. They will rule out physical reasons why your pet may be listless or not eating before attributing these to depression. Your vet may also be able to recommend behavior treatments and/or medication if your pet is truly depressed.
  • Strongly consider getting a new pet, understanding that not all dogs match (and this is even more so with cats). The death of a pet can really shift the dynamicin a household where pets jockey for position. The good news is studies show pets in multiple pet households are healthier and live longer.


Forty years down the road, scientists and researchers have painted in the numbers of what we already knew to be true: Pets have emotions and we’re only beginning to know how to understand, celebrate, and protect them.

5 Strategies for Surviving the Loss of a Pet

Chances are that almost all of my readers have lost a pet at some time or another. For those of you who lost your pet a while back, and for those of you who have just recently lost a pet, here is a post I saw on Facebook that may help with understanding our feelings. I lost my service dog almost five years ago, and there are times that it seems like it was just yesterday. It is my hope that this post will help us get through the sad times.

5 Strategies for Surviving the Loss of a Pet

Pet Graveyard


After more than 30 years as a practicing veterinarian, and many, many personal losses, I’ve learned some strategies that can help pet owners who are dealing with the loss of a beloved companion. While we veterinarians do everything we can to keep your pet healthy and happy, euthanasia is often a necessary — and very difficult — part of our job. But we are all proud of this part of our work; we not only ease suffering, but we are almost alone in the medical field in actively ending pain, often at great emotional toll to ourselves.

My professional familiarity with death means I also know a great deal about grief — my own, of course, and also that of the families whose pets I have looked after throughout their lives. Helping those who remain behind is also part of my work, and over the years, I have learned a few useful strategies for coping with this loss.

Give Yourself Time — and Permission — to Grieve

In general, grown-ups don’t like to cry in public, and we don’t like to share how much we’re hurting. But it’s extremely important to remind yourself that love is love and that loving a pet is no different from loving a person — and when you lose your pet, you will feel like crying. Your feelings are not wrong, and you need time to work through your grief. Don’t try to minimize the bond you and your pet shared. No matter what anyone else says or thinks or what you were raised to believe, I am confident that your pet loved you, truly. Let yourself believe this, too, and don’t rush to “get over it.” You can’t hurry grief, so be kind to yourself and let yourself feel what’s in your heart.

Take Care of Yourself

Losing someone we love can be exhausting, emotionally and physically. While you are grieving, it’s important that you eat well and get enough sleep. You’ll do better in the short run — and certainly in the long run — if you look after your own health right now. Stick to healthy, good foods, and resist the impulse to go for the junk because it’s there and it’s easy. Comfort food can be good food, too, of course — but again, try to stick with healthy choices and appropriate portions. And don’t be afraid to touch base with your doctor if you feel yourself struggling to get back to normal. Don’t try to “gut it out” — experts say you’ll just prolong your gri

Vet removes 43 socks from Great Dane

Vet removes 43 socks from Great Dane

Socks. They’re just not for feet anymore.

Apparently they make pretty tasty snacks too, if you’re not too discriminating and you happen to be a 3-year-old Great Dane.

Just don’t eat too many.

And by too many, 43 would be a good example.

“We opened up his stomach and kept removing sock after sock of all different shapes and sizes,” Dr. Ashley Magee at DoveLewis Animal Hospital in Portland, Oregon, told CNN affiliate KGW.

The super-sized pooch had shown a hankering for socks before, but the extent of the problem wasn’t apparent until he got sick and the X-rays showed the contents of his belly.

Oh, and those X-rays even impressed the experts. The vet clinic submitted them to the annual “They Ate WHAT?” contest at Veterinary Practice News and won the $500 third prize, losing out to a frog who gobbled up 30 rocks from the bottom his cage and a German shorthaired pointer who swallowed a metal shish kabob skewer.

The Great Dane is doing just fine. He was home a day after his surgery.

So far, no reported sock incidents.

But should he return to his sock habit, his owners can only hope that this too shall pass.

(CNN Wire)