Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Thursday, April 17, 2014, 10:29 AM
Filed Under: Pet360

While you may think you know everything there is to know about the Labrador Retriever, you might be surprised to learn a few new facts about this popular breed.

We combed the American Kennel Club for some interesting facts about America's favorite breed. Go ahead -- test your own knowledge!

Fact 1: Labs Have Double Coats.

Whether Black, Golden or Chocolate, Labs come with double-coats that shed seasonally. Regular grooming helps keep this sporty breed's coat water-resistant.

Fact 2: Labrador Retrievers Did Not Come From Labrador.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 10:29 AM
Filed Under: PetMD

As you head into the garden to plant bulbs or clip fresh flowers, it’s important to keep in mind that some plants and fertilizers can be toxic to your pet in the springtime. We’ve asked Dr. Justine Lee, the associate director of Pet Poison Helpline, to share some details on potentially poisonous plants to dogs and cats and what to do if your pet ingests one of them.

Poisonous Plants for Dogs

The first plants poisonous to dogs aren't even ones you might expect. Spring flowers with bulbs, like tulips, daffodils, Narcissus, and hyacinths, can be particularly dangerous to dogs, especially the skin at the bottom of the bulb, Lee said. Whether they dig them up from a garden or snack on some bulbs waiting to be planted, ingesting these flowers in large amounts can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. More severe symptoms as a result of larger ingestions can include increased heart and respiratory rate, foreign body obstructions, and, in rare cases, cardiac arrhythmias.

Dogs are more likely to dig up bulbs planted in organic fertilizers, which are more dangerous than other fertilizers, Lee said. While they’re a great natural source of nitrogen and utilize unused animal products, they’re often made of bone, blood or feather meal — an appetizing combination of aromas to a dog that will often eat the fertilizer along with the poisonous bulbs. Organic fertilizers on their own are not life threatening, Lee said, but if ingested in large quantities they can obstruct a dog’s stomach and cause target="_blank"vomiting, diarrhea, and pancreatitis.

Poisonous Plants for Cats

POSTED: Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 10:29 AM
Filed Under: PetMD

I have a love/hate relationship with the placebo effect. On the one hand, I simply want my patients to feel better and don’t really care how that occurs. However, since a large part of the placebo effect in veterinary medicine is related to the primary caretaker’s and veterinarian’s perception of how the animal is doing and not on the patient’s own experience, I worry that the placebo effect leads me to overestimate the success of the treatments I prescribed.

As Margaret Gruen, one of the researchers involved in developing a new study design aimed at teasing out the effects of placebos, put it in a North Carolina State University press release:

In veterinary medicine, we’re one step removed from the patient, and so we run into what we call the ‘caregiver placebo effect,’ which is how we refer to a number of factors that result in unconscious influence on owners’ responses. Merely observing behavior can change it, and any changes in daily routine, like administering medication, will affect the way you relate to that animal and change its behavior.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 10:29 AM
Filed Under: Pet360

Some contest winners yelp with delight for getting gift cards or small appliances. Rebecca Smith got something that’s really worth barking about: a cloned dog – the first in Britain’s history.

After winning a contest held by a South Korea tech firm that performed the test tube procedure, “Mini Winnie” was born on March 30. Weighing in at just over 1 pound, the pup was cloned from Smith’s 12-year-old dachshund, Winnie.

“She is the best sausage dog in the world,” said Smith, 29, who works as a caterer in London. “The world will be a better place with more Winnies in it.”

POSTED: Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 10:29 AM
Filed Under: Pet360

Cats may spend about two-thirds of the day sleeping, but idle they’re not – at least when it comes to having some amazing attributes. In several cat-egories that might make Superman envious, here’s how felines compare to Man’s Best Friend…and also Man (or Woman):

1. Faster than a speeding Olympian. At short distances, domestic cats can run speeds up to 30 miles per hour – faster than the equivalent of 23 MPH achieved by Usain Bolt, dubbed “The World’s Fastest Man,” in winning the 100-meter finals in the 2012 Olympics.

2. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Well, not exactly. But cats can jump as much as five times their height – akin to an average-sized man jumping nearly 30 feet.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 9:57 AM
Charlie is a chatty, loyal kitty.

This is Charlie, an adult male kitty. He's a chatty kitty that will say "hello!" when you come home, and follow you around to talk with you all about your day.

Charlie loves attention and is great with kids. He likes to be carried and played with and is a very loyal companion. He gets along with dogs and other cats. Because he loves being by your side, just be careful he doesn't follow you out the door!

Interested in adopting?

POSTED: Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 11:29 AM
Filed Under: PetMD

Doctors often interchange the word “average” for “median” when discussing survival times for patients with cancer, but in reality, these are two different terms with two very different meanings.

People are most familiar with the definition of an “average” from their time spent in academic classes, where a numerical average of test scores translated into your grade for a particular class. If you scored 50 on your midterm but a 100 on your final, your average grade was a 75. The high score offset the low score, and in the end, though you technically failed the midterm, you ultimately passed your course.

“Median” refers to the number that occurs directly in the middle of a series of numbers, splitting the lower half from the higher half. In the following series of numbers: 3, 5, 7, 8, and 700, the median would therefore be 7.

POSTED: Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 11:29 AM
Filed Under: PetMD

More people are turning to natural remedies for both themselves and their pets. While nothing can replace the expertise of your local vet, there are many natural remedies to combat common cat ailments. Below you will find several popular holistic methods -- all of which can be done from the comfort of your own home.

1. The Itchy and Scratchy Show

The causes for itching are many, including fleas, dandruff, or even allergies. But regardless of the cause, itchy cats make for rude unfriendly pets. Help out Scratches the Cat and make it a soothing dip of rosemary, peppermint, or pennyroyal (these are especially helpful for itching associated with flea). Just be careful when using essential oils, as cats often don’t respond well with those. You could also try a tea bath with catnip or aloe to soothe its skin.

Does your cat have flakes? We recommend you skip the dandruff shampoo and use a humidifier instead. A humidifier, in conjunction with a healthy diet, will assist in rejuvenating and re-moisturizing the cat’s dry, scaly skin, which is generally caused by a lack of moisture in the home environment.

2. Hairball Central

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Welcome to the pets blog, where you'll find everything from training tips and tricks, to the latest news on animal shelters and pet events.

Nick Vadala
Gabrielle Bonghi
Amy Worden Inquirer Staff Writer
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