First discovered in Mexico, the Chihuahua is best known for being the smallest dog breed in the world. Extremely loyal to its owner, the breed has recently become a popular culture icon in the United States, most notably Paris Hilton's Chihuahua, Tinkerbell.
The Chihuahua’s coat can be long with soft and straight hair, smooth with glossy and soft hair, or wavy with fringed ears. Its graceful body is compact and small, although slightly long in proportion to its height. The Chihuahua also bears a resemblance to the terrier in its alertness, attitude and lively expression. As far as its appearance, the breed can be found in solid black, solid white, with spots, or in a variety of patterns and colors.
Personality and Temperament
The Chihuahua is known for its varied temperament. For example, while the Chihuahua is reserved towards strangers, it is friendly with pets and other household dogs. The dog may also try to act protective, but this boldness is generally displayed as barking and is, therefore, not very effective as a guard dog. However, this sassy dog has become a favorite among toy dog lovers, especially for its extreme devotion to its master.
As the Chihuahua is generally an indoor dog, it is not fond of the cold, preferring instead warmer regions. For the smooth Chihuahua variety, coat care is minimal, while the long-coated dog needs to be brushed twice or thrice a week. The Chihuahua's exercise needs can be met simply by running around the house, although it enjoys exploring yards or going for a short leash-led walks.
The Chihuahua, which has an average lifespan of 14 and 18 years, is known to suffer from some minor health ailments such as keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), hypoglycemia, pulmonic stenosis, patellar luxation, and hydrocephalus. It is also susceptible to some severe health issues, including molera -- a hole in the Chihuahua's skull, occurring when bones in the fontanel are not firmly knit together.
History and Background
The history of the Chihuahua is quite controversial. According to one theory, it was originally developed in China and then brought to the Americas by Spanish traders, where it was interbred with small native dogs. Others speculate it is of South and Central American origin, descended from a small, mute dog -- the native Techichi -- which was occasionally sacrificed in Toltec religious rites. It was believed that this diminutive red dog guided the soul to the underworld after death. Thus, all Aztec families kept this dog and buried it with the deceased member of the family. (Curiously, the Toltecs and the Aztecs also fed on the Techichi.) When not used in burial rituals, however, the Aztec and Toltec priests and families took great care of the Techichis.
The ancestors to the Chihuahua nearly became extinct during the 1500s, when the Aztec Empire was decimated by Hernán Cortés and the Spanish colonizers. In 1850, three small dogs -- now thought to be modern versions of the Chihuahua -- were discovered in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, from which breed gets its name. Border states within the United States, such as Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, soon began to see a massive import of the dog breed. However, it wasn't until the Rhumba King, Xavier Cugat, began appearing in films carrying a Chihuahua dog in the early 1900s, that the breed gained its celebrity. Today, it has emerged as one of the most popular breeds in the United States.
This year’s annual Manure Expo is in Springfield, Missouri! That’s right, for all you manure industry enthusiasts out there, this expo combines not one, not two, but THREE attractions into a single national event: an industry trade show, manure technology demonstrations, and educational events.
Veterinarians are....uhhh...ummmm.... sort of manure experts. If you give them a sample of manure from a clinically healthy domesticated farm animal, they can usually identify said animal based on the appearance of its manure alone. And that, my friends, is a skill one should put on one’s resume.
Here's an interesting factoid....swine feces can almost quite literally come in a rainbow of colors, and sometimes the color of the manure gives you the diagnosis. Here's another life altering bit of information....caterpillar excrement is called frass. This is the only place one could ever include a facts like these. Knowledge is power. Consider yourself educated!
This year’s theme at the expo is: “valuing manure and the environment.” According to the website, this is “the only trade show on the continent to focus specifically on manure management and application issues.”
Strange as it may seem, manure really is big business. And actually, if you crunch some numbers maybe it’s not that strange at all. Consider the following data from the EPA: they estimate that an average 200 cow herd produces just over 24,000 pounds of urine and feces per day. If you’re raising beef cattle on an open range, this isn’t much of an issue, as the animal waste is spread naturally over the ground. But if you’re running a dairy, for example, and the cows are housed mostly in large barns between milkings, that twelve tons of waste has to go somewhere.That “somewhere” is where manure management kicks in. Many dairies have large pits called “lagoons” which are holding tanks for animal waste. Word has it that many a farmer has fallen into one over the years. Talk about your worst nightmare. These lagoons are emptied periodically, with the waste spread over crops as fertilizer.
So, mark your calendars for July 8 and 9 for a family vacation to Springfield, Missouri. Who wouldn't want a free hat that said “MANURE MGT”?
Safeguarding children from dog bites while at the same time nurturing the pet-child bond requires an understanding of the reasons for canine aggression toward children. To do that, we have to get into the mind of the dog and try to see the child from the dog's point of view.
When we take that leap of imagination, we can see that canine aggression toward children falls into certain widely recognized clinical categories. In a recent presentation at the annual convention of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) in New Orleans, Ilana R. Reisner, DVM, a specialist in animal behavior, identified those categories.
It is elementary dog psychology that if a dog feels threatened, he is likely to attack. Although we may find it difficult to imagine that a 50-pound dog would feel threatened by a cute 20-pound toddler, it's only because we know that the child is no threat to the dog.
A dog is guided by its instincts. Unfortunately, a child's unpredictable, jerking movements, often loud and unfamiliar voice pitch, sudden running, or playful grabbing may signal danger to the dog and trigger a self–defense response.
People often forget that dogs are very possessive, whether it be toward toys, food, their beds, or even family members, and they will guard what they think is rightfully theirs, often quite fiercely. This "resource–guarding'' behavior is the dog's way of saying: "Hey, don't mess with my stuff!''
Dogs are territorial animals. That is why they bark when a stranger approaches their home or when the doorbell rings. This territorial protectiveness generally increases if a dog is left alone for long periods of time with little stimulation. In a recent article that Reisner co–authored, study results showed that territorial aggression was the most common reason for dog bites to unfamiliar children.
If someone behaves toward you in a way that you find annoying or offensive, you will probably object. When a dog is annoyed or offended (yes, dogs can be offended), it will also object, sometimes by biting. Children often behave inappropriately toward dogs simply because they don't know, for example, that grabbing a dog's face, pulling its tail, or suddenly waking it from a deep sleep is not welcome behavior.
Although dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years, they still have predatory instincts, albeit in varying degrees, and these instincts can sometimes be aroused. The danger is greatest to infants, who more closely resemble small prey animals. Breeds that seem to be particularly predisposed to such attacks include terriers, Huskies, and Malamutes. In addition, any dog that is accustomed to hunting and killing small animals is more of a danger to an infant.
What You Can Do to Protect Your Children From Dog Bites
Now that we have a "dog's–eye view'' of children, we can get specific about how to minimize the chances that your child will be bitten. Here are some specific recommendations:
The AVMA is an excellent source of practical advice on this important subject. Download their free brochure, "What you should know about dog bite prevention.
With a better understanding of the "dog's–eye view'' of things, you can empower yourself to significantly reduce the risk of harm not only to your own children, but to your neighbors' children as well.
By Peter Lopatin for WebVet /Reviewed by Amy I. Attas, VMD
Sometimes referred to as the "Apollo of Dogs," the Great Dane was developed in Germany for its graceful appearance, large size, and hunting ability — all important attributes to the landed gentry. These same characteristics have made the breed popular today in America, even appearing in popular culture, such as the Hanna-Barbera cartoon character Scooby-Doo, the newspaper comic character Marmaduke, and Astro in the TV show The Jetsons.
The Great Dane is highly regarded for its majestic appearance and carriage. Along with exuding elegance, its large, square frame gives the dog a powerful gait with easy, long strides. The Great Dane's coat is glossy, short and dense, and comes in various color patterns, including brindle, fawn, blue, black, harlequin, and mantle.
Personality and Temperament
The Great Dane's massive size and spirited demeanor make it a bit difficult to control, especially for very small children. However, proper training and supervision can reform the Great Dane into a well-mannered family companion. It is also friendly towards other pets and household dogs.
Coat care for this breed is minimal. It does, however, need regular exercise, which can be accomplished with a lengthy walk or a fast-paced game. And although the Great Dane looks sturdy, the dog cannot live outdoors. Instead, it is more suited to an equal schedule of indoor and outdoor activities. While indoors, it should be given plenty of space and a soft bed for sleeping.
The Great Dane, which has an average lifespan of 7 to 10 years, may suffer from minor health issues like Wobbler's syndrome, hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD), hypothyroidism, canine hip dysplasia (CHD), and osteochondritis, or major health conditions like osteosarcoma, cardiomyopathy, and gastric torsion. Occasionally, Great Danes have a tendency to drool. To identify some of these issues, a veterinarian may run cardiac, thyroid, hip, and eye exams on this breed of dog. It is also important to note that certain health concerns are more prone in certain Great Dane color varieties.
History and Background
The Great Dane is believed to be a cross between the Greyhound and Molossus, an ancient Greco-Roman war dog breed. It may have first appeared in Germany during the 1300s and used by the residents to capture wild boar and other prey.
How the breed got its current name Great Dane is quite mysterious, as the breed is not Danish. In Germany, the breed was and is still popularly referred to today as Deutsche Dogge. Meanwhile, the British who came upon the breed named it the German Boarhound, based on its function.
As it became popular in the United States, the Great Dane Club of America formed in 1889 in Chicago. And in 1891, the Great Dane Club of Germany adopted a standard, or official description of the breed. Today the Great Dane continues to be praised in the U.S. for its power and beauty.
On 3/26/14 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA) released a list of companies and their antimicrobial products that will no longer be used for growth promotion and will require veterinary oversight for use in food animals shows that a voluntary program instituted by the FDA will benefit both animal and human health.
The FDA list comes after the agency released Final Guidance 213 last year that establishes a three-year time frame for phasing out growth-promotion uses of antibiotics important in human medicine and phasing in of veterinary oversight.
The AVMA has long advocated that judicious use of antimicrobials and greater veterinary oversight on the farm benefit human and animal health. The FDA’s list serves as confirmation that the voluntary process is working and is effective.
According to the FDA list, the 25 companies who intend to engage in the judicious use strategy by withdrawing approvals relating to any production uses and changing the status of their drugs from over-the-counter to use by veterinary feed directive or prescription hold 99.6 percent of the drug applications affected by Guidance 213.
The FDA has said that they are encouraged by the response from these companies, and the AVMA is equally pleased to see that so many of these companies are willing to participate for the greater good of animals and people. The AVMA believes that veterinarians should strive to optimize the therapeutic efficacy of, and minimize resistance to, antimicrobials. The actions of the companies on this list reflect that position, and we believe these actions will benefit both animal and public health.
The Chow Chow is a curious looking breed with a scowling expression and a unique black tongue, which came to be known as the "Wild Dog of China." After spending centuries in China and England, it was brought over to America, where it is has since been greeted as a devoted and protective dog.
The Chow Chow is a squarely built, sturdy, and powerful Arctic-type dog best suited for various tasks including hunting, herding, protecting, and pulling. Its coat can be of the rough or smooth variety, both of which have woolly undercoats to insulate against the cold weather. The common colors for the breed are red (light golden to deep mahogany), black, blue, cinnamon, and cream.
The typical straight angulation of the Chow's rear legs account for a stilted and short gait are a well known feature in the breed. Another essential characteristic of the Chow is its black tongue and scowling expression.
Personality and Temperament
The stubborn and independent Chow is reserved, dignified, and even regal at times. Although it is good with household pets, it can be hostile towards other dogs or suspicious of strangers. The Chow is also devoted and protective of its human family.
The Chow enjoys being outdoors in cool weather, but it should be kept as an indoor pet in dry and arid, or hot and humid regions. This need to be indoors also stems from its craving for human attention and interaction.
The rough coat type requires brushing every other day, or daily during periods of shedding. Meanwhile, the smooth-coated Chow only needs brushing once a week. The Chow also loves short play sessions throughout the day, or casual evening or morning walks.
With an average lifespan of 8 to 12 years, the Chow may be prone to minor health concerns like elbow dysplasia, gastric torsion, elongated palate, stenotic flares, glaucoma, distichiasis, persistent pupilary membrane (PPM), and cataracts, or serious conditions like entropion, canine hip dysplasia (CHD), and patellar luxation. The breed may also be susceptible to renal cortical hypoplasia. To identify some of these issues, a veterinarian may run hip, elbow, and eye exams.
History and Background
The Chow Chow breed is thought to be 2,000 years old -- perhaps even older. Because the Chow shares certain features from the Spitz -- an ancient wolf-like breed -- it is believed the Chow is either a descendant of a Spitz ancestor or a progenitor of some Spitz breeds, but the true origin of the dog may never be known. It was, however, common in China for many centuries and may have served as a hunting, pointing or birding dog for nobles.
The breed's numbers and quality declined soon after the imperial hunts stopped, but some pure descendents of the early Chow were kept by the aristocracy and in monasteries. Some have also theorized that the breed provided food and fur pelts in Mongolia and Manchuria. Its black tongue is among the Chow's most unique characteristics, and many Chinese nicknames for the dog are based on this feature.
When the breed was finally introduced to England in the late 18th century, it was given the Chinese name Chow Chow. The name, which comes from a word meaning assorted curios and knick-knacks from the Oriental Empire, was applied to the breed because the dogs were written into the ship's cargo load as curios when brought to England.
The breed gained much fame again when Queen Victoria took a fancy to the Chow. And by 1903, it had entered the United States and was granted breed status by the American Kennel Club. The noble appearance of the breed attracted dog fanciers, but it was not until the 1980s that its popularity soared in America, becoming the sixth most admired breed.
Are you familiar with the term "negative punishment"? Both words have such poor connotations that it’s hard to believe we should all be striving to use more negative punishment when it comes to training dogs and cats, but that is exactly the case.
First let’s take a look at the opposing form of discipline — positive punishment or the administration of an unpleasant stimulus in response to bad behavior. Here is a classic example of positive punishment:
Hercules is a 2 ½ month old puppy who likes to play rough. His teeth are needle-sharp, and when he gets overly excited he tends to playbite hard enough to break the skin. His owners have tried to stop the behavior by yelling at him and even swatting him on the butt with a rolled up newspaper but it only seems to rile him up more. Now he will sometimes growl at them when they try to correct his playbiting.
The problem with positive punishment is that has to be delivered in exactly the right way for it to be effective, which frankly, most of us cannot do on a regular basis. To work, positive punishment needs to be unpleasant enough to stop the behavior but not so unpleasant that it invokes fear, pain, or aggression. Positive punishment should also never be used when an animal is reacting out of fear. Given the fact that when frustrated, we tend to react without thinking things through, it’s not too surprising that the chances of our using positive punishment correctly are slim.
On the other hand, negative punishment involves removing something of value as a consequence of bad behavior. An example of negative punishment in Hercules’s example would be for his owners to walk away and ignore him when he playbites. By doing so, they have taken a much desired resource (attention) away from him. With consistency, Hercules will soon figure out that whenever he bites playtime stops. Animals are quite good at making correlations. Once the bite-no-play connection is made in Hercules’s mind, he’ll stop the former to continue the latter.
One of the reasons we should all be relying primarily on negative rather than positive punishment is that when we make a mistake, for example Hercules’s owner thinks he’s about to playbite but he actually picks up the ball that she didn’t notice was lying next to her hand, the consequences aren’t nearly as dire. There’s no taking back the yell or swat once you realize you were wrong, but with negative punishment, you can always apologize and give back what you’ve taken away.
Just remember that praising good behavior is just as, if not even more, important. Our companion animals crave attention. In their minds, interacting with you even when you’re angry is better than being ignored. Next time you catch your dog or cat being good, make sure he knows how happy he has made you and watch that behavior take hold.
A Springer Spaniel named Mollypops is enjoying a new squeaky chicken and some treats of her own for saving her human mom’s life in a most unusual way.
Rachel Hayes had just eaten a piece of hard candy, which lodged in her throat. She was choking, coughing, and not able to talk, when Mollypops came up from behind Hayes and hit her in the back so hard that it dislodged the treat.
According to the U.K.’s Mirror, Hayes sat down at her kitchen table and popped a strawberry candy into her mouth. The candy stuck, and as she gasped for breath, she said her dog kept coming up to her but she kept pushing Mollypops away.
"I was having difficulty breathing but Mollypops' sixth sense kicked in and she knew I was in trouble,” Hayes said.
After the rescue, Hayes said she was crying and shaking because she thought she was going to die.
"I just burst out crying and said, 'I love you.' She came over for a cuddle and I cuddled her. I told her she was a hero,” Hayes said. "I think she's glad to have me alive, otherwise she would have been left all on her own. But I don't think she knows quite what she has done.”
It’s very possible Mollypops knew what was happening. There have been studies conducted in which dogs sense a human is in distress and rush up to put paws on the person’s shoulder.
In a study conducted at the University of London, 18 dogs were filmed with their owners. In 15 instances, the dogs reacted to their humans' crying.
One of the dogs, an 8-month-old Labrador retriever, went up to his human when he heard her pretend to cry and put his paw on her shoulder.
The dogs approached the humans in a submissive way, suggesting they were offering comfort and empathy, researchers said.
Do you believe the dog knew what she was doing when she saved her owner's life?
As cat owners, we all want to keep our four-legged friends healthy and happy. And, of course, we want to do everything we can to make sure that happens. Still, the average cat owner often overlooks some important aspects of their pet’s health care. Here are ten common mistakes made by cat owners:
1. Not seeking regular veterinary care
All cats need regular medical care. Yet, on average, cats see their veterinarians less often than their canine counterparts — despite the fact that the number of cats kept as pets outnumbers the number of dogs.
Why do cat owners not seek regular veterinary care for their cats? In many cases, it may be because they simply don’t understand the importance of these visits for their feline friend. Cats are masters of disguise when it comes to hiding the signs of illness. The early symptoms of disease are often subtle and difficult to notice. Especially for older cats, these signs may even be mistaken for “old age”. Your veterinarian is trained to look for signs of disease that may not be readily identifiable by the average pet owner. Early intervention of any disease or health condition that your cat may develop can lead to a more successful treatment outcome. In some cases, this may even prolong your cat’s life.
Other times, the hassle of getting the cat to the veterinarian may be the reason for not visiting. Conditioning your cat to his carrier before the trip to the veterinarian can help. Take a look at this video featuring five simple tips for making a carrier cat-friendly.
2. Assuming indoor cats can’t get fleas and other parasites
This is a common misconception. Cat owners frequently (and mistakenly) believe that because their cat lives indoors fleas and other parasites cannot become a problem. Too often, cat owners believe that parasite prevention is unnecessary for their indoor cat. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. Fleas can find their way indoors very easily, hitch-hiking on your clothing or on a dog that does go outdoors, or finding their way through tiny openings in screens and doors. In addition, intestinal parasites like tapeworms and roundworms can be a problem as well. Mosquitoes can find their way indoors also, potentially exposing your cat to heartworms. Make sure your cat is on an appropriate parasite prevention program.
3. Overfeeding your cat
Obesity is one of the most common problems veterinarians diagnose in cats. It is estimated that over 50% of pet cats are either overweight or obese. These cats are at risk for numerous health issues. Weight issues can effectively shorten your cat’s lifespan, sometimes by as much as 2 years or more. Feed your cat to keep him lean and in good body condition.
4. Assuming hairballs are normal
An occasional hairball is not unusual. However, frequent vomiting (with or without hairballs in the vomit), coughing, or gagging is not normal and may indicate that there are health problems other than hairballs. Cats with these symptoms may be suffering from gastrointestinal disease, skin disease or a variety of other health issues. If your cat is displaying these types of symptoms, your cat should be examined by a veterinarian.
5. Not caring for your cat’s teeth
Your cat’s oral health should not be overlooked. The majority of cats over 3 years of age already have evidence of some degree of dental disease. Brushing your cat’s teeth is the gold standard for in home oral health care and most cats will tolerate brushing with a little patience and conditioning. However, if brushing is impossible, your veterinarian can offer other options to help your cat’s mouth healthy and pain free.
6. Litter box mistakes. “My cat’s not using the litter box!” is one of the most common complaints I hear from cat owners. Too often, this behavior ends with the owner surrendering the cat to their local shelter. But many times, cats stop using the litter box because of their owners' mistakes. These mistakes may include not cleaning the box often enough, not providing a box big enough for the cat, choosing a litter the cat doesn't like, not providing enough litter boxes (in a multicat household), not placing the litter box in the right location, and allowing the cat to be startled or harassed while in the litter box.
With similar coloring to the Saint Bernard, the Bernese Mountain Dog is the only variety of Swiss Mountain Dog that has a long, silky coat. Smart, strong, agile, calm and confident, the Bernese Mountain Dog is a versatile worker.
The large, hardy, and sturdy Bernese Mountain Dog can easily manage work involving droving and draft as it has the right combination of agility, pace, and strength. It has a slightly long and square body, but is not tall. Its slow trot is characteristic of its natural working gait, but its driving power is good. The moderately long and thick coat is straight or slightly wavy, offering insulation from extremely cold weather. The dog’s striking tri-color blend (a jet black ground color with rich rust and clear white markings) and gentle expression make it affable.
Personality and Temperament
This loyal, sensitive, and extremely devoted breed is reserved with strangers and very gentle with kids. It also plays well with other pets and dogs, and is unhappy if isolated from family activities. The Bernese Mountain Dog is best described as an easygoing and placid family companion. These qualities are noticeable once it becomes an adult.
A weekly brushing is enough coat care for this mountain dog. The breed loves the outdoors, particularly in cold weather. Though it can live outdoors in cold and temperate climates, the Bernese Mountain Dog is so attached to its family that it cannot live alone outside.
Moderate daily exercise, such as a leash-led walk or a short hike, is all the breed requires to remain fit. While indoors, it should be given plenty of space to stretch. The Bernese Mountain Dog also loves to pull things.
The Bernese Mountain Dog is occasionally prone to health problems like von Willebrand's Disease (vWD), hypomyelination, allergies, hypothyroidism, hepatocerebellar degeneration and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). The minor diseases that the dog is likely to suffer from are cataract, sub-aortic stenosis (SAS), entropion, and ectropion. The more serious ailments affecting this breed include canine hip dysplasia (CHD), elbow dysplsia, gastric torsion, and mast cell tumor. A lot of care should be taken to prevent heat stroke.
DNA, cardiac, hip, eye, and elbow tests are advised for the Bernese Mountain Dog, which has an average lifespan of 6 to 9 years. (The dog's lifespan is, according to a Swiss maxim, "Three years a young dog, three years a good dog, and three years an old dog. Anything more is a gift from God.")
History and Background
The Bernese is famous for being the only Swiss mountain dog, or Sennenhunde, with a silky, long coat. Its true origin is often disputed, but some experts believe the dog’s history dates back to the time when the Romans invaded Switzerland, when native flock-guarding dogs and Roman mastiffs were interbred. This resulted in a strong dog, which could tolerate the harsh Alpine weather and be used as a drover, herder, draft dog, common farm dog, and flock guard.
There was little effort, however, to preserve the Bernese Mountain Dog as a breed, despite its versatility. The number of Bernese dogs were quickly diminishing by the late 19th century, when Professor Albert Heim, a geologist and dog fancier, began studying the Swiss dogs and identified the Bernese Mountain Dog as an individual type. Many of the remaining dogs were located in the valley region of the lower Swiss Alps.
Dr. Heim's efforts ensured that the dogs were promoted across Switzerland and even Europe. The finest breeds were first seen in the Durrbach area, thus their original name was the Durrbachler. But as the breed began to spread to other regions, it was renamed the Bernese Mountain Dog.
The first Bernese Mountain Dog was introduced in the United States in 1926, later gaining recognition by the American Kennel Club in 1937.
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