Your dog makes all sorts of noises, and a lot of them probably sound like human coughs. In fact, a flu-afflicted person is often described as having a "barking" cough. But dogs can actually cough too, often sounding like you do when you're congested and have a cold, or as though they are sneezing in reverse, since they may try to draw in a lot of air instead of forcing it out in a loud "Ah choo!" There are many possible causes for doggy coughing, according to Lynelle Johnson, DVM. She is an associate professor at the University of California at Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine. Here is her canine coughing compendium, which includes some of the primary causes for dog coughs, along with associated conditions.
MONTREAL, (AFP) - A fishing village in easternmost Canada tried on Monday to auction off on eBay a sperm whale carcass that washed up onto its shores.
By midday, the town of Cape St. George, Newfoundland had received dozens of bids -- the highest topping $2,000 -- before running afoul of the online auction site's rules and the law.
The 12-meter (40-foot) sperm whale carcass washed ashore about a week ago.
The town of 1,000 residents does not have the means to dispose of the rotting carcass itself, according to the mayor, and Canada's fisheries department declined to get involved.
Worried that the smell from the rotting carcass would soon become intolerable, the town's council voted on Sunday to list the whale on eBay, hoping to find a buyer to take it away.
Federal officials "didn't offer any suggestions about what to do with it, and didn't offer assistance, they just said 'You have to get rid of it', so we decided to list it on eBay," Mayor Peter Fenwick told AFP.
"Frankly we would sell it for zero if we had to... as long as they take responsibility for removing the whale," he said, suggesting that its skeleton could be put on display in a museum.
The eBay listing, after gaining notoriety, was soon removed by the online auction website because it is against its rules on not selling animals, alive or dead, an employee told AFP.
At the same time, federal officials contacted the mayor to tell him it is illegal to try to sell the whale carcass.
"We are now at a point where we want to have a look at the regulations and see if there is any way around that," Fenwick said.
He said he doesn't want to break the law by "selling a whale illegally," but added, "we don't have very much choice because if it sits there, as it starts to rot... it will give off a tremendous stench."
Coincidentally, two other Newfoundland towns faced similar problems after two endangered blue whales washed up on their shores. One of them began to bloat from a build-up of methane gas inside, threatening to explode its stinking innards on the town of Trout River.
An Ontario museum is sending a team of researchers to collect the pair of whale carcasses this week.
The rare animals' skeleton and tissue samples will be stored in the museum's research collection, which will be accessible to researchers worldwide.
Dogs make good listeners, and the kids can help themselves in school by reading to their canine companions.
Can reading to a dog raise children's reading levels? According to studies on the subject a young student's reading scores can advance significantly – two to four grade levels – by reading to a dog for just 20 minutes a week throughout the school year (40 weeks).
The American Library Association estimates that there are 27 million functionally illiterate adults in the United States. The national "America Reads'' program notes that 40 percent of fourth graders read below their grade level, and that children who don't master reading by the third grade risk falling further behind.
Children who read to pets have less absenteeism, visit the library more often, and improve their grades on report cards. Also, children with low self-esteem are often more willing to interact with an animal than with another person. Pets can also teach children empathy and compassion.
Getting Kids Excited About Reading
"We didn't invent the concept of a child reading to a pet, but we were the first to use the structure," said Kathy Klotz, executive director of the Reading Education Assistance Dogs program (R.E.A.D.). She refers to depictions of people reading to dogs in Victorian times, and she has heard several adults admit that they used to read to their dog in the closet as a child. "There is no question that children are terribly eager to read to a dog."
Parents don't necessarily have to wait until a program like R.E.A.D. comes to their child's school. They can try this at home with their children, Klotz said, as long as the dog or cat is trained and able to stay calm for at least 20 minutes while the child reads to it.
Dog Days of School
Several schools have implemented visitation programs that bring trained therapy dogs as a way to encourage children's reading, but it is still a rare practice. At the last count, less than 3,000 children have participated in the R.E.A.D program since its inception in 1999.
Mary Renck Jalongo studied this practice and wrote about it in a recent issue of the journal "Childhood Education."
"When children were asked to read aloud under three conditions (to a peer, to an adult, and to a therapy dog), the presence of a therapy dog reduced children's blood pressure and heart rate to normal levels and diminished other observable signs of anxiety," Renck Jalongo said. "Working with animals is remarkably effective with students who have attentional difficulties, disruptive behaviors, or a general lack of interest in reading."
A Special Connection
The special connection between troubled children and animals was not lost on Samuel B. Ross, Jr., founder of Green Chimneys in Brewster, N.Y., a residential treatment program for children with emotional, behavioral, and learning challenges. The 75-acre farm has a menagerie of 300 animals for 192 children, ages 6 to 18, to interact with. These are all children who have not been accepted back to a public school.
"The children heal the animals, and the animals heal the children," Ross said. "They learn they're capable of doing something productive, having been told they're a failure earlier. Here, they find out this is not entirely true."
R.E.A.D recommends that 20 minutes be set aside each week for struggling readers to practice reading aloud to a dog. Using the standard 180 school days, or about 40 weeks, this adds approximately 14 hours of supervised practice in reading aloud. Enjoyment is essential because low-ability readers learn words incidentally when they are reading for fun.
Success in attitude and academics among reluctant readers can be found by reading to those who offer unconditional respect and attention. Typically, they have four legs.
MADRID, (AFP) - The latest specimen of the world's tiniest deer -- a rare species no bigger than a hamster -- has been born in a nature park in southern Spain, conservationists said on Friday.
The baby "deer-mouse" became just the 43rd living member of this species in Europe when it was born on April 9 in the Fuengirola Biopark near Malaga.
Originating in southeastern Asia, the deer is so called because its tiny dimensions and big eyes make it look more like a rodent, despite its tiny hooves.
At birth the baby -- which has not yet been named because it is still too small to determine its sex -- weighed about 100 grams (nearly four ounces).
But "it is growing very fast", a spokeswoman for the nature park, Asun Portillo, told AFP on Friday.
The deer-mouse typically grows to about the size of a rabbit and weighs about a kilo (about two pounds) when fully grown.
"It is doing very well, in its enclosure, although it cannot suckle yet and cannot feed by itself."
Its mother has lived in Fuengirola since 2007 and its father was brought over from Lille, France a year ago, the park said.
The survival of the species, known by scientists as "tragulus javanicus", is threatened by deforestation in its native southeast Asia, the park said.
Want to enjoy the benefits of pet ownership without the commitment of owning a dog or cat? One of these seven small pets might be your best bet.
Pets can be great sources of companionship and comfort, and the health benefits of keeping a pet are well documented. Pet owners often experience increased self-esteem and reduced feelings of loneliness, and they may even gain physical health benefits such as lowered heart rate and blood pressure.
But maybe you aren't up to the challenge and responsibility involved in owning a dog or cat. If that’s the case, don’t overlook the benefits of small pets! From pet birds and rabbits to ferrets and pet rodents, these guidelines can help you choose the best small pet based on personality and the level of care needed to safeguard its pet health.
Is a Rabbit Right for You?
Let a Bird Brighten Your Life
Keep a Hamster’s Schedule in Mind
Have Fun With Ferrets
Take a Gander at Guinea Pigs
Choose a Chinchilla
Get Acquainted With Gerbils
There are plenty of pet alternatives to choose from, especially if you are more comfortable welcoming a small pet into your home.
The American Pit Bull Terrier has been known by many names, including the Pit Bull and the American Bull Terrier. It is often confused with the American Staffordshire Terrier, however, the United Kennel Club recognizes the American Pit Bull Terrier as its own distinct breed. Affectionately known as "Pitties," the Pit Bull is known for being a loyal, protective, and athletic canine breed.
The standard size of the Pit Bull varies from medium to large, with a weight range of 30–90 lbs. The Pit Bull has a stocky, muscular build and a short, smooth coat varying in color. The fluctuation in the size and color of the Pit Bull is due to the breed being a mix between different types of Bulldogs and Terriers.
The body of the Pit Bull is long, with a short, whip-like tail that ends in a point. Small- to medium-sized ears are set high on its broad, flat head. The most defining facial characteristic of the Pit Bull is its wide, powerful jaw.
PERSONALITY AND TEMPERAMENT
The protective and fearless Pit Bull is noted for its playful temperament and friendly nature. The Pit Bull is also athletic, and has a strong desire to please people.
The Pit Bull has a high prey drive due to its being bred to chase and subdue livestock. However, the Pit Bull is not naturally aggressive towards people and is affectionate toward children. Depending on early socialization and handling, the Pit Bull can learn to restrain itself from unwarranted aggression towards other dogs.
Because it is a highly energetic and active breed, the Pit Bull require daily exercise — the more vigorous the better — to overcome boredom and possibly destructive behavior. Like the Greyhound breed, the Pit Bull has a particularly strong prey drive and may chase retreating animals. Taking a Pit Bull on a leashed walk is undoubtedly an important part of socializing it to "play nice." However, care must always be taken to keep the Pit Bull on its leash, to prevent it from running off if it should spot a potential prey animal.
Due to their athleticism and diverse breeding background, the Pit Bull tend to be a hardy breed, with an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years, longer than many breeds of a similar size. There are some genetic conditions to be watchful for. The Pit Bull tends to suffer from bone diseases such as hip dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy and kneecap dislocation. The Pit Bull can also suffer from skin problems, such as mange and skin allergies, because of its short coat. Other health ailments seen in Pit Bulls include thyroid and congenital heart defects.
HISTORY AND BACKGROUND
The Pit Bull’s origins can be traced back to early 19th-century England, Ireland and Scotland. The canine’s ancestors were the result of experimentally crossbreeding different Bulldog and Terrier breeds for the purpose of bear- and bull-baiting, a blood sport in which the dog was trained to attack until the larger animal was defeated. When baiting was banned in the 1800s, the dogs were then bred for the sport of ratting and dog fighting. European immigrants introduced the Pit Bull breed to North America.
Because of its controversial origins, the Pit Bull is not recognized by the American Kennel Club. This has resulted in the formation of two separate clubs for the specific purpose of registering Pit Bulls. The first was the United Kennel Club (UKC), which was formed in 1898 by founder C. Z. Bennett. The founder’s dog, Bennett’s Ring, was assigned UKC registration number one, making it the first registered Pit Bull in recorded history. The second club, the American Dog Breeders Association (ADBA), began in 1909 as a multiple breed association, but it has been dedicated mainly to Pit Bulls, as the original president, Guy McCord, was an avid fancier and breeder of the American Pit Bull Terrier.
Contrary to its dubious reputation as an aggressive breed, the Pit Bull is regarded by many as a friendly dog with an outgoing disposition. As those who are loyal to this breed are becoming more active in the education and training of the breed, the Pit Bull is fast becoming a popular companion pet once again.
Probably one of the most frequently asked questions about dog's vision is whether dogs see colors. The simple answer-namely that dogs are colorblind-has been misinterpreted by people as meaning that dogs see no color, but only shades of gray. This is wrong. Dogs do see colors, but the colors that they see are neither as rich nor as many as those seen by humans.
The eyes of both people and dogs contain special light catching cells called cones that respond to color. Dogs have fewer cones than humans which suggests that their color vision won't be as rich or intense as ours. However, the trick to seeing color is not just having cones, but having several different types of cones, each tuned to different wavelengths of light. Human beings have three different kinds of cones and the combined activity of these gives humans their full range of color vision.
The most common types of human colorblindness come about because the person is missing one of the three kinds of cones. With only two cones, the individual can still see colors, but many fewer than someone with normal color vision. This is the situation with dogs who also have only two kinds of cones.
Jay Neitz at the University of California, Santa Barbara, tested the color vision of dogs. For many test trials, dogs were shown three light panels in a row--two of the panels were the same color, while the third was different. The dogs' task was to find the one that was different and to press that panel. If the dog was correct, he was rewarded with a treat that the computer delivered to the cup below that panel.
Neitz confirmed that dogs actually do see color, but many fewer colors than normal humans do. Instead of seeing the rainbow as violet, blue, blue-green, green, yellow, orange and red, dogs would see it as dark blue, light blue, gray, light yellow, darker yellow (sort of brown), and very dark gray. In other words, dogs see the colors of the world as basically yellow, blue and gray. They see the colors green, yellow and orange as yellowish, and they see violet and blue as blue. Blue-green is seen as a gray. You can see what the spectrum looks like to people and dogs below.
One amusing or odd fact is that the most popular colors for dog toys today are red or safety orange (the bright orange red on traffic cones or safety vests). However red is difficult for dogs to see. It may appear as a very dark brownish gray or perhaps even a black. This means that that bright red dog toy that is so visible to you may often be difficult for your dog to see. That means that when your own pet version of Lassie runs right past the toy that you tossed she may not be stubborn or stupid. It may be your fault for choosing a toy with a color that is hard to discriminate from the green grass of your lawn.
What can you do to help Fluffy slim down? Feed her the right foods, keep her active, and avoid these feline no-nos.
Our furry feline friends are experiencing obesity at alarming rates, often because owners fail to properly manage their cats’ diets and make sure they get exercise. In fact, about 58 percent of pet cats in the United States are overweight, which adds up to some 54 million chubby felines. And one in every five pet cats — about 20 million — has full-fledged obesity.
Overweight cats may seem like cuddly lap-warmers, but their excess fat makes them more likely to develop a host of serious health problems, including:
And it is much more dangerous to operate on an overweight cat — these pet cats are more likely to die during surgery. They are less tolerant of high temperatures and are less resistant to contracting an infectious disease. Obese cats are twice more likely to die in middle age than thinner cats, between the ages of 6 and 12.
4 Factors That Cause Cat Obesity
Veterinarians have determined a set of risk factors that may lead to pet cats becoming overweight. They include:
The Healthy Cat's Diet
The building blocks of a healthy cat's diet include some truths that run counter to established beliefs. To feed your cat right, you should:
Help Your Overweight Cat Slim Down
Here are some more steps you can take to help your cat either lose weight or maintain a healthy weight:
By following these dietary guidelines and keeping your pet cat active, you can help keep her from becoming a chunky kitty.
Transform your pooch from troublemaker to the best-behaved pet on the block with these simple steps.
The PAW Blog...
For the LOVE of Pets
The goal of this blog is to help educate pet owners by sharing pet health facts and pet news articles...and ... sometimes put a smile on your face with a cute or funny pet story!
Search for any topic...