Whole Dog Journal Blog

Canine Cousins, Sort Of

June 27, 2011 - On Friday night, I picked up my brother’s dog, Hannah, from his house (about an hour away). Keith, his wife, and their darling almost-two-year-old daughter went out of town for the weekend, and Hannah came to stay at our house. It struck me at some point during the weekend how much taking care of a relative’s dog is similar to taking care of a niece or nephew. You love the dog, because she’s “family” – after all, you said you would take her if anything ever happened to her!
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 03:16PM Comments (5)

Too Hot for Hounds

June 21, 2011 - I doubt that WDJ readers need to be reminded to leave their dogs home, rather than allowing them to accompany them on driving errands or shopping trips, at this time of year. When it’s hot, leaving a dog in a car –even with all the windows fully down – can heat a dog to the point of heatstroke or even death within a shockingly short amount of time. Dogs are much more susceptible to heat-related illness than adult humans; due to their smaller body mass, their internal temperatures rise much faster than ours do.
Posted at 01:54PM Comments (6)

What Does Your Dog Do When He’s Neglected?

June 13, 2011 - This past week, I’ve been working around the clock to get the July issue done. In the process Otto has been seriously neglected in the areas of exercise and focused attention. I skipped our Thursday night agility class. I took him for only one short walk, from our home to my office (about two blocks!) and back. (This only made matters worse, because I didn’t let him stay with me at the office for long; he’s so obsessed with wanting to kitten-watch that he whines and paces when I close the door between him and the foster kittens.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 09:06AM Comments (11)

Keep Registration Up-to-Date for Identification Microchips

June 6, 2011 - Late last week I read a news story about a dog who was lost for more than six months – and then found on the streets of Salinas, California, more than 1,200 miles from his home in Boulder, Colorado. He never would have been identified and returned to his owner if not for his identification microchip. It’s the kind of story that warms the heart of every shelter worker and volunteer, and highlights the value of the tiny implanted chips.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 09:20AM Comments (4)

The FURminator Wins Yet Another Fan

May 31, 2011 - So, for years, I’ve been hearing about the “Furminator,” some sort of super-powered dog brush. I just couldn’t imagine there was all that much to it – and it was wildly expensive. FIFTY dollars for a dog brush? Or, as the company’s literature refers to it, a “de-Shedding Tool,” complete with that completely random capitalization. This year, though, I finally got desperate enough to shell out the money, in hopes of getting a handle on the copious amounts of hair that my darling dog Otto is shedding.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 09:04AM Comments (22)

Otto’s Next Challenge: Kitten Camp

May 23, 2011 - So, I’m fostering a cat and her five kittens. Poor Juno (I just named her, a teenaged mom) was abandoned by some former neighbors, who moved away about two months ago. I hadn’t known they didn’t take her with them when they moved out of the apartment building that’s two doors down from my home; I hadn’t seen her since they moved. But Otto found her -- and her five new kittens – in the ivy that grows on the fence between our house and the empty (foreclosed) house next door. Oh, the economy.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 09:46AM Comments (10)

Single-Antigen Vaccines, Not Single-Dose

May 17, 2011 - This is a follow-up to an issue we discussed, a subscriber had written us out of concern that his veterinarian no longer offered distemper-only vaccines. We looked into the matter and learned that in fact, Schering-Plough, the last veterinary vaccine company that still made a distemper-only vaccine, had recently ceased production of the vaccine. It’s just not available anymore.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 12:51PM Comments (4)

Proud and Scared Both

May 9, 2011 - Otto had just woken up and was yawning and stretching next to me on the porch, dragging his leash. I turned around to lock the front door behind us, and suddenly Otto roared and launched off the front steps at high speed, headed straight for the street. And in the same moment that my brain registered the fact that Otto was running toward the street, I also heard a car or truck approaching. I screamed, even as I was turning around, “OTTO OFF!”
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 10:49AM Comments (15)

Veterinary Visits Pet Peeves

May 3, 2011 - Recently, I brought Otto to the vet for a routine visit. The postcard I received from the vet’s office suggested that Otto was due for some vaccinations and routine tests. Upon making the trip to her veterinarians, a plethora of my “pet peeves” were set into motion. For example; “routine vaccines.” When I call to make the appointment, I let the receptionist know I won’t be vaccinating my dog unless a distemper/parvo titer test tells me he needs a “booster” shot. First, she claims that they don’t do these tests. Argh!
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 09:36AM Comments (51)

Why are so many abused dogs so forgiving?

April 25, 2011 - I was in my local shelter one day last week when a couple brought in two intact male pit bull-type dogs. Both dogs were white, which made it easy to see how filthy dirty they were – and to see the wounds that each of them had. The larger, overweight dog had what may have started as a sunburn and developed into a dermatological condition. But the younger, smaller dog had truly ghastly wounds on his hind legs; it looked as if he had been tied up (or even hung) by ropes around his hind legs.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 03:23PM Comments (19)

Planet Dog Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Orbee

April 12, 2011 - When I learned that Planet Dog was releasing a “Special Edition 10th Anniversary Orbee,” my first thought was, “Wow, has it really been 10 years?” The ball still seems new and exciting around WDJ's editorial office.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 12:15PM Comments (5)

Excited About a Book on Canine Thyroid Disorders

April 11, 2011 - I just received an email announcing the publication of a book written by one of WDJ’s favorite veterinarians, W. Jean Dodds, founder of Hemopet canine blood bank. Dr. Dodds has long been interested in canine thyroid disorders; years ago, I heard her present a riveting seminar on the topic at one of the annual meetings of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA).
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 03:20PM Comments (2)

New Dog (not mine) - New Problems

March 29, 2011 - So, two weeks ago I wrote about how I have two friends who are looking for dogs, and how I was worried because they are both impulsive and apt to bring home the wrong dog. One friend is actually being patient! Yay, friend!
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 08:54AM Comments (5)

Spring Allergy Season Can Spell Trouble for Our Dogs, Too

March 22, 2011 - The most common symptom of any allergy in dogs is itching. An allergy to flea bites is the most common type of allergy in dogs, but an allergy to something in the dog’s environment, such as pollen, dust, or exposure to dust mites (actually, the feces of dust mites), is the second-most common allergy.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 10:27AM Comments (26)

Please, Don’t Bring Home the Wrong Dog!

March 15, 2011 - How do you convince people to be patient and selective and wait for a dog who meets their criteria, instead of rushing in and adopting the first cute face in the shelter they see? Despite the fact that you’ve promised to find them the perfect dog, one that meets their every wish in a dog, if they would only give you a bit of time, the next thing you hear is…
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 12:20PM Comments (9)