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Odin’s Eye, Otto’s Kidneys, and Natural Disaster Training

On Saturday, I attended a training session conducted by the North Valley Animal Disaster Group (NVADG), as part of my increased interest in improving any future local disaster response. This session was about handling dogs and cats in an emergency - something I got a lot of experience with when volunteering in the emergency evacuation shelters during the Camp Fire disaster. And it was held at the shelter where I have been volunteering for the past decade, so that was fun.

Mastering On-Leash Dog Walking for Off-Leash Security

One thing I dont do very much of is walking my dogs on leash. I am super lucky; I live in an area with any number of safe, interesting places to walk my dogs off-leash. However, I actually credit all this time OFF-leash with my dogs good ON-leash behavior.

Getting Your Dog to Potty in Winter

When temperatures hit near- or below-zero, you may need to strongly encourage your dog to potty – actually, insist on it! Veterinarians see spikes in the number of cases of urinary tract infections in winter, when dogs tend to hold it" for as long as possible

Dry Dog Food Lists, Puppy Adoptions and Complications Along the Way

The February issue, the one containing our annual discussion and review of dry dog foods, has been published, and as is often the case, we missed a company or two that should have been included on our list of approved foods. WHEN will we be perfect? Not this year, sadly. We will update the online version of the list as errors or omissions are detected and include corrections in the March issue.

Want to Help Animals? There Are Many Ways You Can

It may be that when someone talks about volunteering to help animals in a shelter, that the average person imagines herself walking dogs or cleaning cat boxes in a shelter facility. Those are tasks that shelters can often use! But there is literally no end to the ways that people can help homeless animals.

Lessons From the Camp Fire Aftermath

At the peak of the Camp Fire emergency, over 2,000 animals were in temporary shelters in a number of locations. This included large animals – horses, donkeys, cows, goats, sheep, pigs, and llamas – who were all taken to a local fairgrounds, where they were held in pens much like any they had ever been held in. I'm sure they experienced some anxiety, but given that their feed and housing was not much different than what most of them had experienced before, I would hazard a guess that they were more or less none the worse for wear. I'd guess the same could be said for the barnyard poultry: hundreds of geese, ducks, and chickens who were also evacuated or rescued from the fires. Lots of these birds were held temporarily at the shelter where I spent the most time volunteering, and they all seemed mentally and physically just fine, even the ones being held in crates in the medical treatment rooms while under treatment for injuries or illness.

Foster Puppy Update: Not Quite Ready for Prime Time

When I last told you about the puppies, I was at the U.C. Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) with the largest pup, who has something going on with one of his eyes.

New Year’s Resolutions for Dog Caretakers

I had to check last year's blog posts to see if I had published any New Year's resolutions last year; I didn't, so I don't have to admit how much or even whether I met any of my resolutions. But this year, I want to give public resolutions a go, to see if it will help me get any of them done.

Thoughts from a UC Davis Veterinary Hospital Waiting Room

I am back at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital [VMTH] at UC Davis, just a week after my last visit. Last week, I was here with a dying puppy. This week, I'm here for an emergency ophthalmology consult for another puppy from the same foster litter. Not quite three weeks ago, the biggest, strongest pup in the litter suddenly developed a big swollen eye.

Frustration and Heartbreak on the Road to Saving Sick Puppies

I wasn't certain the pup would make it through the night, but she did. And while she had, as the vet put it, reduced mentation

Updates on Dog Food Recalls, the Camp Fire Aftermath, and My Sickly Foster Pups

In my neck of the woods, we still have a huge ongoing mess to sort out with trying to reunite animals with their people following the devastating Camp Fire. Currently, there are three temporary emergency shelters that are caring for hundreds of dogs and cats (and other animals). It's hard to get exact figures, but more than half of the animals have not yet been identified by any owners, for many reasons.

Camp Fire: More Notes from a Disaster Area

Tens of thousands of people and animals have been affected by the fire, and thousands of people are helping those displaced. Several emergency shelters were hastily set up to contain pets. Some of the pets were left at the shelters by owners who were themselves homeless and staying in shelters; many more were rescued and brought to the shelters with either an address or rough estimate of where they had been rescued from.

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