Environmental Hazards

Raccoon Attack Update

As I described in WDJ’s July issue, on the night of June 1st, my dog Ella, an 11-pound Norwich Terrier, was attacked by a raccoon in my backyard. Fortunately, I was able to fight off the raccoon myself, and Ella escaped with only puncture wounds, which healed quickly after being treated at the emergency vet. Emotionally, however, she was a wreck, terrified to go into the backyard, and showing signs of anxiety in the evenings when she saw or heard anything outside. I started her on anti-anxiety medications to help her cope with the aftermath of the attack, and to prevent her anxiety from escalating.

Raccoon Removal Tips

I contacted a different wildlife rescue and control company for additional help with getting rid of the raccoon who was living under my deck. Some of their suggestions conflicted with what I had been told by the county vector control agent. Here is a summary of what this company told me.

Dog Got Skunked? DON’T Use Water (At Least, Not at First)

Chemist Paul Krebaum gets the credit for applying his chemistry knowledge to the age-old need for a substance that can neutralize the smell of skunk spray. He researched the putrid oil (which skunks can shoot out of special glands under their tails as a potent defense mechanism) and determined that the chemical responsible for the distinctive odor was in a class called thiols. The human nose is extremely sensitive to these organosulfur compounds, and can detect them at 10 parts per billion. But if you subject the substance to just the right compound, you can inactivate the chemicals responsible for the odor, as fast as a chemical reaction can occur.

Raccoon Attack!

One of my worst dog-owner nightmares recently came true. Or I should say, almost came true. A raccoon attacked my dog, injuring her, but I was able to save her life by fighting off the raccoon myself! As bad as that experience was, I never imagined the problems I would have to deal with that have emerged since our initial suburban wildlife encounter.

Crate Thanks

An after-dinner family ritual, when I was a kid, was for each person seated at the table to share what they were most grateful for since last Thanksgiving. Those dinners don’t happen any more, but each year I ask myself that old question. Sometimes the answer is cause for mental debate, but this year, there was no doubt at all. One thing leaps instantly to mind: the fact that my dogs are both safe, that neither was injured when a speeding bicyclist T-boned my new Subaru in September.

Plant Oils

There are many different types of plant oils that people use to supplement their dogs’ diets, including oils from flaxseed, olives, coconut, vegetables, hempseed, and more. Some of these oils can provide benefits, but others are not helpful and may even contribute to inflammation.

Keep Your Dog Safe Around the Pool this Summer

both in the water and facing away from her owner.üIt's vitally important to teach your dog to enter and exit a pool by its stairs

When to Seek Veterinary Care After Your Dog Has a Close Call at the...

Did Your Dog Have a Scary, Sinking Moment in the Water? “If the dog comes out and he’s fine, he’ll shake it off,” says Jules Benson, DVM. “You need to watch him for the next 24 to 48 hours, because that’s when aspiration pneumonia (caused by water going down into the main-stem bronchi) can occur. Especially if it’s water other than a pool, where there could be bacteria or protozoa in the water. If they aspirate any of that and it goes into the lungs, the bacteria spreads and multiplies.

Environmentally Friendly Poop Bags

Dog poop presents the environmentalist with a real problem. We would hazard a guess that most of us do the worst possible thing: use a plastic bag to pick up poo, and then throw it in a garbage can, bound for a landfill somewhere.

Determining the Cause of Your Dog’s Panting

I’m awakened by the exhalation of my Border Collie’s warm breath on my face: heh-heh-heh. I slowly open one eye and focus on the nose just inches from my own. I may be anthropomorphizing, but I suspect he’s grinning. There it is again – a breathy heh-heh-heh. Wait a minute! Is he just panting or is he laughing at me? Given the way dogs are designed, panting is a very normal bodily function. Dogs don’t have sweat glands throughout their body to expel heat like humans do.

What To Do in Case of Heatstroke

In cases of heatstroke (hyperthermia), the goal is to gradually decrease the dog's body temperature to about 104 F. in the first 10-15 minutes. Once 104 F. is reached, stop the cooling process and get the dog to the veterinarian as quickly as possible.

Cold Tail is a Hot Issue with Swimming Dogs

Swimming dogs, especially hunting dogs, sometimes experience acute caudal myopathy, which is more commonly known as cold tail, swimmer's tail, limber tail, cold water tail, broken tail, retriever tail, Lab tail, broken wag, or dead tail. In a study published in the November 1999 Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, this painful condition was linked to fiber damage in muscles at the base of the tail.

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