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The Promise of Probiotics

Kitty

Forty years ago, the famous Australian virologist Sir Macfarlane Burnett said, regarding antibiotics, that “By the late twentieth century, we can anticipate the virtual elimination of infectious diseases as a significant factor in social life.”

Unfortunately, his prediction proved utterly wrong.

In the last couple of decades, we’ve seen the development of superbugs – bacteria that are resistant to a wide range of antibiotics, which has left researchers scrambling for solutions. Even a few years ago, our focus was on the targeted elimination of specific bacteria through the use of antibiotics. In an unforeseen consequence, the prevalent usage of these medications has altered entire bacterial populations. This change represents a paradigm shift in the treatment of both humans and companion animals. Fortunately, there is a tool in our arsenal to help us all lead healthier lives. More...

Dallas-Ft. Worth Lab Retriever Rescue Club

 

Foundation

Labrador Retrievers are an iconic American breed. Often, when we think of homeless dogs, we picture mixed breeds. It’s hard to imagine a gorgeous Lab fighting for life in the wild, confined to a small cage or condemned to die a lonely death in a gas chamber. Still, even purebred pups aren’t immune to the vagaries of bad luck and hard times. Whether they’ve merely lost their way, or lost their primary caregivers, these four-leggeds need a helping hand. Fortunately, a group of people has opened their hearts and homes in a coordinated, ongoing effort to help big dogs in need. And our Foundation has just given them a grant to further their mission.

It gives us immense pleasure to tell you about the latest financial award given by the Dr. Jane HealthyPetNet Foundation, this time to a committed group wholly dedicated to alleviating the needless death and suffering of abandoned, abused and neglected purebred Labrador Retrievers in the greater Dallas and Fort Worth metropolitan area.

Founded in 1997, Dallas Fort Worth Labrador Retriever Rescue Club is the largest Lab rescue organization in one of America’s largest metropolitan areas. Their life-saving services are known well to shelters in their corner of the world. And even though they take in as many Labs as their resources allow, they estimate that they are only able to save about half of the purebred Labs in the metroplex. They recognize their work is an uphill battle, and yet they remain wholly committed and enthusiastic about their endeavors. These are true heroes, and we sing their praises. More...

Talking About Ticks

If ticks were human-size, they’d be one of the scariest creatures on the planet. Even though ticks are tiny, they’re still an awful nuisance, especially if you don’t know how to minimize contact and the damage they can inflict if contact occurs. Over the course of the last couple of decades, large swaths of the U.S. have been churning out bumper crops of ticks, even in urban areas, and tick season is right around the corner. Thank goodness we have Dr. Sarah on-hand to clear up misconceptions about these little blood-suckers and to share helpful tips for dealing with these creepy-crawlies. If you and your companion animals plan to spend any time outdoors over the next few months, be sure to watch the latest episode of Pet Talk right now. And, please, share this video with your friends and family!

Three Toothsome Tips for Canine Dental Health

Pug

You may be groaning inwardly at another post on canine periodontal disease, but the doggone truth is, many of us pet parents could stand to freshen up on the topic. That’s not a guess, it’s a fact: 17 out of 20 dogs over the age of three have some level of periodontal disease that needs treatment. One of the most common canine diseases, it’s also one of the most easily prevented. Dental disease not only “stinks” at the source, it’s also known to negatively impact the health of the whole body. It’s not a stretch to say that to have true wellness, your dog’s teeth and gums need to be as healthy as possible. I know all of you are busy, so I’ll briefly cover the three most salient points to remember when it comes to canine dental care. You might want to take notes, or simply print this out for reference, as there will be an oral exam. At least, I certainly hope so! More...

Paws South Florida Rescue Fights for Feral Felines

 

FoundationAs you know, our foundation exists solely to help finance the day-to-day operations and dreams of small-to-medium-size animal rescues because they do so much to relieve animal suffering. While larger organizations typically have dependable resources for revenue, smaller groups are no less dedicated but operate with smaller staffs and fewer resources. That’s why it gives us immense pleasure to herald the news of one of our recent Dr. Jane HealthyPetNet Foundation grants, awarded to the Ft. Lauderdale-based Paws South Florida Rescue, an animal-welfare group laboring to put an end to the cycle of feline overpopulation in their corner of the world.


Paul

Working almost exclusively with feral cat communities, PSFR is not a traditional shelter but rather a close-knit group of volunteers who care for cats on the outskirts of society. In fact, the majority of their work consists of feeding and maintaining feral colonies. They make sure that every cat who crosses their path is up-to-date on vaccinations, is tested for illness and receives any necessary treatment. And all felines they come into contact with are eventually spayed or neutered, without exception. In addition to managing feral colonies themselves, PSFR also offers advice to independent colony managers. More...

Lymph Nodes

Did you know that your dog’s lymph nodes play an integral role in his or her immune system? Fortunately, examining them is easier than you might think. In this episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah’s joined by her lovable cohort, Alma, to show you exactly where canine lymph nodes are located so you can do a quick exam in your own home. Our good doctor reviews the normal sizes of these paired nodes, and how to know whether or not they’re inflamed. And, you’ll hear about common causes of inflammation, too. Most importantly, Dr. Sarah recommends that you make this check-up part of your monthly routine, to track possible changes in your dog’s health. This episode is jam-packed with information, so be sure to share it with your friends and family!

Get the Scoop on Feline Digestive Disorders

 

Girl With Cat

Second only to upper-respiratory illness, digestive disorders are the chief reason for feline veterinary visits. Cats with digestive problems exhibit symptoms ranging from vomiting and diarrhea, to weight loss, constipation and excessive gas. While the causes are many, feline IBS and IBD are two common digestive disorders. On many occasions, they are mistaken for one another, which is unfortunate because they call for very different treatments. In this post, we’ll cover the basics and try to clear up the confusion surrounding these disorders.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, also affects humans. For us, symptoms of this disorder include lower abdominal pain, excessive gas and a marked change in stools, among others. All of these need not occur simultaneously, although they sometimes do. Causes range from suffering from excessive stress, taking a newly prescribed medication and the development of dietary sensitivities. In response, the intestinal tract repeatedly and painfully contracts, like a spasming muscle, leading to stool changes. If you or anyone you know has endured these symptoms, you’ll know that IBS is no walk in the park. More...

Foundation Award Helps Pets Breathe Easier

FoundationThis month, it is our great pleasure to announce another Dr. Jane’s HealthyPetNet Foundation financial award, given to Marion Regional Humane Society of Marion, IL. A non-profit, no-kill organization, this tight-knit group works closely with the public to achieve their twin goals of reducing pet overpopulation and matching up abandoned animals with new homes. In a profession that leaves some rescuers cynical about the cruelty of some people towards non-human animals, these folks do their good works with gentle caring, unflagging perseverance and good humor.

As we have seen many times in previous foundation-related blog postings, some rescue organizations take as their mission the saving of specific breeds of dogs. Other non-profits cater their knowledgeable care solely to cats. And then there are those organizations like Marion Regional Humane Society, who seemingly take their inspiration from that ark of old, opening their hearts and doors to animals of all stripes, including dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, hamsters and more.


Frankie

Over the years, Marion Regional has operated a spay-and-neuter program, offered veterinary medical aid, provided food and shelter, and – above all – improved the chances that abandoned animals will become united with loving forever homes. More...

Canine Vestibular Disease

Have you ever noticed your dog leaning his head to one side, as if listening to something, for extended periods of time? Or worse, his eyes twitching or suddenly losing his balance? If so, he could be suffering from Canine Vestibular Disease, which is fairly common among older dogs. The symptoms have led some to refer to sufferers as “Head-Tilt Harry”. Fortunately, this condition is generally not grave, but when it occurs, it can be very frightening for pet parents. In this episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah talks about the possible causes of CVD and what you can do to minimize the symptoms.

Home Design with Pets in Mind

Puppy On Couch

Americans love their companion animals. These days, it’s rarer to not have a pet than to think of one as a family member. For those of us with dogs and/or cats, it’s essential to provide a cozy environment for our companion animals that's not just comfortable, but is one where they will be able to thrive.

Many mistakenly believe that “pet-proof” is code for “absence of style”, but this is simply not true. You can beautifully outfit and remodel your home to be completely pet-friendly, simply by using specific paints, flooring, fabrics and furniture. And these days, there are more options for pet-loving consumers than ever before. More...