Saturday, June 18, 2016

Excessive Heat Warning


How to Keep Your Dog Cool in the Summer
By Colleen Oakley
WebMD Pet Health Feature Reviewed by Amy Flowers, DVM


Ready for a summertime game of catch with your favorite four-legged friend? Not so fast. If you're feeling the heat, you can bet your dog is, too. And for him, overheating can be dangerous. Follow these tips to keep him cool during the dog days of summer.

"Heatstroke is by far the greatest concern," says Andrea Hilden, DVM, a veterinarian with Animal Care Center of Green Valley in Arizona. A Hebrew University study found that 50% of dogs with heatstroke won't survive.

Also known as hyperthermia, heatstroke happens when a dog's body temperature rises above the average 102.5 F and can't be controlled by normal cooling processes, like panting. Warning signs include fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea, and, at the worst, confusion and seizures. Here's how to keep your dog cool and healthy all summer long (and even get in a few games of outdoor catch).

Follow Fido's lead. "The No. 1 sign that a dog's core temperature is getting too high is fatigue," Hilden says. "If you're out for a hike with your dog on a hot day and he's searching for every shady spot to lie down in, turn around and carry him home." If you’re worried that he’s overheated, you can use a rectal thermometer to check his temperature when you get home, she adds.

Don't let the temperature fool you. Dogs can get too hot in weather as low as 80 degrees. Add in humidity and exercise and it could be a recipe for disaster. "If you can't comfortably sit outside for an extended period of time, then don't let your dog do it, either," Hilden says.

Remember.....if it is too hot for you to be barefoot, it is too hot for your 4-legged friends. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Warm Weather Worries

TICKS
HEARTWORMS


Sad news here!  Now is the time for ticks and mosquitoes. 
Tell your mom to check you for ticks. There is a bumper crop of ticks here in Arizona because of our warm climate. We never had many ticks before so not sure why mom is going crazy with tick search and destroy.  So what are ticks?

Ticks are parasitic arthropods that feed on the blood of their hosts. They are attracted to warmth and motion, often seeking out mammals – including dogs. Ticks tend to hide out in tall grass or plants in wooded areas waiting for prospective hosts. Once a host is found, the tick climbs on and attaches its mouthparts into the skin, beginning the blood meal. Once locked in place, the tick will not detach until its meal is complete. It may continue to feed for several hours to days, depending on the type of tick. On dogs, ticks often attach themselves in crevices and/or areas with little to no hair – typically in and around the ears, the areas where the insides of the legs meet the body, between the toes, and within skin folds. Most species of ticks go through four life stages - eggs, larvae, nymphs, and adults. All stages beyond eggs will attach to a host for a blood meal (and must do so on order to mature). Depending on species, the life span of a tick can be several months to years, and female adults can lay hundreds to thousands of eggs at a time. 

HEARTWORMS
The dog is a natural host for heartworms, which means that heartworms that live inside the dog mature into adults, mate and produce offspring. If untreated, their numbers can increase, and dogs have been known to harbor several hundred worms in their bodies. Heartworm disease causes lasting damage to the heart, lungs and arteries, and can affect the dog’s health and quality of life long after the parasites are gone. For this reason, prevention is by far the best option, and treatment—when needed—should be administered as early in the course of the disease as possible. Call your vet today about prevention and yearly labs. 

Here is a link for more information on heartworm:

https://www.heartwormsociety.org/heartworms-in-dogs


Here is a link to how to find and remove a tick:


Here is a link to more information on tick prevention:

Please check with your vet about prevention medication. They know what medication your dog is on and what will be safe to use on your pet.
Our mom uses diatomaceous earth (food grade) and it works well for us. You can find it at your favorite pet store or feed shop.
Bobbie, Julee, and Welsie

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Facebook Event to help Butters

butters
On March 15th, we received a call from Dr. Grant
at VETMED Consultants.  Butters, a 10-week-old Golden Retriever,
had been brought in because he had Parvo.  His family was heartbroken. 
They could not afford the potentially very expensive treatment to
save Butters’ life so they made the selfless decision to surrender
him to Arizona Golden Retriever Connection.  Since then,
Butters has been receiving 24-hour care by the wonderful staff at VETMED.
Starting April 1st and continuing through April 15th, we’re having an online fundraiser and Facebook party with Origami Owl to raise money to cover Butters’ medical expenses.  AZGRC will receive 30% of sales (before taxes and shipping); at the same time, you can buy jewelry for Mother’s Day, Graduation, or a birthday.  To shop for the fundraiser, click on the Shopping Link below; it is not necessary to have a Facebook account to participate in the fundraiser. 
If you haven’t checked out Origami Owl recently, there are many new items such as:  college logo charms, specific dog breed charms, Major League Baseball team charms, Swarovski crystals, and a bridal collection.

Throughout the Facebook event we will play games, learn about the jewelry, and information will be provided on how to build lockets.  You will have the opportunity to win free jewelry, during the first week of the Facebook event, by participating in the games; the person with the most points gets a prize.  There will also be other prizes during the games such as free charms or dangles. 

If sales reach $1,000, a raffle will be held for a special hostess exclusive. Keep an eye on Facebook because the raffle will be held there!  The person with the highest bid will win the hostess exclusive.

CLICK HERE to read an update on Butters or to donate. 

SHOPPING LINK for fundraiser:  https://coralis.origamiowl.com/shop/party/268826


CLICK HERE to participate in games / the Facebook party:  https://www.facebook.com/events/476367635896382/?__mref=message_bubble
                                                            
SHIPPING:  Available only to United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

          Thank you very much for your support.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

PUT YOUR PET'S SMILE IN THE AZGRC'S 2017 CALENDAR

AZGRC 2017 CALENDAR

SHOWCASE YOUR PET'S SMILE
IN AZGRC'S 2017 CALENDAR
2015 Goldens Friends Calendar page
Arizona Golden Retriever Connection’s (AZGRC) annual calendar project is one of our most popular and successful revenue-generating endeavors.  Thanks to the generous support of our page, production and printing sponsors, along with our veterinary supporters and our Golden Friends,Arizona Golden Retriever Connection is able to directly allocate more than 98% of all calendar sales to pay for medical expenses associated with rescuing our Goldens.
On an average it costs Arizona Golden Retriever Connection approximately $1,500 to rescue one of our Goldens.  This includes complete medical examinations at Golden Friends 2the time of rescue, vaccinations, micro-chips, spaying/neutering surgeries as well as more specialized care for some of our seriously ill rescues.  
Very soon Arizona Golden Retriever Connection’s talented, all-volunteer calendar team will begin work on our 2017 calendar.  You can be a part of this special endeavor by becoming a “Golden for Golden” Friend of AZGRC.  For each $25 donation, one space in the Golden Friends section of the calendar will be reserved for a snapshot of your pet.  Of course, you can reserve as many spots as you would like!  Pets of all kinds and from all backgrounds are most welcome.  We want to light up our 2017 calendar with as mGolden Friends 3any Golden smiles as possible!
For a $25 donationyou can be a part of this great fundraiser and showcase your Golden in a snapshot (photo requirements below) on our 2017 Golden Friends pages.  
Reserve your pet's spot on our Golden Friends pages today!
DEADLINE - APRIL 1, 2016
Please note: ONLY ONE DOG PER $25 DONATION. PHOTOS WILL NOT BE RETURNED.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Parvovirus in Dogs


Canine Parvovirus Infection in Dogs


The canine parvovirus (CPV) infection is a highly contagious viral illness that affects dogs. The virus manifests itself in two different forms. The more common form is the intestinal form, which is characterized by vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and lack of appetite. The less common form is the cardiac form, which attacks the heart muscles of very young puppies, often leading to death. The majority of cases are seen in puppies that are between six weeks and six months old. The incidence of canine parvovirus infections has been reduced radically by early vaccination in young puppies.

Symptoms and Types


The major symptoms associated with the intestinal form of a canine parvovirus infection include severe, bloody diarrhea, lethargyanorexia, fever, vomiting, and severe weight loss. The intestinal form of CPV affects the body's ability to absorb nutrients, and an affected animal will quickly become dehydrated and weak from lack of protein and fluid absorption. The wet tissue of the mouth and eyes may become noticeably red and the heart may beat too rapidly. When your veterinarian examines your dog’s abdominal area, your dog may respond with pain or discomfort. Dogs that have contracted CPV may also have a low body temperature, rather than a fever.

Causes


There are a variety of risk factors that can increase a dog’s susceptibility to the disease, but mainly, the virus is transmitted either by direct contact with an infected dog, or indirectly, by the fecal-oral route. Heavy concentrations of the virus are found in an infected dog’s stool, so when a healthy dog sniffs an infected dog’s stool, it will contract the disease. The virus can also be brought into a dog's environment by way of shoes that have come into contact with infected feces. There is evidence that the virus can live in ground soil for up to a year. It is resistant to most cleaning products, or even to weather changes. If you suspect that you have come into contact with feces at all, you will need to wash the affected area with household bleach, the only disinfectant known to kill the virus. Puppies are like babies, you need to protect them from the environment until their immunity is strong. So do not take them to dog stores, parks, or out in public with other dog areas until they have full immunity. Ask your vet for advice. 

Improper vaccination protocol and vaccination failure can also lead to a parvo infection. Breeding kennels and dog shelters that hold a large number of inadequately vaccinated puppies are particularly hazardous places. For unknown reasons, certain dog breeds, such as RottweilersDoberman Pinschers, Pit Bulls,Labrador RetrieversGerman Shepherds, English Springer Spaniels, and Alaskan sled dogs, are particularly vulnerable to the disease. Diseases or drug therapies that suppress the normal response of the immune system may also increase the likelihood of infection.

Living and Management


Even after your dog has recovered from a parvo infection, it will still have a weakened immune system, and will be susceptible to other illnesses. Talk to your veterinarian about ways by which you can boost your dog's immune system, and otherwise protect your dog from situations that may make it ill. A diet that is easily digested will be best for your dog while it is recovering.

Your dog will also continue to be a contagion risk to other dogs for at least two months after the initial recovery. You will need to isolate your dog from other dogs for a period of time, and you may want to tell neighbors who have dogs that they will need to have their own pets tested. Wash all of the objects your dog uses (e.g., dishes, crate, kennel, toys) with non-toxic cleaners. Recovery comes with long-term immunity against the parvovirus, but it is no guarantee that your pet will not be infected with the virus again.

Prevention


The best prevention you can take against parvo infection is to follow the correct protocol for vaccination. Young puppies should be vaccinated at six, nine, and twelve weeks, and should not be socialized with outside dogs until at least two weeks after their last vaccinations. High-risk breeds may require a longer initial vaccination period of up to 22 weeks.
For further information, ask your vet. They are the best source of information. 
Information obtained from http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/infectious-parasitic/c_dg_canine_parvovirus_infection?page=2#

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Duck and Decanter Tax Day Celebration



Duck & Decanter Tax Day Celebration
When:
Saturday, April 9th
Time:
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Where:
Duck & Decanter
1651 E. Camelback Rd
Phoenix, AZ  85016
602-274-5429
Enjoying lunch on the patio at Duck & Decanter 
or sharing a glass of wine 
with AZGRC members and 
their four legged kids has become one of our 
Spring traditions for many years. 
Don't miss out on the fun and laughter  
and great food too.  Come hang out, relax 
and enjoy the afternoon with us!
Please R.S.V.P. to events@azgrc.org by Friday, April 8th 
so we can get an approximate head count and reserve tables. 
We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Julee is happy now. Her allergies are under control.  Here is some helpful information from a good internet source on hot spots and allergies. 

ALWAYS check with your vet to see what is best for your special friend. Just because it is on the internet, does not mean it will work for your furry family. 

What Are Hot Spots? Hot spots, also known as acute moist dermatitis, are red, moist, hot and irritated lesions that are typically found on a dog’s head, hip or chest area. Hot spots often grow at an alarming rate within a short period of time because dogs tend to lick, chew and scratch the affected areas, further irritating the skin. Hot spots can become quite painful.
Why Do Hot Spots Occur? 
Anything that irritates the skin and causes a dog to scratch or lick himself can start a hot spot. Hot spots can be caused by allergic reactions, insect, mite or flea bites, poor grooming, underlying ear or skin infections and constant licking and chewing prompted by stress or boredom.

When Is it Time to See the Vet? 
You should visit your vet for an exam as soon as you notice any abnormality in your pet’s skin, or if your pet begins to excessively scratch, lick and/or bite areas on his fur.
How Are Hot Spots Treated? 
First, your vet will attempt to determine the cause of hot spots. Whether it is a flea allergy, an anal gland infection or stress, the underlying issue needs to be taken care of. Treatment may also include the following:
  • Shaving of the hair surrounding the lesion, which allows air and medication to reach the wound
  • Cleansing the hot spot with a non-irritating solution
  • Antibiotics and painkillers
  • Medication to prevent and treat parasites
  • E-collar or other means to prevent self-trauma as the area heals
  • Balanced diet to help maintain healthy skin and coat
  • Dietary supplement containing essential fatty acids
  • Corticosteroids or antihistamines to control itching
  • Hypoallergenic diet for food allergies
How Can I Help Prevent Hot Spots? 
The following tips may aid in the prevention of hot spots:
  • Make sure your dog is groomed on a regular basis.
  • You may also want to keep your pet’s hair clipped short, especially during warmer months.
  • Follow a strict flea control program as recommended by your veterinarian.
  • Maintain as stress-free an environment for your pet as possible.
  • To keep boredom and stress at bay, make sure your dog gets adequate exercise and opportunities for play and interaction with his human family and, if he enjoys it, with other dogs.
How Can I Make My Dog Feel More Comfortable? 
Your veterinarian will best be able to prescribe the care and medications needed to make your dog more comfortable and allow the hot spots to heal. He or she may also recommend the use of an Elizabethan collar around your dog's neck to keep her from biting and licking the lesions. Such a collar should not be used as a sole means of treatment, since the skin lesions will continue to be painful if left untreated.

What Are Allergies?
Just like people, dogs can show allergic symptoms when their immune systems begin to recognize certain everyday substances—or allergens— as dangerous. Even though these allergens are common in most environments and harmless to most animals, a dog with allergies will have an extreme reaction to them. Allergens can be problematic when inhaled, ingested or contact a dog’s skin. As his body tries to rid itself of these substances, a variety of skin, digestive and respiratory symptoms may appear.
What Are the General Symptoms of Allergies in Dogs?
  • Itchy, red, moist or scabbed skin
  • Increased scratching
  • Itchy, runny eyes
  • Itchy back or base of tail (most commonly flea allergy)
  • Itchy ears and ear infections
  • Sneezing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Snoring caused by an inflamed throat
  • Paw chewing/swollen paws
  • Constant licking
Allergic dogs may also suffer from secondary bacterial or yeast skin infections, which may cause hair loss, scabs or crusts on the skin.

What Substances Can Dogs Be Allergic To?
A few common allergens include:
  • Tree, grass and weed pollens
  • Mold spores
  • Dust and house dust mites
  • Dander
  • Feathers
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Food ingredients (e.g. beef, chicken, pork, corn, wheat or soy)
  • Prescription drugs
  • Fleas and flea-control products (The bite of a single flea can trigger intense itchiness for two to three weeks!)
  • Perfumes
  • Cleaning products
  • Fabrics
  • Insecticidal shampoo
  • Rubber and plastic materials
Can Dogs Be Allergic to Food?
Yes, but it often takes some detective work to find out what substance is causing the allergic reaction. Dogs with a food allergy will commonly have itchy skin, breathing difficulties or gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and vomiting, and an elimination diet will most probably be used to determine what food he is allergic to. If your dog is specifically allergic to chicken, for example, you should avoid feeding him any products containing chicken protein or fat.
Please note that food allergies may show up in dogs at any age.
What Should I Do If I Think My Dog Has Allergies?
Visit your veterinarian. After taking a complete history and conducting a physical examination, he or she may be able to determine the source of your dog’s allergic reaction. If not, your vet will most probably recommend skin or blood tests, or a special elimination diet, to find out what's causing the allergic reaction.
How Are Dog Allergies Diagnosed?
If your dog’s itchy, red or irritated skin persists beyond initial treatment by a veterinarian, allergy testing, most often performed by a veterinary dermatologist, is likely warranted. The diagnostic test of choice is an intradermal skin test similar to the one performed on humans.
The only way to diagnose a food allergy is to feed your dog a prescription or hydrolyzed protein diet exclusively for 12 weeks. The importance of not feeding your dog anything but the diet cannot be emphasized enough—that means no treats, table food or flavored medication. This diet will be free of potential allergy-causing ingredients and will ideally have ingredients your dog has never been exposed to. He’ll remain on the diet until his symptoms go away, at which time you’ll begin to reintroduce old foods to see which ones might be causing the allergic reaction.
Please note, many dogs diagnosed with a food allergy will require home-cooked meals—but this must be done in conjunction with your veterinarian, as it requires careful food balancing.
How Can Dog Allergies Be Treated?
The best way to treat allergies is to remove the offending allergens from the environment.
  • Prevention is the best treatment for allergies caused by fleas. Start a flea control program for all of your pets before the season starts. Remember, outdoor pets can carry fleas inside to indoor pets. See your veterinarian for advice about the best flea control products for your dog and the environment.
  • If dust is the problem, clean your pet's bedding once a week and vacuum at least twice weekly—this includes rugs, curtains and any other materials that gather dust.
  • Weekly bathing may help relieve itching and remove environmental allergens and pollens from your dog’s skin. Discuss with your vet what prescription shampoos are best, as frequent bathing with the wrong product can dry out skin.
  • If you suspect your dog has a food allergy, she’ll need to be put on an exclusive prescription or hydrolyzed protein diet. Once the allergy is determined, your vet will recommend specific foods or a home-cooked diet.
Are There Allergy Medications for Dogs?
Since certain substances cannot be removed from the environment, your vet may recommend medications to control the allergic reaction:
  • In the case of airborne allergens, your dog may benefit from allergy injections. These will help your pet develop resistance to the offending agent, instead of just masking the itch.
  • Antihistamines such as Benadryl can be used, but may only benefit a small percentage of dogs with allergies. Ask your vet first.
  • Fatty acid supplements might help relieve your dog’s itchy skin. There are also shampoos that may help prevent skin infection, which occurs commonly in dogs with allergies. Sprays containing oatmeal, aloe and other natural products are also available.
  • An immune modulating drug may also be helpful.
  • There are several flea-prevention products that can be applied monthly to your dog’s skin.
  • If the problem is severe, you may have to resort to cortisone to control the allergy. However these drugs are strong and should be used with caution and only under the guidance of your veterinarian.
http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/hot-spots