Saturday, June 28, 2014

Pet Safety for Fourth of July

Hi, my name is Bobbie and I want to share some memories of 4th of July. As you can see by the picture above, I use to party in the bathtub. It was the place I go when anxious and upset. All that loud shooting and fireworks bother my sensitive ears. I also do not like cameras, flashing lights or ceiling fans, but that is another story.  It took me awhile, but I have finally trained my mom to help me during these trying times. Thunder shirts ( are really soothing. She also keeps me inside and the curtains closed. Sometimes she turns up the volume on the TV or radio. I get to sit in her lap and get extra hugs. My sisters, Julee and Welsie do not care about the noise. Silly girls!
Some other things you can do are:

·        Keep all your pets inside and make sure the doors and windows are closed.
·        All your furry friends should be micro-chipped and have the collar with ID on.
·        This might be a good time for a frosty treat or a kong treat to keep them        occupied…or even better a new toy!
·        You may check with your vet if these things do not work and there may be medication to help calm your furry friend during this time.

  • Keep an updated photo of your dog. 
 These are also good ideas for the Arizona monsoon season….lightning and thunder can also be very troubling. Remember stay safe and beg for Frosty Paws!!  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summer heat safety for pets

Summer heat safety for pets

Posted by Jennifer on June 4th, 2013 Shared from: | | | 310 N. Indian Hill Blvd., #800 | Claremont, CA 91711
We love veggie hot dogs, but real hot dogs – as in overheated canines – are no fun! Neither are hot cats, hot rabbits, or any other hotter-than-comfortable pets. As temperatures soar and humans take shelter inside air conditioned and fan cooled homes, it’s important to remember that pets can experience heatstroke and other dangerous conditions more quickly than humans. Since they can tell us how sick or painful they are, it’s up to us humans to be on the lookout for certain symptoms, and keep our pets’ summer heat safety in mind. Pools and summertime parties can present special seasonal challenges as well. To help you and your pets keep your cool this summer, we’ve assembled some of our hottest tips for beating the heat below!

Pets in Cars

Confinement in a car or any other poorly ventilated enclosure can be fatal to your dog or other pet. One study reports that when the outside temperature is just 78°F, a closed car will reach 90°F in five minutes, and 110°F in 25 minutes. Shade and even 4 cracked open windows don’t hardly make a difference! Check out for the full results of the temperature testing with cars closed, 2 and 4 windows cracked. Don’t take your dog if you have to leave him/her in the car without you, even just for a minute.


Avoid exercising of your dog during hot days or warm, humid nights. The best time to exercise is either early in the morning before sunrise or late in the evening after the sun goes down. One vet tells us to know your dog’s fitness level, and let them set the pace. Avoid exercising in hot or humid weather. If they start panting excessively or suddenly seem drained, it’s time for a break. Cool down in the shade, offer them water to drink, pour tepid (not cold) water on their paws or if possibly hose their body. Watch out for signs of heatstroke (click link & see paragraph below): death occurs within minutes of the dog’s core temperature reaching 110°F. If you see signs of heatstroke, get them to a vet immediately to increase their chances of survival.


Heatstroke develops rapidly and is often associated with exposure to high temperatures, humidity and poor ventilation. Symptoms include panting, a staring or anxious expression, failure to respond to commands, warm, dry skin, extremely high temperature, dehydration, rapid heartbeat and collapse. Very young and older pets tend to be more susceptible. Pets more susceptible to heat stress include those who recently moved from cool to warmer climates, those with cardiovascular or respiratory conditions, or with a history of heat stress. Rabbits are often smart enough to lie next to a frozen water bottle to stay cool, but other pets such as cats and dogs should be kept in as cool an area as possible. With any form of heat stress, prompt veterinary attention is important to deal with potential complications, including death.


Pets who have recently received short haircuts may become sunburn victims and are as susceptible to heat stress as dogs who haven’t had their fur trimmed. In fact, your pet’s hair has insulating characteristics to help protect him from the heat — that summer trim should be long, not short! Also, white coated pets can get sunburned if they have naturally short or thinner coats. Pink nosed pets including dogs, cats, and rabbits, can get badly sunburned on noses and ears, which can make them more prone to skin cancer. Dogs can get sunburned on their bellies and inside of their hind legs when sunlight reflects off of sand or water like the pool or ocean. Check with your vet for a pet-safe sunscreen, or keep at-risk pets indoors when the sun is high.

Hot Pavement

Asphalt maybe should be called asp-hot! Did you know when the air temperature is outside is measured at 77 degrees, asphalt in the sun has been measured at 125 degrees, and jump up to 86 or 87 degrees outside, and asphalt can sizzle your skin (or your pet’s paws) at 135 to 143 degrees… and egg can fry in 5 minutes at 131 degrees! Our friend Dr. Pia Salk brought these mind-scorching numbers to our attention in a recent article on her Blog at Pia points out that while most of us have witnessed or experienced the driveway dance of a human in bare feet, we don’t often think of the effect that burning hot surface has on the bare four paws of our companion animals out for a stroll. She offers up some good advice for judging how safe the ground temperature is for Fido’s feet, which isn’t as simple as it may seem… Read more about paws & hot pavement here.

Pool safety

Never leave a dog unattended with access to a swimming pool. Even a dog who has never shown interest in getting in the water may accidentally slip in, or give it a try on a hot summer day. A dog’s instinct is to turn around and try to get out where they fell in, which may work well in a river or lake, but not in a pool. With the assistance of a professional dog trainer, teach your dog how to swim safely to the steps, and get out. If you don’t have access to a trainer, check out Barker Busters Pool Training article here. It’s a good idea to do a mini refresher course at the beginning of pool season each year too! Child-proof pool fencing can give your pooch an added layer of protection, but keep in mind your dog’s jumping and burrowing ability if you’re relying on that fencing to keep your pooch pool safe when you’re gone.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Choosing a Boarding Kennel

Choosing a Boarding Kennel

Going out of town? A boarding kennel can give your pet quality care—and can give you peace of mind.

Pros and cons of using a boarding kennel

Your pet depends on you to take good care of her—even when you have to be out of town. Friends and neighbors may not have the experience or time to properly look after your pet, particularly for longer trips. Leave pet care to the professionals, such as a pet sitter or boarding kennel.
A facility specializing in care and overnight boarding allows your pet to:
  • Avoid the stress of a long car or airplane ride to your destination. 
  • Stay where he's welcome (unlike many hotels). 
  • Receive more attention and supervision than he would if home alone most of the day.
  • Be monitored by staff trained to spot health problems. 
  • Be secure in a kennel designed to foil canine and feline escape artists.
Potential drawbacks to using a boarding kennel include:
  • The stress related to staying in an unfamiliar environment. 
  • The proximity to other pets, who may expose your pet to health problems. 
  • The difficulty of finding a kennel that accepts pets other than dogs and cats. 
  • The inconvenience of the drive over, which can be especially hard on a pet easily stressed by car travel.

How to find a good kennel

Ask a friend, neighbor, veterinarian, animal shelter, or dog trainer for a recommendation. You can also check the Yellow Pages under "Kennels & Pet Boarding." Once you have names, it's important to do a little background check.
Find out whether your state requires boarding kennel inspections. If it does, make sure the kennel you are considering displays a license or certificate showing that the kennel meets mandated standards.
After selecting a few kennels, confirm that they can accommodate your pet for specific dates and can address your pet's special needs (if any). If you're satisfied, schedule a visit.

What to look for

On your visit, ask to see all the places your pet may be taken. Pay particular attention to the following:
  • Does the facility look and smell clean?
  • Is there sufficient ventilation and light? 
  • Is a comfortable temperature maintained? 
  • Does the staff seem knowledgeable and caring? 
  • Are pets required to be current on their vaccinations, including the vaccine for canine kennel cough (Bordetella)? (Such a requirement helps protect your animal and others.)
  • Does each dog have his own adequately sized indoor-outdoor run or an indoor run and a schedule for exercise?
  • Are outdoor runs and exercise areas protected from wind, rain, and snow?
  • Are resting boards and bedding provided to allow dogs to rest off the concrete floor?
  • Are cats housed away from dogs? 
  • Is there enough space for cats to move around comfortably? 
  • Is there enough space between the litter box and food bowls? 
  • How often are pets fed? 
  • Can the owner bring a pet's special food? 
  • What veterinary services are available? 
  • Are other services available such as grooming, training, bathing? 
  • How are rates calculated?

How to prepare your pet

Be sure your pet knows basic commands and is well socialized around other people and pets; if your pet has an aggression problem or is otherwise unruly, she may not be a good candidate for boarding. Before taking your animal to the kennel, make sure she is current on vaccinations.
It's also a good idea to accustom your pet to longer kennel stays by first boarding her during a short trip, such as a weekend excursion. This allows you to work out any problems before boarding your pet for an extended period.
Before you head for the kennel, double-check that you have your pet's medications and special food (if any), your veterinarian's phone number, and contact information for you and a local backup.
When you arrive with your pet at the boarding facility, remind the staff about any medical or behavior problems your pet has, such as a history of epilepsy or fear of thunder. After the check-in process, hand your pet to a staff member, say good-bye, and leave. Avoid long, emotional partings, which may upset your pet. Finally, have a good trip, knowing that your pet is in good hands and will be happy to see you when you return.
Article from

Monday, June 23, 2014

Dogs and Lipomas by Nancy Kay, DVM
Expanding on the topic of tumors discussed last week, this blog is devoted to lipomas, aka fatty tumors. Of all the benign growths dogs develop as they age, lipomas are one of the most common. They arise from fat (lipid) cells and their favorite sites to set up housekeeping are the subcutaneous tissue (just beneath the skin surface) of axillary regions (armpits) and alongside the chest and abdomen. Every once in awhile lipomas develop internally within the chest or abdominal cavity. Rarely does a dog develop only one lipoma. They tend to grow in multiples and I’ve examined individual dogs with more lipomas than I could count.
Should lipomas be treated in some fashion? In the vast majority of cases, the answer is a definite, “No!” This is based on their benign, slow-growing nature. The only issue most create is purely cosmetic, which the dog could care less about!
There are a few exceptions to the general recommendation to let sleeping lipomas lie. A fatty tumor is deserving of more attention in the following situations:
1. A lipoma is steadily growing in an area where it could ultimately interfere with mobility. The armpit is the classic spot where this happens. The emphasis here is on the phrase, “steadily growing.” Even in one of these critical areas there is no reason to surgically remove a lipoma that remains quiescent with no discernible growth.
2. Sudden growth and/or change in appearance of a fatty tumor (or any mass for that matter) warrant reassessment by a veterinarian to determine the best course of action.
3. Every once in a great while, a fatty tumor turns out to be an infiltrative liposarcoma rather than a lipoma. These are the malignant black sheep of the fatty tumor family. Your veterinarian will be suspicious of an infiltrative liposarcoma if the fine needle aspirate cytology reveals fat cells, yet the tumor feels fixed to underlying tissues. (Lipomas are normally freely moveable.) Liposarcomas should be aggressively surgically removed and/or treated with radiation therapy.
4. Occasionally a lipoma grows to truly mammoth proportions. If ever you’ve looked at a dog and thought, “Wow, there’s a dog attached to that tumor!” chances are you were looking at a lipoma. Such massive tumors have the potential to cause the dog discomfort. They can also outgrow their blood supply, resulting in possible infection and drainage from the mass. The key is to catch on to the mass’s rapid growth so as to surgically remove it before it becomes enormous in size and far more difficult to remove.
How can one prevent canine lipomas from occurring? No one knows. Anecdotally speaking, it is thought that overweight dogs are more predisposed to developing fatty tumors. While I’m not so sure I buy this, I’m certainly in favor of keeping your dog at a healthy body weight.
Does your dog have a lipoma, or two or three? 
If you would like to respond publicly, please visit
Best wishes,
Dr. Nancy Kay

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Lumps and Bumps by Nancy Kay, DVM

Spot Speaks

Lumps and Bumps by Nancy Kay, DVM
Given the opportunity to examine an older dog, I’ll very likely find at least one or two cutaneous (within the skin) or subcutaneous (just beneath the skin surface) lumps and bumps. Such growths are common by-products of the aging process. In this regard, I liken them to the brown spots that appear on our skin as we get older.
The good news is that most cutaneous and subcutaneous canine tumors are benign. It’s that small population of malignant masses that keeps us on our toes. They are the reason it’s important to have your veterinarian inspect any newly discovered lumps and bumps your dog develops. The smaller a cancerous growth is at the time of treatment, in general, the better the outcome.
Pet your dog!
In terms of “lump and bump patrol,” your first order of business is to pet your dog. No doubt you and your best buddy already enjoy some doggie massage time. What I’m asking you to do is a more methodical petting session. Once a month, slowly and mindfully slide your fingers, palm sides down, along your dog’s body. Move systematically from stem to stern while inspecting for any new lumps or bumps.
Also, look and feel for changes in the size or appearance of those previously discovered. Any new findings should be addressed with your veterinarian who relies upon your help with this surveillance. Imagine your vet trying to find a tiny growth on a shaggy Sheepdog or Sheltie during the course of a single exam. Some lumps and bums are bound to be missed without your assistance.
When to see your veterinarian
Does finding a new growth mean that you must see your veterinarian right away? Not necessarily. Say that you’ve just spotted a new bump in your dog’s skin that is the size of a small pea. She is due for her annual physical examination in three months. Must you go rushing in this week with this new finding, or can it wait the three months? The answer depends on the behavior of this newly discovered growth.
My recommendation is that you continue to observe the new lump once a week. Examining it more frequently can make it difficult to accurately assess change. If the mass is growing, or otherwise changing in appearance, best to have it checked out sooner rather than later. If no changes are observed, waiting to address it at the time of the annual physical exam makes perfectly good sense.
In contrast, say that in the course of examining your best buddy you discover a prune sized, firm, subcutaneous growth that feels attached to her shoulder blade. Based on the larger size and deep attachment of this mass, better to have this one checked out right away. If in doubt, contact your veterinarian to figure out the best course of action. As with most things medical, better to be safe than sorry.
In advance of your veterinary visit, be sure to mark the location of any lumps or bumps requiring inspection. You can clip some hair over the site or mark the fur with a ribbon, hair band, or marking pen. Growths discovered at home when an animal is lying down in a relaxed, comfortable position have a habit of magically disappearing when the dog is upright and uptight in the exam room.
Fine needle aspirate for cytology
If a newly discovered growth is large enough, the usual first step your veterinarian will recommend is a fine needle aspirate for cytology. The purpose of this step is to attempt to noninvasively clarify the cell type within the mass, and whether it is benign or malignant.
Collection of a fine needle aspirate is a simple process that is easy on the dog and rarely requires any sort of sedation. Using a needle no larger than the size of a vaccination needle along with some gentle suction, your vet will remove a smattering of cells from the growth. These cells are then spit out onto a glass slide and evaluated under the microscope.
Some cytology interpretations are a slam-dunk, and can readily be interpreted by your family vet. Others require the eyeballs of a specialist- a clinical pathologist who works in a veterinary diagnostic laboratory. Remember, the goal of the cytology testing is to determine the underlying cell type, therefore whether the growth can be left alone or requires more attention. Fine needle aspirate cytology is often (but not always) definitive. If the results do not provide clarity, a surgical biopsy of the mass may be recommended.
If your veterinarian recommends surgical removal of a mass as the very first step (chooses to forego the fine needle aspirate), I encourage you to consider getting a second opinion. It is always disappointing and frustrating when a veterinarian foregoes cytology, proceeds with surgery, and the biopsy report reveals a malignancy with cancer cells extending beyond the margins of the tissue that was removed. In other words, cancer cells were clearly left behind. Had the veterinarian known in advance from the cytology report that the tumor was malignant, a different approach (much more aggressive surgery and/or radiation therapy) would have been undertaken, almost certainly resulting in a better outcome.
A second “bad news scenario” that can arise from forging ahead with surgery without benefit of fine needle aspirate cytology is failure to identify a cancerous growth that may have already spread elsewhere in the body. If the cytology reveals a malignancy, screening the rest of the body for metastasis (spread) is the logical next step. If metastasis is discovered, removal of the originally discovered mass is unlikely to provide any benefit. Rather, such surgery will only subject the patient (and the client’s pocketbook) to a needless procedure. Leaping into surgery to remove a mass without the benefit of cytology is risky business.
The importance of histopathology
If your veterinarian surgically removes a growth from your dog, do not, I repeat, do not let that tissue sample wind up in the vet clinic garbage can! A far better choice is to have the mass submitted to a veterinary diagnostic laboratory for histopathology (biopsy). There, a veterinary pathologist will evaluate paper-thin slices of the mass under the microscope to confirm the identity of the mass.
Even if a fine needle aspirate cytology indicated that the growth was benign, histopathology is warranted. On occasion, the pathologist discovers something quirky such as a malignant tumor within the center of one that is benign.
If histopathology is not affordable, ask your vet to place the growth that was removed in a small container of formalin (preservative) that you can take home for safekeeping. This way, should multiple masses begin growing at the surgery site or should your dog develop a tumor at another site, you will still be able to request histopathology on the original sample. Formalin is toxic stuff, so keep the container lid sealed tightly.
Lumps and bumps are a very normal part of the canine aging process. Teaming up with your veterinarian to assess them on a regular basis is the very best way to insure that they never create a health issue for your wonderful dog.
Does your dog have any cutaneous or subcutaneous masses? If so, have you had them evaluated by your veterinarian?
If you would like to respond publicly, please visit
Best wishes for abundant good health,
Dr. Nancy Kay
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Author of Your Dog's Best Health: A Dozen Reasonable Things to Expect From Your Vet
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook
Please visit to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot and Your Dog's Best Health.   There you will also find "Advocacy Aids"- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet's health. Speaking for Spot and Your Dog's Best Health are available,, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Check out the Calendar Pic for June


2014 AZGRC Calendar - June
Rescued        May 2011 & May 2012
Jake and Enzo came to AZGRC at different times and at different points in their lives.  Jake was a pet shop puppy and only seven months old.  Enzo was closing in on two years old and was a stray from the local shelter.  Jake was a very calm pup, liked to cuddle, and walked well on a leash.  Enzo liked to play a little rough, had some separation anxiety issues, and was an “escape artist”.  But like most Goldens, both dogs shared a zest for life, possessed kind and loving hearts, and a true desire to please those they loved.  
Jake and Enzo found they had something else in common; a shared destiny to be adopted by parents Rick and Yanna, Golden Retriever lovers extraordinaire!  Today, calm Jake is a certified therapy dog and athletic Enzo is a competitive Dock Diving dog.  This spring Enzo went to the finals and won a third place ribbon overall!  In their spare time, Jake and Enzo enjoy playing with their canine siblings, swimming in the family pool, and relaxing with their loving and needless to say, very proud parents.
Jake and Enzo are true ambassadors of their breed and of animal rescue.  They are examples of what patience, kindness, and lots of love can accomplish with a “throw away pet shop puppy” and an unwanted “runner” left homeless.  Jake and Enzo started their life’s journey in different places.  But AZGRC and, according to mom Yanna, two “over the Bridge canine angels” brought them together and into the forever home they were always meant to have.
Stay tuned for July Calendar Pic!