Posts from November, 2013

National Mutt Day is December 2nd

National Mutt Day

December 2nd is National Mutt Day.  Learn where the term mutt originated from and the reasons why owning a mutt is better than owning a pure bred dog.

The term mutt is a shortened version of muttonhead.   The definition of a  muttonhead is  a slow-witted, foolish or stupid person and based on the notion that sheep are stupid.    Muttonhead was first sheared, pun intended, in 1901 to Mutt.  In 1904 it was used as a term of contempt for a horse and then in 1906 used in dogs which is the term must of us are familiar with.  Other words that have been used to describe a mutt include mongrel, Heinz 57, cur, tyke, pooch, scruffy dog, mixed breed, crossed breed. 

If you read my article last week about cancer awareness then you already know that pure bred dogs are more prone to cancer.  Here are a few other advantages to owning a mutt:

1.  They are usually healthier.   Pure breed dogs are usually bred for confirmation qualities.  The American Kennel Club judges dogs based on their appearance and how close they are to that breed’s standards.   Because of this, some of the original qualities that the breed was intended for such as health traits and temperament are sometimes bred out of the dog.

2.  They can excel at dog sports like Frisbee, fly ball, agility and obedience.  Mutts can be more energetic.  Unfortunately sometimes this is the reason they are relinquished to animal shelters and rescue groups.  Until the early 1980s mixed breeds were unable to compete in obedience trials but there are now venues available for mixed breed dogs.

3.  Higher intelligence?  There are no studies proving that mutts are more intelligent than pure breed dogs and it really depends who you ask.  I do know that my dogs are smarter than some high school students.

4.  Good reproductive traits.  A study was done which proved that mutts were superiors mothers compared to pure bred dogs.  They produced more milk and took better care of their babies. 

These are all great reasons for owning a mutt.   Now I would like to hear from you!  Do you consider a designer dog a mutt?  Do you think people should breed designer dogs and sell them? 

I would love to hear from you, so please share your comments and questions.  If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you would like answered, please post them in the comments. Stay up to date on all the latest by subscribing to my blog.  Also “like” me on Facebook.

Dr. Anna was born and raised in Guthrie, Oklahoma. As a teenager, Dr. Anna found her beloved pet dead on the side of the road left to die without any help. That was the moment she decided to become a vet and vowed to help other people and their pets. After a few years of practicing in New Hampshire, Dr. Anna became homesick and decided to return to Guthrie to be with her parents and five other siblings. Family and friends are a major part of our lives which is why we treat our clients at Guthrie Pet Hospital as family.  Dr. Anna and her husband do not have children but are very proud pet parents and therefore, treat every four legged friend as part of the family. 

Meet the pack! Bella

Bella

This is Bella AKA Bella the Beast.  She is the senior in the family and is the top dog in the pack.

Bella was nicknamed Bella the Beast by her grandma.  In her younger years she destroyed and ate a lot of things.  She has eaten numerous shoes, underwear, and a can opener just to mention a few things.  After she destroyed one shoe we let her keep it and she would carry it around everywhere.  She has us trained now, we put our shoes up off the floor.  Bella is now 11 year old and enjoys sleeping and playing in the back yard.  If the other kids get out of line or start playing to rough, she tries to get in the middle of it and break it up. 

Bella tp collage

She was diagnosed with discoid lupus when she was a few years old.  Discoid lupus is an auto- immune disease that primarily affects the skin around their nose, mouth and eyes.  It gets worse with sun exposure which was more of a problem when she was younger because she spent more time outside.    Bella has some arthritis in her left elbow now so we manage her pain with daily metacam and a joint supplement called Dasaquin. 

I would love to hear from you, so please share your comments and questions.  If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you would like answered, please post them in the comments. Stay up to date on all the latest by subscribing to my blog.  Also “like” me on Facebook.

Dr. Anna was born and raised in Guthrie, Oklahoma. As a teenager, Dr. Anna found her beloved pet dead on the side of the road left to die without any help. That was the moment she decided to become a vet and vowed to help other people and their pets. After a few years of practicing in New Hampshire, Dr. Anna became homesick and decided to return to Guthrie to be with her parents and five other siblings. Family and friends are a major part of our lives which is why we treat our clients at Guthrie Pet Hospital as family.  Dr. Anna and her husband do not have children but are very proud pet parents and therefore, treat every four legged friend as part of the family. 

 

National Pet Cancer Awareness Month

Pet cancer

November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month.  Did you know that animals get cancer just like people?  It’s important to monitor your pet and get them checked by a veterinarian on an annual basis.

I was trying to come up with a picture for this blog and didn’t want to scare everybody off with some hideous picture of the Brazilian testicular mascot or some other gross tumor on an animal.  Then the cancer ribbons came to mind.  Well, they don’t have one for pets so I came up with an idea and my good friend Amy Hurley drew it.  I think the American Cancer Society and the AVMA should adopt this as THE ribbon!  What do you think?

This may surprise some of you, but animals get the same kinds of cancer that humans do.  In fact, the most common cancer in dogs is lymphoma which is a cancer of the lymph nodes.  Females, especially those not spayed, are more prone to developing breast cancer.  The most common skin cancer in pets is called a mast cell tumor.   Unfortunately, cancer rates in dogs are higher than that of humans.  While cancer rates in cats are lower than that of humans.   The incidence of cancer is much higher in purebred dogs.  Golden Retrievers are one of the most common breeds in the United States and one out of five Golden Retrievers will die from hemangiosarcoma, which is a tumor of the spleen.  One out of eight Golden Retrievers are diagnosed with lymphoma each year.  This breed is so susceptible that the Morris Animal Foundation has set up The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study to help learn how to prevent cancer in this breed.  The American Veterinary Medical Association states that cancer is the leading cause of death in 50% of animals over the age of 10.

The good news is that treatment similar to humans is available to treat our furry friends.  The key is early detection!  The early the tumor is detected the better chance your pet has at increasing it’s life span.  Many tumors can be cured by surgical removal alone.  To many people’s surprise, chemotherapy is available to treat your pet.  Animals  respond differently to chemotherapy than humans.  They do not lose their hair and they typically do not get as sick as humans when given these drugs.  The cost of treatment is expensive but no were near the cost compared to treatment in humans.  Check out this podcast by the AVMA for cancer treatment options available in pet.

I would love to hear from you, so please share your comments and questions.  If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you would like answered, please post them in the comments. Stay up to date on all the latest by subscribing to my blog.  Also “like” me on Facebook.

Dr. Anna was born and raised in Guthrie, Oklahoma. As a teenager, Dr. Anna found her beloved pet dead on the side of the road left to die without any help. That was the moment she decided to become a vet and vowed to help other people and their pets. After a few years of practicing in New Hampshire, Dr. Anna became homesick and decided to return to Guthrie to be with her parents and five other siblings. Family and friends are a major part of our lives which is why we treat our clients at Guthrie Pet Hospital as family.  Dr. Anna and her husband do not have children but are very proud pet parents and therefore, treat every four legged friend as part of the family. 

Meet the pack!

Dr Anna and the pack

Most of you know by now that I’m Dr. Anna but you don’t know my family.  This post is dedicated to my fur babies.  If you can’t tell already I love Weimaraners!  The grey ghost acquisition started in 1991, when my boyfriend and now husband and I decided we wanted a dog.  I don’t like ordinary and I wanted something a little different so I started paging through the AKC breed book.  When I got to the very end I spotted what I wanted.  I did some research on the breed and we got our first Weimaraner and named her Meg.  She was the smartest dog I have every owned.  I swear that dog knew exactly what we were saying to her.  If I could clone a dog, she would be the one.  Once my husband and I graduated from veterinary school we moved to New Hampshire and acquired another Weimaraner.  I was home sick so we named him Guthrie after my home town in Oklahoma.  A few years later, we moved back home and he became the mascot of our clinic, Guthrie Pet Hospital.

It’s my philosophy to never be without a dog, so we get a new one every three or four years and that’s how we ended up with our current crew.  Bella is on the floor to my right.  Olivia is the odd ball rescue dog on my lap.  Jade is laying down to my left and Dharma is our youngest.  Oh, and the one between my feet is Scooter.  He doesn’t really have any fur but I still consider him one of my fur babies.  He is a Sulcata tortoise.  I will be allowing each of the kids a chance to introduce themselves shortly so stay tuned!

I would love to hear from you, so please share your comments and questions.  If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you would like answered, please post them in the comments. Stay up to date on all the latest by subscribing to my blog.  Also “like” me on Facebook.

National Pet Diabetes Month

Diabetes

Diabetes is a treatable condition in pets but requires dedication and commitment from the veterinarian and the pet owner.  Treatment is individualized for each pet and requires frequent testing and adjustment of medication based on the pet’s response.

Many of you have heard the term diabetes and probably automatically associate the word with high blood sugar.  Diabetes mellitus is a disease of the pancreas that fails to regulate blood sugar.  Continue…

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