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Sherry’s Corner » diabetic alert dogs

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Be a Discerning Reader

Usually in these blogs I will refrain from writing a commentary and instead write about things I found interesting in the animal world.  I caution readers to always exercise caution when reading what is written by any author.  Authors can write reliable material but they may also have an agenda or can lack experience and background. Living authors I trust are Dr. Myrna Milani, Dr. Larry Glickman, Pat Miller, Kathryn Braund, and Dr. Karen Overall.

1.  I like the commercial of the dog chasing a ball in front of a mirror.  The dog stops and looks at himself and the impression is that he likes what he sees.  I find this amusing because it reminds me of the Amirror test@.  The mirror test is part of a cognitive battery of tests to determine learning ability.  Recently both young and old Beagles were tested to ascertain their cognitive ability was and how it was affected by nutrition.  The age-impaired (mentally slowed Beagles) reacted to the mirror test.  The younger, unimpaired Beagles did not.  I don=t know whether the commercial is for Petco or IAMS but I wonder if the sponsor is aware of the mirror test and what it may truly mean. 

      Recently I reviewed a study on the effect of nutrition on the cognitive development of young Beagles.  The study showed no effect of a supplement on cognition.  (Since the study is still confidential I will have to call the supplement AX@.)  Imagine my surprise when I saw a bag of dog food bearing a picture of Beagles and the claim that if puppies ate it they would become smarter!!  When I can, I will reveal the name of the company making nutritional claims it can=t prove and provide more background on supplement X.

2.  The newly passed Los Angeles law that mandates sterilization of puppies at 4 months of age is also interesting.   I wonder how many veterinarians will agree that this is an appropriate age to sterilize pets.  Already there is a call to delete breeders= names and address  lists from show catalogs, and dog owner lists from organizations. This should force breeders underground, making it ever more difficult to find a well-bred dog and a responsible owner.  Laws like this also spell the end of newspaper revenue from  APets For Sale@ classifieds!

3.  The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association recently reported that more than a third of states have pet lemon laws–ASeveral of the pet lemon laws require dealers to maintain records on the health and disposition of each animal at the time of sale.  The laws do not address what happens to the animals that dealers replace, however.@   Does anyone know what happens to the pet that is returned to a pet store?   Also, John Yates in his 3-part series on the proposed new regulations writes that he believes rescues and shelters should also be under the puppy lemon law to protect new owners. 

4.  Ever heard of Atennis ball mouth@?  I hadn=t.  According to Betty Brevitz, author of the Hound Health Handbook, it is a pattern of wear that occurs on the lower canines.  She writes that tennis balls are abrasive and will erode  the teeth.  Brevitz says brown spots in the middle of the biting surface of a tooth can be a sign of Atennis ball mouth@. 

5. I also had not heard of diabetic alert dogs.  When the blood sugar isn=t where it should be, apparently the owner smells different.  Heaven Scent Paws, an organization based in St. Elizabeth, Missouri, trains this type of alert dog.

Mar 30, 2008 | Comments are off | diabetic alert dogs, nutrition and cognition, pet sterilization laws, puppy lemon laws, tennis ball mouth
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