According to the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, bed bugs are small, flat, oval, wingless insects that feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals. They generally feed at night. Recently, veterinarians were involved in a severe bed bug infestation affecting two chicken breeder houses–the impact was a 10% decrease in egg production. Now poultry producers are being warned to be on the lookout for bedbugs. Should we wonder about products with feathers? Another interesting finding of recent interest is the suspicion that armadillos are a likely source of leprosy. Interesting happenings in the animal world.
IT WAS A TERRIER YEAR. The winner of the National Dog Show presented by Purina was a Wire Fox Terrier whose registered name is Ch. Steele Your Heart. We will see Eira at Westminster when she tries to become the third dog to win both this show and the New York fixture. The other two are the colored Bull Terrier, Rufus (now retired and doing therapy) and the Scottish Terrier, Sadie (she is in the whelping box). One of the fastest terriers, a Toy Fox Terrier that lives in Bloomsburg (Jnyx), has been invited to compete in the national agility trial in Florida over the holidays. Rumor has it he travels not only with other canine companions but a parrot named “Cuddles”.
BEWARE DOGS WITH A SOUTHERN ACCENT. According to a recent article groups are taking advantage of natural disasters in the South to promote themselves and move dogs all over the country. Not only do these dogs inflate national shelter totals, but they transport infection with them which affects local dogs and takes up space which should be reserved for local dogs in need. (Yes, we do have heartworm in this part of Pennsylvania.)
This is always a problem at the holidays when demand is greatest for puppies and small breeds. If we are urged to “Buy American” we should be advised to buy pets that were born and bred in Pennsylvania and have a local history. Start with the veterinary record and talk to the hospital. Educate yourself and urge others to also advise those seeking a canine companion to ask questions before bringing the newcomer to the family. You wouldn’t marry the first person you kissed under the mistletoe.
And speaking of kissing –the usual holiday recall of pigs ears is in effect due to salmonella. Yes, it is contagious.
HOLIDAY READING. The best books to give and to read are those written by veterinarian-author James Wight (James Herriot). If you have read them –re-read them. They are priceless and timeless. ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL is the first of the four volumes. When Dr. Fred Gunther (a former Danville Veterinarian) was president of the PA Veterinary Medical Association he invited Dr. Tristan Farnum, Herriot’s companion, to speak at the veterinary association meeting. The Gunthers later visited James Herriot in England.
At the meeting retired Danville veterinarian Dr. George Leighow interviewed Farnum. The interview is on tape and part of the Animal Crackers archives. (As a new veterinarian Gunther practiced at the Leighow Hospital and it is rumored was a wicked chess player!)
AGRITAINMENT. The newest source of farming revenue is the increase in entertainment and educational activities on the family farm. Activities include petting zoos, hay rides, fall festivals, dairy tours, etc. (Perhaps they will take the place of the county fairs?) Especially at this time of the year when we think of shepherds we look forward to herding activities becoming part of a farm. As breeds follow function in form breeders might use flocks for education in herding trials in a working dog environment. The farms might even offer a place for judges seminars and training. (Since chickens are easy to train and thus could be used to teach dog owners training skills, if we could find some hen houses without bed bugs we might turn them into training classes?)Dec 20, 2011 | | Uncategorized