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Sherry’s Corner » 2012» July

Archives for July, 2012

“Recover CPR”: The New CPR

IMPORTANT:  Less than 6% of the dogs and cats that experience cardiopulmonary arrest in the hospital survive.  To improve outcomes the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care and the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society have issued new guidelines called the Recover CPR Initiative (JAVMA, July 15).

Perform 100 to 120 chest compressions per minute of one-third to one-half of the chest width with the animal lying on the side. Ventilate incubated dogs and cats at a rate of 10 breaths per minute; for mouth-to-snout ventilation maintain a compression-to-ventilation ratio of 30 to 2. Perform CPR in 2-minute cycles, switching the person performing the compressions with each cycle. Administer vasopressors every 3 to 5 minutes during CPR.

EARLY ARTHRITIS DETECTION IN DOGS AND OWNERS. An early detection test for arthritis is showing promise for both dogs and people–before signs of disease are evident.  The test analyzes synovial fluid to determine whether a patient is developing the disease in a specific joint to predict the potential severity of the disease and to determine response to treatment.

MRI AND DOG. I was interested to read that the latest testing in our best friends involves the MRI.  Of course, it is the brain being imaged and not the abdomen.  The dog is in a “stay” command and responds to a simple command which can be imaged.  Having had many MRIs myself I have to wonder about the noise.  In human subjects head phones block out the noise and music is played according to the subject’s preference.  Wonder what the dogs listen to and how that factors into the results.  When I read the study I thought of veterinarian Bruce Ilgen, an innovative past president of the PVMA.  He believed that a dog that had passed the CGC evaluation gave more reliable results during routine exams because of their experience with such commands as “stay” and avoidance of reaction to distractions.  CGC titled dogs are better patients!

CANINE CALENDAR:  July 27, 28–the Lackawanna Kennel Club Show on the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds and on the 29th, the Bald Eagle Kennel Club Show and the Williamsport Dog Training Club.

August 25 and 26th–Mid-Susquehanna Kennel Club Show in Middleburg.

September 11–TRAINING PUPPIES FOR HOMELAND SECURITY  on the University of Pennsylvania Grey’s Ferry campus in Philadelphia the Penn Vet Working Dog Center ( is collecting and analyzing genetic, behavioral, training and physical data to improve the success of detection dogs vital for our national security.  The Center is searching for puppies to enroll in a foundation training program to open in the fall.  All of the pups will have foster homes and only positive reinforcement methods will be used. Application: http//  Sarah Griffith 215-898-2211.

UP AT 5:30 TO WALK THE DOGS–and to bed at 10 PM. This is the day of Cesar Millan and this is the last year of the Dog Whisperer.  After 9 years the dog educator who didn’t speak English when he came to this country as an illegal alien 20 years ago, sleeping under an underpass, has decided on a new mission–rehabilitating abandoned dogs and making sure they have new homes.  Cesar Millan says dogs are “secret entrances into people’s lives” and so through mostly positive reinforcement he made dog-owning a joy for millions of TV viewers.  His new mission was brought on by the need to re-home dogs and personally by the death of his beloved “Daddy” and an unexpected divorce. His friends say Cesar felt “abandoned” and took to more exercise to work through the sorrow in his life–advice he would give others. The new show will debut in January 2013 on NatGeoWILD. Topics include rehabilitating bomb detection dogs and dogs that protect lions. Meanwhile his youngest son Calvin will have his own show.

Tape this year’s shows and get ready for the younger “dog whisperer”.

October 20th 21st–AKC Meet The Breeds at the Javits Center, New York City.  160 breeds of dogs and 50 breeds of cats.

Jul 27, 2012 | Comments are off | Uncategorized

The Politics of Pets

Recently I saw a picture of a white rat wearing a harness.  He was part of an experiment on restoring movement to paralyzed limbs.  It was a study whose mission was to help man–perhaps many of our wounded warriors.  The picture reminded me of rats I had known as a graduate assistant in the University of Buffalo psychology department–could the one in the picture have been a great grandson of my fast learners?  He had a familiar pink twinkle in his eye!

      Rats are carefully bred.  Some families of rats are prone to cancer, others to heart problems, etc.  The rats I knew were bred for their intelligence.  As graduate assistants we handled them, fed them and petted them.  And, when it was time and they were socialized they became part of experiments involving mazes and Skinner boxes.  The rats’ health and welfare were carefully monitored.  They probably received better care, diet and temperature-controlled environments than any puppy mill puppies. At the Geisinger Medical Center animal care facility Dr. Sally Wixon was the first small animal veterinarian. She cared deeply about her animals used  in medical research.  In the Hershey Medical Center facilities Dr. Howard Hughes was the vet in charge and he agonized over every cough and symptom. 

      The rats in these trials “lived large”.  We couldn’t ask them to pay attention.  Rats don’t often look you in the eye.  So we withheld a meal and asked them to learn in order to receive a pellet.  Lots of positive body language and energy.  The results of laboratory animal studies must be uncontaminated by fear, pain, illness.  The rats cannot be sick or hurt or it will affect the results.      

      But back to the rats I knew.  They were fast and smart and they taught us a great deal about clicker training–long before dolphins and dogs.  They worked for a food reward which was later taken away in a pre-determined pattern and this pattern became the basis of positive reinforcement.  And so the way we taught children and animals changed forever. We began to teach dogs using positive rewards rather than fear and pain. 

      There is a difference between animal welfare and animal rights.  It is important to know this.  Those in organizations like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and PETA oppose all lab animal use. They also oppose all pet breeding, no-kill shelters (advocating euthanasia)  feline trap-neuter-return programs, and animal product consumption.  And, they oppose the use of crating.

      Many readers  feel that very little of this is important to them–and has little to do with white rats wearing harnesses and learning to walk.  It really is important.  Our beliefs have consequences.  They determine how we act and how humane and caring we are because we understand another species.  Since most of us don’t know any white rats with harnesses, consider crating.  HSUS says crates are evil. But, crates help housebreak a puppy, crating keeps a pet safe in a car or when it is home alone and it is a hospital room for a dog or cat that needs recovery time.  And, what would our response teams do without crates when there is a disaster and so many need to be saved and cared for?  A puppy not housebroken is a candidate for a shelter and perhaps death.    

      Regardless of what you believe, the policies behind your politics can be a big influence on the life and the death of your best friend and even that of strangers who need to regain their lives.      

Jul 03, 2012 | Comments are off | Uncategorized
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