My Dog Is Mounting My Cat. What Do I Do Now?

4 02 2009

Recently, we received a concerned mother’s e-mail about some activity that would concern most pet parents.  I have copied the most concerning and embarrassing issues for you to read as well.  Due to the embarrassing nature of the problem, I have redacted the puppy’s name to protect his identity.

I’ve recently noticed, as my puppy [redacted] is now about 8 months, he’s doing something which is causing a bit of concern. We have an 8 month old kitten, Maya, (has yet to go into heat and has not been spayed yet), and the two of them have grown up around each other most of their lives, so they get along wonderfully and are great friends. Lately, I’ve noticed that while [redacted] & Maya are playing, he’s been trying to mate with her, and the frequency has been increasing over time. Read the rest of this entry »





My Dog Will Not Go Outside My Home. HELP!?!?

3 02 2009

Last week, I received an e-mail from a reader that had just adopted a pit bull puppy, but she and her son were having the problems described here:

We have a pit bull puppy who refuses to go outside. We have to drag him on a walk. Then, if we stop, he turns and runs back to our apartment. He knows the way from wherever we go. He was potty trained when we got him, but that is fading fast, because he won’t go outside.

pit-bull-puppyThe first thing I have to say is “Congratulations” on the expansion of your family, and I wish to extend a special thank you for choosing to have a dog of that breed.  I have always said that pit bulls are not born bad, they are just raised that way.

Unfortunately, there was no age specification about this puppy, so I will have to do some guessing.  Keep in mind that young puppies do not know what a leash is.  Read the rest of this entry »





Happytails Dog Smog: Curtailing Emissions from Both Ends

30 01 2009

After the fun I had guest-posting over at Lola’s blog, I asked her to guest-post here as well.  Having other dogs write certainly takes the pressure off.

Guest-post by: Lola The Eco-Dog

ask_lola_top21

We can all relate to sitting in a room with friends when, all of a sudden, an unbearable smell fills the air. Yes, an odor that will make any dog or human roll on the floor and play dead.  Leaving you saying “Oh my goodness, what’s that smell” as everyone sniffs around for the culprit, all the while peering at each other with intense looks trying to figure out who dealt it. Unfortunately, if your pup is like me that not-so-good poker face gives him or her away, only to draw pointed fingers from all the humans in the room. Read the rest of this entry »





Spike Says: Vaccination Schedule

27 01 2009

From the UC-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine:

Canine Core Vaccines

  • Canine Parvovirus, Distemper Virus, and Adenovirus-2 VaccinesFor initial puppy vaccination (< 16 weeks), one dose of vaccine containing modified live virus (MLV) CPV, CDV, and CAV-2 is recommended every 3-4 weeks from 6-8 weeks of age, with the final booster being given no sooner than 16 weeks of age. For dogs older than 16 weeks of age, two doses of vaccine containing modified live virus (MLV) CPV, CDV, and CAV-2 given 3-4 weeks apart are recommended. After a booster at one year, revaccination is recommended every 3 years thereafter, ideally using a product approved for 3-year administration, unless there are special circumstances that warrant more or less frequent revaccination. Note that recommendations for killed parvovirus vaccines and recombinant CDV vaccines are different from the above. These vaccines are not currently stocked by our pharmacy or routinely used at the VMTH. We do not recommend vaccination with CAV-1 vaccines, since vaccination with CAV-2 results in immunity to CAV-1, and the use of CAV-2 vaccines results in less frequent adverse events.
  • Canine Rabies Virus VaccinesIn accordance with California state law, we recommend that puppies receive a single dose of killed rabies vaccine at 16 weeks of age. Adult dogs with unknown vaccination history should also receive a single dose of killed rabies vaccine. A booster is required one year later, and thereafter, rabies vaccination should be performed every 3 years using a vaccine approved for 3-year administration.

Canine Non-Core Vaccines

  • Canine Parainfluenza Virus and Bordetella bronchisepticaThese are both agents associated with kennel cough in dogs. For Bordetella bronchiseptica, intranasal vaccination with live avirulent bacteria is recommended for dogs expected to board, be shown, or to enter a kennel situation within 6 months of the time of vaccination. We currently stock the intranasal vaccine containing both B. bronchiseptica and CPiV. For puppies and previously unvaccinated dogs, only one dose of this vaccine is required (recommendations differ for the parenteral, killed form of this vaccine). Most boarding kennels require that this vaccine be given within 6 months of boarding; the vaccine should be administered at least one week prior to the anticipated boarding date for maximum effect.
  • Canine Distemper-Measles Combination VaccineThis vaccine has been used between 4 and 12 weeks of age to protect dogs against distemper in the face of maternal antibodies directed at CDV. Protection occurs within 72 hours of vaccination. It is indicated only for use in households/kennels/shelters where CDV is a recognized problem. Only one dose of the vaccine should be given, after which pups are boostered with the CDV vaccine to minimize the transfer of anti-measles virus maternal antibodies to pups of the next generation. The UC Davis VMTH does not stock the distemper-measles combination vaccine as situations requiring its use do not arise commonly in our hospital population.
  • Canine Leptospira VaccinesMultiple leptospiral serovars are capable of causing disease in dogs, and minimal cross-protection is induced by each serovar. Currently available vaccines do not contain all serovars, efficacies against infection with the targeted serovar are between 50 and 75%, and duration of immunity is probably about 1 year. However, leptospirosis is not uncommon in Northern Californian dogs with exposure histories involving livestock and areas frequented by wild mammals, the disease can be fatal or have high morbidity, and also has zoonotic potential. Therefore, we suggest annual vaccination of dogs living in/visiting rural areas or areas frequented by wildlife with vaccines containing all four leptospiral serovars (grippotyphosa, pomona, canicola and icterohemorrhagiae), ideally before the rainy season, when disease incidence peaks. The initial vaccination should be followed by a booster 2-4 weeks later, and the first vaccine be given no earlier than 12 weeks of age. In general, leptospiral vaccines have been associated with more severe postvaccinal reactions (acute anaphylaxis) than other vaccines. Whether the recent introduction of vaccines with reduced amounts of foreign protein has reduced this problem is still unclear. Vaccination of dogs in suburban areas with minimal exposure to farm animals or forested areas is not recommended. Anecdotally, the incidence of reactions has been greatest in puppies (< 12 weeks of age, and especially < 9 weeks of age) and small-breed dogs. A careful risk-benefit analysis is recommended before considering vaccination of small breed dogs at risk of exposure to leptospires.
  • Canine Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme) VaccineThe incidence of Lyme disease in California is currently considered extremely low. Furthermore, use of the vaccine even in endemic areas (such as the east coast of the US) has been controversial because of anecdotal reports of vaccine-associated adverse events. Most infected dogs show no clinical signs, and the majority of dogs contracting Lyme disease respond to treatment with antimicrobials. Furthermore, prophylaxis may be effectively achieved by preventing exposure to the tick vector. If travel to endemic areas (ie the east coast) is anticipated, vaccination with the Lyme subunit vaccine could be considered followed by boosters at intervals in line with risk of exposure. The UC Davis VMTH does not stock the Lyme vaccine or recommend it for use in dogs residing solely in Northern California.

Man, that is a lot of shots.  And a lot of trips to the vet.  I am glad I do not remember all the puppy shots.





Worried About Your Dog’s Sleeping Behavior?

26 01 2009

A concerned mother noticed a change in her dog’s behavior, especially when it comes to sleeping patterns and refusing to sleep in the bed.  She sent me a few questions, and I have included the answers below for you to read.  She was dog-sleeping-weirdconcerned about her dog possibly being a “loner” and her earlier life in a shelter.

First, let me say that I do not know a single dog that is a “loner”.  We crave attention, whether it is from our families, toys, or other dogs.  This dog is still a puppy, about five months old.  There is a lot going on at five months, as this is the early stages of dog puberty.  Puberty for dogs is a lot like the human kind.  Around the age of five or six months, sometimes a little later, changes start occurring.  This is when we start to develop our adult bodies, and that is especially evident in our feet and tummy areas.  Our feet become adult-sized almost overnight, and we become exceptionally clumsy.  We also lose the round belly in favor of a more lean physique.  Puberty in a dog may last until the dog is 14 months old. Read the rest of this entry »





Why Does My Dog Only Sleep In One Spot?

1 12 2008

dog-sleeping-bagI am sure you know your friend’s favorite hang outs in the house and outside, and he probably only sleeps in a couple of them.  Not too long ago, some one asked me via Twitter about some strange behavior he had noticed about his dog, now that he was advancing in years.  In particular, his dog likes to lie in front of the window with the curtains over him to sleep.

My first reaction was “What is the problem?”  Since this caught your attention, I am assuming that this behavior is something new for your dog, since he mentioned that his dog is older now.  The first thing to consider is if he is lying down in a spot where the sun can warm his body.  If this is the case, then consider that his age is the Read the rest of this entry »





How Old Is My Dog?

23 10 2008

There is a commonly held belief that a dog ages 7 years for each year of a human life.  That is not quite accurate in terms of maturity.  The chart below displays an approximation of your dog’s maturity level in relation to their age.

AGE – IN HUMAN YEARS

AGE – IN DOG YEARS

1 15
2 24
3 28
4 32
5 36
6 40
7 44
8 48
9 52
10 56
11 60
12 64
13 68
14 72
15 76
16 80

As you can see, dogs mature quickly in their formative years and the maturation slows as they age.  It furthers the importance of their training in the early years on their behavior throughout their life.  Keep in mind that smaller breeds generally live longer than larger breeds.