Author Archives: Steve

Hello sweet pet lovers!

posted March 8th, 2016 by
Nicole Castillo

Hello sweet pet lovers!

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Nicole Castillo and I live in Edmond, Ok. I am currently a grad student at the University of Central Oklahoma working toward a master’s degree in Creative Writing. I’ve been a contributing writer for OKC Pets since July of 2015 and am happy to evolve into OKC Pets resident blogger.
I have had a lifelong love affair with all creatures great and small. From Curio, the enormous tabby cat who guarded my crib when I was a baby, to my loving 15 year old border collie mix Cheyanne, I have given my heart to many a four-legged soul.
And I am a better person for it.
I am also owned by two cats; a hefty black and white gentleman named Tim, and a clever and spooky black feline christened Kitty.
I’m excited to get to know the pets of Oklahoma City. Where do you have fun? Where do you go for a treat? What is your story? I want to know!
I love attending animal festivals and will be reporting on them here as well. I can’t wait to share with you the great people, pets, and events happening in this area.
So come along for the ride. There’s enough room in the car if you don’t mind a bit of dog hair.
And I know you won’t.

OKC Pets Mag Mar / Apr 2016

posted March 8th, 2016 by
OKC Pets

OKC Pets Magazine  March/April 2016

Publisher – Marilyn King  [email protected]

Creative Director – Debra Fite

Advertising Sales – Marilyn King, Steve Kirkpatrick, Nancy Harrison, Cheryl Steckler, Nicole Castillo

Web Manager – Steve Kirkpatrick  [email protected]

Editor – Anna Holton-Dean

Contributing Writers – Marilyn King, Pat Becker, Nicole Castillo, Kaycee Chance, Anna Holton-Dean, Emily Perry, Jordan Southerland, Kirstee Starr Carter, Cindy Webb, Kelly Jo Sigler, Manda Overturf Shank.

PO Box 14128 Tulsa, OK 74159-1128

(918) 520-0611

(918) 346-6044 Fax

©2016 All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced without the express consent of the publisher.

OKC Pets Magazine provides Oklahoma City area pet owners with a one-stop resource for local products, services, events and information.  Now OKC Pets Magazine Online is able to provide you with all of that and much more, interactive and up-to-the-minute!

Murphy the Labradoodle

posted March 7th, 2016 by
What's in Your Dog Shampoo

Murphy the Labradoodle

MurphyStory and Photos by Holly Clay

 

Murphy is a 2-year-old Labradoodle with a whole lot of love to give.

Not only IS HE SPECTACULARLY ADORABLE, but Murphy can say something about himself that most dogs cannot. In fact, Murphy might even have a longer list of accomplishments than most humans. So what makes Murphy so different from most other pets out there? Murphy is not only a therapy dog with A New Leash on Life and a Certified Canine Good Citizen, but he also shines in the classroom where he volunteers his doggie time with children. If that did not make you feel a little self-conscious about your own life, then just know Murphy also has great hair.

In the winter of 2013, Stephanie Summers and her husband decided they wanted a family pet. Unfortunately, Stephanie suffers from severe allergies. While her husband started his research on dog breeds, a coworker suggested a Goldendoodle—specifically an F1b (Goldendoodle crossed with a Standard Poodle). The Summers heeded the advice of their friend and adopted Murphy on Jan. 20, 2013. Murphy is their first pet and obviously a good one!

So how did Murphy get involved with therapy work? His mom Stephanie was kind enough to explain the entire process of becoming certified. Let me tell you, it does not sound like an easy task to become a certified therapy dog and Canine Good Citizen.

“My husband and I both have hearts for volunteering,” Stephanie says. “Since Murphy is a ‘people-dog,’ it seemed like a natural fit to involve him in our volunteer efforts. At a very young age we started taking him to Jessie Cantwell, a trainer at Ranchwood Veterinary Hospital. We began with puppy socialization and then advanced to basic manners and obedience. In addition, we did extensive socialization training at parks, children’s festivals, playgrounds and dog-friendly businesses. Finally, we completed the six-week required therapy dog program through A New Leash on Life.”

As you can guess, Murphy successfully passed the required exams and became a certified therapy dog and Canine Good Citizen. However, Murphy’s work was not finished there.  Once he became officially certified, he moved his skills and volunteer efforts into the classroom at a local elementary school.

Through A New Leash on Life, Murphy and his parents have partnered with South Lake Elementary (Moore Public Schools). They currently visit the school several times each week, where he volunteers as a reading buddy and works in the special education classrooms. Murphy visits are also being used to motivate and reward good behavior. It is evident the children have a special bond with Murphy. In fact, Murphy will be starting his own club this February in the special education classrooms, called “Murphy’s Kindness Club.” The goal is to teach students the importance of kindness and how they can spread kindness each day.

Although Murphy is very popular throughout the school, the largest impact has been with the students in the special ed classrooms. These students have become attached to Murphy.

“I have seen students go from struggling in spelling, to earning a perfect score simply because Murphy came to visit for the spelling test. It’s incredible to see students who typically struggle with anxiety excel in Murphy’s presence. Everyone loves Murphy Days, even the teachers!” says Kara Evans, special education teacher.

The smiling faces say it all! It is as if a celebrity is present when Murphy enters the school. The kids yell his name and reach out to touch the fluffy dog as he happily gives kisses to them all. Murphy seems to enjoy the attention just as much as the children do. He is also given an extensive amount of treats, which he certainly does not mind either. Every job has its perks, and it seems Murphy has found the perfect job for him.

New Opportunity – More Lives Saved

posted February 23rd, 2016 by
Holiday Gift

New OpportunityNew Opportunity – More Lives Saved

On Thursday PAAS signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Northeast Oklahoma Correctional Center (NOCC). This is a program that I believe in because I’ve seen the results.

While at another rescue, I had the opportunity to work with the prison program at Lexington. We had a growly, snappy, disgruntled Schnauzer (Sarge). As Sarge left the shelter my hope was he would learn to play nice in this world so we could find him a new home. What happened is so much better. Fast forward about 6 months, and Lee (Lexington program director) calls to tell me he has the new therapy/greeter for the Norman Veterans Center. I named two or three possibilities, but when he said Sarge I was stunned. Yes Sarge greets everyone, loves everyone and brings smiles to the veterans/staff/visitors. And, he was honored in 2015 as the Oklahoma Veterinary Association Hero of the Year. What happened? Mr. Miller, an inmate at Lexington, patiently worked with Sarge and the real dog emerged. Prison programs like this change the lives of the inmates as well as the dogs.

As we walked down the hall of one unit, there were men sitting in their cells – – – they weren’t working, learning a new skill, being productive – – they were sitting. With our shelter dogs, if they stay in a kennel all the time – no play, no interaction – – they become like Sarge – – trouble. Hmmm The warden and staff said inmates wanted to know about the program, what did they have to do to be considered, when was it going to start – – lots of questions. From working with the program at Lexington, I know the selected inmates will benefit along with our dogs.

Go to youtube – type in The Dogs of Lexington – select the one by John Otto (43 minutes) – – Sarge changed my life and he continues to bring happiness to those at the Norman Veterans Center – – – it works – – it really does.

Kay Stout, Director   PAAS Vinita  [email protected]  918-256-7227

Ask The Doc

posted February 15th, 2016 by
Coconut Oil

Ask The Doc

Gary Kubat, DVM / Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Hospital BluePearl Oklahoma City
Q: I live near a location where the emergency sirens blow every Wed-nesday at noon. My Lab puppy, who has never heard this sound before, has started running outside and howling when he hears the noise. Why does he do this, and are the sirens hurting his hearing?
A: Ahhh… another great mystery of canine behavior that can only have a definitive answer when we learn to speak “dog” (and they learn to speak back). We may be disappointed in the canine’s answer as it is probably not as interesting or mysterious as it appears.
The general consensus is that the sirens are interpreted by your pet as another canine howling; hence, the natural response is to answer back in the instinctual language that is heard. This same reasoning could also apply to barking as it is heard progressing through a neighborhood. The howling may communicate a location, sex, dominance status—we simply do not know for certain, but it is likely not complicated.
Perhaps some dogs just enjoy the vocalizing! Someday a behavioral researcher with the time and funding may find a way to conduct fMRI tests on howling dogs to see which parts of the brain are activated and functioning just prior to the initiation of the vocal response; then we might have some insight into the reason.
It is unlikely that the sirens are causing discomfort. Observe dogs that are howling; they do not exhibit the expected signs of pain or fear. They do not try to run or hide; they do not tuck their tails or lower their ears or heads. Just as your dog, some try to run toward the sound outside rather than away.
Two of the greatest and most enjoyable sounds in nature are the howling of a wolf and, for those of us in Oklahoma, the howling-yapping of a pack of coyotes in response to sirens (it certainly serves to locate the pack!).
Meanwhile, here is another pack behavior to ponder. Why do some municipalities test storm sirens on Wednesday and others do it on Saturday? And who picked noon as the time?

Q: My dog has “hot spots” no matter what time of the year. I can’t clear them up. Any suggestions?
A: Hot Spots (more expensive-sounding synonyms are: acute moist dermatitis, pyotraumatic dermatitis, or just moist eczema) are always initially a problem of self-trauma. A focal itch or inflammation is scratched and rubbed until the skin becomes even more inflamed. This induces more itching, initiating a self-traumatizing progressive cycle. The lesion can become very large even in a few hours. At this point the lesion is painful to touch, and many dogs will require sedation just to clip and clean the wound to allow topical treatment.
The location of the lesion is often a clue as to the cause of the originating itch or lesion. For example, if the lesion is located on the hips or rear limbs, the prime suspect is flea infestation. You may only see one flea, but that is enough to start the problem. If the lesion is on the side of the face below the ear, the original problem may be an ear infection that resulted in the dog scratching at the ear area.
The hot spot skin lesion needs to be treated, but the initiating factor needs to be identified. Dogs do not spontaneously self-traumatize (exceptions exist: see acral lick dermatitis or lick granuloma). Other causes include staph skin infections; skin fungal infections; allergies, topical or inhaled, that result in skin itching; and many other factors.
Another common denominator is a moist environment, especially with a long-haired breed. The skin stays wet, becomes inflamed and itches, resulting in the scratch/rub response. Some dogs that drool heavily develop hot spots on the lower jaw as a result of constant excessive moisture. I once had a patient presented because the owner thought the dog had been struck by lightning, when in fact the dog had multiple hot spots all on one side of its body.
The dog had spent long periods of time in its dog house (with wet straw bedding) during a recent rainy spell of several days. The long-haired dog simply never dried out, and dermatitis developed, which the dog then self-traumatized. Another potential complication during the warmer months is an infestation of the lesion with fly larva or myiasis. The hot spots’ lesions are oozing serum and often smell strongly necrotic, attracting the flies. This is often a problem with older, arthritic or obese dogs that are not mobile enough to keep the flies off the lesion.
The treatments of the skin lesion include topical ointments with antibiotics and corticosteroids for the inflammation (after the lesion is clipped, cleaned and dried). Topical antiseptics may also help, as well as antihistamines. I usually dispense the topical medication as a spray since most patients are too painful in the area to allow application of an ointment. I also like to apply a topical anesthetic, such as lidocaine ointment, or an injectable anesthetic, such as Marcaine, for an instant although brief relief from the itching to break the cycle. Treating the actual lesion is relatively easy and usually responds well within a few days.
The real problem and solution is to identify the inciting cause, especially in your case of repeated episodes at all times of the year. Frankly, in Oklahoma, your problem is flea infestation until proven otherwise. If not fleas, then we proceed through the culprit list based on logically identifying the most likely cause. A skin allergy may be only seasonal, but if it is induced by household items (smoke, carpets, foods, straw in the dog house), it could be a problem year-round.
Some cases will require a skin biopsy to determine if a bacterial infection (pyoderma) or other disorder exists. If your pet is experiencing repeated year-round hot spots you need to be prepared to spend some time and effort with your veterinarian to resolve the problem.

Q: My dog got pancreatitis and almost died. It was really touch and go, and it was scary. What exactly is pancreatitis, and how does a pet owner prevent this?
A: First, let’s determine what exactly is a pancreas? It is an abdominal organ closely associated with the duodenum and liver that produces and secretes chemical enzymes that assist in digesting food. It also secretes insulin, associated with the most common diabetes. Amazingly, it does this without harming or digesting itself… normally. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that develops when the normal protective mechanisms of the organ are overwhelmed by pancreatic enzymes, resulting in autodigestion.
What is the cause? Anecdotally, most veterinarians (myself included) will blame a dietary indiscretion of a high-fat diet (often table foods) as the inciting cause most of the time. In truth, the actual causal agent of pancreatitis is frequently unknown. What we do know are a whole lot of related risk factors associated with pancreatitis and pancreatitis patients.
Certainly, ingestion of high-fat foods is on that list. But we have all heard the story of how the same dog has eaten the same table food many times without a problem, and the other dogs in the household ate the same thing and are having no problem. Pancreatitis is more common in obese animals (that probably eat more table food anyway, which is why they are obese). Hyperlipidemia (high levels of fats/lipids in the blood even when fasting) is associated with increasing frequency of pancreatitis.
The miniature Schnauzer is a breed often associated with hyperlipidemia and pancreatitis. But pancreatitis can also cause hyperlipidemia. Pancreatitis can also cause diabetes, at least transiently. Diabetes is also associated with hyperlipidemia, and it is not unusual for a miniature Schnauzer to be diagnosed diabetic. Which came first? Isn’t this complicated? There is more…
Some commonly used drugs have been associated with pancreatitis, including furosemide, a diuretic often used in cardiac dysfunction; if the heart is not functioning well, the pancreas may suffer from hypoperfusion or poor blood supply, which leads to pancreatitis as well). Potassium bromide, an anti-seizure medication, has been associated with a higher frequency of pancreatitis. Hyperlipidemia has been associated with seizures.
Now suppose you have an older, overweight, diabetic, hyperlipidemic miniature Schnauzer taking potassium bromide for occasional seizures, and on furosemide for mild heart disease. How do you prevent pancreatitis? Well, at the very least, be extremely careful with diet. The bacon fat can find some other use. Also, consider pet insurance.
If your pet is diagnosed with pancreatitis, it will usually be treated in-hospital at least during the acute phase. It was once believed that all oral stimulation and food should be withheld to avoid stimulating the pancreas to secrete enzymes, but current thinking is to provide oral nutritional support as soon as nausea can be improved. IV fluid support, antiemetics, antibiotics, and narcotic pain medications are usually the basis of treatment. Complications can involve the liver-bile duct system, sepsis, or in severe progressive necrotizing pancreatitis, surgery may be required to address the peritonitis (inflamed or infected abdominal cavity). Other complications can include pulmonary failure, kidney failure and blood coagulation problems. While most patients do recover, pancreatitis is not usually a 24 to 48 hour recovery. Expect your pet to be in-hospital for several days, and if complications do develop, the prognosis for recovery is reduced.
Although in some cases it may be unrealistic to completely prevent pancreatitis, you can certainly reduce the risk by eliminating associated risk factors as much as possible and adhering to very strict dietary control. You should work closely with your veterinarian to identify the risk factors you have the power to change. Specially developed prescription-only diets are very beneficial also.

Success – Redefined

posted February 14th, 2016 by
Holiday Gift

Success – Redefined

 

SuccessThe Peaceful Animal Adoption Shelter opened in late April of 2015.  At that time the goal was to find new homes in northeastern Oklahoma for the dogs and cats who would come through our doors.  Six weeks later we realized we needed to redefine our mission.

 

In August we made our first transport to the Cheyenne Animal Shelter in Wyoming. This was quickly followed by transports to Boulder Valley Humane Society and Denver Dumb Friends League.  As of today, 340+ dogs and 85+ cats have found their forever homes – – almost exclusively out-of-state.  The hand writing is on the wall – we save lives via transport.

 

Sooo, when you read this (and share it with your friends), by all means do look at our web and facebook pages to see if we have available dogs and cats.  Don’t be surprised if we only have a few – if any.  However, do visit your local shelters and rescues.  In our area, they include:  Miami Animal Alliance, Second Chance Pet Rescue of Grand Lake and Pryor Animal League.  I know there are others – – the point is one of us will have the pet you are looking for – – please give all of us in rescue a chance.

 

As the Executive Director at PAAS, it is exciting and rewarding to now reach out to area municipal pounds and rescues.  Working with them, we will make a significant impact on the homeless dogs and cats in northeastern Oklahoma.  States with good (and enforced) spay/neuter laws will welcome our dogs and cats.  It’s a win for PAAS, a win for the area and a home run for the families in Colorado and Wyoming who want, need, and adopt.

 

Yes, we’ve redefined success – and it took less than one year!!!!!!

Kay Stout, Director   PAAS Vinita  [email protected]  918-256-7227