Friday, October 31, 2014

A Handful of Books to Help Get Through The Cold Months

“The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein

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 A heart-warming and inspirational tale in which Enzo, a loyal family dog, tells the story of his human family, how they nearly fell apart, and what he did to bring them back together.

 "Thunder Dog" by Michael Hingson
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This is the true story of a blind man and his seeing eye that were working in the World Trade Center the day of the terrorist attacks.

 "Unsaid" by Neil Abramson

“Unsaid is an extraordinary story of animals, afterlife, and the power of love. I found myself captivated by the world of this book. It will make you remember, rethink, and rejoice in every meaningful relationship you’ve ever had. Everyone needs to read this book!”
Garth Stein - The Art of Racing in the Rain

"Marley and Me" by John Grogan

“A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbol means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine. A dog judges others not by their color or creed or class but by who they are inside. A dog doesn't care if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his. It was really quite simple, and yet we humans, so much wiser and more sophisticated, have always had trouble figuring out what really counts and what does not. As I wrote that farewell column to Marley, I realized it was all right there in front of us, if only we opened our eyes. Sometimes it took a dog with bad breath, worse manners, and pure intentions to help us see.”
John Grogan

"Inside Of A Dog" by Alexandra Horowitz

Cognitive scientist Alexandra Horowitz gives us a glimpse inside the mind of man’s best friend.

"Oogy" by Larry Levin
There was something about Oogy that made him special. Perhaps it was the missing ear, or the asymmetrical face, or the hapless look of a rescued pup who not long before had been used as bait for pit bull warriors. Whatever the qualities, it convinced Larry Levin and his twin sons to adopt this hapless, ugly pooch and make him part of their household. A heart-tugging saga for anyone who can't resist the plaintive, upturned eyes. A word of mouth bestseller now in a paperback edition that contains a new afterword.
-Barnes & Noble

Friday, October 3, 2014

Hot Spots

A hot spot is a localized area of skin inflammation and infection. The infection can be superficial or deep. Other common names for this condition include: moist dermatitis, and acute moist dermatitis.
The medical name is pyotraumatic dermatitis. Broken down, "pyo-" refers to "pus", "-traumatic" refers to self-inflicted trauma of biting, licking, scratching, and so on, and "dermatitis" means inflammation of the skin. These common skin lesions are usually caused (and made worse) by biting, licking, or scratching.
Signs of a hot spot include redness, oozing, pain, and itchiness. Sometimes hair can mat over the lesion, obscuring the size and degree of the problem. These lesions can appear suddenly, and grow within hours.
There usually is, but not always, an underlying  factor to initiate the extreme licking and scratching behavior. Check your pet for fleas, insect stings or bites. Food allergies, scrapes or wound from rough play are also common causes. Some animals have also been known to start a hot spot out of boredom or stress-related psychological problems.
Since hot spots go from bad to worse so rapidly, the best thing to do for you and your pet is bring him or her to your veterinarian as soon as possible. Even if it's small. You don't want it to escalate to a more painful and traumatic experience.
At the clinic, technicians will shave, scrub, and powder the inflamed area, while you and the veterinarian will try to figure out the cause and what steps to take from there. Most of the time antibiotics and an elizabethan collar are necessary. If they are really awful, some doctors will prescribe something for the itch as well. Whatever it takes to make our friends comfortable!
Most hot spots are a "one and done" visit as long as the owners comply with home care instructions.

Time for the doctor.