Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Falling asleep while playing...

i love with the pups fall asleep mid play... Jameson was chewing away but apparently it was all too much for him...

Keep your pets safe while keeping your lawn green...

While I'm a big fan of organic gardening, I'm also a big fan of keeping my dogs safe. So when you're getting ready to get your yard and garden into shape this spring - be aware of what you're using as something that may seem harmless could be very harmful to your animals...

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Issues Cocoa Bean Fertilizer Warning

Friday March 14, 2003

Organic mulch fertilizer may pose hazard to dogs.

March 13, 2003 -- As spring approaches, people will start to tend their lawns and gardens. Many will consider using cocoa bean mulch as a fertilizer. Made from spent cocoa beans used in chocolate production, cocoa bean mulch is organic, deters slugs and snails, and gives a garden an appealing chocolate smell. However, it also attracts dogs, who can easily be poisoned by eating the mulch.

Cocoa beans contain the stimulants caffeine and theobromine. Dogs are highly sensitive to these chemicals, called methylxanthines. In dogs, low doses of methylxanthine can cause mild gastrointestinal upset (vomiting, diarrhea, and/or abdominal pain); higher doses can cause rapid heart rate, muscle tremors, seizures, and death.

Eaten by a 50-pound dog, about 2 ounces of cocoa bean mulch may cause gastrointestinal upset; about 4.5 ounces, increased heart rate; about 5.3 ounces, seizures; and over 9 ounces, death. (In contrast, a 50-pound dog can eat up to about 7.5 ounces of milk chocolate without gastrointestinal upset and up to about a pound of milk chocolate without increased heart rate.)

If you suspect that your dog has eaten cocoa bean mulch, immediately contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-426-4435). Treatment will depend on how much cocoa bean mulch your dog has eaten, when the mulch was eaten, and whether your dog is sick. Recommended care may include placing your dog under veterinary observation, inducing vomiting, and/or controlling a rapid heart beat or seizures.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Athena wanted to look professional today..

Athena is going to head to the State Capitol to lobby for animal rights, looking this good she's sure to make a lot of headway! And just look at that smile!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Active Dreamers...

Both our dogs are very active dreamers. I love the nights when they're laying by each other on the couch sleep barking. Sometimes I wonder if they're having the same dream of playing together. A few nights ago Jameson was having a fun dream of some kind while he slept in my lap. It went on so long I was able to get a quick video...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Be the change!!

Today I am choosing to participate in the "Be the Change Challenge" that was announced at Blog Paws this year.

Today animal bloggers across the world are blogging about one thing that they can do to be the change that will help animals in need. It's a daunting task thinking about how many animals there are in need and considering what you can do as one person. But if as one person you help one animal - you are making a difference. So what am I doing today to be the change?

First, I encourage everyone to license your pet. Here in Sacramento County we have a beautiful six-month old Animal Shelter that is already in danger of closure because of lack of funds. A push to license all pets in Sacramento County will help keep the shelter open! The county is currently waiving the $100 late fee for residents so no matter when they got their animal they may register him or her for the normal fee without consequences. For more information download the application and register your animal today!!

Second, it's spring cleaning weekend in my house. I plan to collect all the items I can find in my house to part with that are on the wish list for the Sacramento SPCA. Check your local SPCA for their wish list and make a donation.

And third, I encourage you all to donate to "Pets Without Parents" the organization chosen to benefit from today's Be the Change Challenge:

And if nothing else - send your positive thoughts and energy to all the animals in need.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sleepy Time

Sometimes Jameson wiggles his way in to sleep next to me while I'm doing school work.
Today was no exception:

Do you volunteer for a rescue?

Thought this might be an interesting read for anyone who volunteers for a rescue.


How to Tell if a Cat or Dog May Need Veterinary Care



This information sheet is designed to help non-veterinary shelter staff evaluate the health of cats and dogs. Its not a comprehensive guide and will not give you all the answers, but it lists the more common signs of health and illness in dogs and cats. Also, its not meant to replace veterinary care or advice, but only to help you decide if a cat or dog may need veterinary assistance.

The best way to evaluate the general health of a cat or dog is to give the animal a thorough nose-to-tail examination. Ask a friendly veterinarian or vet tech from your community to come to your shelter and train you and other staff. Then establish your own routine, and thoroughly and methodically examine each animal using the same series of steps each time. That way, you wont overlook some of the more subtle yet often serious health conditions often missed with a quick once-over. Dogs and especially cats can hide illnesses or other ailments, so try not to let them fool you!

Use the checklist below when evaluating animals after they first come in to the shelter. And don't forget to observe animals for signs of health problems during their entire stay such as when you're cleaning or just giving the animals a little TLC. To make sure staff observations are recorded systematically, your shelter may wish to develop a health report card that accompanies the animal during his or her stay at the facility.


Temperature (rectal) 100102.5 Fahrenheit

Heart rate (at rest)
Large dogs 80100 beats/minute
Medium dogs 100120 beats/minute
Small dogs and cats 120180 beats/minute

Respiratory rate (at rest) 1626 breaths/minute



  • clean
  • clear and bright
  • responsive to visual stimuli


  • watery
  • red
  • filmy
  • cloudy
  • discolored
  • dry
  • inflamed (swollen)
  • hypersensitive to light
  • pupils are unequal in size
  • pupils are overly dilated or overly constricted
  • showing third (or middle) eyelid
  • showing discharge
  • itchy (animal rubs at eyes)
  • painful (animal squints)



  • clean (both outer ear and canal)
  • pink and clean (inner ear)
  • responsive to noise


  • showing discharge (waxy or other)
  • crusty red or inflamed (canal is swollen/thickened)
  • hair around ear is matted
  • scabbed
  • fly-bitten
  • itchy (animal scratches ear or shakes head)
  • foul odor
  • painful (animal cries when ear is touched)


  • clean free of discharge


  • scabbed
  • showing discharge (clear, mucous, blood, or pus)
  • crusty
  • cracked
  • congested or blocked



  • free of odor
  • teeth are clean
  • gums are pink
  • gums have good
  • capillary refill time (pink gum color returns within 1-2 seconds after being pressed with finger)
  • animal appears to swallow normally


  • unusually red or pale dry
  • salivating (animal is drooling)
  • foul odor not caused by food
  • foreign bodies
  • showing discharge
  • swollen or inflamed
  • gums are pale, white, purple, or inflamed
  • teeth are loose, pitted, broken, or tartar-covered
  • animal has trouble swallowing


  • respiration is regular
  • respiration sounds clear
  • respiration rate is normal


  • breathing is irregular, rapid, shallow, or labored
  • animal is sneezing, coughing, wheezing
  • moist lung sounds
  • breathing is through open mouth



  • coat is bright, and glossy
  • coat appears well-groomed
  • skin is clean, free of oil
  • skin is free of swelling, lumps, and lesions


  • coat is dull
  • coat is oily, dirty
  • coat shows areas of
  • hair loss or thinning
  • hair is matted
  • skin is dry or flaky
  • skin shows swelling, lumps, or lesions
  • skin is scabbed
  • skin is red, irritated
  • animal has fleas, ticks, lice, or other


  • legs support weight evenly (no limp)
  • pads are clean and smooth
  • nails are healthy-looking


  • animal favors one leg (limps)
  • animal has limited motion
  • animal is weak or uncoordinated
  • joint feels tender
  • pads are cracked or hard
  • pads have matted hair between them
  • nails are long, short, or ingrown
  • legs show swelling, lumps, or lesions



  • area is clean and free of discharge
  • stool is normal


  • area has discharge
  • stool is watery or bloody
  • animal is constipated
  • area around anus shows swelling or lumps
  • one or both testicles are not descended (not in scrotum)
  • one testicle is harder and/or larger than other


  • animal is bright, alert, and responsive (BAR)
  • skin is elastic (springs back immediately after being raised)
  • animal is balanced, coordinated
  • temperature is normal
  • animal is interested in surroundings, oriented


  • animal is very thin or obese
  • animal has wounds or abscesses
  • animal has swelling, lumps, or bumps
  • animal appears to have umbilical hernia
  • mammary glands are swollen or oozing discharge
  • skin does not spring back (animal is dehydrated)
  • animal appears uncoordinated
  • animal tilts head
  • animal repeatedly circles
  • abdomen is bloated
  • temperature is abnormal
  • animal appears lethargic
  • animal appears hyperactive
  • animal appears disoriented

Courtesy of
Animal Sheltering Magazine


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