Archive for October, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

You already know to keep your pets safe from scary, scary trick-or-treaters and even scarier Halloween candy.  And you know not to dress up a dog or cat or guinea pig with any objections to the celebration of Halloween, moral or otherwise.*

So instead of a list of pet safety tips, I present you with…The cutest set of Dominoes you will ever see in your whole entire life ever.

*Max the Cat decided to sit this one out.  He would not have matched the set anyways.

Piggy is the zero-zero Domino!  Ha!  I sprayed a quick (non-toxic!) line, snapped a picture and gave him a quick piggy bath.  He was mildly offended, and I was regretting involving him at even that five second level (we both were) until he saw his handful of cornflakes reward.  He is SO on board for participating in Halloween 2011!

Next up, Noodle the Poodle.  He was less inclined to be bribed by food, but was a relatively good sport non-the-less.  He was one-two, but did not want to show his whole costume.  Cute butt though, huh?

Joy the Puppy!

Joy and Ebony…Russ thought we should have them lay down at right angles for a picture (you know, like in a real Domino game…)  I thought they were doing well to lay on the same blanket at the same time without wandering off!

And the (almost) complete set!  By this time, Piggy was already back home happily eating his cornflakes, scruff still damp and sticking straight up.  I’d include a picture of that cuteness, but as you know, I have a difficult time getting good photos of our black pets.  I would say the morning went remarkably well.

Good job Dominoes!


Vaccination Guide

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

My latest Wuzzy Chronicles article at is about dog, cat and ferret vaccines. Is everyone as excited about vaccinations as I am??  Ha!  You do not have to be!  But I hope this guide helps you.

During the same week that I was writing the article, friends and I were talking on #dogtalk about how absolutely horrendous we found the story of “Old Yeller” as kids.  If you do not know the story, DO NOT read the book or watch the movie!  In fact, I will spoil it for you so you are not tempted…the incredible Yellow Lab who just saved his kids from some possibly rabid wild animal is destroyed out of a fear of the zoonotic* potential of rabies.  As I so often yell at the end of Law and Order and CSI, “Why would you make this stuff up?!?”

I made these fake vaccines just for the article and had great fun doing it!  Yup, that’s red food coloring!  And real vaccine vials are not really that full, as my Pet Nurses all pointed out…but I think they are prettier that way!  Especially with the shiny blue and silver lids (which are also not accurately portrayed as rabies and distemper vials-again, I used them because I thought they were pretty!)

Sadly, at the time Old Yeller took place, rabies was a huge issue in America.  And lest we think it is a disease of the past, a handful of human cases occur in the United States every year.  And an average of 55,000 cases occur world wide every year! Fifty-five thousand people die yearly of this preventable disease!

I do not want our pendulum to swing too far in the direction of unvaccination.  Thankfully, we do not commonly see many of the diseases against which we vaccinate any more.  Much of that is due to strong vaccination protocols.  Outbreaks inevitably occur when we let our guard down.

Vaccines do carry risks.  We ought to avoid the risks as much as we can, and only use the vaccines our pets need, at the time intervals that will protect them the best.  But we should not forget the incredible things vaccines do for our pets, and even for us.

A vaccine list may seem a dry topic for an article, especially one sanctioned by Wuzzy Rat!  But I think the more we know about the health care of our pets, the better we are able to make wise decisions for them.  Let the list be a sort of launching pad…into a discussion of vaccines, diseases, risks, whatever you would like to talk about.  You, Wuzzy Rat and I can decide from there what issues Wuzzy Chronicles articles should cover in 2011!

Here is one of Wuzzy Rat’s favorite Chronicles articles from 2010…

Artists For Hope

*zoonotic=transmissable from animals to humans

Blogathon 2010…Getting Ready!

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Dr. V at Pawcurious is kicking this thing off at 11:00 am Pacific Time on Saturday, November 13, 2010.  I had to look up what that was in Central Time.  (It is 1:00 pm, by the way, which you probably already knew.)

I am so excited to be a part of this!  Here are the other blogs you should check hourly (YES even at 3:00 am.

how to do a dissertation

 We will be up.  And we don’t like to be awake at night by ourselves.  It is dark.)




Michelle at My Tail Hurts from Wagging So Much

Dr. Janet Tobiessen Crosby* at AboutVetMed

Dr. Laci Schaible and Dr. Jed Schaible at VetLIVE

Jen at Fetching Tags

Two Little Cavaliers

Also pay close attention to these participating Awesomes…


♥ Amanda Finch ♥

Biscuits by Lambchops

Pastor Scott Christiansen


♥ Russ Finch ♥

Speaking for Spot

Su Smith

As I hear of other participants, I will add them to this list!  If I miss you or a friend, please let me know!

Su is going to show up and do some amazing things, I just do not know what they are yet.  Check out what she ate for Blogathon 2009.  She is REALLY committed!The goal of all of this craziness is to raise enough money to train a Service Dog for Bradyn, a four-year-old boy who has epilepsy.  His Mom has already coordinated efforts to raise over $4000, and $13,000 total is needed.

Jump in wherever you can!  Of course, please donate directly to

A Puppy for Bradyn.”

Also, add to the conversation here and on all the Blogathon blogs.  Mention this project on your own blog, facebook and twitter (and the rest of those crazy social media sites I have yet to figure out).  Do hourly posts with us if you would like to!  You do not really have to be up at 3:00 am.  You could sleep like normal people.  Let me know if you would like to post a guest post HERE. I would love it!

Between us all, getting Bradyn his Service Dog is a very reachable goal!  Here we go…

*This is a random thought, even for me…Dr. Crosby does GORGEOUS glass bead work.  I hope she includes it in some way in the Blogathon.  Hey, then this would NOT be a random thought.

Houdini Was…

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

In the midst of reading the 25 leadership books recommended by Veterinary Economics, I snuck in this super awesome book that I HAVE to tell you about because I LOVE it.

Houdini Was…

Written and illustrated


the Second Grade Students of White Bluffs Elementary in Richland, Washington

I bought the book because of the very cute hamster on the cover.  (I judge books by their cover, which you should not do, and though I can usually tell at first glance whether I will like a book or not, my reasoning is not always quite…linear.)

This book covers in impressive depth the human-animal bond, pet loss, processing grief, the value of pets, lessons to be learned from our relationships with our pets and even the value a classroom pet adds to the educational experience*.  What impresses me is that all of this is done so poinently and concisely…by second graders…mostly by crayon.  I love the pictures.  I love the humor.  I love seeing Houdini hamster through the eyes of those who knew and loved her.  It almost makes me want to treat my Fuzzy-loss with a hamster…



…but I won’t.


Houdini Was…

Five Stars!


This book won the 2010 Scholastic “Kids Are Authors” contest and is available at all the Scholastic Book Fairs going on now!  I got it tonight during Parent-Teacher conferences :)

*Click here for information on “Pets in the Classroom”, a very fun CareFRESH grant program that assists with the adoption and care of small pets in the classroom.


Pugs and Coprophagia

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Originally Written for Pug Partners of Nebraska – Please visit their website to find out how you can help Pugs!

Coprophagia.  Just giving you a different word to use when you do not want to tell your friends that your adorable puppy is a poop-eater.

Do not be embarrassed!  It is so common that it almost deserves its own page in a standard puppy scrap book.  The question I field most often about this issue is “Why?”  This is usually not a dietary deficiency issue.  It is usually not related to complex anxiety problems.  Pet owners have not caused it by training or not training their pets a certain way.  Brace yourself…you will not like the answer.  Dogs are coprophagic because they LOVE the taste of poop.

Coprophagia is normal, it is natural, all puppies (and some dogs) do it.  But you do not have to live with it.  As obsessed as I am with medical wellness, the grossness factor is almost as good of a reason to discourage this behavior.  As you know, Pugs are very similar to Boston Terriers in that they do not give normal puppy kisses.  They lure you close with their cute faces, then lick the roof of your mouth.  So having a Pug with coprophagia is simply not acceptable!

The biggest medical risk to a pet with coprophagia is infection (if eating feces from another animal such as a wild bunny or indoor cat friend) or reinfection (if eating his or her own feces) of intestinal parasites.  So first and foremost, make sure your dogs AND cats are regularly being tested and treated for intestinal parasites.  And now on to habit reshaping…Ask your veterinarian about oral taste deterrents.  Products are available that are odorless and tasteless when eaten, but bitter when passed.  The pet whose poop is being eaten is the one who should be treated.  For example, if your puppy is eating his own poop, you would treat him.  If he is eating the cat’s poop, you would treat the cat.  This seems unfair, but hopefully, your pet will not even notice the medication and will not know he or she is being treated.

Make sure feces are removed from the yard as soon as possible, and cat litter is cleaned as soon as possible.  This may require hiding around the corner with a scoop or a bag while your pet potties.  Once your pup has developed new habits (like NOT eating poop), you will be able to relax your vigilance.

Coprophagia is frustrating but very treatable.  Retraining with taste deterrents and environment controls usually can be done within a week.  If your pet is especially stubborn, take heart in knowing that if we can not retrain our pets, they WILL almost always outgrow the habit.  My professional advice is that you should wait on puppy kisses until then.

My Super Cute Pug-Nephew Gary

Pugs are Cute…”Table of Contents”

Monday, October 18th, 2010

A while back, I posted a series of Pug Health Articles written for Pug Partners of Nebraska.  Here is a list of those articles, in case you need to find them quickly!  They are not just pug-specific.  But the poor dears do lend themselves so well to health issue discussions!

Introduction:  Pugs are cute, but they do have issues.

(haha I still think that is a hilarious title!  Woo!  I crack myself up!)


Anal Glands


Dental Disease

Ear Care

Eye Care

Orthopedic Issues

Paw Care

Respiratory Issues

Skin Care

Weight Management

If there are other Pug (or any) topics you would like me to cover, please let me know!  I always thought Dave and Sara should get a Boston Terrier to match Riley the Great Dane’s markings, and a Pug to match James the Mastiff’s markings.  Don’t you agree??

Mona Lisa, the super cute Boston Terrier

Ebony (our gorgeous Lab Mix), James and Riley (also gorgeous!)

Typhoon, the super cute Pug

Blogathon 2010

Monday, October 18th, 2010

As you know, this is how I often process things… :|

Sometimes I even forget to tell Russ what I am mulling over.  So he was not hearing me in context, but neither was he surprised, when yesterday, after Pastor Scott’s sermon on giving, I turned to him and said, “Pastor Scott is right.  I should blog with Dr. V in November, shouldn’t I?”  It only took him three or four eye blinks to realize that several weeks’ worth of prelude to that conversation had all been in my head, before he said, “Yes, of course you should!”

On the way home from church he said, “Now what were you saying?  And what did I miss?”  So I backed up and started over, this time outloud…

Last year, before I had even heard of Dr. V, she was busy spending an entire day blogging hourly to raise money for her local SPCA.

In the time since, I have enjoyed hearing bits and pieces of that crazy blog-an-hour day.  “Woo!”  I thought, “I remember when I was in junior high and could stay up all night!  No way I could do it now.”

Then I read that she was going to do it again!  “How fun!  I will read her daytime posts and the rest of them when it is all said and done,” I thought.  Of course, a small squish of my brain was hoping it could talk me into doing the Blogathon too.  Dr. V did say she would like some company…When I got home yesterday, I hurried to the computer to tell Dr. V I would blog with her, before I could remind myself what a crazy idea it is and how great I don’t do with sleep deprivation.  Now that I am committed, I am so excited and I cannot wait!

Even better, it is for a GREAT cause.  All of the money raised will go towards training a service dog for Bradyn, a four-year-old with epilepsy.

Feel free to donate before November 13, and be sure to check in with Dr. V and BZTAT (and their partnering Paint-a-thon) on November 13.  You could even blog with us! Or, if you are sane, you could say…”Woo!  I remember when I was in junior high and could stay up all night!  No way I could do it now.  I will read their daytime posts and the rest of them when it is all said and done.”  Careful, though.  I have been talking with Pastor Scott and a small squish of your brain about Blogathon 2011.

Fuzzy Rat

Saturday, October 16th, 2010

Our Fuzzy Rat died today.  I guess I am not ready to say it outloud, so I will hold onto this post for a while.  She was a great little goofy rat.

Rest in Peace little girl.  I love you.

Fuzzy Rat

February 14, 2008 – October 14, 2010

I suspected she had something more serious than an ear infection or even idiopathic vestibular disease several weeks ago when I was unable to wean her off of anti-inflammatories (prednisone).  Most likely, she had a pituitary adenoma, which is a benign brain tumor, but in rats it can grow so much, it puts pressure on the brain and causes vestibular signs (wobbliness, like in Fuzzy) or other signs and eventually is incompatible with life.  Being neurotic and being me (which are of course overlapping, and in my opinion not such horrible things!) I searched for “records” and found a rat who had lived ten months with a probable pituitary adenoma.  I needed the hope then but I don’t need the heartache now.

The night before Fuzzy passed away, she was not eating well, but she was playing and nosing my hand to be pet.  I think she was happy right to the end.  I tried to talk with Wuzzy Rat about it, but she just wanted to know if I had peanut butter.

My twelve-year-old nephew put it best.  He hugged me and said “I’m sorry about Fuzzy.  She was a nice little rat.”

Blogs by Veterinarians

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

An upcoming Problogger assignment () involves analyzing ten blogs in my niche.  Ten?  It took me years to find one veterinary blog I loved, and now I have to gather ten?

Well, I can tell you they are out there.  Through twitter, #dogtalk and dvm360, I have found all sorts of very fun veterinarians who are also bloggers.  So I listed my ten favorite veterinary blogs, and kept the list open so I can add more as I remember or discover them.  I will, of course, have a similar Veterinary Blog Reviewing Policy as my Leadership Book Reviewing Policy.  (Unless I can say “Great Book!  Five Stars!” I will not say anything.  My Mom taught me that.)

I actually probably will not review the veterinary blogs at all, as it is much simpler for you to click a link to a veterinary blog than to buy or borrow a leadership book!  You do not need me to review the sites for you!  Just read through some of them and see what you think!  I will tell you this –

I think they are all great!  Five stars!


Here is a (working) list of blogs I enjoy that are written by veterinarians…

Animal Care Center of Huntington Beach

Annmarie Hill Chavers, DVM

(I am saving this space on my list for Dr. Hill because she is great and I know she is going to come back and write more great things!)

Cruzan Borders

Dr. Nicki

Dr. Di’s Vet Blog

Di Veale, DVM

Dr. Patrick Mahany (Fun “Spin-off” – Celebrity Pet News)

Patrick Mahany, DVM and Cardiff : )



E-Vet Clinic Blog

Daniel Beatty, DVM

Fully Vetted

Patty Khuly, VMD, MBA

Generation Vet

Hillary Israeli, VMD and Phillip Barnes (ssshhh, it is too a blog!)

The Homeless Parrot

Homeless Parrot

Journey of an ER Veterinarian

ER Doc

The Learning Vet

a great <secret identity> vet

Olathe Animal Hospital Blog

J.C. Burcham, DVM and team


Dr. V

Pete the Vet

Pete Wedderburn, DVM

Pet Health Care Gazette

Lorie A. Huston, DVM

So I Have This Dog….


Speaking for Spot

Nancy Kay, DVM, Diplomate Internal Medicine

and About Vet Med and Vet Med Connect

Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM


Laci Schnaible, DVM and Jed Schnaible, DVM


Laura McClain Madsen, DVM


Jennifer Koehl, VMD

The Wagging Tail

Banfield, The Pet Hospital’s Veterinary Blog

An earlier post, Blogroll! lists other blogs I enjoy!

March 2011 Update:

I found some more!  Woo!

Angela Bücher, Pet Sitter

Monday, October 11th, 2010

One of the Veterinary Technicians with whom I work is starting a pet sitting business.  Angela is a wonderful pet nurse, pet sitter and rescuer.  I love working with her, and am hoping to be one of her very first clients as soon as we can take a trip to see our awesome family in OHIO!! : )

I love that she will be able to medicate Fuzzy Rat and that all of my pets already know and love her!

(402) 740-8720

Call Angela for more information!