Monthly Archives: June 2014

Fair pricing for vet practices

Keeping your canine healthy is a major part to ensuring their happiness and giving you piece of mind.  Finding a good vet is like finding a great doctor; hard to do.  Unfortunately, we don’t get the same level of health insurance for pets like we do for people so price of care often times plays into where we go.

I think there’s a balance between cost of care and level + relationship of care.  Costs can vary widely.  I know when I first moved out to Washington (state, not DC) that I floundered in my attempts to find a good vet.

What's the cost of vet care in your area?

What’s the cost of vet care in your area?

There is a new site called Fairvets that helps you locate or at least know the average cost of care before heading off to a vet.  It’s a great site but it also needs more people to input vet prices.  The site is reliant on individuals giving the costs of their vet care; the more people who participate the more information they’ll have to share.  Currently, in the metro-Detroit area they only show 6 vets.

This will be a great site to bookmark and keep an eye on.  Don’t forget to provide your own vet information to help their site grow!

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No Ice Cubes for Dogs?!

I’ve seen the a post going around Facebook quite a bit over the past couple of days.  Interestingly, this rumor has been making the rounds to dog lovers everywhere since 2007.

The post talks about how an owner, showing her dog gave him ice to cool down.  After just a few minutes the dog began to bloat and almost died.  According to the blog post, the vet told the owner she was VERY lucky as giving ice cubes can cause a dog’s internal organs and stomach muscles to spasm leading to GDV, a very serious condition that can lead to death.

Since we live in a ‘culture of fear’ and ‘take it as it is’ (if it’s on the internet it MUST be true), I had to check it out for myself as it didn’t just seem right.

Dog Killer?

Dog Killer?

According to Snopes, this information is absolutly false.  Turns out it’s not the cold (and subsequent stomach muscle spasms) that could cause the GDV but rather consuming large amounts of water too quickly.  If your dog is hot or has been running hard, before you let them gulp down large amounts of water (introducing air internally) you’ll want to walk them for a good 10 – 15 minutes to not only help stretch and cool-down the muscles but it gives the dog a chance to cool it’s temperature down as well.

Always good to double check your facts!  Will it kill your dog if you were to stop giving them ice cubes?  Absolutely not.  No reason not to err on the side of caution if you’re still unsure, but it’s best tot be informed and not spread information in the ‘name of fear’.  We all want the best for our four legged family members!

Click the links below to read both the original blog post that’s been going around as well as the Snope.com fact check.  If you’re not into Snopes I’ve provided a few other links as well!

Original Blog Post

Snopes Debunking

She Who Knows

Vet Debunks Online Rumor

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Filed under Medical

SPARCS 2014 Conference Livestream

Looking for something to do June 20th – 22nd without leaving your home?  Looking to learn more about canine behavior from experts in their fields?  Grab your computer, a comfy spot and listen to the SPARCS 2013 Conference Livestream!  This is an amazing opportunity to hear from animal behavior specialist, biologists and canine behavior experts on a wide variety of topics.

Sparcs Brochure cover

What is SPARCS?  From their brochure:

Current dog training practices are based on outdated knowledge, with
even popular celebrity trainers suggesting techniques more than 50
years behind modern behavioral research. A Seattle non-profit has
started a revolution to change this. The Society for the Promotion
of Applied Research in Canine Science (SPARCS) has created an
open-access public platform where modern canine science can be
presented, discussed and debated by the greatest dog experts from
around the world.

I know where I will be June 20 – 22!  Want to learn more?  Click any of the links below to look at the schedule, read more about the speakers and topics and bookmark the livestream feed!

Schedule

Speakers and Topics / Conference Brochure

Livestream Link

Happy learning!

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Filed under Events

UKC Obedience – Real Dogs for Real Assholes

Yes, my title is harsh…but read on and you’ll understand.  If you don’t then leave a comment and let’s discuss!

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This past weekend was the 2014 UKC Premier and as is tradition I was there with my mom and friend.  It’s tradition for us to stay in a hotel and enjoy all 4 days of the show.  Usually I show my mom’s Silken Windhounds for her but this year I managed to seriously injure my calf while practicing flyball with my golden.  However, that didn’t stop me from enjoying the show!  I am currently processing the photos I took and will get those up here in the next few days.  I have a few posts to write about the 2014 UKC Premier but I want to focus on something that happened that put a damper on our weekend for a bit.

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The UKC Premier features all major dog sporting events:  confirmation, junior showmanship, obedience, rally, agility, lure coursing, weight pulls, dock jumping, and barn hunts (apologies if I missed your sport).  We had spent most of the weekend ringside watching confirmation and decided on Saturday we wanted to go watch some obedience.  Housed in another part of the expo center, we grabbed our chairs and headed off to watch obedience.  There were several rings for rally and several for traditional obedience which was running novice and open.  My friend and I decided we wanted to watch some Open, walked to the ring,  put our chairs against the back wall about 6 feet from the ring and sat down.  We weren’t sitting there more than 5 minutes when a ring steward came up to us and told us we had to move because we were a distraction to the dogs in the ring.  We apologized, picked up our chairs and moved.  Now mind you, we were a good distance from the ring and were positioned by the garbage can and doors; we weren’t talking and couldn’t have been a bigger distraction then the people coming in and out and walking past us.  The dirty glares we were getting from other obedience exhibitors should have killed us on the spot.  Seriously… you would have thought we were screaming with bullhorns at a ballet.

We tried watching her... I'm sure she did great!

We tried watching her… I’m sure she did great!

We set our chairs up and are promptly told we can’t sit there because it’s a fire hazard.  We were a little perplexed.  There were no signs and no indications of where we could and couldn’t sit.  Another UKC representation comes up and tells us we have to sit behind the yellow line as per the Fire Marshal.  We look around and realize that behind the line means squishing back against where all the obedience exhibitors were crating.  There was very little space so we pull our chairs back and start to squeeze in.  Now mind you, there is almost NO space for us to put our chairs so we’re trying to do the best we can.  As we’re attempting to get settled, one of the obedience exhibitors very rudely says to us, “Don’t set your chairs up there, my friend will be coming back soon and you’ll be in her space.”  We look around, flabbergasted.  There is literally no other space for us to set up.  The obedience exhibitor crates are literally wall to yellow line and then have their chairs set up in front.  You couldn’t squeeze a chair in anywhere if your life depended on it.  So, we picked up our chairs and left.  What a shame!

I remember when I first started I showed in obedience and they were the most welcoming, easy going people you could ask for in the dog sport.  What happened?  We were so unwelcome and treated rudely that it put a little bit of a damper on our Saturday.  The problem was compounded upon by several factors.  First, the crating.  Confirmation exhibitors aren’t allowed to crate in the same building so why should the obedience folks be allowed to?  If it’s literally the only space for them then they should be limited in exactly where they can crate.  Second, there was no set space for spectators.  The exhibitors were literally taking up all available space behind the yellow line so a spectator could not watch.  The UKC needs to set space aside that can’t be used for crating or exhibitors so that someone coming into the show can sit, watch, learn and enjoy this part of the sport.  Third; the absolutely horrible attitude and treatment from the obedience exhibitors themselves.  There was no reason they couldn’t have moved to make room for us.  Instead we were told to not sit because that was their spot.  Last time I checked, obedience was a dying sport and I don’t think having an ultra-elitist attitude is the way to bring people in.

I think what perplexes me the most about what happened is the attitude of ‘being so quiet you could hear a pin drop’ in the obedience building.  I understand not wanting there to be kids running around screaming or other major distractions but since when do obedience trained competitors need a completely distraction free environment?!  I remember when I trained we trained in all types of conditions and made our own distractions to help our dogs learn to focus.  If your dog can’t handle a couple of gals sitting in chairs watching 6 feet from the ring then you probably aren’t ready to be competing.

Now, you might be reading this thinking I’m a confirmation elitist and I’m not.  I have put obedience and agility titles on dogs as well as finished dogs in their confirmation championship.  I have waited two years for a performance Border Collie to show in flyball, agility and obedience.  I love all aspects of the sport and it pisses me off when one type of exhibitor acts like they are better than another.  All aspects of the sport have their own challenges and require training, patience and dedication.  We get enough gruff from those outside the dog sport that we don’t need to be assholes to one another.

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