Thursday, August 30, 2012

Acupuncture: The Integrated Veterinary Approach for Adventure Driven Mutts

You might consider it a special treat to go get a massage for yourself but, as more and more research suggests, massage coupled with acupuncture is a great method for dealing with illnesses, medical conditions, pain and stress in people.  A growing number of veterinarians are bringing the healing powers of massage and acupuncture to dogs and other animals too. While you might give your dog a morning and evening massage, its best to leave the needle work to the doctor!

Integrated Doggy Vets

New York Magazine reports Leilani Alvarez’s use of acupuncture at the Upper East Side’s Animal Medical Center. Alvarez explains the benefits of this ancient Chinese technique: “Acupuncture helps the body heal itself by releasing natural painkillers and anti-inflammatories. It also sends out neurotransmitters, hormones, and other cellular mediators, which improve circulation and immune functions.” Alvarez is just the latest in a growing field of integrating veterinary practices.

Medical Uses

For senior dogs specifically experiencing health problems from chronic pain, arthritic issues, gastrointestinal trouble and difficulty walking, acupuncture can provide an all-natural healing option when Western medicines have proven incapable or have lost their effectiveness. The medical benefits of using acupuncture on humans continues to expand and as more veterinarians receive acupuncture training the results for dogs can keep developing. The science behind acupuncture continues to unfold even as some Western researches doubt its Eastern philosophy. Yet, both humans and dogs are getting better through this holistic approach.

Working With The Right Vet

What is most important when experimenting with acupuncture is finding the right veterinarian. Just like in acupuncture for people, dogs need to be relaxed. If your dog is known to get a little fussy it is advisable to find a veterinarian that will work on calming your dog down before the acupuncture session. If your dog is prone to anxiety when visiting any veterinary hospital, see if they will accommodate your dog’s needs by helping bring your dog directly inside without a long stop in an uncomfortable waiting room. There is nothing worse for rescues than to be surrounded by a mix of breeds that might bring up bad memories of the shelter.

Is Acupuncture For You, Your Dog, or Both?

A lot of us who have already experienced the wonderful holistic benefits of acupuncture are eager to help our dogs when a medical need arises. But for those of you who have never undergone the process yourself, we recommend that you talk it over with your current veterinarian before introducing it to your dog and request a referral to consult with an acupuncture specialist.

If you've ever used acupuncture on your dog or cat let us know about your experience by commenting below.
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Monday, August 20, 2012

What We're Learning from the "Wet Dog Shake"

Dogs definitely have a distinctive way of getting rid of excess water from their coats. We've all seen it. Large or small, mutt or purebred, when a dog comes bounding out of a lake after a swim or a fetch, they all do a version of the "wet dog shake."

The wet dog shake is nothing new, and we've all enjoyed watching it (preferably from a distance!) But what is new is that recently scientists and engineers have taken an interest in this iconic dog activity. Why? It turns out that the wet dog shake embodies unique physical motions that could help in creating technological advances in how we clean sensitive, hard to reach instruments.

High speed cameras are being used to study the wet dog shake. Researchers from Georgia Tech have determined that dogs can shake off about 70% of the water from their saturated fur in about four seconds. The main reason for this is their loose-hanging skin. While a dog's spine can only rotate about 30 degrees in either direction, the loose-hanging skin of the typical canine can swing a full 90 degrees each way. The result is three times the velocity, three times the amplitude and nine times the centrifugal force of just shaking the backbone alone.

Scientists believe that dogs evolved to have loose skin in part because of the way it helps them dry off quickly. Wet fur causes a drop in body temperature, and it requires a lot of energy for a dog to reheat itself. Without the ability to shake off most of the water right away, as much as 20% of the daily dog's caloric intake would be depleted helping the dog dry and reheat.

Researchers believe that the information gleaned from the wet dog shake could have many practical applications. It could lead to more efficient cleaning and drying processes for sensitive instruments such as solar panels, the insides of electronic devices, optical devices and even equipment in outer space.

So the next time your mutt does the wet dog shake (video) right next to you, try not to get too annoyed. He's helping us more than you realized!
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Friday, August 17, 2012

Crippled Dog Left to Die in Mountains. Owner Wants Her Back; ALSO New Wave Band, Devo Releases New Single About a Famous Political Dog!

This mutt is outraged! About 13,500 feet above the ground, among the snow-capped peaks of Mount Bierstadt in Colorado, Scott Washburn and his wife, Amanda, found an abandoned, dying German shepherd dog.

This past Saturday, Aug. 11, Washburn and his wife were on a leisurely hike up Mount Bierstadt in Clear Creek County, a 14,000-foot peak near Denver that is categorized as a "14er" because, as Washburn said, "the peak is over 14,000 feet high and considered a Class 3, meaning it is not the most difficult - but it's too difficult for a dog to be on it or an inexperienced person.

"We were hiking to this ridge and we got off course and I was a little ahead of my wife," he said. "She called out to me and said, 'Hey I found a dog,' and figured I misheard her 'cause there was no way a dog was where we were."  You don't want to miss the rest of this story and video! More photos here.

Tell us what you think about this story.
OH BOY this mutt is laughing!    In case you haven't heard, New Wave band, Devo, will be releasing the single, "Don't Roof Rack Me, Bro! (Remember Seamus)", a track about Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s infamous 1983 road trip in which he transported the family dog from Massachusetts to Ontario in a kennel strapped to the roof of the family station wagon.  Read more on this funny article about this dog lovin' band and the app they are developing for dog lovers!

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

7 Ways Cats Help You Decorate

CATS. Today I am muttering about cats. You can't live with them and you can't live without them! This mutt tolerates them!  BOL!

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