The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : July 2017 The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : July 2017

Friday, July 14, 2017

Chain-Reaction Crash With Minor Injuries, Except for the Slime Eels

If you thought you were enduring a “summer of hell” commute, consider the repulsive mess created on an Oregon highway on Thursday in a collision of modern transportation and prehistoric fish.

Picture the scene from the 1984 “Ghostbusters” movie in which Dr. Peter Venkman, played by Bill Murray, complains about being “slimed.” Then multiply that a thousandfold, and you’ll get some idea of what happened on a coastal highway in Depoe Bay, Ore., about 100 miles west of Portland.

A truck hauling 7,500 pounds of hagfish, also known as slime eels, was traveling on Highway 101 around noon, transporting the fish to be exported to South Korea, where some diners consider them a delicacy.

Traffic was halted for road construction, but the truck driver was unable to stop. The truck’s load shifted, causing one of the containers carrying the hagfish to “fly across the highway,” the Oregon State Police said.

To read more on this story, click here: Chain-Reaction Crash With Minor Injuries, Except for the Slime Eels


A Move to Renew the Defunding of Horse Slaughter Facility Inspectors Was Defeated in a 27-25 Vote

The US House Appropriations Committee met to mark up and vote on the Fiscal Year 2018 Agriculture Appropriations Bill. The passage of this bill for the past decade has included language that effectively outlaws horse slaughter in the United States by blocking funding for the USDA to pay inspectors for horse slaughter facilities, but today’s passage will go without that amendment.

Lucille Roybal-Allard, a Democrat from California, pushed for the inclusion of the renewed ban, but the move was defeated in a 27-25 vote.

Horse slaughter plant inspectors will continue to be unfunded through September 30 of this year; it remains to be seen whether US slaughter facilities will move to reopen after that date.

While slaughter is currently outlawed by default in the US through the lack of inspector funding, horses still fall into the so-called “slaughter pipeline” and are shipped to Mexico or Canada (as well as shipped overseas less commonly) with meat typically sold to European markets. Many supporters of US horse slaughter argue that re-legalizing slaughter in this country would reduce the suffering of animals being shipped over the border; opponents to slaughter argue that there is no such things as “humane horse slaughter” regardless of where the animal is taken.

Horse slaughter has been a contentious issue in the horse world and the political world for years, with strong arguments to be made on both sides for the health of the industry. Regardless of whether you are for or against horse slaughter, this development will certainly have far-reaching effects in the horse industry in the coming year.


Three Dogs in Florida Were Rushed to an Emergency Veterinarian After Ingesting Fentanyl

While K-9 officers use their noses to sniff out drugs, the opioid epidemic has put our police dogs in deadly jeopardy.

Three dogs in Florida were rushed to an emergency veterinarian hospital last year when they were with their handlers during a drug raid and ingested fentanyl – an extremely potent drug used as a painkiller often mixed with heroin and twice as potent.

In response to the dangerous epidemic, law enforcement officers now carry naloxone with them just in case; as they send the police dogs into homes and cars searching for narcotics. The drug naloxone has been used for years to reverse overdoses in humans.

In January, the Massachusetts State Police started carrying naloxone for their dogs, and according to CbsNews, police in Hartford, Connecticut also includes handlers to carry the drug for their dogs – just in case.

As human officers have reported becoming very ill from a small amount of fentanyl after being in close contact with suspects – just patting them down and getting the white powder on their hands, reactions can be even more severe for K-9 personnel.

With dogs, their primary sense is smell, and they literally breathe and inhale the opioids, so to protect their four-legged partners, police officers now carry the naloxone kits which blocks the effects of opioids and reverses overdoses with few side effects.

Previously naloxone had most often been used by doctors, medics and emergency medical personnel – now police, firefighters and families with members suffering from addiction carry the kits; naloxone can be administered through injection or via a nasal spray.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, deputy administrator Jack Riley has warned police officers of the dangers of fentanyl to both humans and dogs:
“Fentanyl can kill our canine companions and partners just as easy as it can humans, so please take precautions for their safety too,” Riley warned.

In Broward County, Florida, a police K-9 officer named Primus became lethargic after a drug search. He and two other dogs were rushed to an emergency veterinarian where the dogs were all treated with naloxone – all three recovered quickly.

It is believed they may have inhaled a trace amount of fentanyl (the same drug that killed Prince) and that the drug even may have been absorbed into their bodies through their paws. Experts believe for a dog just two or three granules like sand would be enough to overdose a dog.

Officers are being much more prudent now before sending dogs into a home or building known where drugs are overtly observed. Sadly the drug epidemic has become so critical in the United States, even our dogs’ lives are at risk.


The Three Biggest Fire Safety Mistakes Pet Parents Make

Having a pet can be a real learning curve, but there’s one aspect of pet parenthood that leaves no room for error: fire safety for four-legged friends.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that more than 500,000 pets are affected by home fires each year.

With Pet Fire Safety Day approaching on July 15, Petplan is raising awareness about prevention and planning for emergencies, and revealed the most common fire-safety mistakes people make:

To read more on this story, click here: The Three Biggest Fire Safety Mistakes Pet Parents Make


How to Keep Your Cat From Scratching Furniture – and Why You Should Avoid Declawing at All Costs

As much as we adore them, it can drive cat lovers crazy to see their beloved feline claw at their furniture. Cats are capable of precious snuggles, amazing acrobatics, and hilarious antics but watching furniture get torn to shreds is not fun! 

Of course, clawing is a completely natural behavior for cats. According to PAWS, cats will scratch at furniture, carpet, and other objects for numerous reasons, such as to remove the dead outer layer of their claws, to mark their territory by leaving a visual mark and scent (cats have scent glands on their paws), as well as to stretch their bodies and paws. Unfortunately, for some inexperienced guardians, a cat’s need to claw might drive them to return or abandon their new feline. 

70 percent of shelter cats end up being killed including strays, feral and surrendered cats, so it’s important we keep cats happy and safe in their home by any means possible, and keep them out of shelters. So, if your cat is scratching at furniture and other items in the house, here are some tips for how to deter them.

To read more on this story, click here: How to Keep Your Cat From Scratching Furniture – and Why You Should Avoid Declawing at All Costs


Have You Ever Heard of The Tardigrade, A Microscopic Invertebrate That Can Survive Until the End of Earth?

Tardigrades have a reputation as the toughest animals on the planet. Some of these microscopic invertebrates shrug off temperatures of minus 272 Celsius, one degree warmer than absolute zero. Other species can endure powerful radiation and the vacuum of space. In 2007, the European Space Agency sent 3,000 animals into low Earth orbit, where the tardigrades survived for 12 days on the outside of the capsule.

To a group of theoretical physicists, tardigrades were the perfect specimens to test life's tenacity. “Life is pretty fragile if all your estimates are based on humans or dinosaurs,” said David Sloan, a theoretical cosmologist at Oxford University in Britain.

The tardigrade lineage is ancient. “Tardigrade microfossils are reported from the Early Cambrian to the Early Cretaceous, 520 million to 100 million years ago,” said Ralph O. Schill, an expert on tardigrades at the University of Stuttgart in Germany who was not involved with this research. “They have seen the dinosaurs come and go.”

Sloan, with his Oxford colleague Rafael Alves Batista and Harvard University astrophysicist Abraham Loeb, decided to try to rid the planet of tardigrades. In theory, anyway, in a report published Friday in the journal Scientific Reports. Through the powers of mathematical modeling they tossed three of the most devastating cosmic events at Earth: killer asteroids, supernovae and gamma-ray bursts.

“These are the biggest ways you can transfer energy to the planet,” Sloan said. The tardigrades kept on theoretically trucking, outlasting 10 billion years' worth of cataclysms. Until the point that the sun failed or engulfed the planet.

In picking their apocalyptic poison, the scientists first tried to sterilize the planet with radiation. In the lab, some tardigrade species can survive radiation doses of 5,000 to 6,000 grays. (“You would be very, very lucky to walk away” from a dose of 5 grays, Sloan said.) But long before the scientists blasted Earth with enough radiation to kill all the tardigrades, they calculated that the radiation's energy would boil the oceans away. The sticking point for tardigrades, then, was the evaporation of the planet's water.

For an asteroid to deposit that much energy into the ocean, it would need a mass of at least 1.7 quintillion kilograms. Of all the asteroids in the solar system, only 19 fit the bill. (By way of comparison, the asteroid that finished the dinosaurs was six miles across; an asteroid called Vesta that is one of the potential ocean killers has a diameter of 326 miles.) The chances of such a massive collision are so small, the scientists said, that the sun would die first.

Likewise, the closest stars that could explode into supernovae are too far away to boil the oceans. Gamma-ray bursts were a bit more complicated — “we don't really understand where they come from,” Sloan said — but not impossible to calculate. And though the bursts would strip off parts of the atmosphere, killing animals like humans, tiny and durable creatures under the ocean, huddled around hydrothermal vents, would be “sufficiently well-shielded,” Sloan said.

But lumping all tardigrade species into one unkillable chimera was a fatal flaw in this argument, according to tardigrade expert William R. Miller. “I can't say anything about the physics,” he said, “but they can't say anything about the animals.”

Not all tardigrades dwell in water; some species live in moss and lichens on trees. (Their variety of habitats is reflected in nicknames like “water bear” and “moss piglet.”)

Miller, a biologist at Baker University in Kansas, said that the authors of the new work treat tardigrades as a single animal, ignoring that they are in fact a phylum of 1,250 different species. He compared this approach to arguing that “a sixgill shark at the bottom of the ocean is the same as a snow leopard in Siberia.”

Sloan emphasized that he was approaching the tardigrade apocalypse as a physicist, not a biologist. He said such doomsday calculations commonly take a human perspective, but such an approach misses the true resilience of life. The cosmic implications of this study, he said, “means that if life did get started on another planet in our galaxy, it probably should still be there.”

Land-dwelling tardigrades endure extremes thanks to an ability called cryptobiosis, in which the animals lose all but 3 percent of the water in their bodies. It is in this state that tardigrades can survive the hottest heats, the coolest colds, crushing pressures or the complete lack of it. They desiccate, and then they persist. Joseph Seckbach, a biologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said that a tardigrade “can be in dormancy for 30, 40 years, and wake up and say, ‘Hello!’ ”

But there is no indication that water-dwelling tardigrades are capable of the same process, Miller said. “The illusion that marine animals survive with a cryptobiotic plan is just dead wrong.” Nor are they indestructible. “We work with active animals and they're quite easily murdered,” he said. “We kill thousands of them every day.”

Shill noted that tardigrades had evolved to survive in particular microhabitats. “I believe that the resistance to radiation is a product of chance,” he said. “If an astrophysical event sterilized all life on Earth, it does look also bad for the future of these amazing animals.”

That's not to say cosmic tardigrades are out of the question. In 2014, Miller and physicist Ran Sivron calculated that tardigrades could survive the 4.37-light year trip to Alpha Centauri (and then longer, if they presumably landed on a friendly exoplanet). Even then, though, “the ability to go into this cryptobiosis survival mechanism probably isn't going to work,” Miller said, “if they still don't have food, water, habitat or atmosphere.”


July is National Pet Fire Safety Month

Did you know more than 40,000 pets die each year in house fires and that 1,000 dogs cause fires every year? As the summer heats up, so too does the danger of fire. Here are some tips to keep both you and your dog safe.

How Pets Start Fires

Candles create a beautiful glow, but can be a fire hazard as your dog or cat knocks them off a table. Now they make flameless candles, which are just a pretty as the real ones … plus they are less messy! Pets are curious so be careful of them approaching fireplaces as well.

Do not let your dog or cat chew electrical cords. Be careful of crock pots that can be tipped over while you are away from home and your pet is alone.

Believe it or not, many dogs and cats have managed to turn on a stove or range with their tails! Consider stove top covers like the kind used to baby proof your home.

Puppies can often chew through cords and start electrical fires. You may want to keep your puppy in a crate while you are gone during the day to keep him out of mischief.

Beware of water bowls on wooden decks. The hot rays of the sun, when filtered through a glass water bowl can actually ignite the wooden deck.

To read more on this story, click here: July is National Pet Fire Safety Month


New Drug Kits Save Police Dogs from Opioid Overdoses

Boston -- Police dogs simply follow their noses to sniff out narcotics. But inhaling powerful opioids can be deadly, so officers have a new tool to protect their four-legged partners: naloxone, a drug that has already been used for years to reverse overdoses in humans.

Law enforcement officers have started carrying naloxone with them on drug raids, when K-9s are often sent into houses or cars to find narcotics. Three police dogs in Florida were rushed to an animal hospital last year when they ingested fentanyl, a powerful painkiller that is often mixed with street heroin but 50 times more potent.

Massachusetts State Police started carrying naloxone for their K-9s in March. Police in Hartford, Connecticut, started in January.

Even just a small amount of powdered fentanyl can sicken police officers who come in contact with it during an arrest. Just last month, Ohio police officer Chris Green nearly died from an accidental overdose after patting down a suspect and getting white powder, believed to be fentanyl, on his hands.

To read more on this story, click here: New Drug Kits Save Police Dogs from Opioid Overdoses


In Maryland, it is Illegal for a Bystander to Smash a Car Window to Save a Pet Trapped in a Hot Car

During the dog days of summer, the last place your dog should be is in a car alone.

In Maryland, it is illegal to leave a cat or dog in a standing or parked car in a manner that endangers the health or safety of that animal.

It is also illegal for a bystander to smash a car window to save a pet trapped in a hot car.

The law allows for police, local and state public safety employees, animal control officers, and fire rescue volunteers to use reasonable force to remove a cat or dog left in a car without being held liable for any damages.

“Even if you have the windows down, even if it's in a shady place, I recommend just trying to avoid [leaving a pet in a car] at all costs” said Dr. Amelia Kaeding with Falls Road Animal Hospital.

Different breeds can feel the effects of heat faster, particularly older dogs and puppies.

“Swollen tongue, so if their tongue is looking really big. And then once heatstroke gets much more serious, I worry about vomiting and diarrhea, especially if there's blood in it; muscle weakness, shaking, tremors, they can even get seizures,” said Dr. Kaeding.

Dogs with a lot of hair or smooshed faces are also very susceptible to heat stroke, and it doesn't take long for a car to get hot.

“Even on a 70 degree day and it feels nice and cool out, if you leave a dog in a car, it can get to 90 degrees in about 10 minutes,” said Stephen Wells the executive director with the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF).

The ALDF tracks various “hot car” and “Good Samaritan” laws in different states. Twenty-nine states have some form of a hot car law that prohibits leaving a companion animal in an unattended vehicle. However, the laws differ place to place.

“In Maryland, there is a law that allows emergency responders to be able to break into a car but not members of the public, at this time,” Wells said.

Wells added it’s not likely for someone to face charges if they saved the animal, but there’s always a chance. He said it helps to do a few things to make sure you’re covered.

“It's good to have a witness, have somebody there. Make sure you're prepared to take care of that dog once you get them out. Do the least amount of damage possible and just make sure you don't risk the dog's or anyone else's safety while you're doing that,” Wells said.

Eleven states currently have Good Samaritan laws that grant immunity to anyone freeing a trapped animal.

Dr. Kaeding also warns pet owners to watch that their pets don't overheat while playing outside. If they do, it's recommended you take them to the veterinarian. You should also blow a cold fan on them, and dip them in cool water. Do not use ice or ice cold water. It can constrict the blood vessels and cause the dog to actually retain heat.


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Meet Darius, The Biggest Rabbit in the World

At 4' 4" tall and weighing in at 50 pounds, Darius is currently the biggest rabbit in the world! The craziest part? He may not hold that title for much longer because his son is on track to be even bigger.

Jeff is 3' 8" and still has about 6 months of growing left. His owner, Annette Edwards, expects him to be much bigger than his dad.

The two are members of the Continental Giant breed, which was bred for their meat, but are now loving house pets.

They are so large that they must sleep in large dog crates instead of rabbit cages.

The rabbits eat their way through 2,000 carrots and 700 apples a year.


Rockville, Maryland: Montgomery County Humane Society is in Need of Supplies for the Animals – Please Share!

Montgomery County Humane Society: We are low on a few items:

*Toilet paper
*Paper towels
*Canned kitten food
*Dog & cat toys 
*trash bags (30 gallon)

If you can help us, our hours to drop off are from 
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily at 
601 S. Stonestreet Avenue, Rockville, Maryland

Thanks you guys so much for your support!

Please Share!