The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : June 2018 The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : June 2018

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Commonly Seen Diseases that Affect Pet Guinea Pigs

While there is no official record of the most commonly seen diseases that affect pet guinea pigs there is still a subjective opinion that is felt through the guinea pig community regarding common ailments of pet cavies. By knowing what is most commonly seen you can be better prepared to monitor for signs and symptoms that your guinea pig may be getting sick.

Guinea pigs should always be eating and defecating. If you see your guinea pig hasn't touched his food and you are seeing less and fewer stools being passed your guinea pig may have ileus. Ileus is when gas builds up in the gastrointestinal tract (stomach and intestines) and due to the lack of normal peristalsis and no food coming in it causes discomfort and the gas is unable to leave the body. This is actually a very life-threatening condition and your guinea pig should receive immediate medical attention to get the proper medications.

Ileus can be caused secondarily by an underlying illness or stressor which in turn causes your guinea pig to stop eating. Things as simple as moving the cage, introducing a new guinea pig, an upper respiratory infection, and even ectoparasites like lice can stress your guinea pig out enough so that he doesn't eat and develops ileus.

If your guinea pig has hair loss and is itching or scratching he may have lice or mites. While the thought of having these things in your house, much less on the guinea pig you just played with, may make you itch all over they can be easy to avoid and treat. Lice, sarcoptic mange mites (scabies), and Demodex mange mites (Demodex) can all cause itching and hair loss. Lice and their eggs are usually seen in the bald patches behind your guinea pig's ears and the mites can be seen microscopically all over the body.

Guinea pigs can give these parasites to each other and can also get them from food and bedding. By freezing your food and bedding before introducing it into the cage you can kill off any potential parasites that may have been lurking in the packages.

Uterine and Ovarian Diseases
Spaying your female guinea pig is definitely recommended for more than just population control if she is housed with a male cavy. Females often develop uterine and ovarian issues including various cancers. Sometimes the uterus and ovaries can be removed even after the problem has been discovered but other times cancer has already spread to other parts of the body rendering it untreatable. A complete ovariohysterectomy can be performed by your exotics vet on your guinea pig at about six months of age to prevent uterine and ovarian diseases just as it would in a dog or cat. While some guinea pig owners are not able to justify the cost of the procedure others see the great benefit to having their guinea pigs longer and not having to pay for emergency treatment when they notice their pig is sick.

Respiratory Diseases
Guinea pigs are sensitive to cold air drafts and can easily develop an upper respiratory infection or worse yet, pneumonia. They can even get Bordatella bronchiseptica from your dog, cat, or pet rabbit. Simply keeping your cavies away from drafts will help decrease the likelihood of them getting a respiratory infection as well as washing your hands after handling other animals (guinea pigs at pet stores, your dog or cat if they are coughing or sneezing, and even your rabbit).

More commonly referred to as bladder stones, uroliths often form in the bladder of pet guinea pigs. They cause pain and discomfort and the urine is often bloody due to the irritation the stone causes. Stones are often found on radiographs being taken for a diagnosis of ileus and must be surgically removed.

By keeping a close watch on your guinea pig by making sure is he eating and defecating, washing your hands before and after handling him, freezing his bedding and food before use, and keeping him away from drafts you can prevent the bulk of the most commonly seen guinea pig diseases. There are of course numerous other diseases that affect guinea pigs, therefore, an annual physical examination with your exotics vet is always recommended.


Considering Getting A Pocket Pet? Do Your Research First

What is a pocket pet?

Pocket pet is a term used to refer to a small pet mammal commonly kept as a household pet. The most common pocket pets are rodents such as hamsters, gerbils, degus, sugar gliders (a marsupial), fancy mice, fancy rats, chinchillas, and guinea pigs.

Gary Riggs, DVM, spends most of his time working with exotic pets. So when it comes to advice on pocket pets—small animals such as guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, rats, gerbils, chinchillas, and sugar gliders—he’s a good person to ask. Riggs is a veterinarian at three Ohio clinics, NorthCoast Bird and Exotic Specialty Hospital, Barberton Veterinary Clinic, and The Animal Clinic of Wadsworth.

The most popular pocket pets are guinea pigs and smaller rodents, such as mice, rats, gerbils, and hamsters. Hedgehogs, chinchillas, and sugar gliders are also popular, Riggs says, though they require more specialized care and are illegal to own in some states and provinces, so check with your local government before attempting to bring one home.

The bottom line for anyone thinking of getting a pocket pet is: Do your research first.

Different animals require different care.

Some questions to ask:

  • Do I have room for the animal’s cage?
  • What space and exercise needs does the animal have? Does she need to run or climb?
  • What does the animal eat? How specialized is his food?
  • When does the animal sleep? At night or during the day?
  • How much interaction does the animal like and need? Do I have enough time to spend with her?
  • How messy is the animal? How often am I going to have to clean up after him?
  • Because some pocket pets need to climb, they may require a larger or more complex cage with multiple levels, Riggs says. It also is important to remember that some pocket pets are comfortable being handled and are a good fit for owners who want to tote them around while others are not.
Knowing what your pocket pet eats is similarly important, Riggs says. Guinea pigs, for example, need Vitamin C supplements. Sugar gliders eat a variety of foods, including insects and produce.

“It can be anywhere from a fairly simple diet with hay and pellets up to a very specialized diet,” Riggs says.  

As for the time question, some pocket pets tend to be messier and require more frequent cage cleanings.

It is also important to be aware that, with some pocket pets, you may need to buy two. Guinea pigs often prefer to have another guinea pig in their cage, in which case you’ll want to avoid matching a male and female unless you want guinea pig babies!

Spaying or neutering is an option for some pocket pets. Chinchillas, for example, need to be spayed or neutered, Riggs says. Guinea pigs are prone to reproductive tract problems, so they may need a hysterectomy.

As for which pocket pets are going to keep you and your family up at night, chinchillas and hedgehogs are more nocturnal, Riggs says. Rats and guinea pigs are less so.  

Also ask yourself how long of a commitment you are willing to make. Rats live only a couple of years. Chinchillas can live up to 20 years, which is longer than most dogs.

Veterinary care is another consideration. How often a pocket pet needs to see the vet varies by type of animal. According to Riggs, hamsters and guinea pigs often go to the vet two or three times per year. Others need only an annual exam. Guinea pigs and rats are more prone to dental problems, so they may require more frequent dental exams by a veterinarian.

So what’s the easiest pocket pet to own in terms of maintenance? A rat, Riggs says. They like being handled, but their space needs aren’t as great, and it’s fairly simple to feed and clean up after them.

Gerbils are also easy, Riggs says, especially if you don’t want to be as hands-on.

“You can set them up with the wheels and tunnels,” he says.

What is the highest maintenance pocket pet? A sugar glider, Riggs says, because it requires more time and space and has a more complex diet, not to mention it is illegal to own them in some states and provinces.

So, do your research before bringing a pocket pet home, but once you do, enjoy your new family member.

“They’re great pets,” Riggs says.


Doctors Advise That Pets As Well As Humans Are at Risk of Mushroom Poisoning

There are different types of mushrooms that can have varied effects on pets such as, depression, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, tearing, hallucinations, defecation, liver failure, seizures, drooling, urination, kidney failure, heart damage, hyperactivity and in some cases, death.

Amanita phalloides is the most commonly reported severely toxic species of mushroom in the US but other Amanita species are toxic.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says, mushrooms are a very complex group of fungi. Certain species of mushrooms, such as the types you find in the grocery store, are considered to be nontoxic, while other wild species can be very toxic. Some have been known to cause liver and kidney damage, while others result in severe gastrointestinal and even neurological effects.

Because a toxic mushroom could be growing right alongside a nontoxic one, identifying what type the animal ingested can be tricky. Because of this, we advise that pet owners not allow their animals to ingest any wild mushrooms. And since we often cannot get a positive identification of the exact species involved, it is important to treat all wild mushroom ingestions very seriously.


Pets in Divorce Proceedings

Introduction to Pets in Divorce Proceedings
When it comes to pets, the law is fairly clear on how pets are viewed – and that is pets are property. If you are a pet owner, it is more likely than not you view your pet as a member of the family, or even as a child. When a couple goes through a divorce, and pets are involved, it can be incredibly stressful and different laws will apply to the pets – even though the couple may consider the pet family. A small minority of states will consider the emotional attachment of pets during a divorce proceeding, but the majority of states will treat the pet as a piece of property. Like many issues in family court, it is better to settle outside of court so both parties can be involved with the decision making process. This will be especially true when deciding where the family pet will live.

Pets in the Law Generally
In the majority of states, pets are considered personal property.[i] During the divorce proceeding, there are a few ways of dividing up personal, or tangible, property but deciding how to divide the family dog is a little more difficult than deciding who is going to get the couch in the living room or the table in the dinning room. Despite this, the courts still consider dogs in this category. Often times in divorce proceedings, unless the property is incredibly valuable, parties go back and forth and chose items they want to keep.[ii] The parties do their best to keep things even, and divide each room of the house evenly in some way.

When it comes to pets, especially families with one pet that is not an easy task. Even families that have two, or four pets, it is still difficult to determine where that pet will be going. For this reason, and many others, many animal rights activists have been fighting for the courts to recognize that pets should be treated differently than property, at least during a divorce or separation proceeding. To the majority of families with pets view their pets as part of the family, so deciding where the couch goes is inherently different than where the family dog will go.

To read more on this story, click here: Pets in Divorce Proceedings


Have You Ever Owned A Guinea Pig, Would You Consider Having One As A Pet?

Have you ever owned a guinea pig? Then you know they make wonderful companions! They are docile members of the rodent family, rarely bite and are known for squeaking with delight when their favorite humans enter the room.

Guinea pigs are excellent pets for older children who have learned proper handling techniques. They are the gentlest of the pocket pets, which include mice, hamsters, rats and gerbils and so are ideal pets for responsible children.

Guinea pigs drink a lot of water and love to run the water out of the bottles! Water bottles with stainless steel ball bearing sipper tubes are the best kind to use.

Before buying a guinea pig, please consider these facts:

1. They are social animals.

2. They are usually quiet they can call out quite loudly.

3. They can be active both day and night.

4. Consider keeping a same sex pair so they have company.

5.  Their life span is around 5-7 years, however, they have been known to live longer.

6.  They are a long-term commitment.

7. They can generally become very tame with frequent handling.

8. A pair of females is a good choice, while a pair of males may fight.

9. They may be a little nervous at first, but they rarely bite.

10. You can purchase a cage…or make your own.

11. Keep the cage in an area where temperatures range between 65 - 75 F (18-25C). Guinea pigs handle cold quite well but they are very susceptible to heat stroke.

Guinea pigs are larger than hamsters, but smaller than rabbits. They have rounded stout body, with no visible tail. However, a few tail vertebrae can be felt under the skin. They are approximately 10 inches long, and can weigh between  2-3 pounds. They also come in a variety of colors

You should choose a Veterinarian that works with exotic pets, guinea pigs, parrots and other small animals. Always contact your Vet if you observe any of the following: Your pet has not eaten for more than eight hours; has very labored breathing; is bleeding from mouth, rectum or genital area; inability to urinate; extreme lethargy; and diarrhea that is watery and foul-smelling.


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Household Items That Are Hazardous To Dogs

Anyone living with a baby or toddler knows to be vigilant about household safety hazards and takes steps to keep children safe. But as a dog owner, do you take the same care to protect your pets from common household objects? Try to see your environment from your dog’s point of view and determine what looks like a tempting plaything or snack. These everyday items may seem innocent, but they can pose a threat to your pet.

Wires and cords: Do you have a nest of cords dangling from your computer or TV and related devices? That can look like a mighty tempting plaything to a dog. And if you have a puppy or a dog that chews, he could be burned or suffer electric shock from chewing on those wires. Use a cord cover or bundle wires together with wire ties to make them less interesting to the dog. Cords dangling from a lamp or small appliance may look like ideal tug toys, and before you know it, your favorite reading light is in pieces on the floor. Try to block your dog’s access or secure wires along the wall or floor.

Cleaning products: You wouldn’t leave these out for kids; don’t leave them out for your dog, either. If they’re in an easily opened lower cabinet, try a children’s safety latch or move these products to a higher shelf. And pay attention when you’re using cleansers, whether you’re using a bucket of soapsuds for cleaning or you are mopping the floor. A curious dog may think this looks like a delicious drink.

Garbage cans: Dogs love garbage; it smells delicious and is full of yummy treats. Your trash may be filled with rotting food, chemically treated items, cleansers, sharp items, and other potential hazards. If your dog is one of those clever animals that can overturn a can or nudge open the lid, keep garbage in a closed cabinet or use a can with a locking lid. That way you will avoid coming home to a trash-strewn kitchen, and you’ll be protecting your dog from ingesting something harmful.

Small choking hazards: This could be anything: jewelry left on the nightstand, a needle and thread on the coffee table, paper clips, craft supplies, or children’s toys on the floor. These may seem like perfectly harmless everyday objects, until your curious or bored dog decides they’ll make an exotic new snack.

Open windows: Before you say we’ve gone too far, think of your dog gazing out of a wide-open, unscreened window when another dog walks by or his favorite mailman passes. That window can be an open invitation to make an escape. Be especially mindful of second-story windows, which should be closed or screened.

Nicotine: An ashtray filled with cigarette butts or a pack of cigarettes left on a table can be pure poison for your dog. Nicotine is a rapid-acting toxin that, in extreme cases, causes cardiac arrest.

Chocolate: Delicious, irresistible, and almost guaranteed to cause a trip to the vet. Don’t leave your candy bar, brownie, piece of lava cake, or any chocolate anywhere your dog can get to it.

Medication: If you’re in the habit of laying out a daily dose of pills or any other medication, it might be a habit you should break. Colorful capsules or a handful of little pills left on a nightstand, for example, can be very tempting to a dog. And be sure to keep your pill containers tucked safely away in a cabinet or drawer that is out of reach for inquisitive pups.

Houseplants: Who doesn’t love a little greenery in the house? While many houseplants are perfectly benign, some are toxic to dogs and should be either removed or placed well out of reach. These are just a few of the plants known to be poisonous for dogs:

Dieffenbachia (commonly called Dumb Cane)
Jade Plant
Aloe Plant — despite all of its helpful properties when used topically, eating it will cause vomiting.
Kalanchoe (commonly called Mother-in-Law Plant)
Amaryllis — as pretty as it is, it’s poisonous to dogs.
Learn more about houseplants that could be harmful to pets.

You may be thinking that your dog would never be in danger from anything around the house, and you might be right; some dogs are less curious or adventurous, or have been well trained in what they can and cannot have. But many other dogs, especially puppies, will find these common household objects fascinating. And then there are the dogs with that mischievous glint in their eye that means anything within reach is fair game. In general, it’s best not to leave your beloved pet open to temptation.
chihuahua looking at food

None of this is to say that everything in your house needs to be on permanent lockdown or that you must exercise extreme vigilance in everything you do. But a little common sense and self-awareness can go a long way toward protecting your dog from the dangers of these everyday household items.


A Bear Had to Have His 7 Pound Tongue Removed After it Became Swollen from an Unknown Disease

A bear had to have his tongue removed after it became swollen and weighed almost 7 pounds and dragged along the ground.

Nyan htoo and his brother were rescued as cubs by monks in Myanmar after being taken from their mother so they could be sold illegally.

However after their rescue, it soon became clear the bear was suffering from an unknown disease, which caused his tongue to become enlarged.

Vets operated on Nyan htoo in 2016 in an attempt to save his tongue by removing the excess tissue, but the swelling returned and worsened over time.

By June the disease was badly affecting Nyan htoo's quality of life, so vets reluctantly decided to amputate.

Veterinary surgeon Heather Bacon, from the University of Edinburgh's Royal School of Veterinary Studies, worked with Caroline Nelson, a veterinary nurse at the Animals Asia Bear Rescue Centre in Vietnam to perform the procedure in Myanmar.

They were joined by another vet, Romain Pizzi, from Wildlife Surgery International, and removed almost 7lbs of tissue in an operation that lasted four hours.

Ms Bacon said: “This was an opportunity for us to use our veterinary and animal welfare expertise to make a significant difference for a bear and the people who care for him.”

The veterinary team now believe the swelling may have been caused by a mosquito-transmitted infection called elephantiasis, a condition that is common in people in Myanmar but has never been reported in bears.


Have You Ever Seen A Malabar Giant Squirrel, Also Known as the Indian Giant Squirrel?

You might not normally think of squirrels as beautiful. They are usually grey or brown, and they are rodents, after all. But that’s because you likely haven’t seen the Malabar giant squirrel, also known as the Indian giant squirrel. These critters can be 36 inches long, which is more than double the size of the grey squirrels you are likely to see in the U.S. But most impressively, Malabar giant squirrels have beautiful, multicolored fur, including shades of black, brown, orange, maroon and purple.

Indian giant squirrels mostly live in eastern or southern India, and can be difficult to spot due to their camouflage and the fact that they tend to hop from tree to tree. According to a 2007 study in the journal Ecoscience, they have been known to hoard seeds in nests they build in the treetops.

John Koprowski, professor and associate director at the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona, is a squirrel expert. He first saw a Malabar giant squirrel during a trip to India in 2006.

“In the shaded understory of a dense forest, the patchy colors and dark hues are a great adaptation to avoiding detection,” Koprowski told The Dodo. “But when you see these in the sunlight, they show their ‘true colors’ and beautiful pelage [fur].”

This species is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature‘s designated list of least concern, meaning they are not in imminent danger of going extinct, but their population has been in decline nonetheless due to the destruction of their forest habitat. Protection laws would help them thrive in the future.

Their beautiful colors are so eye-catching that last year, the squirrels became inspiration for people seeking new hues to dye their hair after one was photographed in the Anchankovil forest in Kerala. We can totally see why these creatures are so inspiring!

It would appear that these giant squirrels aren’t too afraid of humans, either. Check out this video footage of one enjoying a cookie:


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Keeping Praying Mantis as Pets: The Beginners Guide

The Benefits of Keeping Praying Mantis as Pets

Firstly, praying mantis are absolutely fascinating to watch. While they may lie motionless for hours on end, this is all part of a ruse; quite simply this is how mantis hunt. In nature, they hide in flowers and bushes, waiting for an unsuspecting insect to wander past unawares. At this point the mantis lashes out, grabbing the prey item with their spiky front legs. Their dinner is then secure.

In the home, feeding your praying mantis can be a thoroughly absorbing, if somewhat nerve-wracking, experience.

For such an aggressive hunter, mantis can be strangely docile with their owners. A further benefit of praying mantis as pets therefore is that they can generally be handled quite safely. In general, a praying mantis will happily walk from hand to hand. Incase you’re wondering right now they’re also highly unlikely to try and take a chunk out of your finger.

The only proviso here is that the adults develop wings so they are capable of flying away if you annoy them. In other words, while you can safely handle youngsters, when it comes to holding the adults, try to ensure your windows are closed to avoid escapees.

Lastly, keeping praying mantis as pets gives you an opportunity to enter another world. Keeping a praying mantis can be rather like having your own zoo; you get to watch your pet growing up, hunting, changing its skin, and reaching maturity. If you’re lucky, you’ll even have an opportunity to breed these fascinating insects and watch the whole circle of life completed. For those who enjoy watching all the activity and life in a fish tank, praying mantis can be equally fascinating.

Luckily, with a few simple bits of equipment and a little practise, praying mantis are also quite easy to keep as pets. This can make them even more tempting captives.

To read more on this story, click here: Keeping Praying Mantis as Pets: The Beginners Guide


Did You Know That The Shih Tzu Often Referred to as a ‘Small Lion’, Originated in Tibet?

The Shih Tzu (pronounced Shid Zoo in singular and plural), is undoubtedly one of the world’s oldest dog breeds. The Shih Tzu is often referred to as a "small lion." They originated in Tibet, but are most associated with China where they were highly revered as a palace pet and prized companion. The Shih Tzu is an active, happy, and affectionate breed.

A compact and solid dog, the Shih Tzu’s long, flowing double coat is its most distinctive feature. The word Shih Tzu means "lion" and although this dog is sweet and playful, they are not afraid to stand up for themselves!

Shih Tzu love to strut around the house with their head held high and tail wagging! They strut like they own the place! Most have an outgoing, happy, friendly personality! Shih Tzu tend to get a little bossy as they reach the adult age, and quiet down when they get to be seniors. They love to be spoiled at all ages!

Human Companions:
The ideal companion for the Shih Tzu would be singles, seniors, families with older children. Though good family dogs, Shih Tzu are not especially good with very young children. They cannot be handled roughly or awkwardly and tend to get snappish when their patience wears thin.

Shih Tzu usually weigh between 9 and 16 pounds full grown, and measure between 10 – 11 inches in height.

Shih Tzu come in a rainbow of colors. They are Liver and white, cream, black, brindle and white, solid blue (rare), solid brindle, gold and white, black and white, solid white, solid red, red and white, solid silver, silver and white.

The Body:
The Shih Tzu body is slightly longer than tall, its legs straight and muscular, and its feet firm and well-padded.The head is round, broad, and wide between the eyes, and in balance with the rest of the dog. The dark eyes are large and round; the ears are natural and heavily feathered; the muzzle is square, short and unwrinkled, and flat; lips and chin should neither protrude nor recede. The jaw is undershot,  the incisors of the lower jaw overlap the incisors of the upper jaw.

The Coat:
The coat is long and flowing and generally grows in an upward direction from his nose, which is why you’ll often see him with his fur tied on top of his head. The growth of his fur in all directions from his face has earned him the nickname “chrysanthemum-faced dog.” Most show dogs have the long flowing coat, however, most pet owners like to keep the hair cut short. 

Basically healthy, the Shih Tzu is subject to a kidney disease called renal dysplasia, and to slipped stifles or kneecaps. His slightly protruding eyes are prone to injury, and his short muzzle often produces slight wheezing problems.


Living with a Clawed Cat

You can live harmoniously alongside your cat with claws and still maintain nice furniture by understanding a bit more about your cat’s natural behaviors, and enriching your home with items your cat can scratch. Let’s learn more about your cat’s amazing body.

Why Do Cats Have Claws?

Your domestic cat has maintained their instincts of their wild ancestors. Cats’ claws are physically unique and serve several functions. The forelimb claws are retractable and allow her to expose or retract her nails as needed.

To read more on this story, click here: Living with a Clawed Cat


A Few Years Before Koko Passed Away, She Shared an Important Message to Humankind that Needs to Be Heard Now More Than Ever

The world was struck with grief once again when the beloved gorilla, Koko, passed away at the age of 46.

Koko's ability to use sign language to communicate with people warmed the hearts of millions worldwide.

She even became best friends with Robin Williams, and felt tremendous grief after learning about his tragic death in 2014.

It wasn't just Koko's ability to learn American Sign Language that stunned the world, it was her empathetic personality and worldview that everyone found to be so fascinating.

As Koko got better at communicating, thanks to the efforts of animal psychologist Francine "Penny" Patterson, many people wondered, "What could ape say to mankind?"

The former San Francisco Zoo resident actually had a lot of important things to say.

Gorillas may not be smarter than humans, but we sure could learn a lot from them.

A few years before Koko passed away, she shared an important message to humankind that needs to be heard now more than ever.

For the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, Koko had an important message for world leaders.

"I am gorilla. I am flowers, animals. I am nature," she began signing in front of a dark background.

"Man Koko love. Earth Koko love," she continued. "But man stupid, stupid! Koko sorry. Koko cry. Time hurry."

Then she looked down in deep thought, before finishing off her message. "Fix Earth. Help Earth. Hurry! Protect Earth. Nature see you. Thank you."

As much as many people would like to deny the existence of climate change, it's only doing a disservice to the world by thinking that the burning of fossil fuels and the destruction of the environment is not making a negative impact on the world.

As Koko said, she's part of nature, and so are we.

It's humankind that has a powerful impact on this world, and it's up to us to change the world for the better.

You may be interested in reading:

Heartbreaking Tributes Pour in After Famous Gorilla who 'Captivated the World' Dies at 46. 

Koko, The Famous Gorilla Who Learned Sign Language, to Be Laid to Rest at Animal Sanctuary. 


Monday, June 25, 2018

A Chicago Police Dog Led Investigators to More Than $10 Million Worth of Pot After a Traffic Stop

A Chicago Police dog led investigators to more than $10 million worth of pot after a traffic stop Thursday evening in south suburban Midlothian. 

The CPD Bureau of Organized Crime stopped a pickup truck pulling a trailer at 6:57 p.m. Thursday in the 14200 block of Menard Avenue in Midlothian, police said. During the stop, a police dog detected the scent of pot. 

A search of the truck and trailer turned up more than 1,500 pounds of marijuana and other THC products with an estimated street value of more than $10 million, police said. The driver, 42-year-old Jason Z. Tanner of Lakehead, California, was arrested and charged with a felony count of possession of more than 5,000 grams of cannabis. 

The stop was part of an investigation into drug trafficking, and the drugs were thought to be on their way to Chicago from California, police said.

Tanner appeared in bond court on Friday and his bail amount was set at $50,000, according to police and the Cook County Sheriff’s Office. He is being held at the Cook County Jail and his next court date was scheduled for July 10.


Why Do Cats Go Away to Die?

We’ve all heard the story of a cat who was sick or old and one day just vanished. This has lead many people to believe that cats will go away to die on their own. But is this true?

Not all cats will hide when they are dying. We have sadly had enough cats who have died to see this ourselves. They have tended to stick close by when they are dying, spending large amounts of time sleeping. Cats are individuals and may have different preferences when it comes to how they handle being sick. Some will seek out the company of their human companions or pets, others prefer to be alone in a quiet place.

Do cats know they are dying?

According to Desmond Morris in his book Cat World – A Feline Encyclopedia, cats have an advantage over humans in regards to death, they don’t actually know what death is. They go away and hide because they are sick and feeling vulnerable. This makes perfect sense from an evolutionary point of view. It’s a cruel world out there and cats have larger predators who seek out the weak and the vulnerable as they are easier targets.

This also explains why cats can be quite seriously ill before obvious signs appear. They are hardwired to hide signs of sickness and weakness making them vulnerable to predators. It is for this reason that pregnant cats will seek a quiet and often out of the way spot to give birth and care for her young kittens. She, as well as her babies, are vulnerable at this stage in their lives and want to remain hidden from any potential dangers.

And finally, cats hide when they are dying is that they simply want to be alone. A sick cat isn’t feeling well and prefers to be somewhere quiet and dark so they can sleep in peace. I know when I’m sick I just want to be left on my own to wallow!

To read more on this story, click here: Why Do Cats Go Away to Die?


Dallas, Texas – Woman Shoots and Kills Husband for Abusing Family Cat

Over the weekend, Dallas Police found itself dealing with one of its stranger cases in recent memory, when a 47-year-old woman fatally shot her husband in defense of the family cat.

The scene unfolded on Saturday morning, but confessed-shooter-and-sole-survivor, Mary Harrison, says that incident stems from her deceased husband’s repeated abuse of a beloved family pet. The victim, Dexter Harrison, allegedly beat the poor animal repeatedly, so much so that it finally ran away.

Worried sick, Mary plastered their Dallas neighborhood with “missing pet” pictures, and a well-meaning neighbor ultimately located the animal. Unfortunately, Dexter resumed his abuse as soon as the cat was returned home, which led his frustrated wife to finally shoot him in an effort to stop the abuse. Nor is this the first cat-related shooting that’s happened in Texas. In 2013, a different woman shot her husband for threatening to throw her cat over the fence.

Unfortunately, Dexter died of his injuries on the way to the hospital and Mary is currently being held at Dallas County Jail on charges of murder. Meanwhile, social media remains typically divided. Many people, including a neighbor, are accusing Mary of overreacting by prioritizing the animal’s life over that of her husband’s. Others, including advocates who have set up a Gofundme page to cover Mary’s legal expenses, concur that she was acting valiantly on behalf of an animal in need.


Yorkshire, England - The Owners of Eight-Year-Old Maisy, A St. Bernard, Thought She Had Cancer: Vets Find Out that She Had Eaten Four Teddy Bears

Eight-year-old Maisy, had not been feeling well. After she underwent a CT scan that showed a mass on her spleen, her veterinarians and owners feared the worst.

They thought Maisy might have had cancer, but surgery revealed something entirely different. The surgeon discovered four teddy bears in the dog’s stomach.

“It’s fair to say this was not something we were expecting to find!” Nick Blackburn, a veterinarian surgeon at Paragon Veterinary Referrals who carried out the operation, said in a press release. “We all know certain dogs enjoy chewing things they shouldn’t, but managing to devour four full teddy bears is quite a feat.”

Maisy’s owners, James and Jane Dickinson, were shocked, as they had never known their beloved pet to even chew on, let alone eat, stuffed toys.

“When Maisy went in, I did think ‘is she coming out?’ but she is loving life now — it’s like she’s got her youth back,” Jane said. “The toys weren’t even hers! She will steal the chihuahuas’ toys and play with them but I’ve never seen her trying to chew them. Her eating habits had been completely normal.”

Luckily, Maisy has made a full recovery, shows no sign of cancer and is back to her old self. Hopefully the chihuahuas, Mabel and Guinness, whose toys she snacked on, have since forgiven her.

Here are a few of the soft toys found in Maisy’s stomach:

If you believe your dog has ingested a foreign object like a toy, it’s important to take her to the vet or 24-hour emergency animal clinic as soon as possible. Some symptoms to watch out for include signs of intestinal or digestive discomfort such as vomiting or diarrhea, lethargy and changes in behavior.

This is definitely a situation that you should leave to the authorities. “Owners should not wait to see if the object will pass on its own. Do not try to induce vomiting without a veterinarian’s okay, as there are some foreign bodies that can cause just as much harm coming back out,” veterinarian Sharin Brown told Cesar’s Way.


6 Places to Look for Ticks on Your Dog

Tick season is upon us, and these bloodsucking pests are showing up all over the place. Tick prevention should be taken seriously, and not just because these arachnids make many people squeamish — ticks actually carry quite a few deadly diseases. Some of these diseases are lifelong, with no cure, so being diligent in checking for and removing ticks is important. As always, talk with your veterinarian before using any medication geared toward preventing ticks. But if you’re going to do some searching for ticks on your dog yourself, here are some places you may forget to look.

1. Inside of Ears
Ticks sit themselves on tall grasses and shrubs, waiting for your dog to walk by, so they can attach themselves to him. Dogs are often curious creatures, sticking their heads into everything, so it’s not uncommon for ticks to find their way into a dog's ears. Since most ticks start out very small, it can be difficult to spot them when they first climb onto your dog. With so many crevices and hiding places, the ears make a perfect home for a hungry tick. When checking your dog, make sure to look deep into the ear, because the ticks can get attached and go unnoticed for a long time. If your dog is shaking and scratching at his ear, it’s a sure sign that something is off, and you’ll want to take a look.

To read more on this story, click here: 6 Places to Look for Ticks on Your Dog


Cat Symptom Checker: Match Your Cat’s Symptoms to Health Conditions

Cats can get sick all the time with many of the same ailments as pet parents. However, symptoms for cats can be much different than they are for humans. Our cat symptom checker is a great way to figure out what may be wrong with your feline friend.

When cats become sick, they can’t tell us with words. Instead, cat parents need to be vigilant, keeping an eye out for any symptoms that could point to illness. It also helps to stay ahead of the curve by giving them preventative medication like Advantage Multi for cats. This useful chart breaks down cat symptoms by area of the body, then tells you what each symptom could mean. 

Our cat symptom checker is a good place to get started identifying what could be wrong with your cat, but always contact your veterinarian for final diagnosis and treatment solutions.

To read more on this story, click here: Cat Symptom Checker: Match Your Cat’s Symptoms to Health Conditions


Sunday, June 24, 2018

A family Going for a Swim Grabs a Pool Noodle - Rattlesnakes Were Living Inside, Fire Dept. Says

A family planning on spending a leisurely hot day in their swimming pool encountered a surprise before ever hitting the water.

When the family in Buckeye, Ariz., grabbed their pool noodles, an adult rattlesnake popped out of one of the recreational floatation devices, according to City of Buckeye Fire Department.

"The snake did not attack, but was concerned about the pool noodles," the fire department posted on its Facebook page, "as there were a couple of young rattlesnakes who were still inside."

To read more on this story, click here: A family Going for a Swim Grabs a Pool Noodle - Rattlesnakes Were Living Inside, Fire Dept. Says 


Chicago, Illinois - Bail Was Set at $100,000 for a 25-Year-Old Man Caught Beating a Dog

Bail was set at $100,000 Sunday for a 25-year-old suburban man whom Chicago police arrested after he was seen on a police camera punching and whipping a dog in the city’s West Englewood neighborhood.

The city-issued camera in the 6100 block of South Ashland Avenue captured the man, Isaac Goodlow, punching, kicking and choking the dog around 3:40 a.m. Saturday, prosecutors said.

Officers in Chicago police’s Strategic Decisions Support Center alerted district officers who arrived in time to see Goodlow whipping the dog with an extension cord, which he also used to drag the animal down the sidewalk, Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Knight told the court at the Leighton Criminal Court Building during a brief hearing.

The dog’s breed wasn’t discussed during the hearing, but Goodlow’s arrest report indicates the dog was a pit bull terrier.

Goodlow, of the 4000 block of Bonhill Drive in Arlington Heights, was arrested and later charged with aggravated animal cruelty, while police reached out to a veterinarian to assess the dog. Officers observed the dog to be “scared, shaking, injured, emaciated and dehydrated,” Knight told the court. In fact, after one of the officers gave the dog water, the animal vomited it up, authorities said.

A veterinarian examined the dog and determined that it had signs of prior abuse/torture based on numerous earlier injuries, authorities said. Prosecutors didn’t state whether they suspected the dog of participating in dogfighting, but Goodlow’s arrest report stated that after his arrest, he threatened to kill the dog and admitted to being in a street gang.

Judge John F. Lyke Jr. ordered Goodlow to pay $10,000 for release and to undergo electronic home monitoring if he was able to post bail.