Archive for April, 2011
by Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com
Recently we hiked a trail in Manorville, Manorville Hills County Park, which is dog friendly and also has horse trails and mountain bike trails. This path system is a relatively new addition to the Greenbelt Trail for hikers on LI. I know what you’re thinking if you are reading this living in Nassau County – Manorville, you’re either saying, “where is that?” or “I am not driving all the way out there!” First I would say, when you’re on this trail, you really can’t believe you’re still on Long Island – this has to be one of the hilliest trails around – boasting a 150-foot high elevation, (that’s 15 stories high folks), throughout the majority of this 6.5-mile hike we were climbing up some serious hills. It is well worth the drive whether your 20 minutes away or and hour and 20 minutes away. When you are at the top of the highest elevation – it’s just beautiful.
The hike will take you approximately 2 hours 15 minutes. If you do bring your dog be sure you dog is up to a hiking a trail like this. My dog, who is used to being walked 3 or 4 miles and going on hikes, was pretty tired ¾ of the way through, and was wiped the rest of the day! (But he was all ready for another walk the next day – damn good for an almost 10 year old dog!).
Also since this trail is right smack dab in the middle of the beautiful Pine Barren Region – make sure you wear long pants (covering your hiking boots or sneakers) and spray your pants with bug spray. This is tick season (all over LI) and I did have to stop a few times to knock ticks of the dog – yuck, (the natural bug spray from Fetch Doggies Boutique I used on him worked pretty well), but the trails are wide enough for the most part that your not walking through brush. Unfortunately, ticks are par for the course on any and most hikes, parks and even your own well landscaped back yard here on LI. Be sure to check your dog thoroughly a few times during and after any hike – or even after he comes in from your own yard.
So if you are taking part of the 250-Challenge this will be a great hike to add into your challenge, knock out 6.5-miles, and have a great workout climbing those Long Island mountains! The pictures below don’t do justice to how steep some parts were.
We followed the yellow marked trail from the parking area (square yellow marks on sprayed onto trees) to the orange marked trees all the way through, (turned yellow again about ¾ way through, then back to orange) and this is a loop that will bring you back to the parking area. We did this without a map of the trail! However you can purchase a map from the LI Greenbelt and get directions to the park which is off of Country Road 111 (on the north bound side).
We didn’t see too much wildlife during the hike, to my surprise, some birds and a nuclear green colored bug, small lavender colored moths fluttering about, and on our way out a family of deer.
by Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com
Margaret Norris was so excited last summer to bring home a new member of the family, Mina. Adopted as a small kitten from Last Hope Animal Rescue last summer, Mina, a jet black cat who is now almost a year old cat had a very scary health problem just this past March. After a visit to the vet for her rabies shot, Mina have such a very rare and uncommon reaction to the vaccination, it had doctor’s baffled.
“We adopted our kitty, Mina, from a shelter when she was two months old and she has been just the sweetest little girl – very affectionate, loves to be held and carried. Mina had been given vaccinations by the shelter vet before we got her, and got some additional vaccinations from our vet when she was four months old, with no problems.
A couple of weeks ago I took her in for her final vaccine, for rabies. She seemed fine for a day or so, and then gradually began to become very lethargic and stopped eating and drinking. Four days after the vaccine I took her back to the vet because she hadn’t had anything to eat or drink for more than 24 hours. She had begun hiding behind furniture and wouldn’t come out. When I took her in to the vet she could barely pick her head up off the examining table, and when the vet palpitated her abdomen she practically snarled at him.
He kept her at his clinic for four days and she seemed slightly better after she got some IV fluids and an antibiotic. Unfortunately, her blood tests came back showing that she was extremely anemic, and she would need blood transfusions. At this point he was stymied as to what was causing the symptoms because apparently it is highly unusual to have this kind of a reaction to the rabies vaccine. (There are some other very rare reactions, but anemia isn’t one of them.)
He sent her to a veterinary internal medicine specialist, who was also baffled. The specialist vet gave her two kitty blood transfusions, did ultrasound and discovered her spleen was enlarged, and did a whole bunch of other tests which ruled out feline leukemia and blood parasites. His final diagnosis was that the rabies vaccine somehow caused her immune system to attack her red blood cells, so he put her on steroids to suppress the immune response.
Fortunately, all of this treatment saved the kitty’s life, but it came at a cost of almost $4000. Luckily for us, we decided to buy Trupanion Pet Health Insurance a few months ago, so we will only end up paying $400 instead. When we signed up for the policy I kind of thought it was a waste of money, but not any more. While the insurance is relatively inexpensive- $20 a month for Mina – for young animals, I’ve decided to add our two older animals to the policy too. Pet health insurance – $20 a month – not having to watch our beloved kitty die because the treatment is too expensive – priceless.”
Margaret initially knew a friend that had pet health insurance and heard about Trupanion through her veterinarian’s office. She said they are very happy with Trupanion, the plan, policies and customer service. For Mina her future prognosis is good, she does have to go for follow up blood count at the vet soon – but Margaret said she is back to her old happy, sweet, playful self. Margaret also said, although Mina had this ordeal, she will still always vaccinate her other pets with the rabies vaccination – as this was such a rare thing to happen – that the doctor’s never heard of this before. The rabies vaccination is also required by New York State Law – and since we have had outbreaks in raccoons over the last few years in our area – it would be irresponsible and unlawful not to vaccinate.
Who rescued who?
Tyler’s “Happy Tail”
Caring for a pet has been found to have both physical and mental benefit for owners. Interacting with a dog or cat can lower blood pressure and cholesterol and decrease stress and anxiety. Pet adoption is actually a two way street – rescued animals give back so much that sometimes it can be hard to tell who rescued who.
I met Heather and Tyler at the Bayport parade in March and Heather graciously agreed to share their story. Tyler is an adorable little ball of fluff- the kind of puppy you can’t help but fall in love with instantly. He is just about 4 months old, and has lived with his new family for a little over a month.
Last fall, Heather was in a car accident which left her and her daughter seriously injured. In addition to the physical injuries, the accident was emotionally devastating, leaving them both suffering from post traumatic stress. Heather’s daughter is a twin, so her distress affected her sibling as well. Heather’s husband Michael thought that adopting a dog might provide a needed distraction and help his family heal. Preferring a puppy, Heather and Michael were both determined to adopt an animal in need.
After doing a lot of research, Michael and Heather contacted Anarchy Animal Rescue. This group was founded in 2010 with the dual goals of facilitating pet adoption while rescuing animals suffering in puppy mills. Tyler was born in a puppy mill, and most likely would have ended up being over bred, eventually discarded when his use was finished.
Tyler was in need of a family to love, and Heather and her family needed a bright spot in a bleak time. Adopting Tyler into their family really did the trick! Heather told me how he loves to cuddle, and instantly blended right in to their routine. He greets the family every morning and rides along to take the kids to school. He is bright, and doing very well with housebreaking and obedience training for such a young dog.
What a great story! Tyler got his forever home with a loving family that really needed him too.
Please…..if you’re considering adding a dog or cat to your family, consider adoption. There are so many needy animals, young and old, purebreds and mixes, who are waiting anxiously for someone to take them home. From my own experience, I have found that rescued pets are truly grateful, it’s as if they know that you saved them. Rescue a pet, you’ll be glad you did!
by Nancy E. Hassel, LIPetPlace.com
Earth Friendly Products for Paws
It’s Earth Day, and we don’t normally think of pet products on this day – we are usually thinking of planting, cleaning up and ways we can be more environmentally friendly as humans. Fortunately there is now a big market for earth friendly or green pet products. My own dog happens to have a few of them, and we would love to share some of our favorites – and some cats products too.
100% Biodegradable Green Doggie Bags – waste pick up bags. This is a wonderful product for so many reasons, it’s made right here in the USA. All the packaging is made from recycled materials, and the doggie pick up bags are shelf stable – meaning they are not going to degrade on your store shelf or in your car, but they will degrade in landfills, naturally when exposed to the earth’s elements and micro-organisms in the soil and leaving no harmful residues behind. They also have handy tie handles that made it is easier carry and dispose of properly. This is a wonderful product and you will feel better about picking up after your dog knowing you are using a totally green product – not just putting their waste in a regular plastic bag.
Have a kitty? Then you definitely will want to try Worlds Best Cat Litter™ made from corn! You heard me. Corn the wonder product – in my opinion.
The natural benefits of World’s Best Cat Litter™, is that they are a biodegradable, flushable, septic-safe and clumping cat litter that uses whole-kernel corn to deliver outstanding odor control. Using no synthetic chemicals, clays or perfumes, it clumps quick, scoops easy, while remaining pet, people and planet friendly. At a recent Pet Socialite event, World’s Best Cat Litter was debuting their Lavender scented litter - the fragrance is made of an all-natural oil blend including lavender. The oil blend does not contain any chemicals or synthetic ingredients and is derived from a plant based oil. This product just might make the humans in your house purr!
Looking for a great way to recycle your old clothes and make your pet comfy as well? Molly Mutt came up with a fantastic idea of making a doggie duvet cover – how is it “green?” Molly Mutt diy (do it yourself) dog bed kits are an exciting new approach to keeping textiles out of landfills. Cover your existing dog bed with the molly mutt dog duvet, or fill it with the old clothes and bedding you’ve got laying around your house. They now have a mesh stuff sack to the product line, to make it as simple as grabbing old textiles, throwing it in the mesh bag, and covering it all up with your new fabulous Molly Mutt dog duvet. By “upcycling” your household leftovers, you save money and help keep textiles out of the waste cycle. They have some beautiful duvet styles to choose from to fit into any décor.
If you just got back from taking your dog on a long hike through the woods, (250 challenge), and now he needs a bath – you will want to check out TropiClean shampoos and conditioners. Made from all-natural ingredients and come in varieties like, Aloe, Berry Clean, Papaya, Kiwi, and Peach to name a few. Tropiclean bottles are made from recycled materials (PCR), post consumer resin. The sleeve labels are made from corn which makes them natural, renewable, biodegradable and 100% recyclable! They also use products and materials made right here in the USA! Not to mention the shampoos and conditioners smell wonderful too.
So while you are out shopping at your local mom & pop pet store, look for more earth friendly pet products, and do so all year long. If we all make one little change in what products we buy for our pets we will make the Earth a better place for all of us, and decrease our carbon paw prints. There are many more options out there too – so ask! Happy Earth Day!
by Robyn Elman, In Home Pet Services, Inc.
April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month
Would you know what to do if you pet was choking? What if your pet ate an onion, or worse, got hit by a car? According to the American Animal Hospital Association, 1 out of every 4 more pets would have survived if only one pet first aid technique was applied prior to them receiving emergency veterinary care. Every person that owns a pet or works with pets, especially pet professionals, should be trained in the lifesaving skills of Pet First Aid and CPR. April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month and if there is not a pet first aid or CPR class near offered near you, here are important life saving tips that any pet owner should know:
1. Remember than many foods are poisonous to our pets. When cooking for a family get together, stress the importance to your guests to not feed your pet table food – no matter how cute they are or how much they beg! Common foods such as onions, grapes, raisins, chocolate and even some sugarless items (xylitol) are toxic to our pets.
2. As spring and summer approach and warm up the temperature, never leave your pet in a car unattended. On a 78 degree day, all cars can become deadly within 15 minutes – even with the windows open.
3. Put together a pet first aid kit and keep one in your house and one in the car with you when you travel. Some common items to keep in your kit should include: sterile gauze and bandages; triple antibiotic ointment; hydrogen peroxide, (in pre-measured doses of 1tbsp for every 15lbs in a dropper bottle), in case you need to induce vomiting; scissors; tweezers; and an emergency muzzle.
4. An injured pet that is in pain, or going to be moved while in pain, can and will bite; for your safety muzzle the pet before moving or treating it – but be sure never to muzzle any pet who it vomiting or having breathing problems.
5. If your pet is having a seizure, never place anything in their mouths, and reduce external stimuli like shutting off the lights, radio and TV.
6. Keep your pet up to date on their checkups and vaccinations. Cats should have a checkup once a year and senior pets every 6 months.
7. Take a pet first aid and CPR class by a certified Pet Tech. This can be life saving for your pet and teach you how to address a simple wound that could happen out on a walk with your pet.
8. Know the numbers of the nearest Animal Emergency Hospitals in your area along with pet poison control numbers. Have them programmed into your cell phone and place them on your frig.
9. Stay Calm. Your pets will pick up on your excited state.
10. Don’t let your pets drink out of streams or any water that you wouldn’t drink out of. Always carry fresh bottled water for them wherever you are taking them.
For more information on the next Pet CPR & First Aid Class offered on Long Island click here.