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Rattlesnake bite! A camping trip with our dogs goes sideways



rattlesnake bite! a camping trip with our dogs goes sideways


What to do if your dog is bitten by a rattlesnake
• Realize immediately as a life threatening emergency that requires professional help.
• Keep your dog calm to slow down the spread of the poison through the blood and organs.
•Not Touch the wound, put on a tourniquet, or try (for God’s sake) to suckle it.
•Call the nearest emergency vet, tell them you come with a rattlesnake bite and make sure they have enough antivenin for your dog’s weight.
•Arrive as quickly as possible; Counting minutes.

It happens in a blink of an eye. We stop the van on a remote forest road and let the dogs out to stretch their legs. The down-to-earth hound, Scooby, examines every rock and tuft of grass near the van and then winds its way into a thick coiled rope ten feet from our tires. The rope triggers a sharp warning rattle. Scooby flinches back in shock. Good dog, Scooby.

Unfortunately, the innocent Greenlandic stray dog ​​Molly (she had never seen a tree before the age of three, let alone a reptile) happily and wagging her tail rushes over to investigate. BAM! Molly howls and frantically rows back. Blood drips into her muzzle from two deep punctures.

At that moment, I couldn’t believe what had just happened. My husband Eric and I are wildlife biologists who study polar bears. We spend months each year working in dangerous conditions on the sea ice above the Arctic Circle. We regularly prepare for all eventualities.

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Aviation fuel dumped a year earlier? Check. Replacement helicopter pilot lined up? Check. Satellite phone, rifle, morphine? Check, check, check. We assume that the Arctic is dangerous. Here and now, looking for a break from the stresses of urban life in a pandemic, we are completely surprised.

But luckily we are not helpless. As I later learned from poisonous snake expert Stephen Spear, we have the two most important first aid items needed when someone (or a dog) is bitten by a poisonous snake: car keys and a cell phone.

I rummage hastily for the ziplock bag that I had labeled DOG ER. Would two Benadryls at least calm Molly down, prevent a histamine reaction, or buy us time? Hopefully. Now we both dogs and our gear frantically shovel into the van and begin the 70-minute pedal-to-the-metal ride over a bumpy forest path to the nearest vet.

West of the Cascades, Eric and I live in a pleasant outdoor world without extremes. No heat waves, hurricanes, grizzly bears or disease-carrying ticks. Our biggest complaint? Too many cloudy days. But travel 100 miles east to the drier parts of the state where many Washingtoners camp, fish, and hike, and we’re in the land of rattlesnakes.

As more people and their pets are leaving town and heading east during Covid-19, being aware of the rattlesnakes and where you are likely to encounter one and what to do if you are one can save your dog’s life to encounter. Or your own.

Rattlesnakes are marvels of natural engineering. They hunt rodents and other small prey using eyesight, smell, vibrations, and special heat sensing organs located in holes in their faces called pits (as in “pit vipers”). Regardless of their frightening reputation, most rattlesnakes are defensive in temperament.

They prefer to avoid larger animals, including us, and offer intruders ample time to retreat with their unmistakably percussive rattle. If a curious dog gets too close, it’s not the snake’s fault, which is just trying to do what it does best: survive.

Rattlesnakes live all of central and eastern Washington. Identification is easy because we only have one species: the North Pacific rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus oreganus), a subspecies of the western rattlesnake. Color and markings can vary, but if it has a rattle on its tail it’s a rattlesnake (noteworthy: there are doppelgangers, but without rattles). The generic name Crotalus means “little bell” in Greek.

Rattlesnakes in the North Pacific prefer warm, south-facing slopes within a few kilometers of the rocky areas they bury themselves in, sometimes by the hundreds. They are generally found in low elevations and are active between April and September. (If you want to get really nerd, check out this analysis of the distribution of rattlesnakes on the Columbia River plateau in Washington.)

Eric and I are members of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Polar Bear Specialist Group, one of many expert groups around the world focusing on a single species or group of species. When I decided to be a nerd myself, I called an expert from the Viper Specialist Group.

Venomous snake biologist Stephen Spear has been fascinated by venomous snakes all his life. Our specialty, polar bears, are iconic, charismatic predators and we usually take people’s interest in them for granted. But why snakes? I asked? “I’ve always had a thing for outsiders,” says Steve. When other children crowded around the lion enclosure, he officially adopted the copper head as a child at the local zoo.

I email Steve a picture I hastily snapped of Molly’s archenemy. “That’s a beautiful snake,” he states dryly. Indeed. I had learned from the scientific literature that one can estimate the size of a snake by measuring the distance between its fangs. Or, in Molly’s case, the space between the fishing holes on her face.

This made sense to me as I once discovered that a walrus had tusked a polar bear with a similar metric on the head. The 25mm distance between the fangs on Molly’s snout indicated a very large rattlesnake in the North Pacific. They can be up to five meters long.

It’s a myth, Spear says, that small or juvenile snakes are more deadly or less able to measure their toxin release. The larger the snake, the greater the poison capacity. Hence the inter-catch metric, which was developed in part for the medical community that treats snakebites. The eastern diamondback rattlesnake in the southeastern United States is the largest rattlesnake in the world, and its bite is extremely dangerous, largely because of its size and venom capacity.

How snake venom works depends on the species. The venom of many species of rattlesnake is necrotizing; it digests the meat around the bites (and later in the body). In contrast, the cobra’s poison has a paralyzing effect on the nervous system and stops breathing. However, some rattlesnakes evolved to have venom like a cobra because they prey on fast moving lizards.

Snakes don’t waste their venom – it takes energy to produce it and time to replenish – so some defensive rattlesnake bites are “dry”. It wasn’t Mollys. Her face swelled up in 30 minutes, despite my Hail Mary application of Benadryl.

But Molly is relatively young and healthy and thanks to our cell phone (call ahead to make sure they have the antivenin in stock) and Eric’s ace ambulance driver, we got her to the ambulance in Yakima in an hour. The vet tells us that she was bitten in the face was a good thing; Legs are good too (relatively speaking). The tongue and torso are much worse places to be bitten because they have more blood flow.

Molly was hospitalized overnight and given antivenin (also called an antidote) intravenously. She was brought home with us within 24 hours, painful, swollen, sick and shaky – but alive. We were lucky.

What should the public know about rattlesnakes? I asked Dr. Spear, except that they can bite? Well, he said, the chances of meeting one are slim. Even scientists looking for them have a hard time finding them.

However, warming the climate could change that. As elevated temperatures become more common, rattlesnakes are expected to spend more months outside their den and be active longer during the day.

Finally he said, “It is a hard life to be a rattlesnake. We should have some empathy. They are extremely patient – they sit in a coil and wait hours and even days for something to come. “

Molly’s face has returned to normal and she has generally returned to her happy self. But let the bedroom fan rattle and she’ll be shaking under the bed in no time. Will this new fear lead to a healthy aversion to snakes? Let’s hope so.

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Dog Breeds

How to give a name to a dog



how to give a name to a dog

Dog name selection can be a source of conflict for couples. It doesn’t matter if you like Jack and your partner wants to go with Jake, or if one of you likes Wren and the other likes Robin. Similarities can even exist if there is a choice between bogey and divot or perhaps inverse and vector. But what if one is killer or Gamora and the other is betting on Baby or Zoe? These differences can be more difficult to resolve.

Enter Dogname, a new app that helps people choose (with minimal scramble) the perfect name for their dog. Each of the app’s 30,000 names is listed with their meanings and origins, and users go through as many entries as they want, swiping right if they like the name and left if they don’t. The names that both people like are saved as matches, making it easy to choose a mutually acceptable nickname.

I’ve seen the results of many, what to call the dog, fights, and they’re not always beautiful. A couple could not agree on the type of dog or the name of the dog when they got it. They solved their fight (and it turned out to be quite a fight!) By tossing a coin; the winner chose the dog’s name and the other person chose the dog. As a result, they ended up with a tiny fluffy dog ​​named Thor – a dog-name mismatch that made people laugh when they met him.

In a similar but happier story, another couple decided that one person chose the dog and the other the name, but they were both happy with the result. They welcomed a 170 pound English mastiff into their family and named it chiclet. They loved it when people who might have been suspicious of their huge dog felt a lot more comfortable with her because of her non-threatening name.

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In 1997 two astronomy fans were very excited about the appearance of the Hale Bopp comet. Unsurprisingly, they wanted to name the puppy they wanted to have in honor of the record-breaking fireball. But from that common ground they got into a big argument over whether to call her Halley or Comet. (Hale did not consider Hale, Bopp, or Hale-Bopp as a suitable option.)

After weeks of bickering, unable to resolve their disagreements, they adopted two female littermates, named one Halley and the other Comet. The dogs fought each other until they caused serious injuries. The dispute over the name of the couple led to more conflicts in the household than was thought possible.

Sometimes compromises lead to a good dog name. One person in a pair wanted to go with Hershey or Cocoa for their chocolate lab pup, but the other worried that those names were too common or too popular with that breed. But they both loved cooking and also loved the idea of ​​a food name, so they named their pup Rosemary.

Another couple argues over the names Max and Xavier. The first person liked the meaning of Max (“greatest”), but the other wanted a name that began with the letter X, badly. They eventually agreed to name their dog Xander, a greeting to Alexander the Great who pleased both of them.

I love a happy ending that is based on compromise! Do you have a story about how your family came up with the name for your dog after some friction during the decision-making process?

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Dog Breeds

Help for your dog’s dry skin



help for your dog's dry skin

It is a rare person who can lie in bed and listen to a dog scratching, scratching, scratching and not thinking at night or maybe even saying, “Will you please stop!” Get rid of your dog’s dry skin and flakes from the inside out by adding one of two staple foods – olive oil or coconut oil – to their meals. It can even help both of you sleep better. (Fish oil is another excellent option.)

Dogs have many reasons to scratch themselves, but if your dog does it more often than occasionally – all dogs scratch every now and then – you should call your veterinarian first, who can help you figure out what’s causing the itch. There are at least three possibilities, which sometimes overlap: environmental influences (low humidity, dry room heat in winter), allergies (food, pollen) or parasites (fleas, ticks or, more rarely, mites). An example of a two-tier reason: dogs with flea allergies are extremely sensitive to the presence of a few small pests on their skin.

It may take some time to figure out what is causing the scratching, but two things that can provide some relief are likely in your kitchen right now: olive oil and coconut oil. When it comes to oils that help moisturize a dog’s dry, flaky skin, check out one of these oils and consider changing them regularly to give your dog the benefits of each.

They’re both high in the omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids (EFAs) that dogs need to help maintain oil production and skin hydration (and much more). The body needs EFAs to function but cannot make them; they must be obtained from food.

Fortunately, dogs tend to love the taste of oil, so adding it to their meals is an easy way to get it into their system. And be patient; It may take some time for the oil regimen to take effect.

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Once the container is opened, oils exposed to heat and light can go rancid, so follow the recommended storage guidelines for the product. If your kitchen is routinely warmer than about 70 degrees, consider cooling the oil.

Adding an oil to your dog’s meal isn’t a panacea or magic solution, but it can help improve your dog’s overall health – not to mention glossier fur and fewer nightly scratching sessions.

Olive oil for dogs

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is the best choice for dogs. Cold-pressed, unrefined and made from the first olive pressing, it is less acidic than more processed forms of olive oil and therefore gentler on the dog’s digestive system. It also has higher levels of vitamins and antioxidants. Dogs who may have difficulty digesting omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids usually get along well with olive oil. Aside from its ability to repair dry, flaky skin and make your dog’s coat shine, olive oil can also stimulate their appetite and help with constipation.

Olive oil can go rancid quickly, which is why it is sold in dark bottles. Keep it in a cool, dark place away from heat sources (not on a sunny counter or near the stove).

Daily dose guidelines *

Small dogs, 1/2 teaspoon; medium dogs, 1 teaspoon; big dogs, 2 teaspoons; extra large dogs, 1 tablespoon

Coconut oil for dogs

You probably have coconut oil in your pantry too. It’s high in saturated fat, and its medium-chain triglycerides and medium-chain fatty acids, which are quickly absorbed, are said to help with a number of medical conditions.

Based on research done primarily on humans and rodents, it is believed that consuming coconut oil eliminates various types of skin problems, including itchy or dry skin; Minimize odors; reduce allergic reactions; and treatment of yeast and fungal infections.

Like olive oil, the best coconut oils for dogs are organic, virgin, and cold-pressed. This oil comes in a variety of flavors – strong, buttery, mild, nutty – and you may need to experiment to see which your dog prefers with their food. (Some dogs are put off by a strong coconut flavor.)

Coconut oil can be added to the food or – if the area is particularly dry or itchy – massaged directly into the dog’s skin. When applied topically, be very conservative in the amount you use and supervise your dog afterwards until the oil is absorbed. Your dog will likely try to lick it off, and too much coconut oil at once can have consequences (see info box). Plus, you know the potential for stained floors and bedding.

Daily dose guidelines * (gradually introduce)

Note: If your dog is prone to pancreatitis, check with your veterinarian before adding him to his food.

Small dogs, 1/4 teaspoon; medium / large dogs, 1/2 to 2 teaspoons; extra large dogs, 1 tablespoon.

Fish oil for dogs

While not your ordinary pantry item, fish oil is a must-have nutritional supplement that is believed to aid dog heart health, reduce itching and flaking, and relieve allergies and joint pain. When choosing a fish oil for your dog, check with the manufacturer for their certificate of analysis. A mix of salmon, herring, sardines, and other small fish provides the most omega-3 fatty acids and the longest shelf life.

Note the following: Fish oil can increase blood clotting time. So if your dog needs surgery, tell your veterinarian about this supplement; the vet may ask you to pause for a few days before and after the procedure.

Finally, one more good reason to speak to your vet before giving your dog any supplements: processing fish oil can cause the dog’s system to use up its supply of vitamin E. This can lead to a deficiency that brings its own problems. Ask your veterinarian if this is a concern for your dog.

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Dog Breeds

How to Socialize Your Puppy



how to socialize your puppy

I’m not claiming to be clairvoyant, but I do have a feeling that Puppy Socialization: What It Is and How to Do It by Marge Rogers, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA, CCUI, and Eileen Anderson, MM, MS, is about reading and recommended by many dog ​​professionals and dog lovers eager to get the word out.

The writers had me on “Remember, there is a human tendency to want to show the world your pups, but it’s not the same thing as showing your pup the world! Avoid the temptation to let your pup become a magnet for human attention. The last thing you want to do is let him overwhelm and frighten. “

The book – an e-book available on multiple platforms – provides equally useful information and ideas throughout, and both novice and professional puppy breeders will benefit from its guidance and advice. It teaches people everything they need to know about puppy socialization in order for them to develop into the best possible versions of their canine selves. And with 120 photos and video links, not only is this book practical and helpful, it’s also fun to read.

Socialization as a concept is often misunderstood, and this confusion prevents our pups from starting off properly. After reading this book, people will understand what socialization is (and what isn’t) and learn to properly socialize their puppy.

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Rogers and Anderson do their readers a great service by showing them how to socialize dogs through photos and videos. Learning the right way to get puppy on the right paw is much easier by seeing it and reading about it. The videos, most of which are from actual training sessions with puppies and their owners, are practical and useful in ways new puppy owners will want.

The reason socialization is so important is easier to understand when you consider what happens to puppies who are not socialized. Anderson writes, “I had my own wild pup who was born in the forest and not exposed to humans in any way. I got in at the very end of their sensitive phase of socialization, but no one else. Since then we’ve been playing catch-up. … Your deeply ingrained reaction to people other than me is complete and persistent fear. “

Anderson is the first to recognize that her dog is an extreme version of what can happen when a dog is not socialized. It is likely that a combination of genetics along with limited early experience has made life especially difficult for this particular dog. But it’s hard to avoid the thought that your dog’s life might have ended badly in someone else’s hands … and quickly.

Puppy socialization includes a clear explanation of the magical time – known as the sensitive time for socialization – when puppies are prepared to learn new things. This only lasts for a short time in the first few months of life, so it is important to maximize this opportunity. It will save you and your puppy from trouble or even heartache later.

This new treasure of a book also covers dog body language so readers can learn to tell whether their pup is relaxed or tense, happy or nervous, anxious or comfortable. This knowledge is essential to socializing a puppy, but few books cover it in the puppy context.

In fact, this chapter on dog body language is relevant to all owners, regardless of their dog’s age. For example, most people do not know that a dog that is yawning can show symptoms of anxiety and anxiety. Or that when a dog shows its stomach, it doesn’t always ask for a stomach rub. Understanding dog body language improves the bond between dogs and the people they love.

When asked why they contained so much information about reading dog visual cues, Anderson replied, “For us, this is the missing part because so many people don’t know how to read the mean or very subtle cues of how to do it your dog feels. If you can’t tell [that] Your puppy is scared you’re in trouble. You risk frightening him instead of teaching him that the world is a wonderful and fun place for puppies. “

The authors also counter all of the bad puppy socialization advice with lots of fact-based information. Myth Destruction is a great service, and the writers do it well by helping readers (and their dogs) avoid the consequences of harmful myths and falsehoods. In fact, according to Rogers, this bad advice was the inspiration to write this book in the first place.

“We all have different memories of who said the word ‘book’ first, but we wrote it because our hearts ached when we saw people follow traditional advice and it made their pups worse.” An example for the traditional advice Rogers is referring to is to suggest taking your pup anywhere and exposing him to anything. It is one of the myths about socialization that is counterproductive to its proper execution.

This book is a truly modern book with the most up-to-date information on the subject and offers strategies for safely socializing puppies during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as during normal times. Pandemic puppies have spent a lot of time with their families, but public health protocols have limited their socialization options to varying degrees.

Many behavioral problems are avoided if people follow the socialization advice in this book. Many of the dogs that I observe in my private practice as a canine behavior therapist and dog trainer could have been spared the challenges they face in life if they had been properly socialized. I hope that this book will be widely read and that its advice will be followed. It’s the perfect resource for anyone involved in raising well-adjusted, happy puppies, and it’s good news to have it published.

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