A Publication of St. Louis Critter Sitters
June 2007


Breed of the Month –The English Bulldog

The Bulldog is small in stature, but wide and compact, with a thick, massive head. Its head should be broad (the broader the more prized) with cheeks that extend to the sides of the eyes. The skin on the skull and forehead should fall in dense folds. Its muzzle is short and pug, its nose, broad and black with large nostrils. Its upper lip is pendent and its lower jaw should be very undershot. Eyes are very round, far apart and very dark. The ears should be small and thin, folded back in the form of a rose. The tail is short and carries low. The coat comes in red, fawn, brindle, pale yellow or washed-out red, or white, and can combine any of these colors. Black is not acceptable. The Muzzle is sometimes dark. With its stocky legs set squarely at each corner of its compact, muscular body, the Bulldog's deliberate gain has become a waddle.

Although the English Bulldogs appearance can be somewhat intimidating, it is among the gentlest of dogs. Just the same it will see off any intruder, and few would risk a close encounter with a dog brave enough to bait a bull. It is described as a very affectionate and dependable animal, gentle with children, but known for its courage and its excellent guarding abilities. Bulldogs are very much a people’s dog seeking out human attention and loving every bit it can get!! A lot of human attention is required for the breed's happiness. Some English Bulldogs can be a bit dominating and need an owner who knows how to display strong leadership and understands alpha canine behavior. A Bulldog who understands it's *place* in the human pack, is nice to, and reliable with all people. This breed is good with family pets, but some can be scrappy with strange dogs. When Bulldogs are young, they are full of energy, but slow down as they get older. They snore very loudly, and most have drool and slobber tendencies.

Cool It! Summer heat can be deadly for your pet.

Common sense tells most people that leaving their pet inside a parked vehicle on a hot, summer day could be dangerous after an extended period of time. But most people don't realize that the temperature can skyrocket after just a few minutes. Parking in the shade or leaving the windows cracked does little to alleviate this pressure cooker.

On a warm, sunny day windows collect light, trapping heat inside the vehicle, and pushing the temperature inside to dangerous levels. On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. At 110 degrees, pets are in danger of heatstroke. On hot and humid days, the temperature in a car parked in direct sunlight can rise more than 30 degrees per minute, and quickly become lethal.

Pets, more so than humans, are susceptible to overheating. While people can roll down windows, turn on the air conditioner or exit the vehicle when they become too hot, pets cannot. And pets are much less efficient at cooling themselves than people are.

Dogs, for example, are designed to conserve heat. Their sweat glands, which exist on their nose and the pads of their feet, are inadequate for cooling during hot days. Panting and drinking water helps cool them, but if they only have overheated air to breathe, dogs can suffer brain and organ damage after just 15 minutes. Short-nosed breeds, like pugs and bulldogs, young pets, seniors or pets with weight, respiratory, cardiovascular or other health problems are especially susceptible to heat-related stress.

In many states, it's against the law to leave a pet unattended in a parked vehicle in a manner than endangers the health or safety of the animal. Despite these laws, not to mention a basic common sense that should guide most pet owners during the summer, companion animals die every year from heatstroke. The worst part is knowing that each death was preventable. That's why sharing this information is so important.

Pet Tip – Responsibility

You can't forget, and you can't leave it until later. Playing, exercising, teaching, grooming, feeding and watering, and letting it relieve itself is an everyday thing. Some dogs need more of one thing, and less of another, but they all need you every single day. Your dog counts on you.

Taking care of all the needs of a puppy is not all fun. Sometimes it’s boring. It can get old. Do you have trouble getting all your chores done without being reminded? If so, it might not yet be time for you to get a dog. Having a dog is a responsibility.

Learning Not To Jump

A puppy that jumps on you isn't so bad. But an adult dog is a different story -- especially if he weighs 70 pounds or more.
Stop it now, while your puppy's little. From day one, you should discourage jumping.
It is easy to do. Here's how:

  • Avoid petting when your puppy jumps. That encourages him to do it again.
  • When your puppy jumps, lean towards him and, in a low voice, say "Off."
  • When he backs away, tell him to sit.
Praise calmly for sitting.

St. Louis Critter Sitters
Recipe Corner

Idgie’s Peanut Butter Biscuits

  • 1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 cup Soy Flour (from co-op)
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 1 cup  Peanut butter (sugar free)
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup Milk

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine wheat and soy flour and baking powder in mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together peanut butter and milk until well combined and smooth.

Fold peanut butter-milk mixture into dry ingredients and mix well to a soft dough. 

Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface; knead lightly.

Roll dough out to 3/8 - 1/4 inch thick.

Cut into pieces 1-2 inches square (depending on dog's size).

Place 1/2 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. 

Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Store cooled biscuits in refrigerator.

Woof!

Dog Facts

Puppies can't control their bladders overnight until they are at least four months old. Until then, cover the floor around the puppy's bed with newspapers.

 

Liver Disease and how to detect it.
The liver is no bit player – it’s like a one man show, performing 1,500 chemical reactions in our animal companions. Frankly, there doesn’t seem to be one function that isn’t affected by the liver. Unfortunately, liver disease is as cunning as a cat, and as sneaky as a dog trying to steal a savory morsel from your kitchen counter. It comes in many guises, and surprisingly enough, the liver can be 70% to 80% diseased and still function effectively.

Setting the stage for liver disease - Many conditions play a role in liver disease. It can have an impact on just about any other part of the body, and the symptoms can be unpredictable and unspecific. As guardians, we always need to be standing in the wings, watching for unfamiliar signs and signals. At the first sign of a problem, get to your vet.

15 symptoms and signs of liver disease: 

 
1.
behavioral changes such as aimless pacing or circling, irritability, seizures, known formally as Hepatic Encephalopathy 
 
2.
bouts of diarrhea or upset stomach 
 
3.
chronic anal gland problems
 
4.
distended stomach that looks as though it is filled with fluid, called ascites
 
5.
intermittent constipation and vomiting 
 
6.
depression or lethargy 
 
7.
stools that are light tan or grey in color 
 
8.
loss of appetite
 
9.
pain when pressure is applied to the abdomen
 
10.
polydipsia (excess water drinking) and polyuria (excess urination)
 
11.
yellowish pallor, e.g. in the whites of the eyes, familiarly  known as jaundice, or icterus. 
 
12.
dark urine that can even be orange in color 
 
13.
symptoms of acute allergies, e.g. itchy paws, abdomen, head, and face; red skin; inflamed eyes; and weeping sores. 
 
14.
weight loss and debilitation 
 
15.
bleeding problems (rare, but worth noting because many of the proteins essential to proper blood clotting are created in the liver)

"The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That is the essence of humanity."
                                             
...George Bernard Shaw