EverythingDogBlog: Salmonella Poisoning* - All About It
By Skye Anderson, MS
Why is Salmonella so scary? And what is it, anyway? Have you been affected by any dog food recalls?
What is Salmonella?
Salmonella (genus name) is a gram-negative, rod-shaped bacterium - not a virus.
Bacteria are generally larger than viruses but most are still too small to be seen by ‘the naked eye,’ without a microscope. (see photo, credit: CDC Public Health Image Library)
Viruses are not considered to be ‘alive’ because they must ‘highjack’ the replicating machinery, the DNA, of a living cell of organisms like dogs or humans, to make copies of themselves. (More precisely, a virus inserts itself into the DNA and, yes, even the DNA of a human.)
How does a dog become infected? How do you get Salmonella?
When Fido eats raw meat, meat not fully cooked, or even kibble infected with Salmonella, he may become infected himself but it may also depend on how many bacteria Fido ingests and how healthy he is (if he can ward off the ‘bad guys’ by having enough ‘good guys’ [soldiers].) The Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association recommends against feeding a raw diet to help prevent the spread of Salmonella.
What you may not know is that Fido can pass Salmonella on to his human family. Such a disease is called zoonotic. Bird, reptiles and amphibians can also transmit Salmonella.
Therefore, always be sure to wash your hands, dishes, utensils, and counters thoroughly with soap and warm water after handling dog food or dishes, or poop bags, and instill this practice in your children who probably have more contact with Fido, playing fetch, dressing him up and cuddling if not sleeping in the same bed.
What are the symptoms of Salmonella?
Your dog (or you) can vomit (not unusual for dogs) and have diarrhea (more unusual) and abdominal cramps for up to a week but these symptoms may be delayed 8 hours to four days after eating the infected food, making diagnosis difficult. If diarrhea is severe, hospitalization may be necessary and if the infection spreads throughout the body, the patient may die.
Dogs may also have no appetite, may drool, be feverish and lethargic.
Salmonella may also be underreported because many mild cases are seldom reported. However, the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) reports 42,000 cases of Salmonella a year but this is vastly less than the actual number. Imagine, the population of a very large university. . . .
Want your own stuffed Salmonella? Better than a real Salmonella!
If you want your own Salmonella to play with (see photo, credit: Giant Microbes) and who wouldn’t, you can buy a stuffed toy that looks like the real thingathttp://www.giantmicrobes.com/us/products/salmonella.html. (Of course, the real bacterium doesn’t have eyes or a mouth like the stuffies.)
Giant Microbes has about 110 different species to choose from: I simply can’t decide which ones to get! I want an Ebola and a Typhoid, and . . . enough to use in my college biology classes for practical exams.
Cook. Cook. Cook. Wash. Wash. Wash.
*Thanks to Hills dog food company (www.hillspet.com) for pointing me in the right direction to find references and for providing much of this information.
(This blog first appeared on ColumbiaPatch.com on 28 May 2013.)
(Photos: CDC Public Health Image Library, Giant Microbes)
My last post was the Before. Here is the After (not the hereafter, just the 'after.')
EverythingDogBlog: BlogPaws Part Deux
By Skye Anderson, MS
Last time (BlogPaws Part One, though not named as such) I posted about blogs in general. Since then I attended a blogger’s conference, BlogPaws – for pet bloggers. There are about 2000 of us nationwide and more than 500 attended the 3-day conference recently in Virginia.
BlogPaws was the most unique conference I have ever attended! Would you believe caviar and cherries jubilee? All meals were included which made networking a breeze, but the 1 am bedtimes made it hard to get started in the morning!
You probably know that I am a big dog person – big on dogs and especially big on big dogs. So, imagine my surprise to see a slew of little lap dogs, most of them dressed up, and many of them in strollers (though I saw one human child in a stroller, I think).
I did see three yellow labs, a white standard poodle (with a colored tail), and I met a lovely Vizsla named Tavish (I saw a photo of Tavish reading a blog online, probably his own blog,www.IntrepidPup.com, a unique site well worth visiting - often).
There were also ferrets, cats (most of whom were dressed up, also), bunnies and one woman even carried a ‘bird cage’ with baby chicks wherever she went! You could always hear her coming (cheep, cheep, cheep!).
On the serious side were presentations on copyright, the FTC, legalities of different types of companies, making a living blogging, branding, rescue organizations, advocating for pets, nutrition – almost the whole gamut.
However, no presentations on grammar or journalism or creative writing and I still don’t know what a blog is or how long it should be. Oh, woe is me! I guess ‘anything goes’!
Nevertheless, next year the BlogPaws conference is in Nevada. Las Vegas, here I come!
EverythingDogBlog: To Blog or Not To Blog. That is the Question
By Skye Anderson, MS
What is a blog anyway?
I tend to think of blogs as newspaper columns like the one Zuma-the-dog is engrossed in, in the photo - but, online.
Blogs usually appear regularly (daily or weekly) and generally cover only one subject with the writer being somewhat of an expert in that topic (unless the blog is about ‘musings’ or something like that and sometimes blogs report on the writer’s personal life, feelings or beliefs rather than facts. Some dog blogs are about the daily activities of the writer’s dog.)
In addition, sometimes links to additional information and references are given and comments are usually requested.
So, what is EverythingDogBlog?
Well, it’s all about dogs, for one thing, and about anything to do with dogs which makes it almost too broad in scope to establish a regular, committed readership. It’s usually quite long, as well, bordering on researched articles.
EverythingDogBlog is written by a long-time dog trainer, Dog First Aid instructor-trainer, and canine massage instructor, as well as a college biology instructor who is a geneticist. Whew! All that in one person. And that’s not all, but that’s enough for now!
We have decided to try to pare down the subject matter to primarily training issues since that is what I am asked more often than other dog topics. I will occasionally alert you to dog events like I have since November.
And I will also post dog book reviews and product evaluations, always trying to give you more than one company to purchase from and also evaluating more than one brand of a given type of product.
Of course, I may change in mid-stream as I learn more at my pet blogger’s conference where all the bloggers blog about pets. I’ll let you know in my next blog!
And I’ll try to make my blogs interesting enough so Zuma never nods off reading them again!
(This blog first appeared on ColumbiaPatch.com on 20 May 2013.)
Rice cakes for dogs? "Peanut Butter is Better," especially in Dog's Best Friend, the Kong!
EverythingDogBlog: Two Top Tips from This Trainer
By Skye Anderson, MS
Rice Cakes for Dogs?
Try offering a rice cake (see photo) to your dog. Be sure it is the salt-free kind, available at supermarkets.
Labs and goldens like the large size (about as big as your palm) while small dogs prefer the snack size.
With only 35 calories per large rice cake, there is little need to worry about added poundage.
Of course, your dog will happily take it when offered but he may have to get used to the taste – he will think (hope) it a bone but it may take time for a taste for rice cakes to develop! He will love it, however, and try to eat it.
Here’s hoping he loves them as much as the dogs I know do. And if he doesn't, the kids can always finish up the package.
Peanut Butter is Better!
Better than what, I don’t know, but I thought it was a good slogan!
Do you have a canine red-head? I give my golden retriever some peanut butter, especially in the winter – goldens tend to have dry, itchy skin with all our indoor heating. The trouble is, she now expects peanut butter in May!
You can mix dry kibble (a lot) in peanut butter (just enough) and stuff the mixture into a Kong (Dog’s Best Friend – see photo) for a time-consuming gastronomical challenge!
I call peanut butter the gift that keeps on giving – it is a hoot to watch my dog labor to lick the peanut butter off the roof of her mouth!
For other Kong recipes, http://www.kongcompany.com/recipes/.
(This blog first appeared on ColumbiaPatch.com on 12 May 2013.)
(Photos: author and the Kong company)