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Hello, today is Tuesday, June 18th, 2024 

ADVICE, TIPS & INFO FROM YOUR VET- Dr. Ronald Rosenfeld D.V.M.








Oh Give Me A Home!

Hot Summertime Blues

Sept 08



we love our pets

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dog doctorMake sure your pets are protected with flea, tick and heartworm treatments and are up-to-date on vaccinations. Keep a file with your pets' medical information and keep track of necessary follow up shots and appointments.

Keep identification on your pet at all times, and make certain that the information is current and legible.

Just like humans, pets need good dental hygiene. Try brushing your pets' teeth or giving him snacks that prevent and/or remove plaque. Ask your veterinarian which dental services they provide and when you should utilize them.

Is your dog eating grass? Unless it's been treated with fertilizer or pesticide, don't worry. It could mean he has a bellyache, or it could just be his natural instinct to aid his digestion.

Springtime means spring showers and sprinklers which can leave puddles of standing water. Try not to let your dog drink out of puddles, as standing water can be filled with bacteria leading to gastrointestinal upset or ailments.

Know your pet's proper body weight and feed him accordingly. Take note how his body reacts to his food and ask your vet if a special diet is in order. Exercising (playing) with your pet is not only good for their figures; it's good for their hearts and minds too.

Nothing beats a leisurely spring ride in the car. If you're taking your pet with you, make sure he is properly contained. Don't put him in the back of a pick-up truck where he could fall out or let him hang out of open windows where debris can get in his eyes or he could get hurt.

Just like us, our pets have allergies too. If you notice obvious signs of allergies like swollen eyes, frequent scratching, fur/skin conditions or sneezing, you may want to take your pet to the vet to explore those allergy symptoms.

Grooming is not just about vanity. Keeping your pet clean and groomed prevents skin irritations, fleas and ticks and keeps his temperature regulated. Make sure his nails are trimmed but not too short.

The outdoors is not the only thing pets get a fever for in the spring. Springtime is mating season! Make sure your pet is spayed or neutered so that they don't contribute to overwhelming pet overpopulation problem.

Certain common spring plants can be extremely hazardous to your pet. Many can cause gastrointestinal upset if ingested and some can even be deadly.

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Up to 18 per cent of owners never take their pets to the vet – even for inoculation jabs A RECENT survey has revealed that nearly one in five pet-owners never takes their animal to the vet – not even for initial injections and regular boosters. April 2013

According to the veterinary pharmaceutical company CEVA, a total of 18 per cent do not take their cats, dogs or other animals to the vet when they are ill nor have them injected against fatal feline and canine diseases – partly due to the economic crisis which means owners can no longer afford vet bills.

And with higher-rate IVA applied to veterinary medication, many vets have been forced to increase their prices, often beyond the reach of impoverished pet-owners.

Overall, vets in Spain charge much lower fees for treating animals than in the UK – where a consultation alone can cost 60 pounds (about 72 euros) and booster jabs as much as 150 pounds (around 180 euros).

Spanish vets also recommend booster injections are given every two to three years, and say that the most crucial jabs are the initial ones when the animal is still a baby.

Often, they do not charge for a mere consultation if no medication is given, or for routine matters such as ear-mites, worming or antibiotics, only charge for the drugs.

Discounts are frequently given where someone brings a feral cat from the street in for treatment, spaying or neutering.

Animals not vaccinated from a few months old are at serious risk of contracting fatal diseases which can spread to other animals – feline leukaemia and feline AIDS are incurable and can be transmitted whilst fighting with other cats.

CEVA found there were also urban myths about sterilising animals.kitten bottle fed

Many cat-owners believed that having a tom cat neutered meant he was susceptible to infections and illness, and that they tended to become fat and lifeless afterwards.

This is not the case, since non-neutered cats are more likely to get into fights with other animals in the street, thus being at greater risk of infection, as well as causing a proliferation of litters of street cats condemned to a life of hunting for food in bins and an early death through lack of injections and veterinary care.

Spaying and neutering cats and dogs does not affect their character or their body weight, and is a routine operation which is relatively cheap – around 40 or 50 euros for tom cats or 80 to 90 euros for queen cats, or a little more for dogs – which could prevent health problems in later life and stop habits such as spraying in the house, which cannot be cured once started.

Vets also advise against manicuring cats' claws, and strongly recommend that the common practice in Spain of de-clawing cats be abolished – a cat's claws are his or her defence, necessary for scratching itches, and also for climbing – a cat can misjudge its aim when attempting to climb and suffer a fall, causing itself an injury.

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Scientists prove you really can tell what your dog is feeling by looking at its face- March 2013

Any dog owner will claim they can tell exactly what their pet is thinking just by looking at it. Now scientists have discovered that they may well be right.

dog expressions

Face facts: Mal's expressions were identified even by volunteers with minimal experience of dogs

A study has shown that people are able to precisely identify a range of emotions in dogs from changes in their facial expressions.

The research showed that volunteers could correctly spot when a dog was happy, sad, angry, surprised or scared, when shown only a picture of the animal’s face, suggesting that humans are naturally attuned to detecting how animals are feeling.

Dr Tina Bloom, a psychologist who led the research, said: “There is no doubt that humans have the ability to recognise emotional states in other humans and accurately read other humans’ facial expressions. We have shown that humans are also able to accurately – if not perfectly – identify at least one dog’s facial expressions.

“Although humans often think of themselves as disconnected or even isolated from nature, our study suggests that there are patterns that connect, and one of these is in the form of emotional communication.”

The study, published in the journal Behavioural Processes, used photographs of a police dog named Mal, a five-year-old Belgian shepherd dog, as it experienced different emotions. To trigger a happy reaction, researchers praised Mal. The result was the dog looking straight at the camera with ears up and tongue out.

They then reprimanded the dog to produce a “sad” reaction, causing the animal to pull a mournful expression with eyes cast down.

Surprise, generated using a jack-in-the box, caused the dog to wrinkle the top of its head into something akin to a frown. Medicine that Mal did not like was produced to stimulate disgust – flattened ears – and nail trimmers, which Mal also disliked, were brandished to create fear, causing the ears to prick up and the whites of the eyes to show.

For anger, a researcher pretended to be a criminal. Mal’s teeth were bared in the beginnings of a snarl.

The resulting photographs were shown to 50 volunteers, who were split into two groups according to their experience of dogs.

By far the easiest emotion they recognised was happiness, with 88 per cent of the volunteers correctly identifying it. Anger was identified by 70 per cent of participants.

About 45 per cent of volunteers spotted when Mal was frightened, while 37 per cent could identify the relatively subtle emotion of sadness.

The canine expressions that were hardest for humans to identify were surprise and disgust, with only 20 per cent of the volunteers recognising surprise and just 13 per cent recognising disgust.

The study by Dr Bloom and Prof Harris Friedman, both from Walden University, in Minneapolis, found that people with minimal experience of dogs were better at identifying canine disgust and anger, perhaps because dog owners convinced themselves that their dog was not aggressive and so the associated facial expression was just playing.

The researchers believe the ability of inexperienced volunteers to sometimes be better judges of emotions may be because reading dogs’ faces comes naturally, rather than being a learned skill.

Dr Bloom said she hoped further research might determine whether this apparent natural empathy with canines was something we shared with all mammals, or could be explained by humans and dogs evolving side-by-side for the past 100,000 years.

As a dog lover — who was “very confident” in her ability to read the faces of her two Dobermans and two Rhodesian ridgebacks — she admitted such unproven theories were emotionally appealing.

She added: “If I adopted a cat, or a snake or a turtle, I don’t think it would be as emotionally attached to me and watching my face as much as a dog would. There is something different and special about a dog — I’m not sure what it is, but it’s there.”

Beverley Cuddy, the editor of Dogs Today, said dog lovers would feel vindicated by the research. “I am not at all surprised that science has finally accepted what we knew all along — dog and owner communicate perfectly well without words.”


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merry christmas dogsNo More Quarantine
From EU* (plus a few other countries**) to UK

The first of January 2012 signals the beginning of a new era in the area of free travel for pets (dogs, cats, and ferrets) across international borders and into the U.K. This is primarily for transit into and out of E.U. countries, although there are some other countries included, according to the new D.E.F.R.A. (Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs) guidelines, the complete information may be found at: , with more details at :

For your pet to enter the UK from these countries* **, you must answer 'yes' to the following questions:
• Is it microchipped?
• Is your pet currently vaccinated against rabies?
• Was it vaccinated after it was microchipped?
• Have you got an EU Pet Passport or Official Veterinary Health Certificate from your vet certifying the microchip and vaccination?
• Have 21 days passed since it was vaccinated?
• Are you travelling into the UK with your pet on an approved route? At the present time only certain transport companies and routes can be used to bring dogs, cats and ferrets into the UK, this may also become more flexible as the first of January approaches.

YOU HAVE TO WAIT 21 DAYS SINCE THE LAST (MOST CURRENT) VACCINATION. + the vaccine used must be on the approved list from DEFRA
Tick and Tapeworm (Echinococcus ) treatment

Requirements for tapeworm treatment are to be confirmed, so you are advised to check with the Defra website prior to travel. Tick and tapeworm treatment is still advised. It is best practice, and best for the health of you and your pet, to treat your pet for ticks and tapeworms before returning to the UK. Consult your veterinarian for further advice. Only the treatment against worms is to continue to be required.

Arrange for your animal to travel with an approved transport company on an authorised route – Your pet must enter the UK from a listed country or territory travelling with an approved transport company on an authorised route.
Barcelona to London Gatwick Monarch Airlines
Barcelona to London Heathrow British Airways World Cargo, KLM Cargo (via Amsterdam)
Barcelona to Manchester Monarch


Treats like candies, cookies, or leftovers should never exceed 10% of their regular diet, these may lead to weight gain, even diabetes (from giving chocolate - which also could be poisonous), as well as unwanted begging behaviour. Meat, poultry, and fish bones are definite items to avoid. A carnivore is a meat eater not a bone eater; sooner or later their consumption will cause problems that could be fatal. Bones are definitely a bad idea and now there are substitutes, commercially available which will do no harm. Eating grass or other plant material may make them sick or could even be poisonous. Be careful with overdoing the table scraps, the holiday season is approaching and there is a tendency to be generous with turkey skins, crackling or other fatty cast off bits, they may lead to serious pancreatic problems. Watching what our animals eat is good common sense on our part, besides its' being good for them. You will be rewarded with the very least, by a wag of the tail or a purr, as well as saving otherwise avoidable and unnecessary trips to the Veterinarian.

THINK TWICE ABOUT THE GIFTS YOU GIVE- If for some reason this holiday season you are thinking of giving some one a new pet make sure before hand that it will be appreciated. This is a life and in the case of a kitten or a puppy could keep on giving for 15-20 years, which carries with it an responsibility that lasts a lifetime! An alternative could be adopting an adult from one of the many over supplied shelters.

Dr Ronald Rosenfeld. D.V.M.

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dogs go to yoga

Taking your pet to take relaxation classes and incorporate them into the exercises

dogs yogaThe days in which humans and their dogs were limited to a walk in the park are over. Now you may swim with them, they race down a field and may even practice meditation with you. The latest craze in Spain is to go to yoga with your pet. The technique called Doga, which is a new hybridized term combining Dog and Yoga and is an adaptation of Eastern art where the owner and the pet participate in it.
"Start by sitting down and start breathing. Let your dog find a place beside you, on whichever side is most comfortable to you both.

Concentrate, caresses, relax. "This is how to begin the ritual, according to actress and dogi master, Suzy Tietelman (, who started this craze in America when she decided to add her Cocker Spaniel Coali in the yoga routines adapted to relax not only her but her little dog. She began practicing yoga at her academy in New York back in 2002 and developed the technique around 2006. Today, thousands of people around the world practice the technique (in Spain, some centers may be found @ and follow their steps through the Internet.

The routines are modified to be in contact with the animal. They are placed on your lap, lying on your body, held in your arms ... The person caresses the dog and transmits its energy to create a unity between the two. Any contact such as touch, movement, stretching, breathing is acceptable ... They say that for those who practice Doga it helps to relax, exercise and create a common space with the person and the dog and serves to improve communication, mobility, reduce stress and even cure digestive problems.

Not everyone agrees. The proponents of traditional yoga – purists - are against these practices, as they say this distorts one of the oldest arts.

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A GPS Device Prevents Lost Pets

tagg colllarPet owners no longer have to worry about the possible loss of their pets, thanks to Tagg - The Pet Tracker, the last word in tracking systems for you and your pet equipped with GPS and wireless capability, so that pets can stay in touch with their owners at all times.

Tagg_The Pet Tracker is made by Snaptracs Inc., a subsidiary, recently created by mobile technology company Qualcomm Incorporated. The tracking system uses a pet Tagg, an advanced device using GPS technology with which pet owners receive a notice if their pets are lost and can locate them at any time. Tagg brings piece of mind to pet owners, allowing them to know at anytime the whereabouts of their dog, cat, etc, through the use of a mobile phone, a mobile device or computer. In America hundreds of thousands of pets are lost each year and according to the National Council for Population Studies of Domestic Animals, and only 15 to 20 percent of stray dogs and only two percent of lost cats are returned to their owners. Tagg The Pet Tracker is a solution designed especially to track animals, which uses an elaborate combination of GPS with wireless technology to monitor the location of the pet and the owner can be notified promptly by email or by text if the pet leaves the area where they spend most of their time, usually the home, garden and surrounding areas. The tracker Tagg is designed to accommodate dogs and cats over 4.5 kg and is a small, lightweight and sturdy device, which is installed in the pets´ collar. The scanner, built to withstand the busy pet's daily activity such as running, digging and jumping, should be worn at all times, even when swimming. The battery lasts about 30 days, but its´ life span may vary depending on their use. The compact and convenient scanner includes useful functions, such as notices of battery recharging and a scroll button, through which the pet and its owner can take a walk, ride a car or travel without sending alerts.

tagg colllar"We created Tagg as the solution because we understand that pets are important members of the family today. We, as pet owners, found the inspiration to devise a solution designed specifically for this problem, which is reassuring for the pet owner ", according to Dave Vigil, president of Snaptracs. "The loss of a pet is an experience that nobody wants to live through and we are proud to have developed a tracking system affordable and easy to use, which can help the owner to be reunited with their pet if it strays. " Tagg_The Pet Tracker service has already begun shipping in the United States.

Also see alternative you can buy now in the UK:

Dr Ronald Rosenfeld. D.V.M.



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GREENFINCHThe personality of an individual can have a big effect on your life. Some people are outgoing and sociable, while others find new stressful situations can be harmful to their health and wellbeing. Increasingly, scientists are discovering that animals are no different.

A new study led by Dr. Kathryn Arnold from the Department of Environment of the University of York has added important experimental evidence showing that animal personalities are reflected in the profile of oxidative stress. The research is published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

Dr. Arnold joined Katherine Herborn, a graduate student at the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal and Comparative Medicine at the University of Glasgow, to classify the personalities of 22 finches.

They tested each bird's reactions to a novel situation by adding a brightly coloured cookie-cutter to each greenfinch's food bowl, and timing how long it took for the birds to pluck up courage to approach the food. The researchers found that the birds who were bolder only took a few seconds to overcome their fear, while the more timid birds took up to 30 minutes to get close to their food.

Dr Arnold and Katherine Herborn also measured the greenfinches' motivation to explore by attaching an intriguing object to the birds' perches and timing how long it took them to land next to it. However, there was no correlation between the birds' courage and curiosity.The researchers then measured the birds' damaging reactive oxygen metabolite levels and their defences against them.
Comparing the bird's blood oxidative profiles with their personalities, the team found that the most timid birds had the highest levels of damaging oxygen toxins and the weakest defences, so they suffered more oxidative stress than braver individuals. Also, the scientists found that the most curious birds (those that approached objects fastest) had better defences against oxidative damage than less curious greenfinches.
Dr Arnold wants to extend the work to establish how personality traits affects birds in the wild. She says, "Neophobic birds – those that are afraid of new things – may suffer high costs of oxidative stress and die early because they paid these physiological costs, but they might also be less likely to be eaten by a predator because they are more wary than bolder birds."

LONGEST EARSHarbor, a coonhound hailing from Colorado, has earned the Guinness World Record for biggest ears on a living dog.Harbor, the eight-year-old black and tan coonhound, measured in having a massive ear-span; his right ear measured 13.5 inches, and his left ear measured 12.25 inches. The length from ear-end to ear-end was 25.75 inches! ...That's over two feet! While Harbor's earspan is the record for any current living dog, he does not, unbelievably, have the longest measured ear-span on a dog ever. That record belongs to a bloodhound named Tigger, whose ear-span measured 27 inches!


Dr Ronald Rosenfeld. D.V.M. + Happy Halloween and be careful with those treats for your pets.

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The strategy of fleas for achieving great leaps sept 2011

flea leaps

They transmit the stored energy in their chest to the legs. | G. Sutton / M. Burrows.

They are tiny, weighing just 0.7 milligrams, but when they jump they can reach two meters in one second. Fleas have an amazing ability to jump that for decades has puzzled entomologists-insect biologists.

A study published recently in 'The Journal of Experimental Biology reveals how they do it and contested the results obtained in previous research. According to the new work, the fleas are pushing with their feet, particularly with the tarsus. From there they project the energy stored in their chest muscles and so are able to achieve amazing jumps.

In 1967, Henry Bennet-Clark discovered that fleas store the energy needed to catapult into the air in their chest area, this consists of resilin (the protein that allows the insect to be flexible.) However, it was not clear how they were able to achieve propulsion. In subsequent years, both Bennet-Clark and Miriam Rothschild made several assumptions about how they succeeded but did not have recording equipment to check speed.
The researchers, led by scientists at the University of Cambridge Malcolm Burrows and Gregory Sutton, analyzed the behavior of 10 fleas. In total, they managed to film 51 jumps. They said the task was not easy because the filming usually was recorded using the same technique used to record lobsters, much larger than fleas. However, they soon saw that the insects were completely still in the dark and only jumped when the lights were lit, which facilitated their work.

fleaPropulsion from the tarsus
While Rothschild had suggested that fleas are propelled by their trochanter (the second of five parts that comprise the legs of insects and is articulated with the hip and femur), the new study has found that these insects can transmit force from their chest muscles to the legs and are able to push using the tarsus (the outermost part of the leg), getting to jump to a height of 1.9 meters per second.

In most of the jumps, the tarsus and trochanter were in contact with the ground during the 'take-off'. Only 10% of the jumps filmed showed that the tarsus was the only part of the leg that hit the ground. That is, that if in these cases they did not need to use the trochanter, it is probable that this part of the leg was not essential for the jump, fleas have two mechanisms for propulsion.

To find out more precisely they continued collecting evidence. The recordings showed that during the 'take-off' the bugs continue to accelerate, even when not using the trochanter. In addition, analysis of the leg by an electron microscope revealed that both the tibia and the tarsus were equipped with grippers while the trochanter was smooth, so it could not get a good grip to gain the needed momentum for propulsion.

Then they developed two mathematical models that reproduced the trajectory of the flea on the basis of theories of Rothschild (propulsion from the trochanter) and Bennet-Clark (from the talus). By comparing the results with recordings of the second model it was the one that coincided perfectly with the trajectory of the insect and its acceleration, and was able to confirm how the fleas have gotten to be great at jumping.

Dr Ronald Rosenfeld. D.V.M.


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news hounds & more..." summer snippets "

BY Dr. Ronald Rosenfeld D.V.M. Aug 2011

straits of gibraltarMore than 60,000 birds pertaining to 25 different species have crossed the Straits of Gibraltar this Spring.

This geographical location is, during the spring, one of the most important for the entry of birds into Europe.
•More than 60,000 birds from 25 different species have crossed the Straits of Gibraltar between February 1 and June 5, as noted from the data collected by the Migres Foundation during the spring migration of birds, a study carried out under the auspices of the Ministry of Environment of the Junta de Andalucía.
The results obtained in the 2011 season indicate that nine species of soaring birds dominate the prenuptial migration of this group, with more than 99% of the records: black kite Milvus migrans, European Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus, white stork Ciconia ciconia, toed Circaetus gallicus, Booted Eagle Aquila pennata, griffon vulture Gyps fulvus, sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus, black stork Ciconia nigra, and Egyptian vulture Neophron pernocterus. In total, 63,791 birds have been recorded (35 325 birds at the Observatory at Punta Carnero and 28,466 birds in the station at Cazalla) pertaining to 25 different species.
The Straits of Gibraltar, in the spring, is one of the most important for the entry of birds into Europe and is the perfect place to study the migration of large groups of animals, according to the Migres Foundation, due to its strategic location between two continents and the connection of two large bodies of water, the Strait acts as a gateway for many species of migratory birds.
The inclusion in spring in the program by Migres materialized in 2007 to study comprehensively the evolution of populations of raptors and storks in Spain and the rest of Western Europe, and to track the long-term migration in the Straits of Gibraltar. To get solid estimates of the total numbers of individuals who use this strategic area in their migratory patterns, as a means to help to ensure its conservation, highlights the Migres Foundation.

dogs want homesShelters and animal shelters, overwhelmed by the crisis. These centres suffer saturation throughout the year and not just in the summer months. The enormous economic cost of maintaining the animals have caused many problems.
In the Baix Camp Refugi with capacity to accommodate 40, dogs are being turned away.
It is the summer and protective societies and shelters for animals begin to worry about the collapse they suffer each year in their facilities during this time, when owners of dogs leave their pets to go on holiday, now these centres are faced with another problem: the crisis and abandonment.
Although unlikely, the economic difficulties, and concomitant problems they have caused, many affecting man's best friend, because their families cannot cope with the economic cost involved in their maintenance. In this regard, the Head of Refugi Reus Baix Camp, a private animal shelter in Reus, Gemma Folch, says that "many people call us saying they have lost their jobs and cannot take care of their animal. Some even throw them over the fence showing that people do not understand that today having a pet is a luxury. This point has also affected the Last Llar de Reus, although in this case its director, Roman Casanoves, believes that "the crisis has already been standardized and those who had to leave their pet have already done so." For the pet, the worst time starts right now.
Whether for one reason or another, both protective societies and shelters are collapsing throughout the year. Thus, with 40 dogs and 50 cats at the Refugi Baix Camp is at the limit of its capacity while with 70 cats in the Last Llar feline refuge is near saturation and with 200 dogs, the capacity to accommodate dogs is already 95%. This problem also comes under the auspices of the animal protection law, which dictates the prohibition of euthanasia in shelters and protective factor that explains Casanovas, "causes greater saturation."
The solution is to adopt, which, again due to the crisis, has been reduced over the past two years both in the Baix Camp Refugi as the Last Llar. In the first case, Folch regrets that the figure of 30 cats and 50 dogs adopted per year has fallen far behind, while Casanovas says "We only have about 20 dogs per month taken for adoption."

pet passportdog travel

Bringing pets into the UK
after 1 January 2012 from Defra regarding new laws for Pets Passport.

From 1st January 2012, the rules for bringing your pet dog, cat or ferret into the UK will change.
Until then, the existing rules continue to apply for pets coming into the UK,
Don't delay – find out the rules in plenty of time before you travel.
If you wish to return to the UK with your pet after a trip abroad, or intend to bring your pet into the UK for the first time, you need to be aware of the changes to the UK pet entry rules that take effect on 1 January 2012.
You are responsible for ensuring your pet meets all the rules for entering the UK.
Make sure you have had the procedures carried out in the correct order and your pet's documentation is correctly completed. If you do not, your pet may not be able to enter the country or may have to be licensed into quarantine on arrival. This will mean delay
and will cost you money.
The change in DEFRA quarantine regulations starting 1-1-2012. In the meantime just a mention that as of now there is no point for anyone wishing to take a pet back to (or to) the UK should not go to the expense of a blood test and waiting 6 months as in January all they need is a microchip and a current Rabies vaccination and the same old health certificate as well as the worm and tick treatment! The wait is just 21 days from the date of the rabies vaccination. Therefore any pets in for testing from now on will not need it and they can all enter in January!

Dr Ronald Rosenfeld. D.V.M.

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news hounds & more..." Pets also spend the summer vacationing " BY Dr. Ronald Rosenfeld D.V.M. July 2011

pet friendlyThe number of pet-friendly hotels has increased by 30 percent in this country / Some 38 percent of Spanish are living with pets.
When summer arrives and with it the desire to travel or plan a getaway, but what to do with our pets? Many people leave their animals with family and others want to travel and have them along, but many are unaware of the sites that can be found with suitable accommodations.

Each year in Spain there are increases in the number of establishments that accept pets. In order to avoid the stark reality of animal abandonment which occurs both in summer as well as in any other holiday period, the Affinity Foundation has made a guide for travelling with animals that is intended to help owners to plan holidays with your dog or cat. The guide is available at bookstores and on the website of the Foundation for 12.50 euros. In total there are 7200 hotels, cottages and campsites that accept pets.

pet friendlyFor the autonomous communities, most hotels that accept animals are found in Catalonia (679 ), followed by Andalusia (542) and Castilla y Leon (293). At the other end of the scale are the Balearic Islands, Galicia and the Canary Islands. The latter has doubled the number of "pet-friendly hotels" since 2001 and throughout all the regions of Spain they have experienced a 30% growth rate. It is important to note that the hotels with more stars, a higher rating, are those that are more permissive. All in all about 21% of hotels in Spain permit dogs and/or cats.

With regard to the cottages, the Castilla y León autonomous community are more readily accepting pets, the Balearics are located in the tail end of the ranking. In just one year, however, the number of establishments with houses available there has passed from 2,200 to 3,000 houses there today.

The campsites are a more permissive accommodation, 81% pet friendly. For communities/region, Catalonia, again in the forefront with about 292 campsites. The guide also offers practical advice and information on 1,500 veterinary hospitals and veterinary centres and 240 emergency service and cat kennels where dogs and cats may be boarded.
Here are a few additional bits to be conscious about and some tips before you travel:
- Health
Before beginning a journey you should visit the veterinarian for a check-up and a review of the pet passport.

- Passport
Dogs , cats and ferrets travelling within Member States of the European Union need a passport .

- Means of transport
The car is the most simple and convenient means of travelling with animals. When needed , the animal can get out, walk, eat, drink or relieve themselves.

- Baggage musts to take for the animal
Do not forget the collar, leash , food, toys and shampoo. It is important to bring a bottle of fresh water for the journey (not only for them!).

Dr Ronald Rosenfeld. D.V.M.


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Obese pets June 2011

Believe it or not, more than a third of British dogs are overweight, as are many in Spain. This is not from Mr. Ripley!

fat catMore than a third of British dogs are overweight, according to a veterinary charity, and the proportion could grow to almost half in three years if the owners do not change the habits of their pets.


A poor diet and lack of exercise are to blame, said the PDSA, a partnership that meets the needs of pets and veterinarians.


In a study of 30,000 dogs in the UK during the past four years it was found that 35 per cent of dogs weighed more than they should.


fat dogIt also found that the owners gave them leftover food, fatty meats, pig's ear, chips and cookies. The PDSA in a similar study four years ago said that 21 per cent of British dogs were overweight, which means that almost half of them could be overweight by 2013 if the trend continues.

"Thousands of pets across the UK are having their quality of life cut, and ultimately their life expectancy as a direct result of obesity, "said a spokeswoman for PDSA.

The latter study also suggested that about half a million dogs were not taking daily walks.

To address the problem, the organization has relaunched its annual thinning pet competition, Pet Fit Club, which offers 10 overweight pets the opportunity to go, free on a maintenance diet for 100 days and monitored by the PDSA vets and keepers.
fat cat

If this were not the case all you need do is ask yourselves, why do the cat and dog food manufacturers have such a large market for low caloric diets? Let's not also forget the existence of commercially produced reducing diets, for pets!

Teli a bitch dog who cares for horses
Teli is a pet with a very important task: repels rodents from the horses stable. The mice would be a big bother to the residents in this stable, if this bitch was not responsible for scaring them off.
This is a four year old and is a Mallorcan Ratter. José Luis, the owner, wants to raise the breed, which is not very wide spread, and with this aim he has bought her a companion, Duke, eight months. Their relationship is intimate and José Luis hopes soon to get what he intends: that his dogs have puppies one day.
Teli and Duke are very playful and working in the field, they never hold a grudge against Jose Luis, not even when he scolds them, which makes life easier for their owner. However, the two are very stubborn, which brings the owner many headaches." They came directly from Mallorca and came home on an aeroplane. They appear to have a privileged place in their home and have travelled more than their owner, who has never flown. Congratulations to Teli and Duke.

Dr Ronald Rosenfeld. D.V.M.

Ratero_mallorquinCountry of Origin Spain
Breed Status: The Ca Ratter Mallorquí is rare and while it breeds true to type, remains unrecognized.
Distribution: The Ca Ratter Mallorquí is almost unknown outside of the island of Mallorca.
Etymology: Ca Ratter Mallorquí translates into English as Majorcan Ratter, referring to the breed's area of origin and original use.
Other Names: Mallorca Ratter, Perro Ratonero Mallorquin, Perro Ratero Mallorquin, Valencianet.
Personality and Uses: The Ca Ratter Mallorquí has in the past and present been used to hunt rats and rabbits. The breed is very agile, fast, and capable of making great leaps. The Ca Ratter Mallorquí is said to be a little nervous, but an excellent watchdog as it barks at the slightest noise. The breed also makes a good companion with its loving personality.

Sadistic Torture in El Perelló.-
letter from a concerned reader

On a piece of forestal land behind us we have had to watch dogs starved and not watered, chickens turn cannibalistic, some drowned trying to get water. Goats that can´t walk because their feet have never been trimmed and being locked in a shed for 24hrs a day getting no exercise, cats left loose to breed, 8 dogs corralled with no water and only fed bread every 3 to 7 days depending on the owners appearance - all carried out by a simple Catalan youth who on the surface seems to be a harmless pool cleaner! We gave water to support him but he used the water to grow cannabis hidden behind the redundant caravans. After trying to help we could no longer stand to see dogs with no hair, walking skeletons and one with a barbed collar pinned down as it had wound itself round a caravan wheel. l made an attempt to force him to look after them, we carried on feeding subsistence rations till the authorities came. It took 5 months for action, and after this most of former camp was removed and the goats and 4 of the dogs were removed by him after a tip off and taken to a new location. All was well, then came March 2011 we are here again 4 dogs to date 1 caravan donated by a grateful pool customer, all were skeletons de-hydrated until we started again subsistence feeding --we have told all to no avail. The forestal will take action to remove him and the Mossos will come again eventually but the torture, never stops, the dogs we see here are the ones he hid last year, they have been tortured somewhere else till April. For a guided tour please e.mail me via the olive press, l will arrange a visit, we have photos of the owner, I would like these to be passed around to find a horse he has somewhere and the goats.
The 4 dogs are now being cared for at the Alberg d´Animals in Camarles and would love a chance of a proper home.

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Be Prepared By Being Aware- may 2011

licking dogIt has always been my contention that having a properly cared for healthy pet at home is safer than some guests or visitors may be! This being the case there are still some things to be aware of.
In most industrialized countries, pets are becoming an integral part of households, sharing human lifestyles, bedrooms, and beds. The estimated percentage of pet owners who allow dogs and cats on their beds is 14%–62%. However, public health risks, including increased emergence of zoonoses (diseases which may be transmitted between people and animals), may be associated with such practices. Surveys show that pet ownership appears to have been on the rise in the U.S. and certainly in Spain, over the last few decades. Of an estimated 60 million pet dogs in the U.S. according to this study, an estimated 21% to 33% sleep on or in their owners' beds – and of 75 million cats, 60% curl up with their owners. In the United Kingdom, an estimated 6.5 million dogs live in 25% of households. In a survey of 260 dog-owning households in a community in Cheshire, 19% of the dogs were sleeping on the bedroom floor and 14% on their owner's bed. A survey conducted in 1995 with regard to cats 12 years of age throughout the United Kingdom found that among 1,236 of these older cats, 45% were sleeping regularly on the owner's bed.
You should think twice before cuddling up with your furry friends in bed, you might possibly be exposing yourself to a nasty disease. According to a paper being published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Are people increasingly being exposed to animal-borne diseases? Bruno Chomel D.V.M a professor at the University of California Davis Veterinary School and Ben Sun of the California Department of Public Health decided to find out. They surveyed the scientific literature and found examples of owners who contracted rare, unpleasant illnesses after kissing, sleeping in the same bed with, or being licked by their pets.
dog in bedSome of the more common diseases that may be shared are: chagas disease, staphylococcus infections, parasites, meningitis, cat scratch fever, and even bubonic plague.
That said, a good number of the cases they survey are from several decades ago; the seven-victim plague outbreak in New Mexico happened in 1974. An example of a meningitis infection they cite comes from 1985.
Cat-scratch disease is mainly transmitted to humans when they are scratched by a cat that harbours Bartonella henselae–infected fleas and flea faeces. However, a very few, documented cases have been associated with sleeping or being licked by a household pet.
Nonetheless, the authors write: "Our review suggests that persons, especially young children or immunodeficiency persons, should be discouraged from sharing their bed with their pets or regularly kissing their pets." Especially if the pet is not predominantly an indoors kind of creature.
pet rat in mouthZoonotic infections acquired by sleeping with a pet are uncommon. According to the study that was carried out the researchers made some recommendations, emphasizing that although transmission between us and our pets does occur it is rare. The main emphasis is that these are things that we need to be aware of so as to limit the passage of diseases between species and is limited if not controlled. Here are some suggestions. Persons, especially young children or immunodeficiency persons, should be discouraged from sharing their bed with their pets or regularly kissing their pets. Any area licked by a pet, especially for children or immunodeficiency persons or an open wound, should be immediately washed with soap and water. Pets should be kept free of ectoparasites (especially fleas), routinely de-wormed, and regularly examined by a veterinarian. Preventive measures such as anthelmintic drug intervention for puppies within the first few weeks after birth or, even better, for bitches during the last few weeks of pregnancy, could help prevent most cases of human toxocariasis. Similarly, evaluation of patients with recurrent MRSA colonization or infection or Pasteurella spp. infection with no obvious source should prompt queries about any regular contact with pet dogs, particularly in household settings.
Here again, so as not to be alarmist, it needs to be emphasized that, although uncommon with healthy pets, the risk for transmission of zoonotic agents by close contact between pets and their owners through bed sharing, kissing or licking is real and has even been documented for life-threatening infections such as plague. The presence of ectoparasites or internal parasites is certainly of major concern when it comes to this type of behaviour. To reduce such risks, pet owners should seek regular veterinary care for their pets to help keep them and the entire family healthy and happy!
Dr Ronald Rosenfeld. D.V.M.

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eyepet + cat for jury service - april 2011

eyepetEyePet unveils its official website
On this new website we can play with our virtual pet, flying an aeroplane, High Flyer, with the aim of flying balloons exploding hide hidden prizes, being careful not to use up all the fuel. It is a very useful site for users of the PS3 mascot.
Besides playing with EyePet, the website has a gallery which gives one the option to download a large number of photos, videos, screenshots and various images of the mascot with different outfits and practicing various activities. You can choose to get a screensaver to decorate your computer screen or mobile.
In the menu "Meet EyePet" there is a practical guide with information to explore the possibilities that offers this game for the PlayStation 3. Playing with him, tickling him or encouraging him to jump, how to learn to draw and sing, how to care for him, feed and customize him by changing his clothing and hair colour, etc.
With, Available in 25 languages, can also play with the colours of the screen and give EyePet different aspects.

cat juryThey call a cat for jury duty in Boston
The animal has been named to serve on a jury. An American family is shocked, because they have received a notification for their pet cat, named Sal, for jury duty!

Guy and Anna Esposito, Sals' owners think they know where the source of the error is. Considering him as a member of the family, they decided to fill in the census form in the town where they live. "I just wrote 'Sal Esposito', crossed out" dog "and wrote" cat, "says Anna.

Apparently, what might have happened is that the registry does not understand these changes and registered him as another member of the household. The owners have requested the disqualification of Sal for said service. However, the commissioner has rejected the request.

cat lawyerThe date for Sal to serve in the Suffolk Superior Court is 23 March. Anna said that if the matter is not cleared up by then, she will simply take the cat to the court.

I would love to be in that jury room when she shows up with the cat for jury duty! Then again, will he be disqualified if it's a cat burglary case? At least the public can rest assured that if Sal has to serve jury duty he'll get his fee, which will hopefully help pay for his cat food.
Dr Ronald Rosenfeld. D.V.M.



Omertá– Catalan style.-
letter from a concerned reader

So you have bought yourself a finca here in deepest darkest Catalunya – congratulations. I hope for your sake it is not placed in 'el coto' or the hunting grounds of your local hunting society. If you live away from a village or town then it is probably 'coto' and as such subject to local hunting laws.
They know all about your land – they have hunted it for generations, and during the hunting season, they can wander about it at will, blasting away at anything they like to. For some finca owners, they are merely a nuisance whilst others have had confrontations with hunters – some hunters are good people, exercising their right to hunt, and others are one step away from trigger happy lunatics.
What really is truly upsetting is that at the end of each hunting season they 'cleanse' the land of any stray dogs buy putting down poison. This of course does not 'happen' when you speak to anyone remotely connected with the Hunting Associations. Two years ago 23 dogs did not die up and down our road (including two of ours). Four years ago two people (in official positions) were not imprisoned for exactly this sort of poisoning.
Fast forward to this morning, the 13th of March and yet again, one of our dogs is dead – another missing. Another abandoned hunter's dog has been found on a neighbour's land. The poison is fast and induces frothing at the mouth, a blue tongue and convulsions before the dog dies some twenty minutes of agony later. The Agents Rurals tell us that it is fashioned from an insecticide normally used on orange groves, injected into a botifarra or equally tempting piece of meat.
Yet again, from sources inside our village, we are assured that it is nothing to do with the hunters as they are still hunting with dogs, but without rifles, or so we are told.
The Agents Rurals categorically deny this to be the case as any type of hunting is currently prohibited – hmmm - so who to believe.
Keep your dogs safe, not only at night, and pray as we do that over time this barbarity will eventually stop, or die out. Each hunting association knows who does it within their own area – he is always spoken of as a person who does not understand that it is bad, but is merely a job that has to be carried out every year, as it has always been done.
Some traditions are not always worth keeping, I guess.
On a happier note, our missing dog has just turned up – none the worse for wear.

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VETThere are similarities between humans and animals. One area being is shyness and nervousness around strangers in unfamiliar places.
This includes visits to the veterinary surgery, with all that goes with it such as strange people and animals in the waiting room, as well as having to wait for the things that cause anxiety and unsettle patients the most or, in the case of a visit to the vet, the animals. This is different for the veterinary treatment of large animals such as horses or cows: the vet comes to the patient, sparing both them and their owners the cost and stress of travelling to a clinic.
The VETservice in the Tortosa/ Camarles - Vinaròs - Ulldecona/ La Sénia region has also recently begun providing the benefits of on-site treatment. Following the completion of his studies, veterinarian, Eladio Casal Fernandez, who originally comes from Galicia and speaks Castellano, Gallego, Català and English, specialised in small animals and animal surgery. After working at a number of clinics, he decided to invest in his own practice, and so Eladio bought a van and converted it himself into a mobile consultation and treatment room.
Treatment takes place inside the mobile surgery, which is equipped with the most important medical technology, including an ultrasound scanner.
Inside the special vehicle, vaccinations, examinations and the treatment of injuries can be undertaken properly and professionally. For more major procedures such as operations, Eladio picks up the animal in his van and then treats it at the clinic of his friend and colleague.
The vetmobile comes out to the patient at home, with familiar surroundings for your pet serving as the waiting room. The cost of treatment by the VETservice is comparable with other veterinary practices and includes the call-out of the vehicle.

Call Eladio on 622 321 236 or email [email protected] web site www.vetservice.esVETSERVICE.ES

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Why do dogs eat faeces?+ processionary caterpillar - March 2011

dog pooOut for a walk with your dog in the park. The dog runs, jumps and plays in the bushes. At one point you see them chew something. As a responsible pet owner you come to check what your pet is eating and to make him spit it out in case it may be something harmful.. You find a nasty surprise: your dog is eating excrement. Those who now have or have had dogs probably have faced this strange situation at some time.

Dogs eat faeces of humans and other animals. "They are selective in choosing" the vet explained, Javier Gomez ( Clinic Limia Ginza in Madrid). "Some have a preference for human faeces and others prefer faeces of their peers or that of other animals."
Why they do it is still a mystery. There is no consensus among the veterinary community, but two theories are repeated. "One suggested that the animal has a nutritional deficiency of an amino acid or other trace element, and looks in the stool, which is after all only digested food," says the doctor. However, there is not sufficient data to support this theory.

dog shit"If you give a dog a nutritional supplement and they continue eating excrement. My personal experience is that not even one in 10 dogs stops this habit."

The other theory is that coprophagy is natural in dogs. "They do it because they like it as for them the smell is not unpleasant," he says. "Some hunting dogs will also rub or roll themselves in the excrement of other animals such as cows or even carcasses of dead animals, for example, to avoid being detected as prey. "
Any young dog, regardless of the breed has practiced coprophagy, a practice observed in other animals, including humans. "Every baby will eat faeces, if you leave it with it. It's normal at that stage of life they want to try the consistency and texture of things," says Gomez.

can you hear meHumans do not continue to do so because we do not like the smell and because of social conventions, not being acceptable behaviour. But dogs do not subscribe to this and a bitch with a new litter will eat the pups faeces as a means of protecting detection of the "nest" against predators.
It is very difficult to get an adult dog that eats faeces to stop. You have to scold them not to engage in this habit as usual but "That if the habit persists after a year it most likely will continue", he admits.
Some Veterinarians have had luck in suppressing this habit with different techniques, however most often the attempts are fruitless and frustrating.



processionary caterpillarWarning- Processionary Caterpillar
Time to remember the procession caterpillars, Thaumetopoea pityocampa, are coming out again, as the weather warms up and Spring approaches. These caterpillars could be out now or you may not see them until April depending upon where you are. The main thing to remember is to be on the lookout and to be careful. Keep your pets away and do not try to handle them. The white hairs are covered with or contain a very strong irritating toxic substance.
This marching off in lines is a protective strategy giving the impression of a snake to deter would-be predators, birds for example.
If any part of the caterpillar train is disturbed a message is sent to everybody on board and an irritant is released from the fine hairs covering the caterpillars bodies towards the intruder. This irritant is not dissimilar to the burn of stinging nettles, though some people have a high allergic reaction and may need medical treatment, a rash around the neck being the most noticeable symptom.
processionary caterpillarsIn the case of young babies and dogs this irritant can be fatal. The nests themselves being full of this irritant, individuals working or passing underneath trees with nests may notice slight irritation from powder drifting in the air.
The procession caterpillar should never be touched without protective clothing and gloves. Dogs that pick them up in their mouth in the best of cases, lose a piece of lip and/or tongue while more invasive contact could bring about their death. They are found around pine trees where their collective nest is found, appearing as white candyfloss high up in the tree. When they leave their nest they form a long line, which may exceed well over 100 individuals, of black hairy caterpillars with reddish orange stripes moving along the ground head to tail in what is likened to a procession, hence their name. When dealing with the procession caterpillar the best method is to spray the affected trees thus preventing the cocoons, which are really nests from forming.

Dr Ronald Rosenfeld. D.V.M.


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The best and most attractive of mans' best friend + abandoned pets Feb 2011

dog competitionThe dog is mans' best friend and one of the animals most attached to families. Children and parents enjoy their company and together they share some of the best moments of their lives. At the Expojubilados Senior International Fair in Torremolinos, they have decided to pay tribute to this pet by celebrating this unique beauty contest 'Mr. Dog and Miss Bitch Spain 2011'.
'Mr. Dog and Miss Bitch Spain 2011 'is a contest that seeks the most beautiful pet dog in our country. The Palace of Congresses and Exhibitions of Torremolinos host this event on February 26, 2011 and all persons having a dog over 1 year of age may be entered in the contest. An opportunity to enjoy the company of these fantastic animals.
This dog show is looking for the best dogs, the most handsome and best looking, reflecting the love and attention that their masters pay them daily. This is not an assessment of its pedigree but its beauty and the winners will be recognized as Mr. Dog and Miss Bitch Spain, an honorific title that certifies them as the cutest of dogs.
The contest "Miss Bitch and Mr.Perro in Spain 'will consist of two categories, one for males and another for females. The winner of each category will be proclaimed 'Mr. Dog "and" Miss Bitch "and their owners receive an award certifying them as such. The prize for the winners will be a weekend in a hotel to enjoy with your canine pet.
The runners up will get the title of "First dog /bitch of Honour" and the third the "Second dog/bitch of Honour" with its corresponding diploma. All participants will receive a diploma for their participation in the contest. All those who wish to participate can download the bases and join in at the following website:
Catalunya is one of the communities with most abandoned pets, in 2009. It was one of the Autonomous Communities that abandoned more pets, Namely 16,486 dogs and 5,588 cats were collected by municipalities and protective societies in Catalunya, representing respectively 14.9% and 15.6 % of abandoned animals in Spain. This is apparent from the data of "Survey of the Abandoned Companion Animals 2009 " , prepared by the Affinity Foundation , which also notes a decrease of 2 % of dogs and 7.9% in cats abandoned over the previous year according to a statement.
As for cats , Catalunya is the first community in number of abandoned animals, followed by Madrid (4,294 abandoned cats) and Valencia (4,485). On the other hand, the Catalan autonomous community is in second place behind Andalucía (17,284) and ahead of Valencia (13,235) , regarding the abandonment of dogs .
Among the causes of abandonment, the change of domicile of the owners, loss of interest in the animal, in addition to misconduct, financial reasons or pregnancy are cited.
As for the fate of the dogs found, 39.2 % of dogs are adopted , while 25.5% remain in the shelter that houses them, 16.8 % are returned to the owner and 15.5% are euthanised.
The "Survey of the Abandoned Companion Animals 2009" shows that only 25.4 % of dogs and 3.5 % of cats collected had a microchip, which identifies it and its owner.
Dr Ronald Rosenfeld. D.V.M.
Marianela 652059359 luna.rama @ + [email protected]

The more urgent cases we have announced in our blog, WE ARE SATURATED AND WE HAVE NO SHELTER OR SUPPLIES


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Why doctors should worry about animal abuse.
STOP ANIMAL ABUSE20% of the abuse of pets is associated with a violent family environment. These attacks are often used as a means of blackmail, control, or revenge The acts of cruelty committed against animals may reflect a lack of empathy and pleasure derived from the suffering caused, but its importance does not end there. Several studies show how children living in difficult situations within their families (abuse, violence, etc. ) can express their anger and channel it, directing it against the weaker animals.
DOG AND HIS BONESeveral studies, led mostly by American authors have confirmed the relationship between violence against animals and corporal punishment, beatings and sexual abuse. Both parents and children can carry out these acts and the victims of choice are, preferably, the family pets.
About 20 % of intentional animal cruelty cases also involved some form of family violence, according to statistics. "These behaviours are not kid stuff, you have to study what happens, they may be experiencing a situation of violence in their homes", says Núria Querol i Viñas, a criminologist and specialist in animal cruelty.
In the most dramatic cases, it produces what experts call mercy killing, Querol said, when children themselves who are destroying the lives of their animals to spare their animals the same suffering that is inflicted upon them by others.
A form of intimidation.
Attacks on pets are not just performed for the pleasure but are used as a weapon to coerce or intimidate the victims of abuse. This is especially dramatic in cases of domestic violence. In a 1998 study of women who had suffered the wrath of their husbands, 71 % of participants admitted that their partner had threatened, injured or killed their pet.
"This situation can cause, women to delay as long possible their departure from home, for fear that their husbands will do harm to the animals", Querol said. "There have been cases where the offender has sent back pictures or tapes with the images or sounds of a beating to the dog or cat as blackmail to battered wives", she adds.
According to a study published in the journal Australian Family Physician, fear for the safety of pets is responsible for between 18% and 43 % of women delaying their leaving an abusive relationship.
"Cruelty to animals is too often part of a climate of violence to which children are exposed and into which they become involved," said Frank Ascione, Department of Psychology at the University of Utah ( USA), in the Juvenile Justice Bulletin. Moreover, according to the Australian study, animal cruelty raises important questions about the nature of empathy and the type of society we want to live in.

Dr Ronald Rosenfeld. D.V.M.

NEW YEARS RESOLUTION FOR DOGSNew Year's Resolutions for Dogs
1. I will not play tug-of-war with Dad's underwear when he's on the toilet.
2. I'll remember that the rubbish collector is NOT stealing our stuff.
3. I do not need to suddenly stand straight up when I'm lying under the coffee table.
4. I will not roll my toys behind the fridge.
5. I must shake the rainwater out of my fur BEFORE entering the house.
6. I will not eat the cats' food, before or after they eat it.
7. I will stop trying to find the few remaining pieces of clean carpet in the house when I am about to throw up.
8. I will not throw up in the car.
9. I will not roll on dead seagulls, fish, crabs, etc.
10. I will not lick my human's face after eating animal poop.
11. "Kitty box crunchies" are not food.
12. I will not eat any more socks and then redeposit them in the garden after processing.
13. The nappy bucket is not a cookie jar.
14. I will not wake Mummy up by sticking my cold, wet nose up her bottom.
15. I will not chew my human's toothbrush and not tell them.
16. I will not chew crayons or pens, especially not the red ones, or my people will think I am haemorrhaging.
17. When in the car, I will not insist on having the window rolled down when it's raining outside.
18. We do not have a doorbell. I will not bark each time I hear one on TV.
19. I will not steal my Mum's underwear and dance all over the garden with it.
20. The sofa is not a face towel. Neither are Mum and Dad's laps.
21. My head does not belong in the refrigerator.
22. I will not bite the officer's hand when he reaches in for Mum's driver's license and car registration

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Twitter and the Richest Animals - Dec 2010

twitter for dogs

In this year of 2010 we will at long last be able to know what our mascot thinks!. The popular phrase, "if only they could talk", used for decades referring to man's best friend, could become reality thanks to Twitter and Mattel.
The concept of Twitter is so simple that the idea is that anyone can use it. So much so that even the dogs may do so through a curious device that was designed the toy company Mattel.
'Puppy Tweets', Which is the name this new system, interprets the activities of the worlds' favourite pet and transfers this to Twitter by way of its sound and motion sensor. Owners who use this particular tool, need to connect a receiver to the PC, create an account for your best friend on Twitter and wait for the update.
If the animal is spinning like crazy around the house, in your Twitter appears: "Finally I reached that tail that I was chasing ", as reported on CNN. On the other hand, if the dog is sleeping, the message found in the social network will read: "Sometimes I feel my legs are permanently in 'siesta mode'!"
The 'Puppy Tweets' is the first in a line of Mattel toys designed for adults, and will become available in 2010. Cost US$ 29 or UK £49
A cat named Tomanso could be the richest pet in Italy, (or the world), since inheriting 10 million Euros from his owner. According to the Italian periodical "Corriere della Sera" a 92 year old woman, Sra. Asonta has no children and in her last will, witnessed by a lawyer and a notary, has left her pet all her belongings, including a luxurious Chalet in Rome, 2 apartments- 1 in Rome and 1 in Milan, plus other holdings in Calabria and bank accounts, all of which are valued at 10 million Euros! She has asked that following her death a wildlife protection organization serve as administrators of the will and tend to abandoned animals as well as to guarantee a comfortable life for Tomanso!

Who is the richest dog in the world? How much could the richest dog possibly be worth? We've compiled a list of a few of the best known, wealthiest dogs from around the world. The saying, "A dog's life" takes on a whole new meaning once you've made the list of the richest dogs in the world!
Gunther IV
Countess Karlotta Libenstein of Germany left approximately $106 million to her German Shepherd, Gunther III in 1992. Her trustees invested the money and tripled the fortune. When Gunther IV was born, he officially became the wealthiest dog alive. It has been reported that his fortune has grown to more than $372 million.
Toby Rimes
The Poodle inherited $80 million from New York owner Ella Wendel.
trouble richest dogTrouble
Leona Helmsey left $12 million to her dog Trouble. Helmsley's brother Alvin Rosenthal has been appointed guardian of the white Maltese Terrier until it dies, when it will be buried beside Helmsley in a mausoleum in New York State.
Drew Barrymore placed her Beverly Hills home, valued at $3 million, in trust with her Yellow Lab mutt "Flossie" as a reward for alerting her that her house was on fire in 2002.
Tina & Kate
Nora Hardwell left her Collie crosses the run of her home and five acres of land in Peasedown St John, near Bath, as well as $1 million to be spent on their every whim.
Jasper & Jason
Brewery heiress, Diana Myburgh, left $50,000 trust funds each to Jasper, a Labrador-Doberman mix and Jason, a Whippet when she died in 1995. Their inheritance was invested and has now tripled in value.
Dr Ronald Rosenfeld. D.V.M.

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"Genetic Mutations of the Dogs "Designers' " NOV 2010


GENETICSDuring the last 14,000 years humans have not only domesticated dogs, to become their best friends, they have also been artificially selected for the "Canis lupus familiaris' to have the colour, size, body structure, abilities, and even psychological behaviour that their owners liked and wanted. Now groups of scientists have identified 155 regions in the dogs genome where there are signs of this selection, containing, possibly the genes characteristic of each of the 400 breeds.
The study, conducted at several U.S. universities came from the analysis of 21,000 variations in DNA sequences in one nucleotide/DNA segment of a group of 275 dogs from 10 different breeds, such as Poodles, German Shepherds, Dachshunds and terriers.
GENETICSIn total, the team, led by Joshua M. Akey, University of Washington, have identified 155 regions that have changed in recent centuries, when artificial selection became widely used, in some cases to have breeds adapted to certain tasks (hunting, shepherding, etc.) and in others selecting for purely aesthetic snobbery.
That group included genes that had already been identified as characteristic of some breeds, but also other candidates that had not as yet been studied. This is the case of the association found between the gene HAS2 and wrinkling of the skin of Shar-Pei dogs, originating in China.
Rare mutations in this gene have been identified in humans who suffer a skin disease called mucinosis.
In the beagle, the researchers found another gene that changes in people the body mass index and certain characteristics of the metabolism.
The researchers identified more than 1,600 genes known and suspected genes whose information is translated into proteins. Among them are five that were already acknowledged in previous studies as particularly significant in the breeding of dogs and have to do with the colour and coat.
Many of the genes apparently have to do with an animals visible features such as colour and texture of the coat, size or bone structure. Scientists still can not say exactly what genes were influenced in breeding, since in each of the 155 areas there are several genes involved.
The work, published in the journal, Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, according to its authors, also helps to understand how the short-term evolutionary changes occur, as well as understanding the mechanism of naturally occurring, as opposed to artificial, molecular variation, in natural populations and the differences between them.
Dr Ronald Rosenfeld. D.V.M.

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-The repeated acts of cruelty against animals are often a sign of an anti-social disorder.
-Child perpetrators are more likely to commit crimes in the future.
-Experts stress that this phenomenon should not be overlooked.


abuse bannerIn spite of the terrible brutality reflected by the acts of cruelty against animals, they do not occupy the front pages of any newspaper or appear too shocking to the public, however, they have an ultimate meaning that should interest us as a society. Those who abuse animals, experts say, are up to five times more likely to commit violent crimes against persons.

A British teenager who gets to his brother's hamster in the microwave, a group of boys who crucified a cat in Valencia and another who brutally murdered a donkey in Extremadura , three Mexicans who tortured a dog and displaying videos on the Web... Animals skinned, burned, impaled, mutilated, beaten ...etc.
It is common to read or hear phrases like "childish behaviour'' when dealing with these events. It is true that sometimes, in a game, especially in groups, some commit minor acts that are regrettable but, according to psychiatrists and criminologists, regarding other such acts "this is a warning sign " and people do not listen, "this is not a harmless outlet in a healthy individual", in the words of Allen Brantley, supervisor and FBI Special Agent, one of the world's leading experts in the field.

"Play that kills animals that we do not feel compassion for, such as mussels, is quite normal, but some children do so repeatedly, deriving pleasure, and that's a problem", explains Francisco Montañés, Chief of Psychiatry at the Alcorcón Hospital Foundation, to

Anti-Social Behaviour.

cruelty to animalsIn countries like the U.S., interest in such acts is increasing. Not only because of increased awareness towards animals but by the ever-increasing evidence of the relationship between acts of animal cruelty and other crimes ranging from drug use to the serial murders.

In the 80s, Alan Felthous, an expert in forensic psychiatry, conducted several studies consistently showing that behind the attacks on people was, in many cases, a history of animal abuse. Their work was carried out with men, especially violent inmates in U.S. prisons and served to confirm their study.

frightened dogAfter that, others have analyzed this issue. In 2002, the magazine Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law made public a study in which the repeated acts of cruelty to animals in childhood were linked with the development of an Antisocial Personality Disorder, the presence of antisocial traits and substance abuse.

" Approximately half of the anti-social individuals engage sadistic behaviour and if they do before they are 10 years old the prognosis is worse," affirms Francisco Montañés. That the child moves from one isolated act of violence against an animal to commit other crimes, "is an escalation", this expert added. "If you repeat the act and do so against an increasing size of animal, if you derive pleasure from this .. The possibilities are greater of this behaviour being transferred to abuse against people."

without conscienceFrank Ascione, from the Department of Psychology at the University of Utah ( USA) and a recognized expert, wrote in the Bulletin of Juvenile Justice in 2001: "The abuse of animals and interpersonal violence share common characteristics : both types of victims are living creatures, have the ability to experience pain and could die from injuries inflicted ."

An opportunity to intervene.

The awareness and sensitivity in Spain to this problem is low. "We are near the end of queue", says Núria Querol i Viñas, a family physician from the University Hospital Mutua de Terrassa, who is also a criminologist and expert on these issues. “The mistreatment of animals is shocking and only rarely does anyone do anything", she adds.
please don't hurt meHowever, stressed Querol, who is also member of the American Society of Criminology, “when there are cases detected of children who abuse animals you must be careful because this child may have a conduct disorder. What you can not overlook is an opportunity to intervene. "
At this point she agrees with Dr. Montañés, which affects the need to "go to a psychiatrist in cases of cruelty to animals because at first these people can be worked with and treated easily. Lack of impulse control, empathy, anger management are symptomatic of things that can
be treated if caught early", adds Querol.
One of the objectives of this expert is to establish in Spain, as already exist in other countries, intervention programs to work with these people because "it is very important to change the values and it cannot be accomplished in a systematic way", she concludes.
Dr Ronald Rosenfeld. D.V.M.

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news hounds & BY Dr. Ronald Rosenfeld D.V.M. Oscar - A Cat That Can Predict Imminent Death + The Origins of Small Breeds of Domesticated Dogs Trace to the Middle East -September 2010

OscarA CAT that detects when nursing home patients have just hours to live has accurately predicted up to 50 deaths.
Oscar is a five year old grey and white overweight Domestic Shorthair Cat that was adopted as a very young kitten by a geriatric centre in Rhode Island U.S.A. Those who care for him on a daily basis at the centre agree that he is not a very sociable cat but he has become famous by demonstrating the disquieting ability to predict or sense impending death! It has been observed that when passing near a patient that he senses is nearing the end of their life he curls up in the bed.
If he is not allowed into the room he scratches unceasingly at the door. His history, rather infallible, due to his tragic sense of smell, has found him keeping company of well over 50 patients in the final hours of their lives. On more than one occasion Oscar proved wrong the medical staff of Steere House a residence specializing in caring for patients suffering from serious dementia in the area near Providence, Rhode Island. This centre is home to five other cats used as pets to console their residents, none of them has ever demonstrated similar behaviour. When the nurses place Oscar on a bed next to a patient thought to be near death, he would escape and go to another residents room that died that same day, while the first resident survived another two days!
OscarThis cat has been studied by geriatric specialist Dr. David Dosa, also an assistant professor at Brown University, who wrote about his observations two years ago in the New England Journal of Medicine, which have now been included in a book about Oscar: "On Rounds With Oscar, the Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat." Dr. Dosa notes that when Oscar enters into action it is time to alert the family of the patient in question. He does not offer a scientific explanation but his hypothesis is that Oscar has a similar capacity to dogs’ ability to detect cancer by smelling. That is that Oscar is able to detect some kind of an organic compound produced when the cells in the body begin to die (ketones, which are biochemicals given off by dying cells). He also explains that he was left with feelings of a bad conscience when he exposed Oscars' ability, which led to the cat being branded as the purveyor of bad omens, which was not deserved.


According to Dr. Dosa the cat’s presence offered a certain degree of comfort and peace to both agonizing patients and their loved ones. In his opinion, "I do not think that Oscar is unique rather I think he is in a unique environment and it is clear that animals are able to sense things that we are unable to perceive"



The Origins of Small Breeds of Domesticated Dogs Trace to the Middle East

riders and dogsA study, carried out by the University of California, revealed that the origin of small dogs, which are part of many households, can be trace to the Middle East more than 12,000 years ago, according to the magazine BMC Biology. The focus of the study was the historic evolution of the IGF 1 gene, associated in dogs with size, they observed the variant that determines the reduced size of the animal
originated probably as a result of the domestication of the Gray Wolf of the Middle East. The team, directed by Melissa Gray and Robert Wayne, from the University of California, arrived at this conclusion after analyzing a large sample of Gray Wolf populations. "Our results demonstrate that the version of the IGF 1 gene found in small dogs is closely related to the one found in the wolves of the Middle East", explains Gray, which confirms that the origin of these breeds originated in that region. The IGF 1 gene suffered a mutation after dogs were domesticated. It is postulated that this mutation occurred early on in their evolutionary process as all the small breeds have the IGF 1 variant.
Another part of the puzzle that adds strength to the hypothesis of these experts comes from archaeological work carried out previously in the Middle East, which reveals the remains of domesticated dogs dating back 12,000 years. It appears that the tendency to a reduction in body size is a common characteristic in animals in domesticated situations. This is something that has been observed in cattle, pigs and goats. According to Gray, "The smaller body size may be more desirable in agrarian societies with larger population densities. This would suggest that dogs could have lived partly inside the family home or outside in an adjoining part of their dwelling. The oldest remains, indicating the presence of dogs have been found in places like Belgium, Germany, and western Russia. They lived between 13,000 and 31,000 years ago and they were larger than those who began to develop in the Middle East 12,000 years ago.
Dr Ronald Rosenfeld. D.V.M.

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news hounds & BY Dr. Ronald Rosenfeld D.V.M. A hotel for 'Fido' & EC travel tips & summer hot weather tips Aug 2010

peludetes-guia-viajar-animales-affinityTo help pet owners to plan their vacation, the Affinity Foundation has just published a Guide to Travelling with pets 2010, which includes a list of 3400 hotels in Spain and Andorra, 3,000 houses and over a thousand campsites where Dogs and cats, with their telephone numbers, addresses, prices and services (the average supplement per night, per animal is between 12 and 30 euros for hotels and between 6 and 15 euros in the cottages).
"More and more Spanish hotels (21.8% of total) now accept guests with animals in their facilities," said Laura Rodriguez, of the Affinity Foundation, which since 1988 has been working in order to reduce the number of abandoned and homeless dogs and sponsors the advertising campaigns of He never would (Abandon you). The number of cottages ready to welcome pets has increased by 25% in the last year, and is up 6% in the case of hotels.
Catalonia and Andalusia top the list of communities with the greatest number of pet friendly hotels. "There is a change of mentality, especially among the high-end accommodation facilities: some offer special services such as blankets, food and water in the room, or route maps for walking the dog. Some 38% of potential customers have pets. "
dog summerThe guide also offers practical advice for travel-requisites and airline charges, documentation on foreign travel, specialized transport companies, and provides a list of welfare societies, homes and veterinary clinics. You can purchase it (12.50 euros) in book stores, vet clinics, pet stores and online.
The EC Tips on Travelling with Pets and Food Purchases in Non-EU Countries
Brussels, July 2.- The European Commission ( EC) has published, to mark the beginning of the summer holiday period, a set of tips to travellers about the requirements and limitations which are covered in the Community rules on the transporting of pets and pet food purchases outside the EU .
In addition, Brussels has also provided guidance on the rights of passengers at the time of making a claim against the tour operators or airlines.
The EC points out, in the case of food, it is illegal to import meat, milk, cheese and other animal products from non EU countries, neither for our own consumption, nor as a gift.
As an exception, the EU only allows the purchase of such products in Croatia, Greenland, or Iceland, up to a maximum of 10 kilograms or up to a limit of 2 kilos in the case of powdered milk for children, baby food or special preparations for medical reasons.
The EC allows the importation of certain fish and seafood, if you do not exceed 20 kilos in weight and honey, if you have no more than 2 kilos.
These rules do not apply to products transported between EU countries or from Andorra, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway, San Marino, or Switzerland.
Brussels warns tourists that any breach of these restrictions may constitute serious delays at borders, the destruction of the product and even fines, emphasizing that the ban is justified on health grounds.
Moreover, the EC has stressed that travellers who want to travel with their dogs, cats and/or ferrets must have them vaccinated against rabies, but to enter or return to Malta, Ireland, the UK or Sweden, the animal has been subjected to additional treatments and/or tests.
The EC recommended checking if the country of destination allows the entry of puppies or very young animals.
For travellers arriving from a country outside the Community, the EU requires that your pet is subject to a quarantine of three months after vaccination, before the transfer.
Within the EU a "pet passport” exists, for animals that are
transported within the Community, that their owners may obtain from national authorities or veterinarians.

sunbathing dogsSUMMER, HOT WEATHER TIPS.

• Don't forget the sun cream! Just like us, pets can get sunburnt too. Pets with fine, light or white hair are prone to sunburn. They should have these areas, particularly noses and ears protected with sunblock as they are prone to developing a malignant cancer in these areas. Your vet can give advice on suitable sun creams that are safe to use on pets.
• Your pets should be provided with plenty of shade. If your pet gets too hot and starts to pant rapidly or collapses, put your pet in a cool area and gently spray with cool water or wet towels. If you are at all concerned about your pet, contact your vet immediately.
• Watch out for fleas, ticks and mites! Check your pets regularly. Your vet will be able to advise you on the best flea treatment for your pet. And don't forget to treat your house too.
• Don't forget to check your rabbit for signs of flystrike. This can be fatal. Make sure the hutch is kept clean and bedding changed regularly.
• Help to keep your dogs cool by walking them early in the morning when it is cooler and if you take them out during the day, make sure you take some water for them too.
• Keep fish tanks and bird cages out of direct sunlight and keep fish tanks clear of algae.
• Ensure your pet always has access to plenty of fresh drinking water and don't forget to regularly change the water bottles of caged pets.

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news hounds & BY Dr. Ronald Rosenfeld D.V.M. Dogs Help Doctors Detect Cancer july 2010

dogs noseIf dogs are able to smell the presence of a person buried under tons of rubble or find crumbs of hashish hidden in some obscure corner of an automobile, is it unreasonable to think that they may also be of use in medicine?

In 2004 a small study published in the 'British Medical Journal' demonstrated that dogs could precisely detect bladder cancer by smelling urine samples. Since then various foundations around the world have investigated this further and have trained dogs to do this! It should be noted that despite the results achieved dogs are still a long way away from being considered oncology consultants.

i nose your secrets
There is a foundation in Hungary (Fundación Perros contra el Cáncer para la Vida) that has trained four dogs, of different breeds, (two of which are proven for their work in disasters) to successfully detect, by smelling, cancer in patients. Their results are not yet published but have a 99% success rate in a study involving 35 patients with lung cancer and 45 individuals in the control group.

The same success rate was achieved in 2006 by a group of Polish and American Scientists, working with five animals, able to identify patients with breast or lung tumours. This work has been published in 'Integrative Cancer Therapies', carried out by the Pine Street Foundation located in California.

In this study, as in the majority of earlier research, the dogs do not smell the patients directly, rather the air they exhale into special hermetically sealed containers. This represented one of the largest studies carried out with 86 cancer patients (55 with lung tumours and 31 with breast tumours), while there were 83 individuals in the healthy control group. Following the success of this experiment the foundation announced on their web page that they were recruiting patients for a study on ovarian tumours.

dog cancer         dogs detect cancer


dog doctor


The studies by the foundation, until now, are comparing the animal detection studies with results from traditional biopsies, which is what they will continue to do. They do not pretend to offer the dogs as a substitute to traditional methods rather as a complimentary test. The dogs are not available to patients to be smelled directly, rather they are attempting to determine if they can smell and detect an anomaly in the exhaled breath of the patients. They stress that for the present time this is not a first line diagnostic tool, rather to determine if there is a substance that may be able to be detected by an electronic nose, that could be incorporated into a clinic, as opposed to having a dog sitting next to a patient on an exam table in an oncology clinic. There is a lot of work to be done yet to understand what substances are produced and emitted from cancer cells that are able to be detected by dogs.


dogs die in hot cars


Summer, Hot Temps, Cars & Dogs Do Not Go Together.

Many well meaning owners leave their dogs in their cars with the windows slightly open when they do errands only to come back & find their dog dead. It happened to a contestant auditioning for the “American Idol” singing talent show. The terrier dog was left in the car in Denver on a 91 degree day. By the time the owner came back, the dog was dead.

Even opening the windows is not enough to ventilate a hot car where the inside temperature can increase by 30 degrees in just half an hour. And it only takes a matter of 5-10 minutes on a hot day for a dog to wind up organ-damaged or dead.


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The Sting of Spring & Summer & dog roots june 2010

scaliborWe are all too aware of the reality that there has been a lot of rain these past few months. This will mean that there should be lots of wildflowers blooming this Spring, unfortunately they are not the only benefactors of the abundant water. This will be a record year for lots of other organisms in the countryside, many of them less desirable like mosquitoes to name but one. This is a warning about external parasites including of course fleas, ticks, and sand flies, as well as the internal parasites that may accompany them. There will also be an increase in the populations of leeches around lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. It’s also time to think once again about the Procession Caterpillar and the danger to us and our animals it represents. Animal owners and carers should be aware of this reality and institute the necessary control and preventative measures best suited to their particular pets and their environment. If you have any doubts or questions as to how best to proceed you should consult your Veterinarian for guidance in your particular case.

sandfliesLeishmaniasis is an important disease and the parasite is transmitted by blood-sucking sand flies with approximately two million new cases every year and one tenth of the world's population at risk of infection. When the sandfly bites the parasite is passed on to the dog. It attacks the immune system which leaves the dog unable to fight infections and disease’s as well as a healthy one. The maximum risk of infection in our part of Spain is between May – September. At the moment there is no cure for canine leishmaniasis as the parasite continues to live in the bone marrow but there are drugs available to manage the disease. The main drugs used in Spain are Glucantime, Alopurinol and Levamisol.



Glucantime – An injection given into a muscle in the back leg – Kills the parasite
Alopurinol – Tablet – Given to protect the kidneys
Levamisol – Tablet – Antiparasite and increases the dogs defence’s

There are ways to protect your dog although none are 100% effective. A Scalibor collar seems to be the most effective, they are still active when wet and also control tick and fleas. Care should be taken when fitting a new collar as some dogs can have a reaction to them.

Symptoms of leishmaniasis can include – severe weight loss, lethargy, depression, hair loss, lesions, dermatitis, distended stomach, nose bleeds.




dog rootsDog Roots. The domesticated dog started out along the banks of what is now known as the Yangtze River in China some 16,000 years ago. A recent study has revealed this fact, the existence of only one place of origin but not just one wild ancestor, according to a joint study carried out by a team of Chinese and Swedish scientists. This study was based upon an analysis of DNA from dogs all over the world. The first dogs of eastern Asia ended up in the stomachs of their owners. One of the principal authors of the study, Peter Savolainen from the Stockholm Institute of Technology, believes that the dog was first started on the road to domestication from several hundred wolves. This implies that they played an important part in the culture of human beings. In a previous study, published in Science in 2002, the research carried out by Carles Vilà, put forth the idea that humans used dogs to hunt. This serves as the explanation as to why they migrated together some 13,000 years ago from Asia to America. According to P. Savolainen, in his paper published in Molecular Biology and Evolution, surprisingly concluded that the first dogs found in eastern Asia ended up in the stomachs of their owners, unlike their European descendants that were used as guards or for shepherding


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Taking your pet home...Pet Passport - May 2010

no animal left behindcaged dogs

please don't leave me


The recent financial crisis has effected almost everyone in one way or another, and a lot of us are innocent victims, left with no job, no money and in some cases no home.

When these things happen the most innocent victims of all are our pets. They are totally dependent on us for all their needs and don't understand financial matters, however grave.



dog covered in oilleft behinddo something

holiday seasonFor this reason you must plan ahead for every eventuality when you take on a dog or cat. They can live for 15 years or more and are your responsibility for the whole of this time.
Over the past few years thousands of ex pats have returned to the UK due to financial problems, among other things, and because of the strict laws on importing animals, their pets have been left behind here in Spain. Some are rehomed with friends, but most are abandoned. I use this word to include the thousands of dogs and cats left in rescue kennels. They feel this abandonment just as much as if they are left to fend for themselves in the campo.


abandoned dogdevastated dogThe good news is that this situation is preventable. If you plan ahead as soon as you acquire an animal you need never have to make this heartbreaking decision.



pet passportPET PASSPORT

dog with passportThe first step to take when you get an animal is to take him to the vet to have him microchipped and ask the vet for a passport. He should also be vaccinated against all the usual diseases as well as rabies. Once you have the passport all future vaccinations should be noted in it instead of the green book. If you already have a green book with previous jabs in, keep it safe with the passport.
The rabies vaccine costs about the same as a normal jab and can be given alone or in a combined injection with the annual vaccination.

Once the rabies jab is given you must wait 21 days for antibodies to develop. Then take him back to the vet to have a blood test. This will be sent away for analysis. If the results are positive for antibodies you’re almost there! All you have to do now is wait for six months and your pet will be allowed to travel to the UK.

All vaccinations MUST be kept up to date, if his rabies jab is not up to date you’ll have to go through it all again!

The final thing required to enter the UK with an animal is to visit the vet between 48 and 24 hours before you are due to arrive, where he will be wormed and treated for ticks and the passport signed and stamped as proof. Any approved vet will do this so if you’re driving and intend to take several days you can visit a vet in France for this service.

Obviously all this has a cost, but prices vary so it’s worth asking a few vets what they charge for these services.

These steps should be taken as soon as you get your dog or cat, don’t wait till the worst happens and it’s too late.
Don’t let your pet become another innocent victim. DO IT NOW.
Information provided on behalf of A.M.P.A.R.E. protectora d'animals de la Ribera d'ebre


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Why chocolate poisons dogs and how to treat chocolate dog poisoning.. APRIL 2010

DOG CHOCSA handful of chocolate drops should kill a small dog like a chihuahua, as it is often said.
But many owners offer chocolate to their canine pets, so: Is chocolate truly poisonous to dogs?
Dogs have similar tastes to humans, and like us, they have a sweet tooth.
But while humans can ingest safely large quantities of chocolate, dogs metabolize theobromine more slowly, that's why chocolate triggers theobromine poisoning.
PET LOVESThe theobromine will remain in the dog's bloodstream for up to 20 hours.
"The hazard, however, is probably overblown," says Tim Hackett, a veterinarian at Colorado State University.
Chocolate's effects are linked to its quantity and quality and the dog's size.
The chocolate's poison is the alkaloid called theobromine, whose molecules bind to receptors on the surfaces of cells and block the natural compounds that normally attach there.
CHOCLATE DOGIn humans, theobromine provokes the release of the euphoria hormone, serotonin but in dogs low doses trigger vomiting, nausea, increased urination or diarrhoea.
If a large amount of theobromine or caffeine is ingested, some dogs will show symptoms such as muscle tremors, cardiac arrhythmias, epileptic seizures, internal bleeding, heart attacks and can even die.
Theobromine can make a dog's heart race up to twice its normal rate, and some dogs may run around as if they have drunk a gallon of espresso, according to Hackett.
Bitter chocolate contains six times more theobromine than milk chocolate, but theobromine's levels also varies with cocoa beans strain as well as different brands of chocolate.
Less than 100gms (a small bar of chocolate) of milk chocolate is potentially deadly for small dogs. A 20 kg dog will normally present intestinal distress after eating less than 240 g of dark chocolate, but won't necessarily present heart impairments unless it consumes at least half a kilogram of milk chocolate.
Just 1.3 g of bitter chocolate per kilogram of a dog's body weight is enough to trigger poisoning (so just 25 grams of unsweetened chocolate will poison a 20 kg dog).

CHOC DOGIn 16 years, as an emergency and critical care veterinarian, Hackett has witnessed just one dog death from chocolate poisoning, and he suspects it may have had an underlying disease rendering it more vulnerable to chocolate's effect.

Poisoned dogs are generally treated by inducing vomiting within two hours after ingestion and administering activated charcoal to absorb any theobromine remaining in the gut or that may be circulating through the dog's digestive system.
Charcoal should always be in your pet emergency kit because it also is effective in adsorbing other poisonous substances eaten or drunk by dogs or cats.
Remember to take to your veterinarian as soon as possible if there are any signs of poisoning!


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petsFeline Infectious Peritonitis... March 2010

The Veterinarians in the area of Murcia have recently detected an increase in cases of Feline Infectious Peritonitis. This is a contagious and potentially fatal disease of cats. There is no effective treatment against this disease, at the present time prevention, primarily through vaccination is the only tool available, besides attempting to avoid spreading the disease among cats, by either direct (saliva, faeces...) or indirect contact, shared food bowls or litter trays.

fibThis is not a new disease that has become "popular", as pointed out by Professor Juan Diego García Martínez, from the Veterinary Clinic at the University of Murcia Veterinary School, it may have previously not been properly diagnosed, or mistaken for other diseases because of the clinical similarities with other diseases, the only true diagnosis is either with a blood test or definitive findings in a post mortem examination! It is also pointed out that this vaccine may not be as effective as the other vaccines for the other major feline diseases.

There are two forms of this disease -wet and dry. The symptoms are primarily lethargy, weight loss, abdominal swelling, difficulty breathing, intermittent fevers, and/or lack of appetite. For example, the cat may develop difficulty in standing up or walking, becoming functionally paralyzed over time. Loss of vision is another possible outcome of the disease.
fish flushCat owners should consult their veterinarian to set up proper vaccination programs for their cats and especially for those that live rough, as they are more susceptible and your cats may come into contact with them, directly or indirectly being exposed to the spread of certain diseases.
Cat owners should be aware of two other important areas of concern, intestinal parasites or worms and fungal infections or ringworm. Cats (and dogs) should be wormed every 3 months if they have contact outside. Cats though that live in a dog free apartment and never go outside could get by, by being wormed only every 6 months. Ringworm infections should be treated by your vet as they could be contagious to us and are generally identified by circular shaped areas of hair loss, most frequently in young cats.
Those of you looking for a cat, adopting from a local refuge or shelter is always a great idea as there are lots of cats wishing to bring joy into a home making it even more purrrrrrrfect than it already may be. Choose a cat that is awake, happy, alert, playful, that is neither too fat or too thin. You should also take your newest family member as soon as possible to a veterinarian for a check-up and take advice as to the best health program to follow so that it can become a welcome addition to your family.

Ronald Rosenfeld D.V.M.

procession caterpillarWarning- Procession Caterpillar
The procession caterpillar should never be touched without protective clothing and gloves as their hairs contain a very strong necrotizing toxin. This toxin causes a devastating reaction when coming in direct contact with the skin. If it comes in contact with a mucous membrane, the effects are devastating and may be fatal! Dogs that pick them up in their mouth in the best of cases, lose a piece of lip and/or tongue while more invasive contact could bring about their death. They are found around pine trees where their collective nest is found, appearing as white candyfloss high up in the tree. When they leave their nest they form a long line, which may exceed well over 100 individuals, of black hairy caterpillars with reddish orange stripes moving along the ground head to tail in what is likened to a procession, hence their name. When dealing with the procession caterpillar the best method is to spray the affected trees thus preventing the cocoons, which are really nests from forming.




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The Cost of Keeping a Pet... Feb 2010

pet collagepet cages

carry dogKeeping a pet means an increase in the family budget of approximately anywhere between 60 to 120€ a month, according to a recent study in Barcelona. A measure of this cost increase in the pet care market may be attributed to the growth of 174% in less than 10 years. The increasing costs of professional grooming services and the sale of pet accessories are cited as leading factors in this surge. Vast changes have come about in the development of specialized new businesses related to pet care and maintenance, despite the economic crisis. Experts in business predicted this based on the growth potential in Spain with a population of 23 million pets.


pet wigluxory pet

ridex collardog bedroom

Taking advantage of this there was a recent trade fair in Barcelona which included a fashion show with presentations from known companies, including a new collection for animals by Adolfo Dominguez. According to some of the latest data available, from 2007, principle areas of interest in the pet animal care sector that take the lions' share of the market are nutrition, health, accessories, services, and breeders. The data compiled by the organisers of the fair speak of the movement of 1.909 million euros, Catalunya being responsible for 30% of this business followed by Valencia with 13.4% and Andalucía with a 12% market share.


Raincoats and Sunglasses!

pet umbrellapet travelpet tiarraswank
The area with the greatest demand is fashion accessories for animals, such as: clothing of all types, complimentary items like leads, carriers, hats, raincoats, footwear, sunglasses, or jewellery. According to the marketing research company this sector, which includes designer firms, accounts for the movement of over 269 million Euros annually which represents a 13.6% market share!
Health is the other great commercial area. At the present time Spain has some 27,000 veterinarians, only one third of these, however, specialise in small animal care. According to data compiled by Veterindustria, veterinary hospitals/clinics bill on average about 250,000 Euros annually, while the sale of pharmacological products, vaccines, nutritional supplements, additives, and premixed medications reached a figure of about 368 million Euros in 2007.
Ronald Rosenfeld D.V.M.

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news hounds & more...Japan and Canine Blood Banks...
BY Dr. Ronald Rosenfeld D.V.M. JAN 2010

DOG BLOOD DONORThe Japanese are looking for blood donors, canine blood donors! This is according to one of the countries largest animal care centres.

Japan is a nation of dog lovers with over six million registered dogs as pets and they are crazy for their canines, many of which are company for an ageing population serving as child substitutes in a country with one of the lowest birth rates.

DOG HEALTHMany peoples' wish for their pets, as for themselves is that of a long life. This implies a greater need for blood for operations and medical treatments that may be required in an ageing population become more demanding and frequent, according to the executive director of the Animal Referral Medical Centre PN Kawasaki, outside of Tokyo. The most common need for transfusions there are due to an increase in cases accompanied with blood loss as well as an increase of treatments of patients with cancer.

DOG OPERATIONMany pet owners will spare no expense in the quest for proper medical care for their pets, even if the donations of blood are complicated and unusual. There is no equivalent dog blood bank in Japan (or in many places in the world), as there is for a human blood bank; private hospitals and clinics then have to type and classify any blood required for an operation or replacement treatment. Canine blood can only be stored for about a month and a dog may only be able to donate once a year, bigger dogs of course can donate greater quantities. The average donation is about 200 ml. There are 13 different blood types, more than with us, which therefore necessitates a greater variety of donors.

SO WRONGIn Japan there is not a recognized blood bank, so there is not the capacity to store blood. Individual hospitals may have their own donor dogs and stores but they can not resell or distribute this blood.
Here in Spain, as may well be the case in some other countries, there are blood banks available although many hospitals maintain their own donors, properly vaccinated, parasite free, and blood typed. To the authors knowledge, there is a blood bank in the Malaga area. There may well be others and one would expect to find that in the Barcelona area there is another besides that which is connected to the Veterinary School there.
The best way to find out is to ask your veterinarian, as well as having your dog tested and blood typed for future reference. You might also be able to have your pet tested for free if you are prepared to allow them to be a potential donor.
Most of what has been covered here is also true for cats, only they have fewer blood types than dogs.

Ronald Rosenfeld D.V.M.


Pet Turtle Danger. A recent study published in Paediatric magazine deals with a link to salmonella infections in children with pet turtles. It also refers to the danger of swimming in pools or ponds where they are kept. In many places the sale of these little animals is now prohibited as they are endangered, so take heed!


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scared dogWorking with Dogs-Therapeutic Effects: Reducing the Risk of Heart Disease and Other Benefits...DEc 09

pet healingThe therapeutic effect of pets is well known, since some of the earliest documented work unofficially done at a York asylum in 1792, officially in the U.S.A. in 1953, and in Spain in 1993 with impetus from the Affinity Foundation.

A dog or a pet may not have the ability or capacity to cure an ailment but they facilitate many treatment programs and help socialization just by their very presence. They help improve self esteem, self control, increasing feelings of affection, decreasing feelings of loneliness. Depending upon whether they are working one on one or with a group varied results may be observed. The increasing expressions of empathy, a patients discipline, sense of responsibility or increasing communication skills.

service doghealing petshealing pets

There are many studies demonstrating that working with trained dogs may bring about a reduction in amounts of medication a specific patient may require, thereby reducing the risk of coronary disease and hypertension. It is thought that this happens as a direct benefit of the simple act of petting an animal.

Interaction with an animal allows professionals to work with a patients habits or emotional states. They also help with work in prisons. An animal, just by its very presence, installs confidence and is not judgemental. A dog would not necessarily understand a prison and would certainly not distinguish between a convict serving time for murder from a petty thief, an arsonist or a cat burglar. They would, for the most
part, greet any of these inmates the same way.

loving petA child with cerebral palsy tends to relax around a happy dog with a waggy tail, which is key to reducing muscular tension. In the U.S.A. much work has been done with patients suffering from cancer, requiring the vigour's of chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy or other terminal conditions helping to reduce the stress. Working with patients in mental hospitals and those suffering from autism has also yielded positive results as has working with drug addicts. Those unmotivated youthful inmates in drug detoxification programs were aided by the companionship of a four legged friend which also helped them better support the vigour's
of abstinence.
bondedDogs are not alone in their ability to lend themselves to these types of therapeutic situations. Cats have also proved useful, they are more manageable in many instances because of their size, being litter trained and in demonstrating affection hence more manageable in situations with people in retirement or nursing homes.

Work has also been done successfully with horses, mules, and donkeys sometimes with people suffering from partial paralysis or with autistic children. Other animals that have helped us out are turtles, goats, Vietnamese Pot-bellied Pigs, and fish, how many dentist surgeries have an aquarium because of the relaxing effect this has been shown to have.



Many geriatric centres have birds which serve as something lively, pleasing to see and cheerful in an ageing environment. These animals require attention and provide motivation to interact with them and to get up every morning.

Ronald Rosenfeld D.V.M.

santa claws petThe holiday season is fast approaching, with it lots of savoury delights, just as we need to take care in what we indulge in so should we be aware of what treats our four legged family members are feasting on as well! Be careful with overdoing the table scraps, there is a tendency to be generous with turkey skins, cracklings or other fatty cast off bits, they may lead to serious pancreatic problems. Meat, poultry, and fish bones are definite items to avoid. A carnivore is a meat eater not a bone eater; sooner or later their consumption will cause problems that could be fatal. Bones are definitely a bad idea and now there are substitutes, commercially available which will do no harm. Eating grass or other plant material may make them sick or could even be poisonous. Think about some of those gifts that keep on giving. Please consider carefully the concomitant care required in animal gifts for the holidays - they are for the life of the animal, not just a few weeks, months, or years! The shelters are overcrowded with abandoned pets without passports whose families had to leave Spain, due to the hard economic times, and did not have the forethought to consider the need of having up to date passports or who had the passports but could not afford or be bothered to cover the costs of a ticket!

pet calenderRock and Roll Pets A new calendar
Thanks to the creativity of a British company, Takkoda, your pet can be changed into your favourite rock star and maybe converted into part of the Pets Rock Calendar 2010! The photos are taken by their owners in the comfort of the home environment and then matched with the celebrities they most resemble!


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stanley corenpet glassesCanine Intelligence-150 Words and Maths... by Ronald Rosenfeld D.V.M. Nov 2009

dog wine glassAnyone who has shared their life with a dog will have stories to tell about how smart their dog is and how they understand what is being said to them.

Recent investigations by Stanley Coren, a psychologist and researcher in animal behaviour at the University of British Colombia, has led him to conclude that some of our pets can count up to five, understand up to one hundred and fifty words and may try to trick their master for their own benefit!

These are conclusions he reached and explained at the last annual meeting of the American Psychologic Association, when he gave a talk, “On How Dog's Think.”  


reading dogS. Coren is the author of books on dogs and their behaviour as well as having revised other studies on the subject which led him to conclude that man's' best friend has the capacity to resolve complex problems bringing these canines closer to man and other primates than is traditionally believed. He postulated that the mental capacity of a dog may be comparable to that of a child of about two to two and a half years of age! "Their impressive moments of brilliance and creativity may not make them Einsteins' but they are certainly closer to humans than we think", Coren points out.

He further postulates that this intelligence varies according to the type of dog and that breed is also an influential factor.

That there are three types of canine intelligence: instinct, adaptive (the ability to learn from the environment they are in and to resolve problems confronted with), and that of work and obedience (schooling). He states that in the case of work and obedience learning the Border Collie is number one followed by the Poodle and in third the German Shepard, basing these conclusions on work done both in the USA and Canada with 208 dogs.

spamThe list of the most intelligent dogs is completed by the Golden Retriever, Doberman, Shetland Sheep Dogs and Collies, and the Labrador Retriever. Coren assures that a normal dog could learn 165 words and the most intelligent ones can understand about 250! The idea of such a large number of word understanding is based on work done with a dog named RICO who distinguished 200 words with
a great capacity to learn quickly.

If that's not enough some of our four legged friends have an understanding of numbers and maths, although this may not be sufficient to let them manage the household budget, they can count to four or five, being able to detect errors like 1+1=1 or 1+1=3.

While playing they try to play tricks deliberately or like their human counterparts to get prizes/rewards, with almost the same success tricking us as we have tricking them!

adapative intelligenceThe top Ten dogs ranked:

Border Collie: No. 1
Poodle: ranked No. 2
German Shepherd: ranked No. 3
Golden Retriever: ranked No. 4
Doberman Pinscher: ranked No. 5.
Shetland Sheepdog (also known as a Sheltie): ranked No. 6.
Labrador Retriever's, Black and Yellow: ranked No. 7.
Papillion: ranked No. 8.
Rottweiler: ranked No. 9.
Australian Cattle Dog: ranked No. 10.
These next 10 dogs were ranked by judges as having the hardest time learning and responding to commands and instructions.
Bassett Hound: ranked No. 70
Mastiff: ranked No. 71.
Beagle: ranked No. 72.
Pekingese: ranked No. 73.
Bloodhound: ranked No. 74.
Borzoi: ranked No. 75.
Chow Chow: ranked No. 76.
Bulldog: ranked No. 77.
Basenji: ranked No. 78.
Afghan: ranked No. 79.

Stanley Coren owns a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They rank as No. 44.

more tea pleasepuppyBY Dr. Ronald Rosenfeld D.V.M.

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Excessive Grass Eating In Dogs & more...oct 2009

grass eatingQ. Why does my dog eat grass all the time?

A. There are many common opinions about why dogs eat grass, and unfortunately most of them are ill-founded. For example, most people think dogs eat grass to intentionally make themselves sick. In most cases when a dog eats grass, however, the dog is not sick, nor does he have any underlying symptoms that may lead you to think he would want to be sick. Some dog owners will witness a specific correlation between eating grass and being sick but unfortunately there just is not enough evidence for this as a primary, common reason.
Studies have been carried out to try and link grass easting with illness, vitamin or mineral deficiencies and lack of roughage in the diet, none of which found any significant evidence. In some cases, you see dogs only eating grass from specific areas, suggesting these might just taste better or have higher mineral deposits. Other ideas include that these are areas where other dogs have scented, or other animals have urinated.
In most cases, routinely eating small amounts of grass will do no harm, and is perfectly normal. The dangers exist where this consumption is excessive. Apart from not being easily digestible, there is a danger where vomiting occurs that pieces of grass are deposited in the nasal cavity, which can lead to infection.
dog in grassIn your case, if this excessive consumption has occurred suddenly, check his stools and urine for any changes. Also monitor his behavior. If you don't notice any other changes in his health or behavior, it is probably safe for you to wait and see if this is a temporary habit, or if it only happens in a specific place which you can avoid. However, if it continues, is affecting his consumption of his regular diet, or you notice any other minor health problems you should take him for a thorough medical examination.



dog tv watchingcat watching tvQ. My five year old daughter wants to know if her dog can watch TV.

A. Many people claim that their dogs watch TV. A lot of these dogs will actually follow the movement of objects moving around the screen and may also bark. However, the dog does not interpret the television the same way we do. The dog cannot determine what any object on the screen actually is. For example, if we can see a video of a dog running around a field, your dog will see a dark object moving around the screen and this may grab his attention and make him "watch".
watching tvThe sounds of the television are also likely to gain the attention of the dog, and because they can pinpoint the directional origin of any sound they hear, they will naturally look at the TV. Most dogs, however, will differentiate between the sounds of, for example, a dog barking on TV and a real dog barking. Although unapparent to us, there will be a distinct difference which will render the TV version unimportant to your dog. Remember also, that the dog's most important sense, that of smell, is not present in television and may affect his reaction to stimuli such as the TV that is lacking any scent.


cat eating chocolateQ. My cat loves to lick my bowl after eating mint chocolate chip ice cream. I just heard that chocolate can kill cats and dogs. Is this true?

Even in relatively small amounts chocolate is poison to cats and dogs. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, two different types of stimulants that affect the central nervous system and the heart muscle, as well as increasing the frequency of urination. For a cat or dog to lick the remains of an ice cream from a bowl is unlikely to cause any harm at all unless the animal has a specific medical condition already. However, if the animal was to eat a larger quantity of chocolate he may become very sick indeed and develop vomiting or diarrhea. When the amount of chocolate eaten is excessive, symptoms can include restlessness, hyperactivity, muscle twitching, increased urination and/or excessive panting. White chocolate has the least amount of stimulants and baking chocolate or cocoa beans have the highest. A better idea is to buy chocolate drops which are made specifically for pets, as they will not harm your pets' teeth or their health.

itching for sexQ. How long will my cat stay in heat?

If your female cat does not mate, she will go into oestrus as often as every two to three weeks, for several months each year, until she either mates or is spayed. Cats as young as 4 months old can go into the heat cycle, and they should be spayed as soon as possible unless they are pedigreed and you wish to breed from them. If spaying is not immediately possible then your vet may be able to give her hormones to stop the cycle. After all, the cycle is extremely uncomfortable for her, even if it does not inconvenience you. Your cat will be in heat for one or two days, but won't really come all the way out of it until you have her spayed.



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This month will cover some recent curiosities found in print from around Spain and the world.

Cats cry as a call to action
Anyone who has ever had a cat knows how difficult they are to ignore when they want to get our attention. According to a recent issue of "Current Biology" the sound a hungry cat makes when it wants to be fed, a purring sound mixed with a type of a high frequency cry, provokes an unpleasant sense of need in humans!
The researchers recorded the sounds emitted by 10 cats and reproduced these sounds for 50 volunteers who participated in the study. The found that the sounds the cats made when the cats were hungry were less pleasing and transmitted a greater sense of urgency to the listeners.
Those volunteers who had a cat as a pet were more sensitive to the different sounds emitted by the cats, which demonstrates a type of training to the sound emitted by the person who is the object of the cats vocalization. The researchers also concluded that cats that were not fed regularly by the same person did not make this sound!

This summer has not posed a dilemma for Dutch vacationers as to what to do with their pet fish, when it was not possible to have someone else to feed or look after them while away on vacation.

On the main floor of the Schipol Airport, Amsterdam has opened a specially commissioned fish hotel. Each fish has its own independent tank to avoid any cross contamination or conflict between guests. The guests tanks are accommodated to house either fresh or salt water guests. The only requirement to take advantage of this service is to book your vacation through the travel agent responsible for the running of this special hotel. According to a spokesperson for the agency running the special Inn, many people thought this was a joke but the demand for the service reflects differently. The first guest was Joe, a goldfish.

FISH HOTELThere is a Dutch political party with parliamentary representation which defends animal rights and one of their representatives in the Parliament attempted to have the hotel closed. Their claim is that the movement of these fish from their usual environment to this Inn at a busy airport may be too stressful for the animals and may prove to be fatal. The agent running the hotel has the owner sign a contract which frees the agency of financial responsibility in case of the pets death.


PAWPlanes For Pets
A Florida couple have created an airlines exclusively for pets because they suffer when travelling by air and are treated as just another suitcase. No bipeds(humans) allowed aboard, except of course for the pilot and the other members of the flight crew. The new airline known as Pet Airways, with their own website. The passengers are transported aboard in their own individual cage, the small aircraft that once had a capacity for 19 people has been modified to comfortably contain up to 50 cages accommodated for dogs or cats. Flights are once a week with one way tickets available for a modest fare of $149.00 and have stops in New York, Washington, Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles.

PET AIRWAYSAccording to the American Veterinary Medical Association 70 million dogs and cats travel every year with their families, most of them by automobile. The San Francisco Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates that of the 2 million pets that travel annually in cargo holds of aeroplanes about 5,000 are injured in one way or another. This would not happen on Pet Airways as the pets are monitored by a member of staff during flight. The passengers have to check in 2 hours before take off but they may check in as much as 72 hours ahead of flight time. They proceed to the passenger lounge where they are made comfortable and are checked by the airline staff every 15 minutes. Upon arrival at their destination they are taken to the lounge to relax and recover from their journey, it is also made clear that they are provided with ample opportunities for rest (pee) stops.


CAT ICE CREAMIce Cream for Doggies and Moggies

The first ice cream in the world 99% lactose free, sugar free and without dangerous additives is being marketed and sold in clinics and special stores in Malaga, Sevilla Granada and Córdoba. The Malaga based company has treated the milk with lactase, an enzyme which makes the milk easier to digest, the sugar is maltitol, a natural sweetener. The pet population as adults is 200 times more lactose intolerant than people.




The ice cream is available in three flavours: Vanilla, Cream, and Ham, in half litre containers for about 5€ each. The company responsible, Vital Ice Cream, is planning to start marketing their product in blocks and frozen cakes as it is becoming more common to have pet birthday parties. At the moment there are only three flavours but the family run business located in Malaga has been making Ice Cream for over 50 years and has a web page where you can suggest new flavours. They also are devising a new line of ice creams for other groups of people with special dietetic considerations.


Ronald Rosenfeld D.V.M.

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HOT DOGIt is summertime again, time for those enjoyable outings to hike in the hills or bathe at the beach; beware though, all that glitters may not be gold! While enjoying this warmest time of the year be wary as the time is also wonderful for fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and biting flies, to name a few ectoparasites, whose life cycles are also in full bloom these days and will continue to do so until the autumn.


These pests not only bother our pets but may also pester us at times as well. If you have not yet instituted flea and tick control it is time to revise and re-evaluate the products that have worked for you in the past, hoping that the fleas did not develop resistance this year to last years products, which with regard to some of the commercial preparations is all to frequent a phenomenon. If this has occurred then the best solution is to find a couple of different products and alternate their use to stay ahead of the defence mechanisms of these interlopers. Remember that it is important to control the environment first and your animals second, otherwise you may find the war lost prior to the first shot being fired.






When we bathe in the ocean or in a pool we rinse the salt or the chlorine off afterwards with fresh water, this is the least we can do for our animals as well. This will help to reduce the all to frequent summer eczemas. Over shampooing, even with the mildest medicated prepared shampoos, rather than resolving skin problems may aggravate them by reducing the natural defences in the skin and it's secretions. When in doubt consult a professional





The drought we are experiencing has it's effects on our animals as well. The increase in ectoparasites, as discussed above, may be coupled with an increase in diseases or conditions they may cause secondary to their presence. If the water isn't fit for us to drink we ought to be giving our animals the same bottled water we drink.
Make sure in the heat they have abundant water available as well as a shady spot to take refuge. They should be in a well ventilated area.


Remember, if travelling with your dog and having to leave him in the car for a short while, think twice. Even leaving the windows partially open may not provide sufficient cooling properties as shown in the sad case of the two police dogs in England that died recently although only being left unattended for just a few minutes. Should you be concerned that your dog is overheating or showing signs off distress immediate action can be taken to help him. Firstly, cool his feet by hosing him down or placing his feet in a bowl of cold water and secondly, seek professional advise because heat stroke can be fatal.


Dogs "sweat" or thermoregulate (as we say in the trade) through their feet and by panting and therefore cooling the feet is the fastest way of alleviating their heat distress.
Happy Holidays
Ronald J. Rosenfeld D.V.M.



Flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) is the most common veterinary dermatologic condition in the world. It begins with the bite of a flea. The saliva of the flea contains amino acids, aromatic compounds, fluorescent materials, polypeptides, and phosphorus. The main thing that dog owners notice is scratching, chewing, licking, biting, and other signs of pruritus. Sixty one percent of flea allergic dogs develop clinical signs between 1 and 3 years of age. As animals age, with continued exposure to fleas, the degree of hypersensitivity may wane. FAD is uncommon in dogs less than 6 months of age. Patients usually have papules, crusts, salivary stains, excoriations, and erythema in a wedge-shaped pattern over the lumbosacral region, caudal thighs, proximal tail, ventral abdomen, and around the umbilicus. With chronic itching the areas become alopecic, lichenified, and hyperpigmented and the dog will develop an odor related to secondary infections with Staphylococcus intermedius and Malassezia pachydermatis. Some of those patients will have recurrent tapeworm (Diplydium caninum) infestations from ingestion of the fleas.



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The warm weather has arrived and with it we see an increase in skin problems. The skin is the body's protective cover, it is in direct contact with the environment and disease causing agents. The skin may suffer various types of diseases. The primary function of the skin is to protect and isolate the body and its parts from injury. The layer of fat, just below the skin helps the body to maintain its temperature and by altering the blood supply, protect us from extreme temperature changes in the environment.

Skin disease or dermatitis, initially it may be reflected in reddening, small pustules (acne), hair loss and may or may not be painful. These signs may be located in one circumspect area or may affect the entire body, scratching, itching, and/or biting may aggravate the problem. Dermatitis may be due to many diverse causes such as: allergies, bacteria, fungi, parasites, burns, hormonal or nervous or psychological problems or other less common causes.

Ulcerative-skin-disease-in-a-cat-with-SporotrichosisIn our animals allergies or parasites are the most guilty parties. When the condition becomes advanced a problem localised in one area may spread and be further complicated by a secondary infection, which in some cases may become chronic. A veterinarian ought to be consulted before a small problem gets out of hand.

Allergic Dermatitis is characterised by itching and redness, the animal licks, bites, or scratches itself excessively ( as in other types of dermatitis ), initiating a vicious cycle of itching and scratching/biting. Treatment, as in most skin problems, is twofold: first is to break the itch-scratch cycle and second is to get at the primary cause of the problem. Many times allergic problems are tedious to sort out, pollen based allergies being some of the most difficult to resolve, followed closely by food based allergies. In breeding has caused the existence of some dogs to be allergic to some if not all types of meat protein. This is pretty odd considering that dogs are carnivores or meat eaters! The majority of these cases are cured by changing them to types of meat that they are not allergic to or in those more extreme cases they have to be put on a soy based protein diet, effectively becoming vegetarians. This is different to those cases where some of the owners of some dogs and cats may themselves be vegetarians and wish their animals to prescribe to the same dietary habits, they should take care as dogs and cats by the basis of their digestive tracts are meat eaters.


Fungal infections are common, more so in cats, and some times they may be contagious to one or more other member of the family, they are, generally speaking, relatively easy to identify and cure.
Mange is caused by microscopic "bugs", the most common of these found affecting our pets are not generally contagious between species. Mange when diagnosed early is also easy to control although it may require 2-3 months of treatment depending upon how advanced a specific case may be!



Over-bathing often reduces the skins natural defences and as a result may open the door to disease causing agents. Many of the treatments for these problems may include medicated baths, one should never use human shampoos on animals as their skin pH (acidity level ) is quite different to ours!

Skin diseases often require patience in achieving a cure.
Dermatology has become an area of specialised attention in Veterinary Medicine in the past 10 - 15 years and sometimes it may be necessary to search out a specialist.
Remember the skin is the mirror of health.

Ronald J. Rosenfeld D.V.M.

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dog cycleHeartworm or Dirofilariasis is a potentially fatal parasitic disease that primarily affects dogs, ferrets and cats are also very rarely affected. It is transmitted from an affected dog by the bite of a mosquito. The parasite is a roundworm, which as an adult lives in some of the blood vessels around the heart and in the heart itself. The mature female produces free-swimming larvae, which the mosquito picks up when it bites an affected animal. This larva develops in the mosquito and in 2-3 weeks becomes infective for other dogs bitten by said mosquito. This larvae, back in a dog, travels through the blood stream to the heart where it matures and completes its life cycle. This process takes about six months; one infested dog can be a reservoir for an entire neighbourhood, no breed is immune.


Your veterinarian would suspect this disease if you live and/or have travelled to a mosquito infested area and bring in your pet with some of the following symptoms: laboured breathing, coughing, tires easily, listless and/or weight loss.  These may be symptoms of other problems as well. The only definitive diagnosis is reached by a blood test that most veterinarians can carry out in their surgeries.  If the test is positive, a treatment program should be initiated as soon as possible.  Over 90% of dogs treated for this disease survive. If the dog is negative or once an affected dog is cured preventative measures should be instituted. 


This is one disease your dog may be affected by even if you do not live in an area identified as having heartworms, your pet could bring this home from a holiday or an outing to an affected area.            
Presently, much research is being done with many phases of this disease. Up until only recently, within the last few years, the only preventative measure available was an oral medication, which had to be taken on a monthly basis. We now can offer an annual vaccination against this disease, which has its advantages here due to our climate and seasonality of the mosquito vector. By discussing this disease with your veterinarian and instituting the optimum preventative measures in your case, heartworm need not be a problem for you or threaten your pet.

radio thailandThere is something new on the internet for when you leave your dog home alone! DOG RADIO THAILAND has been started by a Thai businessman who runs a pet grooming academy that the dogs who came in seemed more at ease and happier when they listened to music! It has been demonstrated that cows milk production increases when listening to classical music, particularly Beethoven and Mozart. This is not the music on the Thai station, however, which features local popular music and the founder of the station is considering having a DJ who talks to the animals, if this is to be the other Beethoven it has not been divulged! 


dog radio

This is not the pioneer in its field as in the United States there already exists Lucky Dog Radio and Dog Cat Radio. The latter of these has a programming schedule, which consists of tunes such as the Elvis Presley rendition of Hound Dog, as well as the advice to the listeners like don’t attack the Mailman and be careful not to chew things they shouldn’t. This is a bilingual station, due to the demographics of the majority of its listening audience, being based in Los Angeles, California so one hour a day is broadcast in Castellano. The programming is completed with information related to animals, their needs and events, as well as interviews with their owners. The idea came about in this case form the station director observing the relaxing, calming, and soothing effect of his cats to music.

Ronald J. Rosenfeld D.V.M.

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mosquitoWith the arrival of the Mosca Negra again after a peaceful winter, we have to once again look for ways to reduce the impact they have on our lives, those of our family, pets and animals. After speaking to a couple of people with horses and dogs in and around the Ebro Valley I came to realise what a terrible problem they are even for our animals. Once the Mosca Negra bites a horse, depending on how allergic the animal is, it can break open the skin. The Mosca Negra then lay some eggs in the wounds which cause painful sores and can result in the horse having to be rested for a lengthy periods of time to allow the sores to heal. This causes a loss of time being able to ride the horse (for those with stables), an escalation in vet bills and not to mention the discomfort of the animal.
By spraying the area around the stables and paddocks where the horses are kept, especially early in the morning and in the evenings with Sin Moscas, you can reduce the occurrence of the horses being bitten substantially. It will also reduce the fly population to an absolute minimum throughout the summer allowing you and the horses to have a more pleasant summer. mosquito
The horses can be rinsed in a dilution of Sin Parasitos and water to reduce the chance of Mosca Negra bites as well. It can also be fed to them on a daily basis which will help control internal parasites. This product is a completely natural mixture of natural herbs and fossil shell flour (approved food additive for animals, E551), which has been tested extensively in Orlando, Florida. In their trials they found that horses who have been fed this for a one year period looked healthier and their coats had a definite sheen. They had an absence of internal parasites, better feed conversion and a reduction in the manure odour. Sores also cured easier where other medications failed and it improved the appetites of “picky eaters”. Dogs can also be treated in a similar way to control fleas, ticks, internal parasites and the bites of mosca negra. As these products are a completely natural they will not harm you, your animals or plants and have been found highly effective by many people in the area.

For further information contact Charlotte on 622 553 446 or email : [email protected].

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abusive pet owners




There is a connection between domestic violence directed against a spouse or children and animal abuse. In a recent study, carried out by an Animal Welfare Foundation, of complaints against perpetrators of animal abuse in 2008, it turns out that 7 out of 10 people denounced for mistreatment of animals were also implicated in attacks against another member of their family! It was shown that 47% of aggressors were between 30 and 50 years old while 29% were over 51.

Often this violence is a way to channel the impotence of problems faced in the home and is directed towards our pets. This pattern of behaviour is learned in the home by the children from the parent or parents as a means of trying to identify with them. A psychologist involved with the study made these reflections, stating that the violence is a reflection of the perpetrators’ inability to express them self verbally.
Families With Pets


In Spain, six out of ten households have at least one pet, according to a study carried out by Propet, an organisation of pet professionals, who just had an exposition in Madrid.


There are about 20 million pets in the country, 5,500,000 dogs, 4,000,000 cats, 7,000,000 birds, 4,500,000 fish and some 2,000,000 exotic animals – small mammals and reptiles.

According to Veterinarians opening up your home to a pet helps reduce stress, builds self-esteem, instils responsibility to the younger members of a family, improves communication, and increases affection among members of the household. This is also stated by 80% of families that have either a dog or a cat, they affirm that their pet is a source of well being and is considered a member of the nuclear family. The average annual cost to a family budget of keeping a pet here is estimated to be around 1,500 €, a figure lower than the calculated outlay for households in other countries where more is conscientiously spent on pet care.


The other side of the coin is the unfortunately high number of abandoned animals that is still a problem here. According to the protective societies involved in Propet there are some 200,000 animals abandoned here yearly. As high as this estimate is, some sense of accomplishment may be gleaned from the knowledge that this figure is almost half of what it was some 20 years ago.


Snacks, Treats, and Stolen Hidden Treasures
Some of you may have read or heard about a recent case of a dog in the U.K. that had to be rushed to the veterinary hospital for having found and eaten a hidden cache of chocolate Easter eggs. Chocolate ingestion can be very dangerous to your pets as it contains a substance known as theobromine, which is toxic to them! The purer or richer the chocolate the higher the theobromine concentration is. The symptoms usually start to appear six to twelve hours after eating the chocolate and may last as long as seventy-two hours. The severity of the symptoms depend upon the amount consumed, they may range from simple discomfort to vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal tenderness, restlessness, increased heart and breathing rate. More severe cases may lead to fits, heart beat irregularities coma and in the most severe cases left untreated or treated too late death may occur! There may also be secondary lasting effects in the case of some animals that either recover or are asymptomatic having eaten small amounts over long periods of time, due to the excess sugar consumption which leads to diabetes. Be careful where you hide that box of chocolates or those sweet treats you give as rewards as they may be doing more harm than good.


CARTOONThis case was about a dog in the U.K. that was able to receive the life saving treatment it needed, for free, through the P.D.S.A., which is a charity that accepts donations for fees. This is a service available in the U.K., which is not yet available in Spain and the Veterinary fees here for such life saving treatments might run into several hundred Euros, depending on the care required. This may not be covered by pet insurance plans if owners’ negligence can be shown, so please take heed. Veterinarians need to work but as the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, whereas there are jobs we are trained to do some we would rather avoid especially if they may have fatal results! This especially includes the feeding of meat and fish bones, it matters not if they be cooked or raw. The mouth of a carnivore is designed to eat meat not bones, and these will, sooner or later, cause problems, from a mild upset tummy to a life threatening intestinal blockage or worse still a puncture. This may require emergency surgery to an animal in an already weakened condition or in shock. Please make educated choices about what you give your pets to eat.
Ronald J. Rosenfeld D.V.M.

HARLEY"Harley is a little puppy with an all too common problem. When he came in to see us he wasn't his usual self and was having problems eating. When he did manage to eat a meal he would just vomit it back up. Before these changes, Harley had recently decided to steal a cooked chop bone and swallow it whole before some one could take it away from him. Given his symptoms it was suspected that Harley's treat had become trapped in his intestines.We certainly didn't expect to see one big bone sitting in his stomach shown in the xray (pictured above). In fact, the bone turned out to be 12cm long, about twice the length of his neck and just barely able to fit in his very over-stretched stomach."



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Easter Travel
Easter break is nearing and with it some good news for pet owners. The British low cost hotel chain Travelodge is making it possible for clients at its hotels in Spain to ask for a pet bed! According to the chain the pet beds are available at its hotels in Las Rozas and Torrelaguna, near Madrid as well as L'Hospitalet near Barcelona. These have been available since last year at a supplemental cost of €14.


RABIESA group of veterinarians from the provinces of Cádiz and Malaga have issued a rabies alert! Thousands of dogs in the area around Gibraltar, within an area of an approximate radius of about 80 kilometres, have been certified – with properly stamped and signed rabies vaccination booklets – as having been vaccinated against rabies without ever having seen a veterinarian or having been vaccinated! These are primarily hunting dogs, as the hunters have the misconception that the vaccine against rabies alters or destroys the dogs’ sense of smell! This is a particular danger because it is at the centre of an area of high transit to and from North Africa, Ceuta and Morocco, where there are cases of Rabies. There is a veterinarian in the Algeciras area presumably implicated in this fraud who sells vaccination books signed and stamped without vaccinating the dog cited in the book.
BITERabies is a fatal infectious disease transmitted in the saliva of an infected carrier, most often by biting a healthy non-infected individual. At the present time, it is eradicated in Spain but not in Ceuta, Melilla, or Morocco. In 2004 preventative measures were stepped up due to a case of infection in Morocco of an Austrian citizen, and an outbreak was detected in France, caused by a dog that came from Africa via the area around Gibraltar.
The complaint against the implicated veterinarian supposedly perpetrating this fraud is under investigation. It was first brought to the attention of some authorities as far back as 1993, however, the Prosecutors Office of Algeciras has only recently taken the matter under more serious consideration, and some headway is finally being made through the bureaucratic and legal quagmire. This hopefully will put an end to the fraud and thereby avoid the potential threat of a Rabies outbreak at best or an epidemic at worst!

RABIESAnimal Protection Laws
Last December a dog was found near death, in a plastic bag in a dustbin in the San Cugat area of Barcelona. According to a local judge, armed with the Catalonian Animal Protection Statutes, this is a serious crime and not just a minor offence.
The dog, Buc a 5-year-old Boxer, was diagnosed with an incurable open sore over its rib cage and was suffering. The veterinarian told the owner that euthanasia was the only solution and would cost 180 Euros. The owner being a pensioner felt that was more than he could afford and took Buc home. A neighbour offered to help by killing Buc and burying him, to which the owner agreed, despite the sorrow of losing his companion. A few days later and due to Bucs’ microchip, the town police were able to locate the owner to inquire how Buc was in a dustbin in such a state. The neighbour confessed to his part and took responsibility for the 350 Euro cost of treating and finally euthanizing Buc.
The prosecution is seeking proper application of the animal rights laws for the trial scheduled for 27 April. A guilty verdict could mean 3 months to one year in prison.
The owner insists that he really loved his dog. It was not his intention that Buc suffer, but that he felt that the solution offered by his neighbour was the only realistic one for him and for Buc, he felt betrayed by his neighbour.

Ronald Rosenfeld D.V.M.  

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ITCHY CATReading Dr Rosenfeld’s article in the March 2009 issue has just once again highlighted the problems we all experience in this beautiful area, the spring sun has only just started to warm up and already the mosquitoes ( mosca Negra) and other unwelcome bugs have already made their appearance.

Having moved to the area just on 5 years ago, I enthusiastically started clearing our land just to be confronted with so many bites from the mosca negra, that I could hardly see out of my eyes on occasion. My father also found that he was allergic to the bites which were swollen red and extremely itchy, if you dared scratch the itch would just get worse and drive you crazy. My cat also came in every day covered in ticks and fleas. Asking in the village what can be done to resolve this problem, I was continually told to use chemical products that were so offensive to use that I had to find something that would solve this massive problem.

SCRATCHING DOGBeing a Medical Microbiologist, I knew that there must be a product that can be used which will deal with the insects and yet be more animal and human friendly. After lots of research I came across a product which is completely natural and yet is extremely effective to control the ticks, fleas, flies, mosquitoes, mosca negra and other unwanted insects.

These products are a combination of fossil shell flour, a selection of herbs and essential oils. There is a spray to use around the outside of the house which kills off the flies, mosquitoes & mosca negra and makes outdoor living a joyful experience again. Then there is a powder which is sprinkled in the animal kennels, stables or pens, this kills off the fleas, lice, red mite etc. This powder can also be rubbed into the coats of the animals or put into their sand baths. There is also a powder which can be fed to your animals on a regular basis which will help control internal parasites and improve the condition of the animal. As all these products are completely natural they will not harm your pets, animals or yourselves and truly make living in this beautiful area a pleasure again.


I also came across an Anti-Bite preparation which is a combination of essential oils in an alcohol base, which when sprayed onto the bites of the mosca negra or other insects, reduces the swelling and the itching within minutes.
All these products have been thoroughly tested by numerous people over a full season and all have found it very effective and easy to use. Armed with these products, my life in the Spanish summer has once again become a wonderful experience.
SIN BICHOSFor further information on any of these products please contact Charlotte on 622 553446
or email me [email protected] .

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CATAPILLARSpringtime is just around the corner with its warmer weather. The increase in temperature finds us enjoying the hills and beaches around us more. Beware! For all that glitters is not gold, but can become expensive! The warming winds will arouse the abundant external parasites of these latitudes; fleas, ticks, flies, mosquitoes and procession caterpillars to name a few. These pests require our attention to try and keep our animals (and to some extent ourselves) healthy and happy. They can cause problems in their own right. Their simple presence produces from itching and local irritations to more severe allergic reactions due to a bite or sting. They can also produce anemia in cases of massive infestations. These pests can also transmit other parasitic diseases some of which are difficult if not impossible to cure. Knowing ahead of time, preventative measures ought to be initiated to limit, if not eradicate the problem before it gets out of hand. Insect control is an on going battle which needs to be dealt with conscientiously.




CATAPILARTo effectively contain fleas, several simultaneous methods may be required, by treating the environment as well as the animal. The environment is as important (if not more so) as the animal. In attempting to control these pests, most external parasites live in the environment and only use animals to eat, meet, and procreate. Insecticides and repellents must be used with great care as they are potentially dangerous to our animals, our environment, and to us when used improperly. Proper programs of control, products to employ and methods to adopt can best be established by consulting a professional, creating a program suited to each individual case. This is particularly so when dealing with the procession caterpillar (see below) as the best method is to spray the affected trees thus preventing the cocoons, which are really nests from forming. Controlling flies and/or fleas in a barn or stable differs from control in a doghouse or garden flea control and the remedies against fleas on a dog or a cat in a flat; mosquito control, on the other hand, may be similar in all three cases. Some products suitable for one species may be toxic for another. Care must be taken in container disposal to prevent contaminating our surroundings. The idea that bathing alone will solve the problem may lead to other skin problems. The skin produces substances needed to protect itself and the animal. Most shampoos (especially those not designed for use on the species in question) destroy this protective barrier. With an increase in the biting fly and mosquito populations it is time to remember sand fly fever/ leishmaniasis and canine heart worm, easier and safer to try to prevent than to have to cure when there is one. By taking a series of relatively painless measures earlier on, we can limit if not prevent, the sting of smelling the flowers this spring.

CATAPILARProcession Caterpillar
The procession caterpillar should never be touched without protective clothing and gloves as their hairs contain a very strong necrotizing toxin. This toxin causes a devastating reaction when coming in direct contact with the skin. If it comes in contact with a mucous membrane, the effects are devastating and may be fatal! Dogs that pick them up in their mouth in the best of cases, lose a piece of lip and/or tongue while more invasive contact could bring about their death. They are found around pine trees where their collective nest is found, appearing as white candyfloss high up in the tree. When they leave their nest they form a long line, which may exceed well over 100 individuals, of black hairy caterpillars with reddish orange stripes moving along the ground head to tail in what is likened to a procession, ence their name.
Effects of the Crisis
The animal shelters are reporting an increase in abandoned animals as a result of the present state of economic affairs. This fact unfortunately is reflected upon pets that can no longer be afforded or are being left by people or families that are forced to relocate and cannot take their furry family members along. This one shelter has been forced to house 50 more animals than its installations are designed to house!

Ronald Rosenfeld D.V.M.  

Open the New Dog Shelter, Tortosa
Please help the Arca Tortosa Dogs home
The new shelter is almost complete, but something is holding up the process. therefore the following petition has been started to urge them to open it up - as the existing sheltar is leaking, infested with rats and generally not a very happy place for the dogs. Please sign the petition, and spread the word to as many dog loving friends that you can. The petition can be found by the link on my web site or visit

-Many thanks,they will appreciate it.


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CATCuriosity killed the cat; unfortunately, it did not act alone! Our feline friends have 7-9 lives depending on whom you ask or where you live. Not all of these lives are enough when faced with one or more of the often fatal or chronic (mostly viral) diseases of cats. Fortunately there are vaccines available for some of these diseases such as those falling into the feline respiratory disease complex: Feline Viral Rhinotracheiti (a Herpes Virus), Feline Calicivirus, and Feline Pneumonitis (a Clamydial infection), as well as Feline Distemper/Panleukopenia, and the Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) which may all be combined into a single vaccine injection.

INJECTIONSFeLV is a viral infection among cats that can produce the leukaemia cancer in the blood and lymph systems, it requires fairly direct contact among individuals. There is a vaccine against Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) but there are some doubts as to how effective a vaccine it is, compared with the other vaccines currently in use. There is no vaccine against Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) also known as Feline AIDS or FAIDS, which often shows clinical signs similar to an upper respiratory ailment, it is not contagious to people. It should be pointed out that this disease is not as contagious as the other diseases we vaccinate against in the feline respiratory disease complex, which can be spread by air borne infection. Feline AIDS is most frequently transmitted by direct contact, for example: in saliva, or sharing a common water bowl in a relatively short time period. It also may be dormant for a long time, weeks to years, and stress or another health problem may provide the opportunity needed for it to develop into a clinical problem. There are blood tests available to test for this and FIP, as well as some of the other diseases mentioned, however, there are no specific curative remedies for FAIDS, FIP, or FeLV.

HERPESThe existence of the virally produced FeLV and FAIDS has helped medical research in understanding HIV/AIDS. These are referred to as slow viruses because of the long time from infection to illness. FIP on the other hand is not a slow virus so the disease becomes evident or symptomatic sooner. It is passed on orally through contact with infected saliva or faeces. In all three of these diseases (FAIDS, FIP, or FeLV) the immune system is affected and some studies show that 40-50% of cats with FIP also have FeLV. FELINEFeline Leukaemia and Immunodeficiency Virus infections are on the increase in our area and because of the slow nature of these diseases it can only get worse.

FELINE ILLNESSESThe symptoms are varied and generally non-specific, (with exceptions to the trained eye), which may reflect another secondary disease process as they tend to suppress the immune system, although, many times they start out as flu-like or allergic, for example, watery eyes, coughing and/or sneezing, lethargic state, with a lack of interest in food. As they affect the immune system and open the door to other disease processes in different parts of the body may be implicated and other diseases will take hold. The only method of determining if the cause of the illness is one of those three is with a blood test. Treatment of infected animals is aimed at symptomatic treatment for the disease condition they are suffering from to make them more comfortable, they are not always fatal diseases and often there will be a recovery from the secondary illness. There are no specific anti-viral treatments, other than some experimental treatments of questionable efficacy for any of the three, and there is only a means of prevention for FeLV by way of the vaccination mentioned earlier.

DISTEMPERThe other disease cats may get is Rabies and vaccination against Rabies is required by law in Spain. This law requires that concomitant to the Rabies vaccination a microchip be implanted. The reason for the requirement of a Rabies vaccine is that this is a disease that can be passed on from our pets, and other mammals, to us. It is this potential human health hazard and the proximity to Morocco, where there have been recent cases of domestic (as opposed to feral) Rabies reported! The microchip is also a protection device designed to discourage theft - pet-napping - as well as an aid in controlling uncared for populations of domesticated animals against cruelty.

Bulletin: Aspirin and Paracetamol may be good for you but never for your cat.
Ronald Rosenfeld D.V.M.  

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CONTAMINATED FOODThis month’s article attempts to answer some of the most common questions or doubts about feeding and nutrition. 

Nutritional needs vary with age, activity level, temperament, environment, state of health and reproductive status.  We invest hours daily, directly or indirectly, securing a balanced diet for ourselves.  The animals that are dependant upon us for their food ought to be extended at least a modicum of forethought in planning what we give them to eat. 

It’s important to tend to their specific nutritional necessities, carnivores or meat eaters differ from herbivores or plant eaters, and there are differences within these groups.  Cats require more protein than dogs.  Our meals and leftovers do not satisfy the dietary needs of our pets, many of the seasonings we enjoy may upset them, some table scraps may be given as only an occasional extra!  Their nutritional needs may be met by home cooking for those with the time to prepare meals for them.   Your Veterinarian should be able to provide you with recipes to meet their specific needs.  The easiest alternative is providing a commercially prepared diet, biscuit and/or tins are widely available.  They provide a convenient well formulated balanced diet.  These foods are prepared to fulfil the nutritional needs of the animal they are designed for. 

There are special diets prepared to treat a whole range of medical conditions with certain nutrients added or removed depending upon the condition and how supplements may facilitate in the treatment and help to cure these ailments.
Those pets that get home cooked diets should also be accustomed to eat commercial preparations, for those times when there is not time to prepare the home cooked meal.  This is to avoid their rejection of said food or that by eating something they are not used to causing a bowel upset. 

This same argument applies to the fact that they should be accustomed to more than just one commercial brand.  It is also a misconception that they need variety.  Extensive studies have been carried out which have shown that like us, they are creatures of habit and will go for their old favourites.  It has also been demonstrated that they will eat, albeit begrudgingly at times, what they are given and not starve themselves to death! 

The best way to determine their proper weight is to use the rib test as a guide.  The rib cage should not be easily visible as that is a sign of being underweight (long hair breeds may need to be wet),  while if you have to apply pressure to feel the ribs as you run your hand over the rib cage, the animal is overweight. 

Litter mates, with similar activity levels in the same environment, may have very different energy requirements.  Feeding two meals a day instead of one will lead to better behaviour, generally help to inhibit begging, and is recommended in deep-chested breeds which are prone to gastric torsion, like Setters, Shepherds, and Danes among others. 

Kittens and puppies (as well as adults) should learn to eat their food in a time limit within which to finish and not to have food left out all day (or night), limiting picky eaters, as well as unwanted pests.  Working dogs, hunters, and brood bitches have greater caloric needs and their diets should reflect this.  Lack of Calcium to a brood bitch prior to whelping may lead to convulsions and even death if not corrected quickly, which is easy for your Vet. 

An animal receiving a properly balanced diet generally does not need vitamin or mineral supplements.  Treats like candies, cookies, or leftovers should never exceed 10% of their diet, these may lead to weight gain, even diabetes (from giving chocolate)  as well as unwanted begging behaviour.  Meat, poultry, and fish bones are definite items to avoid.  A carnivore is a meat eater not a bone eater; sooner or later their consumption will cause problems that could be fatal.  Bones are definitely a bad idea and now there are substitutes, commercially available which will do no harm.  Eating grass or other plant material may make them sick or could even be poisonous. 

Be careful with overdoing the table scraps, especiallly in holiday seasons as there is a tendency to be generous with turkey skins, crackling or other fatty cast off bits, they may lead to serious pancreatic problems.  A variety of different diets is not essential but helps by permitting easier acceptance to changes in diet due to a lack of availability or for medical reasons.  Watching what our animals eat is good common sense on our part, besides being good for them.  You will be rewarded with the very least, by a wag of the tail or a purr, as well as saving otherwise avoidable and unnecessary trips to the Veterinarian. 
Ronald Rosenfeld D.V.M.

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A. M. P. A. R. E. The society for the protection of animals Ebro region. Based in Mora La Nova. We desperately need to re-home dogs to make room for more! We have over 200 dogs for adoption.
Our dogs of the month are:
TRIOTrio is a year old and has one leg amputated due to an accident. He's very affectionate and loves to play. He needs space to run as his lack of a leg is no handicap! He is sterilised.
SUZISuzi is 9 months old and was abandoned as a three month old puppy. She loves attention and is intelligent and obedient.
If you are interested in these or any other dog please phone: Lynn 638 731434 English
Isabel 977 404720 Spanish/ Catalan
Donations always appreciated.

LOST DOGDo you know this dog? He was found wandering in Mora de Ebre in December. He was wearing a collar and was in very good condition. He is obviously someones dog He is confident with people and very inteligent. We would much rather he were re-united with his owner than go to a stranger. If he is yours or you think you know his owner please contact me. Or if you would like to adopt this or any other dog call now. Lynn 638 731 434


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CATSPUPPIESIf for some reason this holiday season you are thinking of giving some one a new pet make sure before hand that it will be appreciated. This is a life and in the case of a kitten or a puppy could keep on giving for 15-20 years, which carries with it a responsibility that lasts a lifetime! An alternative could be adopting an adult from one of the many over supplied shelters. Why not give a thought to those left in the shelters over Christmas and donate some food !

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DOG BATHSummertime is over and with it vacations. Getting ourselves back to a routine should also include some considerations for our animals. The measures could range from a simple bath to a trip to your veterinarian. This depends upon the summer vacation your pets may have had, if they have travelled with you, if they stayed at home or if they went to a kennel, while you were travelling. If your pets travelled with you they may have specific needs resulting from their travels. For example, they may need a follow-up visit, addressing a problem that arose whilst away from your regular veterinarian to make sure everything is back to normal. If there was some type of intoxication a check of liver and kidney function might be needed. If they had an allergic reaction of any kind, previously undocumented by your regular veterinarian that should be brought to their attention so it may be added to the pets’ clinical health records.

CARTOONFor those families whose pets stayed at home or went to a kennel, they may not need anything more than a good end of summer haircut and or bath, combined with proper flea and tick control measures. The weather is starting to cool off now so the number of these pests will start to diminish now out of doors but they like us will start to look for places indoors that are heated!

Along with a diminished appetite due to the summer heat, those pets that have been boarded or left at home with a neighbour or friend looking in occasionally to feed them they may also have been less active and therefore eaten less. Now that the cooler weather is coming, our animals’ caloric needs increase and their coats visibly change, so a little extra attention to their diet may be warranted.

This is also a good time for their periodic treatment for intestinal worms; remember in this area this should be done every three months, at least.

This area, along with the entire Mediterranean coast, is plagued by sand fly fever (Leishmaniasis), and by heartworm as well as other parasitic diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, flies, fleas, and ticks. The only way to determine if these other diseases have been transmitted by these pests is with a specific blood test, when suspected by your Vet.

HUNTINGA few simple measures can help ease the transition to winter and protect our pets against that “cold cruel world outside”.

A bit of a reminder, hunting season has returned and with it the annual parade of groups of hunters and their dogs traipsing through the underbrush, yet again. Many of the dogs they have with them are untried and some are either gun shy or simply not good hunters, so what will be their destiny? All too many just get (in)conveniently left behind. If you witness anyone engaged in such cruelty please remember that it is now against the animal cruelty laws in Spain and is a punishable offence, get an automobile registration number and report it, you can make a difference. You do not have to report it to the law enforcement authorities if you are wary to get involved. Simply find out where the local area hunt club is and point out to them that you have witnessed said neglect or abuse, where it occurred etc., plus take the registration numbers of the hunters’ vehicles around at the time and if it happens again be prepared to carry your complaints further. All dogs are required by law to be microchipped and cannot be legally abandoned! Hunters must be affiliated with a local hunt club for the area they are using.

Oh and by the way if you and your pets are out for a countryside stroll on the weekends, and not hunting, wear bright colours and keep your head down!

Ronald Rosenfeld D.V.M.

Clinical Signs of leishmaniasis.

SKINSome of the more frequently reported clinical signs of leishmaniasis include listlessness, fatigue and exercise intolerance coupled with anorexia and weight loss that eventually culminate as wasting disease. These signs may or may not be accompanied by fever, local or generalized lymphadenopathy (90%) and/or hepatosplenomegaly. Articular involvement is also fairly common and may present as lameness with swollen joints or simply as a stiff gait. Less common findings include ocular lesions (<5%), chronic diarrhea (30%) and long, deformed brittle nails (20%) referred to as onychogryphosis.
Cutaneous lesions are present in up to 89% of infected dogs, with or without overt signs of visceral involvement. However, it should be noted that any animal presenting with apparent lesions should be presumed to have disseminated leishmaniasis because involvement of the integument often occurs late in disease progression. Cutaneous lesions are often dry, alopecic areas that are rarely pruritic. They usually begin around the head, especially on the pinna or muzzle, but can originate on the footpads before spreading to the rest of the body.


GEORGEGeorge, brought in by English after he was left in a property. He is 2 years old and has a good character for a cocker spaniel can be wary of new people, although he behaves well here.




PERLINAPerlina, left by the family after her owner died. She is 8 years old. It gives us great sorrow because she is very lovable, like caramels and requests sausages from us. She is a very agreeable dog and sterilized.






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PET PASSPORTThis is a bit of a reminder to all those of you who have pets and may want to or in these times of economic crisis have to return to the U.K. with them. Some recent cases have arisen of discrepancies in the DEFRA (formerly MAFF) regulations and what measures some private veterinarians are employing in an attempt to comply. It is important to remember some important points which will be summarized below, the best thing to do is to discuss this with your veterinarian who should be able to clarify those doubts or explain the use of non approved vaccines or passports not properly validated by official state veterinary officers. You may also find out the latest information on the program by going to the DEFRA website:

MICROCHIPThis will tell you the names of the approved vaccines and the latest air and ferry routes into the U.K.
In Summary:
1 Microchip.
2 Vaccinate against rabies and wait 1 month.*
3 Blood is taken, if results are acceptable, travel is possible 6 months from the date of the blood test.**
4 Veterinary pre-travel certification from anywhere in the E.U. not less than 24 or more than 48 hours prior to embarking to the U.K.

*There are only 4 approved vaccines; these are Canigen, Nobivac Rabies, Quantum Rabies, and Rabisin/Imrab. Check your pets´ passport and verify that the rabies inoculations that have been given are one of these approved ones or you may encounter problems at the point of attempted entry.

**The blood test has gone to a laboratory approved by DEFRA and that the page in the passport for the results of the Rabies Serological Test has been signed by an official state veterinarian and includes an official state stamp.

CAT PASSPORTThere are examples of inspectors spotting these discrepancies and rejecting your pet for entry. There are cases where pets have been smuggled in. Where either incomplete or improper passports get through because of inexperienced, uninformed inspectors not spotting these lapses, only to arrive in the U.K. to have to subject your pet to forced quarantine at your added expense, after having gone to the trouble and expense of this 6-7 month process before heading to the U.K. only to find that somebody you entrusted and paid did not follow the instructions.

Remember and this can’t be overstated, check that the rabies vaccinations are from one of the 4 approved vaccines, that the blood test has been done by an approved laboratory, and that the page of the passport that corresponds to the rabies serological test is signed by an official veterinarian and has the accompanying official state stamp, otherwise you could be in for a very unpleasant surprise! Sods Law – What can go wrong will go wrong, and if you have been experiencing a run of misfortune this could be the last thing you need to happen to you!

If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of the process or any of its steps check with your veterinarian. Remember you are paying them to do this properly for import into the U.K. The requirements for travel into most other European countries are not as strict. There are special requirements for travel into Sweden and Norway. It is the responsibility of your veterinarian to be informed and to comply with the regulations.

PET HOLIDAYAs an alternative to the lenghty quarantine in the U.K., you may wish to investigate long term boarding at a local kennel that may offer a discount for an extended stay as well as helping to arrange transport back to the U. K. for you. There are overland agencies that also help with the final certification health check and anti tick and worming procedures. They go door to door, are often less traumatic than air transport on your pet and less costly for you. This will certainly be less expensive and traumatic than quarantine in the U.K. and many of the boarding facilities here allow visiting, or at best are more accommodating and cater more to your pets comfort. Look into your local facilities and the people who run them, what kind of attention do they offer?

Once again to avoid any problems or unnecessary surprises make sure all the T’s are crossed and I’s dotted look over the passport, if you can check out the DEFRA website and/or question your veterinarian, that’s what they are there for!

GOOD NEWS Blacky from last months issue has been homed!
AMICAMIC: Pretty sheepdog of 5 years. He is calm and very pleasant and was left tied to the door. He has been neutered


PILIPILI: Precious dog, type podenco. They left her as a puppy. She is very docile and likes to play. We have sterilized her and she is 2 years old.



She was locked up in a house. Dog farm type. She is a labrador and 3 years old. She is very good and intelligent. Plus we sterilized her






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haloween dogs


BEAT THE HEATOver population isn’t just a problem for the number of people on this planet, with its limited resources.  Animal birth control and unwanted pets are also becoming worthy topics for our consideration and attention, especially in areas where stray dogs and cats abound.

Many families are concerned not only with birth control, but also modifying, what are deemed as unacceptable manifestations of the reproductive cycle, in a household pet. Government and Humane Societies worldwide spend billions annually addressing this problem.  Veterinarians are called upon to kill healthy young animals – this is not synonymous with euthanasia of infirm or suffering ones – the opposite of what they are educated and trained for. 

DON'T LITTERThe reproductive or heat cycle in female dogs starts between 6-18 months of age, lasts about 1 month and repeats every 6 months.  The most fertile period of about 10-14 days occurs in the second half of that month.  It is during that time that they are looking to escape and it’s when the neighbourhood males come calling.  Females not bred, can undergo a false or psychological pregnancy, based on a hormonal imbalance that can be treated medically.
Males mature at about the same time as females.  When and where there is a female in heat nearby they’re looking to go courting, this often leads to fights with rivals or being hit by a car. These details vary little for cats, (there is a larger stray problem in urban areas) and the end result is often the same.  The owner has a pregnant and/or injured pet to attend to now. 
PUPSThere is the problem later of what to do with the newborn puppies or kittens, added to the unwanted abandoned list in this disposable society.  There are medical and surgical methods available to control the pet population (the author prefers surgical methods, given the side effects of medical treatments).  This, however, is a personal matter that should be discussed among the family and in consultation with your vet, to best adapt to each individual case.  This is not a question to be taken lightly.  There are too many animals that end up as road pancakes! 

Too Many Animals, Not Enough Homes
The overpopulation of animals is an issue each of us must face daily. Every day 10,000 humans are born and 70,000 cats and dogs are born. Each day approximately 22,000 cats and dogs are euthanized. To end the homelessness of cats and dogs, each man, woman, and child would need to adopt 7 animals each. That would mean a family of 4 would have 28 animals!!
Here are just a few benefits of spaying or neutering your pet.
* Increase the opportunity for a healthier pet by reducing or eliminating the risk of mammary gland tumors, ovarian and/or uterine cancer, prostate disease, and testicular cancer
* Reduce the number of unwanted cats and dogs
* Increase the desire for the pet to stay at home and not roam
* Reduce aggressive and territorial behavior
* Increase your bonding time by eliminating the mating behavior – crying and howling incessantly, spraying, attempting to run out the door

ANGIEAngie: They left her pregnant. I She has been traumatised and is scared. She is 3 years old and is now sterilized.








bLACKYBlacky: They found him the park at 2 months of age. For being so young it did not affect him and he is very playful and has a lovely character.



NINANina: She was left in the train station. She is very sweet and sociable. She is 3 years old and sterilized.








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cat population











Oh Give Me A Home!

Every year about 100,000 dogs and 200,000 cats are abandoned here in Spain. Every summer, with its giving way to autumn, brings on the neglect and the slaughter.  Ten thousand are victims of automobiles, which may cause as many as 3,000 traffic accidents and over 1,000 personal injuries as a result.  Over half of these victims are created in summertime.  These little cute, fluffy, playful puppies or kittens grow up and as adults their needs and attitudes change, requiring more attention.

This is just one of the justifications, (if you need one) to visit one of the local protective societies when looking for a pet, and adopt from any number of their many orphaned or abandoned animals.  It also affords you the opportunity to reflect on your motives in acquiring a new family member before buying one from a pet shop or a breeder.

If you feel saddened by this seemingly neglected feral feline population, rather than just putting some scraps or proper food out, properly adopt one or two, or convince your community to adopt some.  To have them properly cared for, including worming, flea and tick treatments, vaccinations, micro-chipping and spaying or neutering.  They will help to contain the unwanted rodent population, rats and mice, as well as, by their presence, the arrival of new unwanted strays, being territorial animals as they are.

Visitors and or vacationers come out for a month or less and see these cats coming around to the place they are renting and they start to feed them.  These animals then start to come around regularly and they continue to feed them until that date arrives that they have to return from whence they came and the cats are, in the best (situation) of cases, abandoned again or the worst case scenario, which has happened, that they take this more or less healthy animal to a veterinarian to be killed, not euthanized which is the painless taking of a life of a terminally ill or dying animal, as they are no longer going to be around to feed it! 

Why did they not think about this before they started to feed the animal(s) in question?  There are now healthier unwanted cats about that are more prone to breed. This reproduction cycle when left unchecked, may in only five to ten years, from just one pair of cats having only 2 litters a year of just 3-4 kittens per litter, produce hundreds of thousands to millions of cats, if not more! 

abandoned1  abandoned puppyabandoned puppy abandoned cat  These are just a small sample of animals looking for a good home from Alberg D'Animals. Please call TODAY!

alberd d'animals
The community may call an agency out to round up the strays for their culling.  This often leads to cases of mistaken identities where animals with families are collected and confused as strays are caught and may be killed! Another even more desperate solution has been reported.  In many cases the presence of unwanted cats leads to the illegal placement of poisonous substances in an attempt to reduce the feral feline population.  This indiscriminate placing of poison may affect cared for pets or even children!   

Your stay here is over but their lives continue, please look into the possibility that one of the local protective societies may be of help in placing them into a new, more permanent home.  Inform yourself as to what options are available through your local town hall to care for abandoned animals.  If your reason for turning this friend out on its luck is because you have to leave the area temporarily, try to find a friend or a boarding kennel to care for your pet until you return and are able to be reunited.

Cindy Bobie
















Above: Bobie, his owner died & left this 14 year old dog behind so he requires a nice home to spend his last days. Right: Cindy, 4 years old found loyally with her owner 4 days after he had died. Please contatc Arca if you can provide a home for these or one of the many others







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Hot Summertime Blues

It is hot and the dogs are panting, they must be thirsty!  Yes it is hot and all of us should have access to plenty of fresh drinking water, the dogs’ panting however doesn’t necessarily reflect thirst, it is one of their ways to control their body temperature as they don't have sweat glands the way other animals have.  They do have sweat glands in the soles of their feet which is the reason why you may see them standing in water when it is hot, their feet also have a vast supply of superficial blood vessels which help facilitate heat exchange. abandoned cats

Domestic cats have a similar physiology and response to heat as dogs, not so with horses as they are able to sweat and may do so profusely.  Heatstroke or sunstroke (hypothermia) which is an increase in the body temperature up to or beyond normal physiological regulation is something that all domestic animals are susceptible to.  This may be due to high environmental temperature, high humidity, or inadequate ventilation.  Direct exposure to the suns´ rays may also be a contributing factor,  as transporting or movement of a number of domestic cattle, horses or other livestock as well as keeping dogs in confined quarters without proper ventilation.  Heat cramps are common in working horses in the intense heat, as they sweat and may also suffer from a lack of salt.

In the cases of heatstroke you will observe rapid breathing and sometimes they may pass out, vomiting and/or diarrhoea may also occur.  An attack of heatstroke requires urgent attention, such as a cold water bath is the most immediate response while seeking out professional help.  Think twice about taking the dog or cat for a ride while running errands, or if you are travelling with them this time of year do not leave them unattended in a closed car in the sun, even in the shade with the windows cracked open a bit these days may be a bit much for them!  Where ever you and your animals may be make sure they have access to fresh water and shade.  If you wish to find where the coolest spot in the house or garden is, locate where the dog or cat may be stretched out!

While on the subject of abandoned animals, hunting season has started and with it the annual parade of groups of hunters and their dogs traipsing through the underbrush.  Many of the dogs they have with them are untried and some are either gun shy or simply not good hunters, so what will be their destiny?  All too many just get (in)conveniently left behind.  If you witness anyone engaged in such cruelty please remember that it is now against the animal cruelty laws on the books in Spain and is a punishable offence,  get a automobile registration number and report it, you can make a difference. 

Oh and by the way if you and your pets are out for a countryside stroll on the weekends, and not hunting, wear bright colours and keep your head down! .

Dr. Ronald Rosenfeld D.V.M.

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Summer time blues

DOGINCAR"Summer is here and with it vacations for us and our families. The decision of where to go is often complicated when it is not possible or practical to take our animals along. We are faced with the dilemma of what to do with them. Those horse owners whose animals are stabled with qualified attendants know that the best solution is to leave them there.

Leaving our dogs and cats at home, also the best for them, is not often easy to arrange. Even if they do not have special needs, someone coming around daily may not be able to provide sufficient care and/or attention. It is at times like these that other avenues need to be explored, a house sitter is one possibility, but the most frequent option is a boarding kennel. This is where the hunt begins, to find a suitable kennel that will attend to you and your pets’ particular needs. Here are a few things to be conscious of when making a selection. DOG FANHow are the cages and runs – indoors/outdoors, covered? Is there enough room for them to get proper exercise? Are they made of material easily cleaned and disinfected? What kind of insect control measures are employed? How often are they fed and watered? Are there grooming facilities available? What are their contingency plans in case of a veterinary emergency? Do they have any prerequisites, i.e. vaccinations or reservations? For your pets protection their vaccinations should be current- within the last year, if not they should have a booster prior to entering a kennel.

If your plans include your animals then there are other considerations to be aware of for those hikes in the hills or jaunts on the beach. All that glitters is not gold and with this heat be aware of the threats from ectoparasites – fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and biting flies. PEKINESE CLIPPINGThe clipping down, very short as opposed to thinning out, of long haired breeds of dogs and cats does not necessarily make them cooler; it may on the contrary make them more susceptible to the heat. It certainly makes them more available to the many biting pests (fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, sand-fly, horse-fly and other biting flies) we all confront, more abundant in the warmer weather.

They do not have sweat glands in their skin, panting is one of the most common methods they rely upon to control their body temperature.
That fur coat could be helping insulating somewhat against the sun. A dog pants when it is hot as a means of controlling body temperature, sweating, likewise it does not always mean that they are thirsty. SWEATING DOG
There are many types of weeds and dry plant seeds that stick to fur and can cause all sorts of problems between the toes, up the nose, down the ear, or in the eye.

If a dip in the sea or the pool is in order remember that we rinse the salt water or chlorine off afterwards, it follows then that our animals get the same treatment. This may help in reducing the all too frequent hot spots or summer eczemas. Over shampooing, even with the mildest of medicated shampoos may cause skin problems rather than resolving them. Make sure in the heat that they have abundant water available and a shady spot to take refuge in. If the water isn’t fit for us to drink we ought to be giving our animals the same bottled water we use. Keeping these few things in mind should make for a more relaxed vacation for all concerned.

Dr. Ronald Rosenfeld D.V.M.

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The heat is on

This is a photograph of the sand-fly (Phlebotomus spp.) which causes Leishmaniasis/Sand-fly Fever.SANDFLY

Summer is almost upon us and with it we should be aware of potential dangers, besides the heat, our animals may have to confront. They should, of course, have abundant cool water, ventilation and shade available. Beware of running them free on the beaches as there is also an increase of discarded fish hooks which the dogs w/out muzzles could encounter when scavenging. If your pet gets hooked do not cut the fishing line, it could help to locate the hook. This time of year has also been known as a time when there is an increase in the loss of disoriented vacationing pets or the abandonment of pets, when it is time for the family vacation.

WHY DO DOGS PANTPrivate non-profit Animal Protective Societies are found scattered around our area. It was pointed out once that in the U.K. and the States these societies exist out of a need to correct conscious acts of cruelty, while in Spain much of what has gone on was out of lack of knowledge and understanding, custom from an essentially agrarian society where pets were rarely kept except by some big city dwellers. There has been a rapid evolution of attitudes with regards to animal welfare, which can be witnessed in the media, just by seeing the animal related advertisements in the print media or on Spanish Television, as well as programs with segments on pet care or entire programs about pets and animal welfare. There have been recent laws passed, on a national and regional level, regarding animal rights and responsible ownership of all domestic animals. What needs to be done now is that pressure needs to be applied on the local police and town councils for compliance with these new statutes on the books. The more pressure applied by the public the sooner the townships will realize that it is in their interest to comply. Towns are required to have at least some public shelter/housing facilities available for abused and/or strays, including emergency care if they are injured. In the recent elections, promises were made – again – to create such facilities, long overdue and still non-existent. Some towns have agreements with local non-profit protective rescue societies. Whatever the case may be, these organisations serve an important function providing a very necessary and commendable service. They need all the help and support that we can give them, so if you wish to help them out they are always in need of funds and volunteers.

Dr. Ronald Rosenfeld D.V.M.
In collaboration with

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willy worm

"My dogs must have worms; they are dragging their rear along the ground".

This is a comment heard all too often in veterinary offices and isn't necessarily true, whereas they may have worms that may not be what is causing the behaviour, which might also be seen with biting or scratching their rear, back or base of the tail area. What they are doing is most likely trying to empty their perianal glands - often referred to simple as anal glands or sacs. WORM

These are glands as the name suggests around the anus and they are present in dogs, cats, ferrets and other mammals the most famous being skunks. The substance produced by these glands is an acrid oily liquid, pale brown in colour with a very strong odour. Fortunately our domestic pets don't have the capacity to project the substance as skunks do. WORM

These glands normally empty at the end of each motion to mark territory giving the animal its identity. When they do not empty the liquid becomes thicker and the glands can become blocked causing localized allergic type reactions, discomfort, hence the "scooting behaviour", scratching or licking themselves, they may also become restless or agitated.

If left unchecked an infection can arise which may cause impaction of the gland producing pain and could lead to a perianal fistula. This needs to be attended to by a veterinarian as manual emptying of the gland is required.

Anti-biotic and anti-inflammatory therapy is introduced many times at this point.

It’s like mother used to say "stay regular" and it is the same for our pets. A regular diet is best and you should not introduce rich food or give "treats" too frequently that are seen as a kindness but like us that "treat" alters our bowel movements which upsets the balance of the intestinal contents.

WORMUnder no circumstances should bones (cooked or raw) be given as they can seriously constipate or irritate the animal preventing the gland from emptying properly.

Another contributing factor can be the presence of tape worm segments so...Worm regularly (every 3 months minimum in this climate which can also exacerbate the problem) and if in doubt consult your vet before medication is needed. He can't but your pet should thank you for your close attention.


Dr. Ronald Rosenfeld D.V.M.
In collaboration with


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