Thawing temperatures and longer days are early harbingers of spring, but unfortunately so is the appearance of ticks and the diseases they carry. Ticks can be active anytime the temperature climbs above 45 degrees, which means that the month of March signals the beginning of consistent tick problems in Pennsylvania.
Understanding the Problem
All ticks feed on the blood of their host animals, and most go through four life stages and often prefer different host species for each stage. Ticks can sense their hosts’ body heat, breath and odor, as well as moisture, vibrations and even shadows. Ticks cannot jump or fly. They find potential host animals by attaching to grass or leaves with their hind legs, holding their front legs outstretched in a behavior called “questing”. When a promising host brushes past, they quickly climb aboard, attach and begin feeding. Continue reading →
With the right treatment and consistent monitoring, diabetes is a controllable disease. Especially with cats, normalizing weight and focusing on the correct macronutrient balance can result in resolution of this disease.
It is estimated that one in every 10 Americans over the age of 20 has diabetes. While the situation is not quite so dire for pets, there still has been a threefold increase in diabetes in the last 30 years in dogs and cats. Some cases of juvenile-onset diabetes are largely genetically influenced, but obesity—and therefore diet and exercise—play integral roles in the development of this disease in adult pets.
My Bichon Frise is one of the great loves of my life: I adopted her from a pet rescue in New Jersey 10 years ago when she was just over a year old. I’ll never forget the first time I held her, how skinny and timid she was, and how quickly we bonded with each other.
The old adage about man and dog (and woman and dog, as it is) isn’t just lore; research shows the two species have been “besties” for over 34,000 years from the time when dogs and humans began to cohabitate.
Recent research also reveals that humans experience feelings of love for their pets in ways that rival what they feel for their children and mates; what’s even more interesting is it appears the feelings are mutual. Brain scans from a study in Japan show that oxytocin, the chemical released in the brain that creates the experience of love, is stimulated in both humans and their animal companions while they gaze into each other’s eyes.
Years ago, the teachings were very different with animals. The assumption was that animals had no feelings and didn’t talk. Today, it is no longer acceptable to abuse animals, to use them for animal research where they are treated inhumanely or abused. There are laws to protect animals and they are included in many more aspects of life. People take them in cars, to events and to hotels more frequently. Seat belts are used to keep them safe and they are active in helping people heal as therapy dogs. Continue reading →
In our March 2015 issue, we focused on Animal Rights and what we can do to help creatures near and far. Here is just a short list of rescues and organizations in Bucks and Montgomery counties that make it their mission to aid animals in need.
Aark Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center
Animal-assisted therapy—also known as pet therapy—brings a lot of questions to mind. Many people think it means working “on” animals. It is not unusual to have a new patient call and ask if they can schedule an appointment to “fix” their dog or cat.
Low energy neurofeedback system, or LENS, was developed by Len Ochs, Ph.D, in the early 1990’s as a drug-free and highly effective method to enhance brain functioning and flexibility. This safe and effective technique uses faint electromagnetic impulses to the scalp to retrain the brain. In the over 20 years since its introduction, this painless and noninvasive procedure has helped hundreds of thousands of individuals decrease anxiety, increase and improve attention and concentration, reduce depression, increase overall energy and enhance creativity and the ability to be present.