Monday, December 2, 2013

It’s National Mutt Day! Cold Weather Care. Best & Worst Foods. Dog Food: Is There A Cancer Risk? First Nuclear Chain Reaction.


For "Mammal Monday":

It’s National Mutt Day!


"Today is going to the dogs—and for good reason. It’s National Mutt Day! That’s right, a whole day dedicated to embracing, saving and celebrating mixed-breed dogs. We can’t think of a more deserving crew."

image"There are actually two National Mutt Days, July 31st, and today, December 2nd. The purpose of National Mutt Day is to celebrate and save the lives of mixed breed dogs across the U.S. The goal is to save 10,000 mutts on both days.

Why should you adopt a mixed breed dog? There are lots of great reasons, including the ability to pick the right size and temperament dog for your family … cost considerations (breeder fees are much higher than shelter adoption fees) … the fact that mutts can participate in all the same sports and events purebred dogs do … and, you’re saving a life!

image If you’re considering adopting a mixed breed dog, be sure to do your homework. Learn which breeds are best suited for your activity level and lifestyle. The dog's age will also be a factor – puppies and young dogs generally require more effort than older dogs."  Complete article at:


Cold Weather Care For Your Pet

Photo (32)"It appears that winter has settled in. I was not, and am truly never, ready for it. It's easy for me to deal with it though: I dig my boots and mittens out of the drawers and pull my winter coats and scarves out of the closet. I am prepared as I will ever be.

If you have pets, how do you prepare them for the colder months ahead? I know blustery, snowy days mean that Henrietta will be donning her jacket before she heads out the door. She refuses to go out without her coat but she also refuses to wear booties so I carry her down the porch when we have salted it.

Here are my tips for pet health care in the cold winter months ahead:

  • Don't use rock salt (to melt the ice and snow) in areas that your pet will walk on. I carry Henrietta down the porch steps because salt between tender paw pads is painful. 
  • Use rock salt that is not harmful to pets. Become a label reader. 
  • Do not leave your pet in a cold car. Just as a car in the summer heats up too quickly for your pet to be safely left in it, your car in winter is frigid and could lead to hypothermia, frost bite or even death. 
  • Don't leave your pet tied out in the cold weather.Photo (31) If you have an "outdoor" dog make certain he has shelter and a warm place to escape from the cold. I don't honestly understand the "outdoor dog" concept as I couldn't imagine ever leaving my best friend out in the cold although our one dog, Spencer who is a husky-lab mix loves the cold weather. 
  • Remember that antifreeze has a sweet taste to pets but is toxic. Keep it stored out of the reach of your pets. 
  • Make certain if you have a pet that spends time out of doors that he always has access to fresh (not frozen) water and increase his food intake as he will be burning off more calories staying warm than he will during the summer months. 
  • If your pet has arthritis navigating the stairs may be more tricky and painful for her than in the warm summer months when the pain of arthritis may not be so prevalent. You may need to either carry your pet outside or find an alternative to making him navigate the steps. 
  • If you have "outdoor cats" let them indoors during the colder months. Don't let them succumb to the cold weather or risk their paws or other extremities getting frost bite. 
  • If there are cats that roam your neighborhood, make sure you check in and under your vehicle before you start it. They may be drawn to the car when you pull in the driveway because of the heat of the engine and could be seriously injured if you start the car if they're under the hood. 
  • Did you know that dogs can lose their sense of scent in the winter? If you typically let your dog run loose, be aware that he may have a hard time finding his way back home if he wanders too far. The best advice I can offer is to keep him on a leash. 
  • Keep a towel by the door to wipe off any snow or ice that has fallen on your dog while he's outside. Make sure you wipe between his paw pads as well. 
  • Be aware that if you get a puppy in the winter you may have a harder time housebreaking her than if you were trying in the summer months. Puppies simply do not tolerate cold well and this could impact their desire to relieve themselves out of doors. You may need to housebreak your puppy indoors using puppy pads when the cold winter winds are blowing. 
  • Make certain your dog has a warm, cozy place to sleep in the house when you go to bed at night. Offer them a place that is free of drafts and where they can sleep without being chilled. In my house that means Henrietta is under the blankets taking advantage of the heat generated by the electric blanket but that may not work if you have a larger dog!

Common sense trumps all when it comes to cold weather. Put yourself in your pet's position and think, "Would I go outside without a jacket on in this weather?" If the answer is "no" for you, then it is likely "no" for your pet.

What steps do you take to keep your pet safe, healthy and protected during the winter months? "  From:


Do you feed your pet to just survive, or really thrive?

Best and worst foods for your pet.

"An integrative wellness veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker discusses her best-to-worst recommendations for diets for dogs and cats and explains how to improve the quality of the food you feed your own pet."


The Quality of Pet Food Ingredients (Part 1 of 2)

"Dr. Karen Becker visits an upscale pet boutique to evaluate the quality of the different types of pet food. (Part 1)  Here she discusses frozen raw, canned, dehydrated food, and a good dry food."

The Quality of Pet Food Ingredients (Part 2 of 2)

"Here Dr. Becker discusses some grocery store-bought dry kibble food, and the worst and best treats for your pet." 


Most of this applies to human's food, too.

Dog Food: Is There A Cancer Risk?

dog food and dog cancer"Naturally, when we talk about the  cause of cancer, diet is brought up.

Many will immediately poo-poo the notion that what is eaten can have an impact on cancer development.  It is amazing.  Watch the condemnation without investigation.

On the other hand, many feel there is a link, and there is evidence to support that view.

Why are we so reluctant to think about food contributing to cancer?  Likely because it becomes inconvenient.

Well, most of us would rather get information than be in the dark, so let’s do just that.What about a dog’s diet might contribute to cancer?  Here’s a look at a couple of things.

First,  high temperature cooking of meat or fish, or the creation of their extracts can produce nasties called heterocyclic amines. You can read a little more about this here and here.  These little guys have been shown to promote tumors in lab animals.  Do dogs eat food that has been exposed to high temperatures?  The truth is: yes.

Another carcinogen is polyacrylamide, again from high temperature cooking, this time of sugars in starch.  Oddly, different strains of potatoes will produce different amounts of acrylamide when it is cooked.  The bottom line though is that the different sugars influenced how much of the carcinogen is made. Here is some more on the topic.

Yet another is acylamide, related to polyacrylamide. Acrylamide levels go up when food is fried, and it is estimated in this paper that the levels of the acrylamide from fried food, in lab animals, might increase to risky levels contributing to possible cancer risk.

So what does this mean?  Well, we don’t want to go around saying that every dog who eats dog food in a bag (and pressed through an extruder at high temperatures) will get cancer.  That would be irrational and untrue.

However, there are genetic differences and lifestyle differences and carcinogen exposure differences, all from one dog to the next.

Since we know that cancer is created by many separate hits to the system, in certain dogs, diet might be the thing that tips the scale.

These carcinogens hit the DNA, and damage genes. If the damage occurs to genes that are controlling cell growth, and enough hits happen, cells can start getting deranged.  They divide and divide, instead of getting dismantled into their component parts by a process called apoptosis.

Deranged cells are supposed to be taken apart.  Apoptosis is the thing that does it in the body. When cells become unhealthy, the apoptosis genes should get turned on to subvert the badness.

When there are too many cells with their growth genes stuck in the “on’ position, avoiding apoptosis, cancer can develop.

The take home message is that the folks pushing for less cooking may have a point.  I am not advocating an entirely raw diet for dogs by the way, and especially not for cancer patients.  Raw from the grocery store is not raw out on the plains of Africa.  Germs grow on the surface of meat in the store and dogs with cancer usually have immune compromise.  That’s a bad mix.

But trimming the outside off and cooking red lean meats in low sodium broth at around 200 degrees while keeping the inside rare seems logical.

For more on diet and dog cancer, read The Dog Cancer Survival Guide.  Best,  Dr D."  by DEMIAN DRESSLER, DVM


On This Day:

Fermi produces the first nuclear chain reaction, Dec 2, 1942:

"On this day, Enrico Fermi, the Italian-born Nobel Prize-winning physicist, directs and controls the first nuclear chain reaction in his laboratory beneath the bleachers of Stagg Field at the University of Chicago, ushering in the nuclear age. Upon successful completion of the experiment, a coded message was transmitted to President Roosevelt: "The Italian navigator has landed in the new world."

Following on England's Sir James Chadwick's discovery of the neutron and the Curies' production of artificial radioactivity, Fermi, a full-time professor of physics at the University of Florence, focused his work on producing radioactivity by manipulating the speed of neutrons derived from radioactive beryllium. Further similar experimentation with other elements, including uranium 92, produced new radioactive substances; Fermi's colleagues believed he had created a new "transuranic" element with an atomic number of 93, the result of uranium 92 capturing a neuron while under bombardment, thus increasing its atomic weight. Fermi remained skeptical about his discovery, despite the enthusiasm of his fellow physicists. He became a believer in 1938, when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for "his identification of new radioactive elements." Although travel was restricted for men whose work was deemed vital to national security, Fermi was given permission to leave Italy and go to Sweden to receive his prize. He and his wife, Laura, who was Jewish, never returned; both feared and despised Mussolini's fascist regime.

Fermi immigrated to New York City--Columbia University, specifically, where he recreated many of his experiments with Niels Bohr, the Danish-born physicist, who suggested the possibility of a nuclear chain reaction. Fermi and others saw the possible military applications of such an explosive power, and quickly composed a letter warning President Roosevelt of the perils of a German atomic bomb. The letter was signed and delivered to the president by Albert Einstein on October 11, 1939. The Manhattan Project, the American program to create its own atomic bomb, was the result.

It fell to Fermi to produce the first nuclear chain reaction, without which such a bomb was impossible. He created a jury-rigged laboratory with the necessary equipment, which he called an "atomic pile," in a squash court in the basement of Stagg Field at the University of Chicago. With colleagues and other physicists looking on, Fermi produced the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction and the "new world" of nuclear power was born."



Ray came over wanting to help me around here, he said he had to get out of his house.  Shay and her sister were arguing again, and driving him nuts.  The sister is getting over another open heart surgery, and was milking the care-giving to the max.  I know how she is, as I have taken care of her in years gone by.  Shay was trying to get her out of there, and go to another sister's house.  They had had enough.

Ray and I carefully measured a triangle of screen wire to go up at the top of the screen porch.  After we had that stapled up, we were going to put some reinforcing wire over it, as that is a nice shelf for the cats to lay.  Prime always loved it up there.  We didn't want the cats to lean against it, push the staples out of the wire, and fall out of the screen porch. 

Then I came up with the idea of screwing white plastic lattice over it, instead.  I just thought that it would look better.  We found a piece that would make the two triangles for each end of the porch.  We made a cardboard template, just to make sure that it would fit right, and cut the lattice with a saw. We washed the lattice to remove the green algae, as it had been stored for a while, but didn't screw it in place yet.

By the time we had been interrupted by Shay several times, and her sister had driven off, it was enough for the day.




Dizzy-Dick said...

The lattice would look the best and still allow the cats to look out but not be in danger of falling.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thank you for your comment, DD.

We haven't had time to put it up yet, all the other stuff that has been going on here. But I will take a picture when it is installed. Then, we have to make another one for the other side.

Happy Tails and Trails, Penny.