Monthly Archives: August 2015

Overweight pup gets second chance at life

(CNN)

Obese, unhealthy and mourning the loss of his owner, Vincent was surrendered to a county animal shelter in Houston two weeks ago.  His prospects didn’t look good.

He weighed in at 38 pounds, double the healthy weight for a 7-year-old dachshund.  He had high cholesterol and his back dipped from the extra weight, putting him at risk of nerve damage.  Mary Tipton, the intake coordinator for K-9 Angels Rescue, and a member of the board of directors for Harris County Animal Shelter, happened to be at the shelter for a meeting when she spotted him.

“Vincent was just enormous,” Tipton said.  She took a picture and posted it on Facebook to find him a foster parent.  Within 15 minutes, dachshund rescuer Melissa Anderson volunteered to take Vincent in.

Vincent’s case is extreme, but obesity affects a lot of pets.  In 2014, an estimated 52.7% of U.S. dogs were overweight or obese, according to the National Pet Obesity Awareness Day Survey.

Vincent was 38-pounds at the shelter, but two weeks later weighs in at 35.2.

Now Anderson is slowly bringing Vincent back to health.

The first week wasn’t easy for either Vincent or his foster parent.  When leaving the vet with such a large dog, Anderson said she felt fat-shamed by someone walking on the sidewalk.

“They told me, ‘Now that’s just abuse,’ and acted like they had to go out of their way to walk around Vincent,” said Anderson.  “Some people just don’t know other people’s story.  They just make assumptions by their appearances.”

When she took him home, Vincent got sick, both vomiting and upset bowels, when he ate the healthy dog foods she gave him.  Anderson could tell he was despondent.

“I am not sure what the previous owner fed him, but I think it was all fast food.  He was literally detoxing the first week,” she said.

Anderson said when she went to a Starbucks drive-thru one day, Vincent got really excited by the sound of the intercom.  “He jumped on my lap and stuck his nose outside the window, just sniffing away.”

But after just two weeks, Anderson said Vincent is well on his way to a healthier lifestyle.

Vincent eats a special dog food; Anderson offers him green beans or carrots as “treats” but he hasn’t really gone for those yet.

He’s on a pretty rigorous exercise regime, participating in water aerobics five times a week and playing with her others dogs in the yard.  The water aerobics help take pressure off Vincent’s strained joints.  Plus, with the 100-degree weather in Texas, it offers a nice cool-down for both Vincent and Anderson.

At first Vincent just floated at his water aerobics class, but he's started swimming.

At first, Vincent would just float in his life jacket.  But his endurance is growing.  Vincent can now paddle in the pool for about 15-20 minutes, five days a week.  Before, he could only waddle around the yard with the other dogs.  Now he is able to jog.

“He is really happier now then he was,” said Anderson.  She said he keeps a positive attitude and seems to know they are trying to help him.

Vincent has gained energy as he's begun to lose weight.

K-9 Angels Rescue is hoping to get him to a healthy weight so he can be ready for adoption, but they aren’t opposed to him being adopted in his current condition.

“We take adoptions case by case.  If there was a perfect home that wanted to take over his weight loss journey we may take that into consideration,” said Tipton.  “We are in no hurry to get rid of him but there are other dogs at the shelter that are ready to be saved.”

Now, Fat Vincent is on his way to become Skinny Vinnie.  He was 38-pounds and two weeks later weighs in at 35.2.  His weight loss will be a slow process but with the help of K-9 Angels Rescue he is on his way to his new life.

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K-9 Angels Rescue Working to Regain Fat Dog’s Health

Group working to regain fat dog's health
A dog dropped off at the pound following his owner’s death is getting lots of attention for his size.
But now, a local group and vets are slowly bringing Vincent back to health.
Friday, August 28, 2015 07:07PM

Every step and every run was a struggle for Vincent a couple of weeks ago.  At 38 pounds, double the size vets say he should be, Vincent’s size takes a toll on him.  His back even dips from the weight.  VIDEO LINK

Foster parent Melissa Anderson with K-9 Angels Rescue says, “People can be kind of mean.  They’ll say things like that’s abuse and they’re thinking it’s my dog and I’m like I’m trying to help this dog.  It just made me think people can be kind of harsh.”

Vincent was dropped off at the pound in Harris County after his owner died.  Fearing he would not get adopted Anderson stepped in because she did not want Vincent to be overlooked or worse, be put down because of space.

Vincent’s vet has him on a diet and Melissa and her friend Lauren are getting Vincent healthy again through swimming.  Vincent enjoys it and is pushing himself.  After weight loss, will come walks.

Already, Vincent has lost two pounds.

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6 Subtle Signs Your Dog Is Carsick… And the Hidden Trigger Behind It

 

A good way to socialize your dog (and tune up his social skills throughout his life) is to take him in the car with you.  And if he’s a good traveling companion, it can be a wonderful experience for everyone.

Unfortunately, not all dogs do well in a moving vehicle.  Their humans usually make this unpleasant discovery the first time little Buddy tosses his cookies either during the ride, or shortly after arrival.

Motion sickness is as real for dogs as it is for people, and it can happen during even a short 5-minute drive to the vet’s office or dog park.  Just as children are more likely to get car sick than adults, puppies and younger dogs are also more susceptible.  This is probably because the structure inside the ears responsible for balance isn’t yet fully developed.  However, some dogs don’t outgrow motion sickness even as adults.

If your dog became sick on her very first car ride with you, it may be strictly motion-related, and she may not outgrow it.  However, for many dogs, carsickness is triggered by stress.  If the only time your dog sees the inside of your vehicle is on trips to the vet’s office and she vomits each time, stress may very well be the culprit.

Red Flags for Motion Sickness

Some symptoms of carsickness, like vomiting, are obvious, while others are more subtle.  These are the danger signs to watch for when you travel with your canine companion:1

  • Constant yawning
  • Excessive drooling
  • Non-stop whining
  • Uneasiness
  • Listlessness, inactivity
  • Vomiting

How to Prevent Motion Sickness in Your Dog

Since most carsickness in adult dogs is the result of stress rather than the motion of the vehicle, easing your dog’s anxiety is a good place to start.

According to Dogtime.com:

The ultimate destination of the entire trip is usually what makes your dog worried and sick.  A vet visit or a kennel stay can be common concerns your dog has.  Mental, emotional, and even physical trauma may be related to the car ride.2

Prevention tips:

    • Most dogs don’t get carsick on an empty stomach, so make sure there are several hours (at least two) between her last meal and a ride in the car.  Don’t withhold water, however.

And keep in mind this may or may not work for your pet, as some dogs need a little something in their stomach to prevent motion sickness. If your pet dry heaves or vomits bile in the car several hours after eating, before your next outing, try giving her a couple tablespoons of food or a few treats to see if she does better with something in her tummy.

    • If your dog travels in a crate (which is the safest method of canine travel), move it from spot to spot in the car to see if the location of the crate makes a difference in how he’s feeling.  Some dogs do best if the crate is placed in the rear compartment of an SUV.  Others do well on the back seat.  Some small dogs prefer their crate to sit on the floor of the front passenger seat where they can see the driver, but not much else.  (This location is typically fine in colder weather, but be careful during the summer months, as forward compartment floor space can heat up quickly.)

If you use a harness or other type of restraint, again, try moving your dog from seat to seat if possible to learn where he feels most comfortable.

    • Change your dog’s perception of traveling in the car.  Pick a place close to home (no longer than a 10 minute drive from your house) that your dog enjoys.  It could be the dog park or a nearby hiking trail.

Either bring someone along to calm your dog while you’re driving, or speak gently and reassuringly to him along the way.  Once you reach your destination, devote your attention to your dog, playing or hiking with him, and make the outing fun for him.

On the ride back, again, do whatever works to calm your dog’s nerves.  Once you’re home, have another vigorous play session and then let him rest.  Repeat this routine at a minimum once a week so your dog learns to associate car rides with fun destinations and playtime with you.

    • Stop frequently on long trips, as some dogs need breaks to prevent motion sickness.  A good guideline is to stop after an hour or two and let your dog out (on a leash, of course) to relieve himself.  You can also offer him a drink of water or some ice chips to chew.
    • Diffuse the essential oil of lavender in your car by adding a drop to your pet’s collar or place a few drops on a cotton ball close to your pet; use a custom blend of stress relieving essential oils on a Sniff-It ;  try Bach Flower essences such as Scleranthus, Rock Rose, or Rescue Remedy;  offer ginger root a few hours before traveling.
    • For severe cases of nausea in big dogs, I use a commercially available peppermint oil blend in caplet form.  Also consider trying a variety of homeopathic remedies based on your pet’s particular symptoms, including Cocculus, Argentum, Ipecac, and Aconitum.
    • Try a T-Touch anxiety wrap.  (Video demonstration).
    • This one may seem a little weird, but it can’t hurt to give it a try.  As you’re driving along, point out scenery and other animals to your dog if she’s able to see out the window.  Call her by name in an excited voice, and point or turn your head in the direction of the thing you want her to notice.

She may or may not catch on initially, but dogs that ride around a lot with their owners often wind up looking like little furry people as they gaze out the window and take in the sights.  The idea with a stressed or potentially carsick dog is to involve her in her surroundings, generate a little pleasant buzz in the car, and provide a distraction for her.

    • Consider driving with the windows down as much as possible (not all the way down, just enough to let fresh air in).  It’s not a great idea to allow your dog to stick her head out the window, but if it seems to help her feel more comfortable, make sure she’s very securely harnessed in, and invest in a pair of “doggles” (protective eyewear for dogs) to protect her eyes from sudden rushes of air, bugs, and flying debris.

Dog Goggles

If All Else Fails, Try This Trick with the ‘Cone of Shame’

Strangely enough, some carsick dogs are helped by wearing an Elizabethan collar (E-collar) when they travel.

You may have one of these collars stashed somewhere from a prior veterinary procedure, or you can buy one online or at your local PetSmart, Petco, or other pet supply store.

Make sure it’s a lampshade type that reduces peripheral vision (there are many types of E-collars available, but the one that’s effective for motion sickness is the old-fashioned type).

Dog E-Collar

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Happy Tails! – SUTTER (pka Pete)

Hi! I just wanted to send an update on Pete.  I adopted him from you guys on April 19th in 2014.  Just wanted to say that things are great and he is the BEST dog in the world.
His name is now Sutter and we now live in Chicago, but he LOVES the weather here because of his thick coat.  Sutter loves to chew, cuddle, run, eat treats, and get belly rubs!  He is truly my best friend and I couldn’t ask for more 🙂
Thank you so much!
.
* * * * * * *
If you would like to send us an update on your adopted
K-9 Angels Rescue dog, please send a short write-up and photo(s) to
happytails@k-9angelsrescue.org.   We LOVE to get updates!
* * * * * * *
Do you want to send us updates & photos
but still need to choose the Love of your Life?
Surely you can find THE ONE right here!
* * * * * * *

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Happy Tails! – TYLER (pka Oscar)

Hello this is Oscar/Tyler.  We took him to the park and he got a little hot.  One of our favorite activities.
Thank ya’ll so much for all the good work ya’ll do and bringing me together with my 4 legged best friend!
.
* * * * * * *
If you would like to send us an update on your adopted
K-9 Angels Rescue dog, please send a short write-up and photo(s) to
happytails@k-9angelsrescue.org.   We LOVE to get updates!
* * * * * * *
Do you want to send us updates & photos
but still need to choose the Love of your Life?
Surely you can find THE ONE right here!
* * * * * * *

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Happy Tails! – CHARLIE (pka Gilligan)

We would like to give an update on our dog, Charlie (a.k.a Gilligan).  He is doing great!  His favorite thing to do is cuddle, nap, and break into wild sprints around the house.  He no longer has to be crated during the day or night – which lets him rule the house!
His favorite place to be is under the covers sleeping close to his mom and dad. We love Charlie and are so happy to have him in our lives!
.
* * * * * * *
If you would like to send us an update on your adopted
K-9 Angels Rescue dog, please send a short write-up and photo(s) to
happytails@k-9angelsrescue.org.   We LOVE to get updates!
* * * * * * *
Do you want to send us updates & photos
but still need to choose the Love of your Life?
Surely you can find THE ONE right here!
* * * * * * *

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Happy Tails! – SAMSON

 

It has been almost 2 months since I adopted Samson and he is just a bundle of joy.  He is such a happy fellow and loves everyone he meets.   He got a haircut so all can see how truly handsome he is.   He loves going to the dog park and playing in the water.   He has learned to play with toys and how to use the dog door.
He attends Doggie Day Camp when I am at work and is a favorite of the Camp workers.   I just wanted to thank you for rescuing him from the shelter so he could be part of my life.
.
* * * * * * *
If you would like to send us an update on your adopted
K-9 Angels Rescue dog, please send a short write-up and photo(s) to
happytails@k-9angelsrescue.org.   We LOVE to get updates!
* * * * * * *
Do you want to send us updates & photos
but still need to choose the Love of your Life?
Surely you can find THE ONE right here!
* * * * * * *

Leave a comment

Filed under Happy Tails