Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Knowing your dogs vital signs can spare you time and stress.

You come home from work and your dog greets you but isn’t his bouncy, “normal,” exuberant self. He continues
to seem a bit subdued into the evening.
You start to wonder whether your dog could be sick. Should you wait and see what happens or should you go to the veterinarian?
A little knowledge gained in advance about your dog and his normal vital signs could save a lot of anxiety, uncertainty, and time should you find yourself asking these kinds of questions.
“Become familiar with your dog’s vital signs when he is healthy and normal to help determine whether your dog is seriously ill, if you are ever in doubt,” advises AKC Companion Animal Recovery’s Elaine Smith.
“Know what is normal,” says Smith, a veterinary technician. “Take your dog’s temperature and pulse. Record your dog’s respiration rate. Note mucous-membrane color and capillary refill time as well as skin turgidity and mucous-membrane moistness and body weight. Put all these values on a card that will be easily accessible in your first-aid kit.”
Not sure exactly how to do this? It’s easier than you think and only takes 10 minutes or so. To record your dog’s vital signs while he seems to be his usual self, all you will need is a thermometer, stopwatch, pen, and paper.

Temperature  Designate a standard digital thermometer (available in drugstores and grocery stores) to use exclusively for your dog. Apply a small amount of lubricant, such as petroleum jelly, to the end of the thermometer. It possible, have someone on hand to assist you to steady and restrain your dog, if necessary. Insert the thermometer so that the metal tip is inside the dog’s rectum as far as it will easily go—up to two inches or so. At a minimum, the metal tip should be inside. Follow the directions on the thermometer. It should beep when it has recorded the dog’s temperature. Remove the thermometer and note the reading. An average temperature is usually between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pulse - Place your hand flat against your dog’s chest, just behind the front leg. You should be able to feel your dog’s heart beating. Take a count for 15 seconds, and then multiply by four to get the number of beats per minute. A dog’s heart makes two contractions for each heartbeat, so count each “tub dup” as one beat. You can also get your dog’s pulse or heart rate by feeling the femoral artery, a large artery that runs inside the back leg. If you have difficulties taking your dog’s pulse, ask your veterinarian to show you how the next time you visit. Most adult dogs’ heart rate falls between 60 and 160 beats a minute. Toy breeds’ or puppies’ rates average 180 beats a minute.

Respiration Rate - While your dog is awake but relaxed, watch his rib cage se and fall. Count the number of breaths (one rise and fall of the rib cage) for 15 seconds. Multiply that count by four to get breaths per minute. Note this rate. (If your dog has recently exercised, be sure to wait an hour or more before taking his respiration rate.)
Mucous-membrane- Use your fingers to pull back your dog’s lips so you can get a good look all around the gums. Some dogs will have areas of black pigmentation, which is normal. Pay attention to the nonpigmented areas, which should be pink. It may be helpful to take a photo or two that you can refer to later. Also note the moistness of the gums; they shouldn’t be dry or tacky.

Skin Turgor - Grip the scruff of your dog’s neck and pull up or “tent” the skin. When you let go, does it return to its normal position quickly? Dehydration impairs the skin’s elasticity. If your dog is dehydrated, the skin won’t snap back as quickly as normal.
Capillary Refill Time
Lift your dog’s lip and firmly press your finger to a non-pigmented area of the gums for a second or two. Once you remove your finger, it should take less than two seconds for the blanched area where your finger was to return to its normal color.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

San Diego Pet Expo

San Diego Pet Expo

Saturday January 29, 2011 10am-7pm
Sunday January 30, 2011 10am-5pm

Del Mar Fairgrounds
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.
Del Mar, CA 92014
@ I-5 & Via De La Valle

The San Diego Pet Expo is an event to help support local pet care faculties and charities. Your admission cost will help to feed pets and animals in San Diego County.

You may pay admission with cash, or you may bring items to donate to local shelters in lieu of a cash charge:

Adults 18 + $5.00
Seniors 65+ $4.00
Children under 16 Free (must accompanied by an adult)
You may bring a 10 pound or larger bag of dry dog or cat food for two admissions.

You may bring 2 clean towels or 1 blanket for one adult admission.

I just talked with the event folks ~ no dogs allowed unless you are competing or working the event.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2010 Big Bay Balloon Parade

Taken by Port of San Diego

Dachshund meet-up photos

This photo was taken on December 30, 2010 using a Nikon D90

Saturday, January 1, 2011 - The long and short of it all.

2010 Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals Champ: Calvin, The Fastest Wiener In The West!

Congratulations to Albuquerque, New Mexico native red smooth 'Calvin,' who has officially earned the title of The Fastest Wiener in the West by winning the 15th Annual Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals Thursday at the Port of San Diego Big Bay Balloon Parade. Way to go Calvin! The Wiener Nationals are the United States national Dachshund racing championships sponsored by the Wienerschnitzel food chain. Regional qualifiers are held in the Southwestern United States (California, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico), with the final 8 Dachshunds racing for the national title every December in San Diego as part of the Holiday Bowl.

Excerpt from The OC Register:
This has been a big year for Sully [the 2009 Champion], San Clemente's most celebrated wiener. But the dog came up a little short Thursday at Wienerschnitzel's 2010 Wiener Nationals in San Diego.
Sully's San Clemente owners report that Calvin, a deft dachshund from New Mexico, was the winner of an eight-dog finale that produced a bit of chaos among the runners-up.
After originally thinking Sully may have placed third, San Clemente's Miranda Libres, who owns Sully with her boyfriend Juan Flores, learned that Sully finished second. A video replay confirmed it, Libres' mother reported via e-mail.
As the 56-foot race began, Libres stood at the finish line trying to coax Sully to come to her, but someone bumped her out of the way and she thinks Sully lost sight of her, unable to focus on the finish line. Calvin, meanwhile, stayed focused on his favorite tennis ball and took the win.
Read more about the finals at The OC Register.  See great stories of the regional qualifiers in the archives.