Archive for February, 2008

According to Lysander in William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream – “The course of true love never did run smooth”. Although he was talking about his own love for Hermia, it is a belief that may be ruefully echoed by those in the animal welfare community as they try to find the perfect adopters to provide “true love” for the animals in their care.

The finding of true love in the human world is elusive enough, even with the assistance of poetry, candlelit meals, flowers, and (of course) chocolates – how much more so for those homeless cats and dogs whose greatest assets may be submerged under layers of shyness and fear? Were we living in the Victorian era we could leave bouquets of flowers to speak for the animals – bunches of sweetpeas mixed with Queen Anne’s lace could be left outside the cage of a shy delicate female, a display of violets would be more appropriate for a faithful hound and a collection of cosmos mixed with forget-me-nots would speak volumes for the peaceful tabby who is so quiet it could be lost in the shuffle. But, the language of flowers is long lost in our society, and the animals unfortunately cannot speak for themselves.

The fate of all these thousands of animals therefore lies with you – the animal welfare community, and it is not an easy task. In the Sept -Oct ’07 edition of Animal Sheltering (Judgement Calls) some of the trials and difficulties facing adoption counselors on a daily basis were highlighted. Sadly the comment that “All it takes is for one person to have a bad experience with a shelter dog and it could turn them off from adopting forever.” speaks volumes about the fickle nature of many potential adopters.

This week to celebrate Valentine’s Day we would like to hear from you about a special cat or dog for whom your organization has found “true love”. To say thank you for all your daily efforts on behalf of homeless cats and dogs, we’ll profile your stories on our new social network PawsConnect to get the word out to pet lovers everywhere. The winner will receive 75 24PetWatch microchips! Click here to submit your story!

Don’t forget to tell new adopters about their 30-day gift of ShelterCare Insurance – it may make the difference between a temporary home and a forever home!

The Pethealth Family

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On Sunday, millions of people around the world will turn on their TVs to watch the 21st century gladiators go head to head in the Superbowl. Giant and Patriot fans alike hope to see their team lift the coveted Lombardi trophy, and, in an effort to take a break from the tension of the game, some may even spend some of their half time show watching the fourth annual Puppy Bowl.

There are however, those who get front row seats to the game who will be hoping that they are not called into action – the medical teams for the Giants and the Patriots and the veterinarians for the puppies. One of the most common injuries for football players is cruciate ligament damage, which is also one of the most common problems seen in veterinary hospitals across the country. This type of injury is so common in football that the NFL permanently abolished the “crack-back” block in an effort to reduce the number of cruciate related mishaps and has funded medical research studies on the topic.

Cruciate injuries are similarly prevalent and expensive in the animal world. In May 2006, Newstat – Veterinary News issued by the American Animal Hospital Association indicated that ” Industry research quotes the financial tally of cruciate disease at $1 billion nationally”. The San Carlos Veterinary Hospital in San Diego coined the phrase “Doggie Football Knee” to describe the condition. (somewhat ironic in a football season, that has seen the Superbowl hopes of the San Diego Chargers undermined by the cruciate ligament injuries of two of their star players: Rivers and Tomlinson).

Cruciate ligament injuries (which are covered under many ShelterCare Pet Insurance Programs) occur when the ligaments that enclose a joint are stretched (sprained) or partially or completely torn. Quick changes of direction while running, such as those that occur in football after a player is hit from the side, or when a running dog slips on a slippery surface cause many cruciate ligament injuries. While cruciate ligament injuries do occur in cats, humans and dogs are commonly affected. In addition, the chances of occurrence are greater in overweight or obese animals.

Cruciate ligament injuries tend to occur very suddenly in humans, however partial tearing is common in dogs resulting in low level lameness that may not cause a pet parent immediate concern. With this type of injury “time is of the essence” as delaying treatment by even a couple of days can allow degenerative and irreversable degenerative disease (arthritis) to set in. Treatment often requires surgery and extended recovery time during which the dog must be kept quiet with limited exercise – a challenge after 10 days when the affected leg usually feels ready to bear some weight. Unfortunately the longer the dog favours the damaged leg, the more stress he puts on the other, resulting in a relatively high chance that the dog will then damage the other knee.

The diagnosis and treatment of cruciate ligament injuries account for 2.23% of all ShelterCare Pet Insurance Program claims for dogs. The average claim submitted for this injury is $1360.37. Encourage your adopters to enroll their new dog in an annual ShelterCare Pet Insurance Program to ensure that they are financially prepared to provide their new family member with the veterinary care that it will need in the event of a “Doggie Football Knee” injury.

The Pethealth Family

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