Video: Man Plays Violin for Shelter Dogs

This heartwarming video from the ASPCA is sure to make you smile!

Martin Agee is a professional violinist who also happens to volunteer with the ASPCA, rehabilitating abused shelter dogs.  He knew that reading to dogs soothes them, so he decided to try playing them classical music.

The music has a calming effect on the dogs.  They stop barking and go to their beds to watch and listen to him play.  Some of them even “sing” along!

Watch the video below and click HERE for more information on Martin and the rehabilitation program, including some adorable photos.


Can Pets Get Coronavirus?

The new strain of coronavirus from Wuhan, China (2019-nCoV) is believed to be a virus that jumped from animals (possibly bats via another species) to humans.  While its contagiousness among people is a worldwide health concern, what about our pets?

Veterinarians at Texas A&M University report that there is currently no evidence that the new coronavirus affects dogs, cats, or other companion animals.  This means that as far as we know, we cannot transmit it to pets and pets cannot transmit it to us.

Other types of coronavirus can affect pets, and are often specific to a particular species, meaning that dogs cannot pass them to cats and vice versa.

For instance, infectious tracheobronchitis complex (ITB), commonly known as kennel cough, is a coronavirus in dogs.  Respiratory and intestinal coronaviruses are common in dogs, but they are often mild.

Dogs with coronavirus infection may have diarrhea, cough, or a runny nose.

In cats, coronavirus symptoms can be severe and may include diarrhea, fever, jaundice, weight loss, and fluid in the chest or abdomen, depending on the specific virus strain.  The often-fatal disease FIP (feline infectious peritonitis) is caused by a coronavirus.

Common-sense prevention measures are the best way to stop coronaviruses from spreading among dogs and cats.

Isolate any new pets brought into the household until they are cleared by a veterinarian. Wash your hands after coming in contact with pet feces.  Make sure you clean the litterbox daily, especially in a multi-cat household.

Can the new 2019-nCoV virus jump to pets?  The vets at Texas A&M say it’s possible, but not likely, and pet owners should concentrate on preventing the more common pet viruses in their furry friends.


Study: Risk Factors for Accidental Opioid Poisoning in Dogs

Accidental opioid poisoning is a danger for our companion animals, especially dogs, as well as for humans.  A new study analyzed data from the Animal Poison Control Center for the years 2006-2014 to identify risk factors for opioid poisoning in U.S. pet dogs.

Not surprisingly, there was a significant link between the number of accidental dog opioid poisoning calls and the county-level human opioid prescription rate.

The number of calls tended to be lower for older and heavier dogs.  Smaller, younger dogs were more likely to accidentally ingest opioids.  Neutered dogs were found to have lower poisoning call rates than intact dogs.

The call rate for accidental opioid poisoning in dogs peaked during 2008 and then began to decline.  The authors speculate that this may be related to an overall decline in the number of prescriptions being written.

The authors note that like human children, curious dogs are also at risk for accidental ingestion of harmful substances like prescription opioids and other drugs like marijuana.

Awareness of the characteristics that put dogs at risk can help to reduce the number of accidental poisonings.  While calls about opiates may be on the decline, the authors remind owners to be mindful of all human drugs and other toxicants, like pesticides and poisonous plants.


Dog Walking Safety Tips from the AVMA

Taking your dog for a walk is a great way for you and your pet to enjoy quality time together and get in some healthy exercise.  Seems like a simple activity, but the American Veterinary Medical Association reminds dog owners to keep their best friend’s safety and well-being in mind when going on walks.

Here are a few of their best dog walking safety tips, but be sure to click HERE for the full story.

  • Talk to your veterinarian before starting a new exercise program for your pet to ensure that he is healthy enough for added physical activity.
  • Make sure your dog is well-trained to walk on a leash and remember to obey all local leash laws and pick up after she does her business.
  • Allow your dog to take “sniff breaks” so that he can fully enjoy his outdoor adventure.

  • Avoid walks in the coldest part of the day in winter and the hottest part of the day in summer. Learn the signs of hypothermia and heatstroke in dogs and protect their paws from ice in the winter and hot pavement in the summer.
  • If your dog is new to walks, build up gradually to one or two 15-minute brisk walks per day, allowing time for cool down and recovery.
  • Monitor your dog for unusual tiredness, lameness, or difficulty breathing during walks. Talk to your veterinarian about possible joint or breathing problems, especially if you own a breed prone to conditions like hip dysplasia or brachycephaly.

Enjoy your walks together!


Meet FACE Success Story Lucky!

This cute little pup, posing with his human sibling Mia in his cone of shame, is Lucky!

Poor Lucky was hit by a car and broke his leg.  His family could not afford the full cost of his surgery and began to work on raising the funds to pay for it.  They still needed a little extra help and applied to FACE’s Save-A-Life Program.

We’re happy to report that we were able to help, along with a discount from our partners at Veterinary Specialty Hospital, North County.

Lucky is now living up to his name and recovering from his needed surgery!