THE JOY AND FRILLS OF ADOPTION

We have eight dogs. If money wasn’t an issue, we’d probably have more. So how did we acquire a pure bred Golden Retriever and a pure bred Labrador Retrieve1r? In a way, I’d like to say that God pointed out the clues for us to find them, 100 percent free. The largest of the pack, Luciano “Pav” Pavarotti, our Labrador whose barks send out the highest decibels, was a dog that had to find a new home. Bought from Cartimar by parents of a four-year-old girl, it was only later on that she developed asthma. The “up-for-adoption” message about Pav was posted on Facebook in February by our dog trainer friend and we inquired. Even without a certificate, we were happy to have him a few days later. We were more than thrilled to have a very behaved and disciplined dog in contrast to the rather fierce but loveable and loyal aspin we had adopted earlier.

 

A month after, as a belated birthday gift, my sister who had purchased a female Golden Retriever in April was given a buy-one, take-one surprise and got another Golden Retriever. And the freebie that she got, we later christened with the name “Axl Rose.” At 26 years old and living the carefree life of a bachelorette, it was my sister’s first shot at trying out motherhood. Her Golden Retriever was training for when she would actually become a real mom. One was a handful and having another was a migraine. So she gave him to us. In a way we could see why2. Axl’s temperament is very playful. He grabs whatever attention he can get. Whether from the front or from behind, he always jump on you when the opportunity presents itself.

 

Appropriately during or a day after Valentine’s, we found Pav stuck to Britney Spears, our white slender Pinscher-looking aspin. Two months later, tah-dah! We had five beige babies who have grown to look exactly like their father. Dog food and vaccines are not the only concern we had to consider if we were to raise the babies too. It’s how we were also going to divide the time and energy to walk them, bathe them and clean up after. We may not have shelled out to invest in our dogs, but every dog owned becomes a huge emotional investment. Providing food and shelter are not enough to claim we are responsible dog owners. We have to love them all and shower that love equally. That’s tough if you have eight. So I’d have to retract my statement about having more dogs if money wasn’t an issue. If I had more that would3 be animal hoarding. Just watch Animal Hoarders on the BIO channel!

 

I’ve always loved dogs. My wish list since I was seven was to have a Beagle (because of Snoopy), a Collie (because of Lassie) and then later on I wanted a Labrador and Golden Retriever (they were “the” dogs in many American TV shows). I thought the only way to get them was to save up a lot of money. Thankfully, I was wrong. There’s this wonderful thing called adoption.

 

So now, it’s our turn to pay it forward. We hope to give as much joy in finding the right parents as much as we had in receiving them. Our up-for-adoption sign is now posted.

by: Denise Roco

DAWSON, THE CREEK DOG

It Takes a Village

A community comes together to help a starving stray

For those of us who work with ani-mals on a regular basis– whether as veterinarians, shelter volunteers or animal advocates–seeing an animal in distress, particularly when it’s a result of abuse, cruelty or extreme neglect, is one of the toughest parts of the job. It never gets easier and, over time, it can chip away at your soul. But every now and then, you also get to witness wonderful acts of compassion and generosity that restore your faith in humanity.

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Dawson, the Creek Dog

At first glance, he may not appear very interesting or excep-tionally good look-ing, but to hospital staff and regular vis-itors, Dawson is a very special dog. The only remarkable thing you might say about the medi-um-sized, mixed-breed is the curious stub where a tail should be and the perfectly matching slits at the tips of both his ears. That was not the case, however, when he first arrived at Ma-kati Dog and Cat Hospital last June 28, 2013.

 

Dawson’s story began when a volun-teer of animal welfare group CARA (Compassion and Responsibility for Animals) heard about a stray dog that was trapped in a creek in Makati City. Upon further investigation, she learned from people in the neighbour-hood that the abandoned dog had been there for at least a week, possi-bly longer. We may never know just how long he was trapped in the creek but judging from his physical appearance, he was slowly starv-ing to death. Weigh-ing a little over 13 lbs., the dog was severely emaciated, all skin and bones, with only a few tufts of light brown fur hanging off his skeletal body. He was so weak he could barely stand and his eyes had lost their lustre. He looked like he was at death’s door.

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With the help of the barangay securi-ty officers along with an emergency team from CARA, the dog was res-cued. He was later named “Dawson” in a nod to the eter-nally optimistic eponymous lead character of 90’s TV series

“Dawson’s Creek.”

 

The Road to Recovery 

The road to recovery was slow. Ini-tially, he was fed small amounts of a highly digestible, quality dog food at regular intervals, which was gradual-ly increased. As he put on more weight, he regained his strength, slowly but surely. Throughout it all, the capable team of vets led by Dr. Carlos and Dr. Zaldy closely monitored his progress. It was later discovered that he had a hip injury, most likely due to some type of trauma. But even the lingering limp has not put a damper on sweet-natured Dawson’s friendly, outgoing personality, which blossomed during his stay at Makati Dog and Cat Hospital.

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In the six months that he has been there, he has become a fixture at the hospital, greeting his favourite han-dlers, Miguel and Richard, with play-ful barks and vigorous wags whenever he sees them. He is always genu-inely happy to return to the hospital– a safe place that nurtured him back to health.

 

Perhaps what stands out most about Dawson’s story is how different peo-ple in the community came together to help a starving stray dog get a se-cond lease on life, proving the fa-mous proverb “It takes a village” holds true even when it comes to helping animals.

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By Francesca L. Ortigas

The Man Who Started It All

         Dr. Enrique Carlos   Sixto Almeda Carlos y Nepomuceno was born in Biñan, Laguna. His father with the same name was from Biñan, Laguna and his mother from Binondo, Manila. He established a Dog and Cat Clinic in 1927 and had his family home above the clinic; so much so that he was checking his patient (dogs and cats) as early as 4:00 AM. He was also active as a horse practi-tioner in San Lazaro and later in Sta. Ana. He was a stewart in the horse races. He was also well known by kutseros (calesa or caritella horse drivers) when services for free every Tuesdays. Being a devotee of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, he reli-giously participated in the procession. He was registered in the government regulating office in the registration with number 057.

In 1918 together with Dr. Victor Abreu Buencamino, he is the first Filipino of-ficer of the PVMA in 1918 to 1919 as treasurer and Dr. Beuncamino as presi-dent while other officers being Ameri-cans.

In 1958, his son Dr. Enrique Rodriguez Carlos took over the Dog and Cat Hospi-tal in the same building in 185 Marquez de Comillas and later renamed 839 Romualdez St. . This was the first dog and cat hospital in Manila.

Dr. Sixto Almeda Carlos was also a Philippine delegate in the 1948 London Olympics. A great grandson, Rodolfo Sebastian S. Carlos was one of the torch bearers from among the 8,000 of the 2012 London Olympics. The Carlos family have been offering services to dog and cat companion animals. Currently, Dr. Sixto Enrique Miguel Alimudin Carlos y Siap-no continues the small animal practice in the Makati Dog and Cat Hospital.

Dr. Enrique T. Carlos

DR. ENRIQUE R. CARLOS

Dr. Enrique R. Carlos established the Makati Dog and Cat Hospital in 1962 with postal address of Amapola, Bel-Air III with telephone no, 88-63-86 and 87-28-60 now 5426 Gen. Luna cor. Algier St. Poblacion, Makati City; while the address has changed the physical location is the same. He maintained the Dog and Cat Hospital in 839 Romualdez St. Ermita, Manila with telephone no, 3-22- 60. He took over the hospital from his father Sixto Almeda Carlos in 1959.

Dr. Enrique R. Carlos was born on April 24, 1921 and was baptized Jose Antonio Vicente Enrique Almeda Carlos y Rodriguez. He graduated from the University of the Philippine College of Veterinary Science located in the Bureau of Animal Industry (AI) compound in Pandacan, Manila, now the Malacanang Security compound in 1972. Since the Nagtahan Bridge was not yet existing students ands personel of the Bureau of Animal Industry would ride a banca to cross the Pasig River and for those with car would be picked up at the other side to San Miguel and Malacanang.

In 1972, he was appointed to the College if Medicine, University of the Philippines as part-time professor without
compensation in the Department of Medicine. He was also appointed as Visiting Scientist of the NAMRU II (Navy and Marine Research Unit) of the US Navy doing extensive research on Leptospirosis and other pathogens. He was also a Consultant of the research facilities of the Veterans Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Enrique R. Carlos (right) with his father Dr. Sixto Almeda Carlos (left).

Dr. Enrique R. Carlos (right) with his
father Dr. Sixto Almeda Carlos (left).

God will watch over you night and day

Have you ever prayed, “The Lord is my Shepherd” from Psalm 23?Image

Photo credit: http://500px.com/photo/38963552

When ancient Jews prayed that special prayer, they’d feel an inner warmth in their hearts. Some would close their eyes and may even shed a tear or two. Because they knew what it meant to be a shepherd. They felt it. They knew the toil, the sacrifice, the hardship of being a shepherd that loves his sheep. If there was dan-ger, he wouldn’t sleep at night or take coffee breaks or read a pocketbook or even text some-one in his cell phone. He’ll just watch and be ready to lay down his life for his sheep.

But when modern Filipinos pray the prayer of Psalm 23, the only reason we’d feel an inner warmth in our hearts is if we had just eaten too much Crispy Pata before we prayed and have heartburn.

We don’t see shepherds, sheep, or lambs a lot. We’re fa-miliar with wool, yes, but the steel wool variety for cleaning pots and pans. The closest thing to sheep we’ve seen are goats, and they’re not very docile creatures. They eat anything in sight, make a lot of noise, and smell bad—reminding us of a drunkard uncle.

So to help people feel what it means to be a shepherd, I ask people to think about their first pet as a kid.

Can you recall yours?

Mine was a chicken. Well, it was first a tiny chick, and then a chicken. Finally, it became fried chicken, but that’s going ahead of the story.

I cared for that chick with my life. The first thing I did upon arriving from school was to visit my pet, feed it with rice, and rock it in my hand.

After a couple of months, my chick grew up and I started play-ing all sorts of games with her: running, jump-ing, pecking… I tried teaching her chess, but I kept getting a chick-mate. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I promise not to give another pun in my entire life, ever.)

But during the day, I went to school. And I guess that’s why one day, I came home and dis-covered my feathered friend in a platter with french fries and cat-sup. I wasn’t there for her when someone became hungry—someone who to this day has re-mained anonymous to me.

I guess I wasn’t such a great shepherd, because “shepherds need to be con-stantly there, protecting and caring, twenty-four hours a day.”

But thank goodness, God is-n’t like me at all.

He’s here for you for life.

Permanently.

Eternally.

You won’t be anyone’s fried chicken.

Or shish kebab for that mat-ter.

He’ll never leave you for one moment.

He’ll never take siestas or coffee breaks or read a pocket-book or text anyone in his cell phone.

He will watch over you night and day.

May your dreams come true,

 

Bo Sanchez

PS. If you want to read my free eBook, How To Know If Your Dreams Are God’s Dreams, visit http://www.BoSanchez.ph and sign up for it, including my Soulfood Letter for your

CAN MY DOG GET DENGUE?

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I noticed that my dog has small reddish dots scattered in several parts of his body. When I brought my pet to the Veterinarian, the Doctor said that my dog has a low platelet count. Does this mean that my dog has Dengue? Let us start from the most basic. Dengue as we know it is transmitted by mosquito-bite. With dogs, the most common infection they get from mosquitoes is heartworm disease. Most of the time, when our dogs get this small reddish dots or spots scattered or confined in some parts of their body, with low platelet, the most common disease that we diagnose is Ehrlichiosis, caused by Ehrlichia sp. (pronounced as Ehr-lee-kia).For the familiarity of disease, let us call it Ehrlichia in our discussion. The effect of this disease is dengue-like for our dogs. Our pouch could have haemorrhage around the body, in the form of tiny red dots or sometimes bruises. In other cases they could have nose-bleeding or small wound eruptions on the skin. But the most common signs that owners observe are weakness, loss of appetite (even with their favorite meal!). There are a number of dogs with a lot of eye secretion aka ‘muta’. If you check their gums and the inside of their ears, you could see that it’s relatively pale from the original pinkish color. All these signs are brought about by low red blood cell count and its components, low platelet and most of the time high white blood cell count.

How did my dog get it if you mentioned that it’s not transmitted by mosquitoes?

The main culprit in spreading Ehrlichia is TICKS. In Filipino we call them “Garapata” and in Cebuano we call “libon”. These are the spider-looking 8-legged lazy parasites that we always see sucking on our pets, and yes they look like they are asleep most of the time when they are on our dogs. These ticks either look like maroon and thin (male) coupled with a fat, gray and big female engorged with blood. Don’t be fooled by the lazy character of these parasites, ticks are very fast crawlers and they know how to find their host (dog). It means that our dog can get ticks even if there is no direct contact with other dogs. It only takes one tick bite to transmit Ehrlichia. It is also very possible that our dog could have gotten the disease way before they start showing clinical signs.

What are the clinical signs of Ehrlichiosis?

Aside from the common clinical signs already mentioned, some dogs may show the-not-so-common clinical signs like blindness, neurologic signs like seizure and lameness (trouble walking). So far, we have noticed quite a number of Golden Retrievers having seizures when they turn positive for Ehrlichia. Other dogs could have liver and or kidney failure. And some they could have pregnant-looking tummies, we call ascites, because of enlarged spleen or there is abnormal fluid accumulation in the abdomen. In short, Ehrlichia may show a lot of different clinical signs, depending on the organ system it affects. German shepherd needs extra attention if they turn positive for this disease because the effect to them is worse than any other breed, and may be fatal.

How can this be diagnosed?newsletter2nd1

Once we notice at least one of the clinical signs, and with history of ticks, normally I check the Complete blood count (CBC). If there is something wrong with the CBC then I would recommend the Ehrlichia Antibody test kit. If the condition is worst, then more complete blood test are recommended to check for liver, kidney and electrolytes.

Can my dog be treated once he gets this disease?

Yes! If your dog has acute or newly acquired Ehrlichia it is highly treatable. In fact, for acute cases of this disease, the dog gets better after a day or 2 of treatment. Don’t get me wrong, the treatment of this disease is not short at all. It could last from few weeks to months to years. For chronic (long-term) phase of the disease though, the chances of recovery is relatively slim.

If I get bitten by a tick, can I also get this Ehrlichia?

So far, there are no reported cases of Ehrlichia from dogs transmitted to humans (yet!) in the Philippines. BUT there are reported cases of this disease transferred by ticks to humans in the country of Venezuela, South America. Again, it’s better to be safe than sorry.newsletter2nd2

How can we prevent the spread of this disease?

This is a serious problem that affects a great population of dogs. It’s complicated because it circulates with the blood, then affecting most of the organ systems. Early prevention will help eliminate this problem. Get rid of the ticks to get rid of the disease! There are monthly tick and flea preventatives that we can use for our dogs. Also, don’t forget to clean the surroundings where your dog normally stays, by brushing. These ticks can hide in cracks and crevices for 6 months up to a year-and a-half without feeding. Once hungry they will attach back to their host and the cycle repeats again.

For more questions, visit:
animalwellnessveterinary.com or Facebook:
Animal Wellness Veterinary Hospital
Ivy Alvarez, DVM

Humans and Heartworm Health

For many, heartworm infection has always been associated with dogs and cats. While the disease causes severe consequences in infected pets, transmission to humans has not really been highlighted or commonly known among pet owners or the general public. Heartworm infection in people is often classified as accidental, if any.

Several journals reported human dirofilariasis cases and an infective larval stage of the worm Dirofilaria immitis was identified as the culprit. The same worm affects both dogs and cats to cause heartworm infection. These larvae invade various human tissues without any evident clinical signs in the affected person during development. More common tissues affected by the larvae’s migration include connective tissues and the pulmonary arteries. The migrating larva would embed itself in the human tissues but will be unable to thrive in this environment. It eventually dies in the tissues and an inflammatory response occurs which results in a granuloma or nodule in the affected tissue. This can be seen in x-rays as a dense “coin” lesion in the chest area.

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Earlier studies reported no clinical signs in affected humans, but recent data report chest pains, coughing (sometimes with blood), fever and pneumonitis as more frequently observed effects. Extrapulmonary infection was mentioned in an article where the brain, eye and testicles were affected. Extensive diagnostic tests were conducted on the infected individuals to rule out other infectious agents and cancer. And in almost all scientific research conducted on human dirofilariasis, there is mention of misdiagnosis as a common occurrence in the affected patients presented to medical doctors due to the very common signs found in these patients. As with any disease, arriving at a definitive diagnosis is a very costly, time-consuming and emotionally draining process which affects the quality of life of the infected individual as well as his loved ones. For those diagnosed with human dirofilariasis, the surgical removal of the granuloma was the most appropriate solution.

Extra precaution against health problems is oftentimes a conscious effort. And in the Philippines where mosquitoes (which are vectors of the Dirofilaria larvae) are everywhere 24/7 all year round, heartworm infection is very much an expected occurrence in dogs. Regular preventives against heartworm for our pets (and consequently for us, too) are available to keep us worry-free and disease free. Talk to your vet about it.

By: Ayn Arejola

TOOTHPASTE for PETS? No PROMBLEM.

With all the different toothpaste brands out in the market, my patients often ask me which one I would recommend the most.  And my reply is always the same: the one that you LIKE the most.   Of course there are “specialty” toothpaste out there that cater to specific needs (like tooth sensitivity, whitening and fluoride allergy) where this response doesn’t apply, but with regards to toothpaste for everyday use it just simply doesn’t matter.  What does matter though is how you brush your teeth: how long, how often, how hard, and what kind of strokes you use.  The reason for this all boils down to what actually causes tooth decay and gum disease in the first place: dental plaque.  Dental plaque is that soft yellowish film that forms on the tooth surface after it is exposed to food particles.  This film is produced by bacteria in the mouth that adhere to the tooth surface. When not effectively controlled, these bacteria consume sugars in the mouth, and as by-product produce acidic materials that destroy tooth structure, as well as the gums and their supporting structures.  The way therefore in eliminating the risk of tooth decay and gum disease is to remove plaque and food debris in the mouth, and this is achieved by proper tooth brushing. When done properly, the bristles of the brush mechanically sweep away the plaque from the tooth surface, thereby eliminating the primary cause of tooth decay and gum disease.  This is made even more effective when flossing is done by the patient, to remove food debris from the area of the teeth that can’t be reached by tooth brushing.

This is not to say that toothpaste do not help in the fight against tooth decay and gum disease.  toothpaste contain fluoride that helps strengthen the teeth and fight off bacteria.  Some may even contain calcium which are supposed to help strengthen teeth and bone (the effectiveness of which is debatable since calcium exchange happens between blood and bone and not with erupted teeth).  However these benefits are only secondary to the mechanical removal of plaque by brushing and flossing, since the application of toothpaste alone cannot effectively eliminate plaque production in the mouth.  As a result, toothpaste application becomes only supplementary to tooth brushing in maintaining good oral health.  So going back to the original question on which toothpaste is the best: it’s the one that (for you) tastes the best, smells the best, and makes you want to brush your teeth longer, and more often. No toothpaste? No problem!

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Dax B.Cordero, DDM

General Dentistry

L/G Floor Corinthian Gardens Clubhouse, Corinthian Gardens Subdivision, QC

Tel: 637-8729

dax.cordero@yahoo.com

Disaster and Emergency Preparedness for Pets

As an active fire & rescue volunteer, I was one of the first to be deployed when Tropical Storm Ondoy hit Metro Manila in September of 2009. Ironically, my first “patient” was a small Yorkshire terrier in a panic stricken mode as floods were steadily rising in their home.

During most of that ordeal and the days that followed after that both people and their pets were separated or stranded where they were food and help had to be brought to them through till Ondoy has passed.

The story I’ve just written is true and highlights the need for pet owners to take more responsibility for their beloved companions. As more and more access to information becomes available, pet owners now have the means needed to take care of their pets not just during good times but during times when an emergency happens or when a disaster is threatening to occur.

We, in the rescue community encourage the communities we service to have a mindset of “Disaster and Emergency Preparedness” that people can use when the unexpected happens.

This concept can be approached in two main categories. That is emergency preparedness or disaster preparedness. Although many times you may read or see that in a lot of instances these two are often interchanged. But for the sake of this article let us define Emergency Preparedness as addressing instances such as common household emergencies to events that affect your immediate family while Disaster Preparedness deals more with Natural and Manmade disasters affecting more people in a wider area such as a community, province, or region.

In both categories, it is greatly encouraged that people with pets undertake the effort to put together a Preparedness Kit not only for themselves and their family but for their pets as well. This is especially true for the local setting.  As in the years I’ve spent being a volunteer I’ve observed the following:

  • The government only has a very limited capability in terms of rescue and relief resources. NGOs are your next best hope for help but in a situation with a high volume of evacuees their own resources will be very stretched
  • Pets are not a high priority when it comes to rescue or evacuation during emergencies or disasters.
  • If you were to evacuate, not many evacuation centers will allow pets as they would pose a health and safety risk to other evacuees in the shelter.
  • Food, Water, and Medicine will be very hard to find in a disaster scenario.

While this may be true, it is also a fact that there are more pet owners now than before. Just strolling around a mall on a lazy Sunday afternoon, one can see the many pet owners (although mostly dogs) strolling around with their furry little (and sometimes big) companions.

This means there are more people with pets that need to make sure that in an emergency or disaster they have the immediate resources and knowledge needed to make sure that their pet will be taken care of.

To start off, any type of pet preparedness kit will include the following items:

  • Water
  • Food
  • Shelter or Pet Carrier
  • First Aid/Medicine
  • Pet ID and/or Documentation
  • Toys

In the Philippine setting it is advised that standard preparedness kits hold enough supplies for at least a week

I hope this was helpful for you. Should you have any questions or concerns I would love to hear from you. Please contact me at pateros_14@rocketmail.com and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as I can.

Thanks and Stay Safe.

This article was revised from its original version for the purpose of this blog. You may get the original article by getting a copy of the Makati Dog and Cat Hospital Newsletter or by accessing the following link:

Benedict “Dinky” de Borja has been a volunteer Firefighter + Medic for the Pateros Filipino-Chinese Volunteer Fire and Rescue Brigade for the last 5 years. He helps Dr. Sixto Carlos on topics such as Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, as well as First Aid.