Paying attention to your dog and cat’s dental health is far too often overlooked, but can make a huge difference in their overall health!
By Marion Algier – JOMP
Photo via Pinterest
When it comes to the proper care of our four-legged friends one of the most important aspects of such is dental care. Many pet owners don’t realize just how important it is to care for their pets teeth. Like humans dogs are susceptible to different dental problems such as gingivitis and periodontal disease. Both of these conditions can be quite painful to your dog if left untreated and both can be prevented with proper care in the majority of cases. The best way to care for your dogs’ mouth is to prevent problems before they have a chance to occur which means taking care of their dental hygiene from an early age such as you might do with a child.
There are toothbrushes made especially for dogs however if you don’t have access to these you may use a piece of soft gauze wrapped around your finger. There is also toothpaste and mouthwash that is specially formulated for dogs. An alternative to this is a paste made from baking soda and water. You should never use human toothpaste for dogs as it can cause upset to their stomachs and create other problems in the process. It is recommended that you brush your dogs’ teeth 2-3 times per week to keep them healthy. There are of course other steps to helping keep your dogs mouth healthy as well.
When dogs eat, plaque forms on their teeth just like it does with humans. In addition to regularly brushing your dogs’ teeth there are some types of dry dog food that is specially formulated to minimize the build-up of plaque and tartar. While these special dental healthy foods may be a little more costly, it is definitely worth it in the long run to prevent very expensive canine dental treatments later on. In addition to this there are also specially formulated dog treats that will help in this process as well as avoiding using table scraps as treats for your dog.
Photo via Facebook
While proper dental hygiene is important for your dog it is also important to know the signs of dental problems in your dog. The most common signal that your dog may have a problem is extreme bad breath. In some cases this can also be accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea as well. Other signs include cysts on the tongue, swelling or redness of the gums and loose teeth. Some of these problems may be caused by bacteria that have accumulated in the mouth. When this happens it can lead not only to infections in the mouth but can spread to other parts of the body as well. If your dog displays any of these symptoms you should seek the advice of a vet as soon as possible to diagnose and treat the problem.
As pet owners we love our dogs as if they were a part of the family. For this reason we want to do all we can to ensure that they stay as healthy as possible. By taking care of our dogs’ teeth and mouth we are doing all in our power to prevent costly and potentially dangerous problems from developing.
Studies have shown that disease is endemic in pets. Dental disease, or periodontal disease, has been associated with pain, heart problems, liver problems, diabetes, cancer, sinus infections, behavior changes and a host of other problems.
Brushing your pet’s teeth is the best way to prevent dental disease and is strongly encouraged.
All breeds of cats and dogs are at risk for dental disease, and all pets should undergo regular veterinary checkups to ensure that they are not suffering from dental disease or other medical conditions.
Here is the list:
- Toy Poodle
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie)
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Standard Poodle
Again, every dog and cat is at risk of dental disease, but if your dog is on the above list, you may want to pay special attention to his or her oral health.
An old joke: What do you call a room full of Chihuahuas: A full set of teeth. You could plug any of the breeds above into this joke, but brushing their teeth makes a world of difference. Letting them chew the right size and kind of natural (real) bones also really helps!!
August 17, 2014 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal Related Education, Chihuahua, Chiweenie, Dogs, Dogs, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | 1 Comment
- Earlier in the year, the Pet Poison Helpline released its annual list of most common pet toxins for 2013. For the first time, canine joint supplements made the top 10 list of dog toxins. Fortunately, most dogs who sample too many joint supplements only develop diarrhea, but in rare cases of overdose, liver failure can occur.
- Other items on the top 10 list of dog toxins included many of the usual suspects: chocolate, raisins and grapes, the sweetener xylitol, human medications, rat poison, and insect bait stations.
- The most common toxins for cats last year included lilies, plants containing insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, household cleaners, flea/tick spot-on products for dogs, human medications, household insecticides, and glow sticks and glow jewelry.
- If you know or suspect your pet has ingested or been exposed to a toxic substance, call your veterinarian, a nearby emergency animal hospital, and/or the 24/7 Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680. You can also download the Pet Poison Help iPhone app.
By Dr. Becker
Earlier this year, the Pet Poison Helpline released the top 10 household items that caused pet guardians to call for poison consultations during 2013.
According to the Helpline’s Associate Director Ahna Brutlag, DVM, the list of cat toxins didn’t change from last year, but a new item made it to the top 10 list for dogs: canine joint supplements. These supplements have "limited toxicity" according to Dr. Brutlag, but a few cases of liver failure following a massive overdose have been reported.
If you know or suspect your pet has ingested or been exposed to a toxic substance, call your veterinarian, a nearby emergency animal hospital, and/or the 24/7 Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680. You can also download their Pet Poison Help iPhone app here.
Top 10 Dog Toxins in 2013
Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which are both classified as methylxanthines. These compounds can cause hyperactivity, increased heart rate, tremors, and potentially death. The more bitter the chocolate, the more toxic it is. Bakers and dark chocolate are the most toxic, and milk chocolate can be dangerous if ingested in large amounts.
Xylitol, a sugar substitute common in sugar-free chewing gum and many other products, can cause life-threatening hypoglycemia and liver damage in dogs.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil, Motrin and Aleve, can cause GI ulcers and kidney failure.
4. Over-the-counter cough, cold and allergy medications
Many of these preparations contain acetaminophen (a painkiller) and pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine (decongestants) and are highly toxic.
Rat and mouse poison can contain inactive ingredients that are attractive to dogs. Aside from eating the poison itself, dogs can also become sick from eating a rodent that has ingested poison. Exposure to rat and mouse poison can cause bleeding, seizures and kidney damage.
6. Grapes and raisins
These foods, even in small amounts, can cause kidney failure in dogs.
7. Insect bait stations
The danger here is primarily bowel obstruction when a dog swallows the plastic shell that contains the bait.
8. Prescription ADD/ADHD drugs
These drugs are amphetamines that can cause tremors, heart problems, seizures and death in pets.
9. Glucosamine joint supplements
These supplements are often flavored to appeal to dogs. Overdoses usually produce nothing more dangerous than diarrhea, but in rare cases, liver failure can result.
10. Oxygen absorbers and silica gel packs
Oxygen absorbers are found in packages of pet treats, beef jerky, and other consumables, and they contain iron that can cause iron poisoning in dogs. Silica gel packs are the small white packs found in new shoes, purses and backpacks.
Top 10 Cat Toxins in 2013
The variety of lily determines whether it is relatively harmless or potentially deadly. Non-toxic varieties include the Calla, Peace and Peruvian, and typically cause irritation of the upper GI tract. Toxic lilies — including the Tiger, Asiatic, Stargazer, Casablanca, Rubrum, Day, Japanese Show and Easter lily — can prove deadly for your cat. Just a tiny amount of any portion of these plants can cause kidney failure.
2. Household cleaners
General-purpose cleaners are relatively safe (all-natural products are a much better choice), but concentrated products like drain or toilet bowl cleaners can cause chemical burns.
3. Flea/tick spot-on products for dogs
Never use a canine flea/tick product on your cat. Depending on the ingredients in the product, just a drop has the potential to kill a cat within hours.
Cymbalta and Effexor topped Pet Poison Helpline’s toxic antidepressants list in 2013. For some reason kitties are drawn to these medications, which can cause severe neurologic and cardiac effects.
Cats are more sensitive than dogs to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen. And because kitties are so sensitive, veterinary-specific NSAIDs should be used with extreme caution, if at all.
6. Prescription ADD/ADHD medications
Just as with dogs, these drugs, which are amphetamines, can cause tremors, heart problems, seizures and death in cats.
7. Over-the-counter cough, cold and allergy medications
Many of these preparations contain acetaminophen (a painkiller) and pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine (decongestants). Acetaminophen is especially toxic to cats – it damages red blood cells and causes liver failure.
8. Plants containing insoluble calcium oxalate crystals
Peace lilies, philodendron and pothos can cause oral and upper GI irritation, foaming at the mouth and inflammation when ingested.
9. Household insecticides
If you use insecticides on your indoor plants (which I definitely do not recommend, since they are environmental toxins), make sure to keep your kitty away from plants after application until the products have dried or settled.
10. Glow sticks and glow jewelry
Many cats enjoying gnawing on glow sticks and glow jewelry. These items contain dibutyl phthalate, a chemical that can leak out and burn your cat’s fur and tongue.
August 3, 2014 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | Leave a comment
AP Photo: Indianapolis Fire Department, Rita Reith
This photo provided by the Indianapolis Fire Department shows Ace, a pit bull, resting outside the home of Lindsay and James Bernard of Indianapolis after the home caught fire on Wednesday, July 16, 2014.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A two-year old male pit bull named Ace is being hailed as a hero for licking the face of a sleeping, deaf 13-year-old Indianapolis boy to alert him that his house was on fire.
Indianapolis Fire Department Capt. Rita Reith says Nick Lamb was home alone and sleeping without his hearing aids when the fire began Wednesday.
She says Ace licked Nick’s face until he awoke to find the house filling with smoke. The boy quickly covered his nose and mouth with his T-shirt and fled outside. He was not injured in the fire.
The boy told firefighters this was the first summer he was old enough to stay home alone and that he had returned from summer camp just three days earlier.
Firefighters estimated damage to the home at $175,000, but Ace and Nick made it out safely. No one else was home when the fire started.
July 17, 2014 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Success Stories | 1 Comment
By Dr. Karen Becker – HuffPo
Please note this article addresses involuntary passage of urine only, and isn’t intended to cover other urination-related problems like too-frequent urination or behavioral-related problems like submissive urination.
Involuntary Passage of Urine
Involuntary passage of urine normally occurs while your pet is asleep or resting. When she stands up, you notice urine leakage. It can be just a small wet spot or a good-sized puddle, depending on how much urine is being unintentionally passed.
It’s important to understand your pet isn’t intentionally leaking urine. She has no control over what’s happening. This is not a behavioral problem, it’s a medical problem — so trying to correct or punish your pet is a bad idea on multiple levels.
In fact, many pets become very distressed to realize they are passing urine in places other than a designated potty spot. A housebroken dog or any kitty accustomed to using a litter box will be confused and even ashamed to know they are leaving urine in inappropriate spots.
Causes of Urinary Incontinence
There are a lot of causes for involuntary passage of urine, especially in dogs:
• Central nervous system trauma. If your pet’s brain or spinal cord isn’t signaling correctly to the bladder, this miscommunication can cause urine dribbling.
• Damage to the pudendal nerve. If the pudendal nerve, which works the neck of your pet’s bladder, is impinged, the bladder neck can remain slightly open, allowing urine leakage.
• Disease of the bladder, kidneys or adrenals, Cushing’s disease, hypothyroidism and diabetes can all cause dribbling of urine.
• Bladder stones. A dog with a bladder stone will often strain while trying to urinate. If you’ve noticed this behavior with your pet, you need to consider the possibility of bladder stones.
• Birth defects. Birth defects — structural abnormalities existing from birth — can cause incontinence. If your puppy has been difficult or impossible to housetrain, there could be a birth defect present. Some dog breeds have more of these types of from-birth plumbing problems than others.
• Urethral obstruction. Obstruction of the urethra can also cause involuntary passage of urine. A tumor can obstruct urine flow and cause dribbling. So can urethral stones.
• Age-related urinary incontinence. Older pets can develop weak pelvic floors or poor bladder tone which can result in urine dribbling. If your dog has signs of canine senility or dementia, he can also simply forget to signal you when he needs to potty outside. His bladder can overfill, and there can be leakage.
• Feline leukemia. For reasons not well understood, some kitties positive for feline leukemia have urine leakage. If your cat starts dribbling urine, it is more than likely a medical issue requiring veterinary care.
Hormone-Induced Urinary Incontinence
Hands down, the most common reason for involuntary urine leakage, especially in dogs, is hormone-induced urinary incontinence.
After a pet is spayed or neutered, the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone, which are necessary to help close the external urethral sphincter, are no longer available. This often results in urine dribbling.
Hormone-induced urinary incontinence is extremely common in spayed female dogs, and somewhat less common in neutered males. These are typically healthy, vibrant pets that just happen to dribble urine anywhere from multiple times a day to just once or twice a year.
Treatment for Urinary Incontinence
The cause of your pet’s urinary incontinence will dictate what treatment she receives.
If there’s an underlying disease process or structural abnormality causing the problem, and it can be corrected through medical management and/or surgery, that’s obviously the way to go.
If your pet is diagnosed with hormone-induced urinary incontinence, I strongly recommend you consider treating the problem naturally.
I successfully treat cases of hormone-induced urinary incontinence with glandular therapy, as well as natural, biologically appropriate (non-synthetic) hormone replacement therapy and a few excellent herbal remedies.
I also use acupuncture to improve function of the pudendal nerve and control or stimulate sufficient closure of the external urethral sphincter. Chiropractic care can also keep the CNS working properly, aiding in normal bladder and neurologic function.
I urge you to start with natural remedies, because some of the traditional drugs used to treat urinary incontinence are potentially toxic with side effects that can create more problems than they solve.
As always, I recommend you have a holistic vet on your pet’s treatment team.
Dogs with incontinence that can’t be completely resolved can be fitted with dog bloomers or panties with absorbent pads — you can even use human disposable diapers and cut a hole for the tail. Just remember that urine is caustic and should not remain on your pet’s skin for long periods, so if you use diapers, be sure to change them frequently or remove them during times when your pet isn’t apt to be incontinent.
For more by Dr. Karen Becker, click here.
For more on pet health, click here.
Dr. Karen Becker is a proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian. You can visit her site at: MercolaHealthyPets.com.
Her goal is to help you create wellness in order to prevent illness in the lives of your pets. This proactive approach seeks to save you and your pet from unnecessary stress and suffering by identifying and removing health obstacles even before disease occurs. Unfortunately, most veterinarians in the United States are trained to be reactive. They wait for symptoms to occur, and often treat those symptoms without addressing the root cause.
By reading Dr. Becker’s information, you’ll learn how to make impactful, consistent lifestyle choices to improve your pet’s quality of life.
July 13, 2014 Posted by justonemorepet | animal behavior, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | Cat Health, Cats Urinary Incontinence, dog health, Dr. Becker, JOMP, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pet Potty Training, pet tips, pet training, Pets Urinary Incontinence, Puppy Potty Training | 2 Comments
Family and friends of G.R. Gordon-Ross watch his private fireworks show at the Youth Sports Complex in Lawrence, Kan., Friday, June 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Mercury News – Originally posted on July 02, 2013: The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. Hot dogs, potato salad and, of course, fireworks.
But Independence Day is not such a joyful time for our animal friends. The noises and flashes of light are anything but enjoyable for them. Some become emotionally traumatized, cowering in corners, while others may bolt out of fear. Even pets that normally aren’t phased can have bad reactions to all of the bangs and pops.
The East Bay Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has kindly provided tips to help keep our animals calm and safe during the next few days:
– Keeping your dogs and cats indoors is one of the simplest things you can do to keep them safe. Even if your pet usually does well outdoors, both cats and dogs might run in a panic from fireworks or people. More pets go missing during the July Fourth holiday than at any other time of the year.
– If possible, stay at home with your pet. That way, you will be able to make adjustments to routines and comfort a distraught animal. If your dog appears fearful, allow him to go into his kennel or somewhere he feels safe. If your cat is skittish, place her in a darkened, cozy room with some of her favorite things. Most important, comfort them and reassure them that all is OK.
– Make sure your pets are wearing identification. One in three pets will go missing in their lifetime. If they don’t have identification, 90 percent don’t return home.
In addition to a collar with tags, consider microchipping your pet. Many frightened pets can slip their collars, leaving them with no path home. Contact the SPCA or other animal groups to see if they offer the service. Also make sure that contact information with the chipping company and on collar tags is up-to-date.
– Keep an emergency file. If your pet does go missing, it is a good idea to have a folder with a list of local shelters, as well as a current photo of your pet showing any unique markings for identification. Make sure the entire family knows where this folder is kept and that it is easily accessible.
– If your pet has a history of problems, talk to your veterinarian about medications. East Bay SPCA Chief Veterinarian Michael Sozanski says pets often find the loud, unpredictable noise and bright light displays frightening and should not be subjected to fireworks shows. "In case of severe phobia," Sozanski says, "nothing may work to ease your pet’s fear. If there is a chance your pet may exhibit this level of fear, speak to your veterinarian about possible medications." Medications can include anti-anxiety drugs or sedatives.
– Consider your pet when party planning. If you have friends over to celebrate, be especially mindful of doors and windows. Guests may be unaware that your dog or cat might escape even if a door is left open for a short amount of time. Try securing your cat in a quiet room or keeping your dog in the kennel or with you on a leash as guests are coming and going.
– If you are going to an outdoor event and bringing your pet, make sure there is plenty or water and shade.
Things to watch
–In dogs, warning signs of anxiety can be excessive panting, drooling, trembling and shaking, pacing, aggression, panicking and escape behavior. Watch for inappropriate body movements, such as jumping erratically over or on furniture, that could lead to injuries.
–Symptoms in cats may include panting, drooling, trembling, hiding, freezing, aggression, panicking and escape behavior. They also may behave erratically, jumping and climbing. They may hurt themselves or others.
Joan Morris’ column runs five days a week in print and online. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Even events at home and indoors can be traumatic for some dogs/pets. Be watchful for signs. Sometimes putting pets who are not social in a separate room by themselves or with another pet with the TV or music on and some of their toys and snacks can be helpful.
July 3, 2014 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Holidays With Pets, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | 1 Comment
For those of you who have always been curious as to how to make dog treats at home for your pet here is a basic recipe to get you started. With all the dog food & treat recalls that have caused severe conditions and even death; it is nice to know what is going into your pet. It is also a great gift for your pet friends!!
I N G R E D I E N T S
3 1/2 cup all-purpose (or unbleached) flour
2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup skim milk powder
1 tablespoon (or 1 package) dry yeast
3 1/2 cups lukewarm chicken or meat broth (about 2- 15oz cans)
1 egg beaten with about 2 tablespoons water (for egg wash)
I N S T R U C T I O N S
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Grease cookie sheets. Mix together all dry ingredients. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm chicken or meat broth. Let yeast broth mixture set 10 min. Then stir in flour mixture until a soft dough is formed. If the dough is too sticky you can add more flour. Roll resulting dough out 1/4″ thick. Cut dog biscuit shapes from dough. Put scraps back in bowl and re-roll out until all dough is used. Brush biscuits with egg wash. Bake on greased cookie sheets at 300 degrees for 45 min. Then turn off oven and leave in overnight to finish hardening. Makes 60 medium-sized biscuits**
Grease cookie sheets.
Mix together all dry ingredients.
Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm chicken or meat broth. Let yeast broth mixture set 10 min. Then stir in flour mixture until a soft dough is formed. If the dough is too sticky you can add more flour.
Roll resulting dough out 1/4″ thick. Cut dog biscuit shapes from dough. Put scraps back in bowl and re-roll out until all dough is used.
Brush biscuits with egg wash.
Bake on greased cookie sheets at 300 degrees for 45 min.
Then turn off oven and leave in overnight to finish hardening.
Makes 60 medium-sized biscuits**
Make Your Own Dog Biscuits
3/4 cup hot water
1/3 cup margarine
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
3 cups whole wheat flour
In large bowl pour hot water over the margarine. Stir in powdered milk, salt and egg. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Knead for a few minutes to form stiff dough. Pat or roll to1/2 inch thickness. Cut into bone shapes. Bake at 325 degrees for 50 minutes. Cool. These biscuits will dry quite hard. Variation: Increase margarine to 1/2 cup and add 2 teaspoons sugar.
Peanut Butter Dog Biscuit Recipe
1 cup of water
1/2 cup of oil
3 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup of cornmeal
1/2 cup of oats
Blend wet ingredients together. Whisk dry ingredients together and mix into wet mixture to form a ball of dough. Roll out and shape. Put onto a non-stick cookie tray or lightly greased one. Cook 20 minutes at 400 F. Turn off oven and allow the biscuits to cool in oven until crisp and hard. Store in airtight container.
Vegetarian Dog Biscuits
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup dry milk powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tbs. brown sugar
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
3/4 cup boiling water
1/2 cup carrots, shredded (optional)
Dissolve bouillon cubes in the boiling water. Preheat oven to 300F. Mix all ingredients into a ball and roll out to about 1/4" thick. Cut with bone-shaped cookie cutter, or strips, or a cutter shape of your choice. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Need some Dog Bone / Paw shaped Cookie Cutters to make your dog’s favorite dog biscuits. Even Wal-Mart carries them now and again.
How to make Pumpkin Dog Biscuits
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (or freshly cooked)
2 tablespoons dry milk
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1 teaspoon dried parsley (optional)
Preheat oven to 350f (180c).
In large bowl, whisk together eggs and pumpkin. Stir in dry milk, sea salt, and dried parsley (optional). Add brown rice flour gradually, combining with hands to form a stiff, dry dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and if dough is still rough, briefly knead and press to combine.
Roll dough between 1/4 – 1/2″ – depending if you you a large or small dog and use biscuit/cookie cutter to punch shapes. Place shapes on cookie sheet, no greasing or paper necessary. If desired, press fork pattern on biscuits before baking, a quick up-and-down movement with fork, lightly pressing down halfway through dough. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully turn biscuits over, then bake additional 20 minutes. Allow to cool.before feeding them to your dog.
* Brown rice flour gives the biscuits crunch and promotes better dog digestion. Many dogs have touchy stomachs or allergies, and do not, like many people I know, tolerate wheat.
Makes up to 75 small (1″) biscuits or 50 medium biscuits
July 2, 2014 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, pet fun, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets | 1 Comment
One of my dreams for quite some time has been to purchase land (in the US) and set up a temporary (and forever for some) haven for pets/animals. I would love to hire some computer wiz-kids to set up a national registry to connect all the shelters, rescues, etc. around the country so people looking for them, a particular pet can find them. Then set-up a network to transport the pets to the people who want them, their forever homes. And for those who need longer, they could come to us, to the center, until their forever home comes available or their forever parents find them.
I believe there is a forever home for every pet… for every animal and they we are all God’s creatures, so need to work together.
Marion at JOMP~
So this really touches my heart!!
Ayesha Chundrigar with an ACF shelter dog. ALL PHOTOS COURTESY: AYESHA CHUNDRIGAR FOUNDATION
Growing up in a house full of pets gave Ayesha Chundrigar an informal, intuitive education in empathy and respect for animals at a young age. She was only nine years old when she began volunteering at an orphanage during her summer holidays, and by the age of 15 she was teaching at various non-profit schools in katchi abadis around Islamabad, where she was living at the time. She was also helping at refugee camps in the city in the aftermath of the 2005 earthquake in the northern areas of Pakistan, but her true altruism shone through when she launched her NGO, the Ayesha Chundrigar Foundation (ACF), in Karachi, which among other things, aims at giving a voice to the voiceless – animals.
Apart from the Pakistan Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), ACF is now the second non-profit organisation which aims to rescue abandoned, abused or injured stray animals. Chundrigar who took up the challenge of managing and maintaining Edhi Foundation’s animal shelter in Karachi, says that the place was in an abysmal state when she first visited it. “There were animal carcasses and dead puppies and donkeys lying in pools of blood. I still have nightmares about it,” she says. “I found the number of a vet listed on a board close to the shelter and gave him a call saying he had to help me and that was it.”
All animals coexist in perfect harmony at the shelter.
Chundrigar started with four dogs and some savings. The shelter now houses over 100 animals, including donkeys, dogs, cats, eagles and pigeons. Although she has used up all her savings, she finds her job truly worthwhile. ACF has rescued over 600 animals in Karachi and has long-term plans of opening its own animal sanctuary instead of only managing Edhi’s animal shelter. “We have been given a piece of land for 10 years and we are ready to begin construction,” informs Chundrigar, adding that the new shelter will be able to house over 300 animals, with designated sections for donkeys, cats, dogs and other rescued animals.
Although the current shelter lacks electricity and water supplies, the Edhi Foundation is making do. They are preparing to install a water tank and solar panels. The animals are fed fresh food every morning and there is a general atmosphere of hope and recovery. “Our cats and puppies eat together and play together,” says Chundrigar. “I can stay and look at these sights forever.”
But this is not always the case. “Dogs have come in a paralysed and crippled [state] or with horrific wounds, but I’m lucky enough to see miracles every day. These animals [eventually] become strong, loving creatures that shower you with unconditional love.”
Dr Farid nurses the fore limbs of a donkey at one of the camps.
At the present, ACF’s core team of seven members, including Chundrigar, volunteer. The only ones on a payroll are their three veterinarians: Dr Khalid Memon, ACF’s senior vet who is a professor at the Baqai Veterinary College in Karachi, Ghulam Farid, a junior vet who is a final year veterinary student at Baqai, and Salman Wali, a manager and trainee vet at Baqai. Together they embrace the animals that society discards.
With the help of Edhi Foundation’s service, ACF conducts most of its rescue missions around the city in an ambulance. Public transport, however, is also used by vets when the ambulance is unavailable. Once the injured animal has been rescued, its wounds are treated and then begins the long rehabilitation process.
Ayesha Chundrigar with her team at a recent donkey camp.
Although most rescue operations end on a happy note, some have tragic endings. When Chundrigar first saw the image of a female dog, with a disfigured face lying on the ground almost lifeless, on Facebook, she didn’t just comment on the extreme sorrow she felt, instead she took a hands-on approach. “Five of her puppies were snuggled near her tummy [in the picture] and I sent my team to rescue them [from Chundrigar Road],” she says. “The wounds … were definitely a few days old, her eye sockets were empty and she was severely dehydrated and malnourished, but by some miracle she stayed alive to feed her babies. We bandaged her up and started her treatment,” she says, adding that the puppies were fed formula milk although their mother was still determined to feed them herself. Although after a day the dog had gained enough strength to stand up on its own and take a few steps, she eventually succumbed to her injuries. “Unfortunately her wounds were too deep and after I petted her for hours and gently explained to her that I’d take care of her puppies, she let go.”
But dampened spirits don’t last at ACF for long as the team finds solace in the animals they have successfully rescued and rehabilitated. Bravo, a dog so thin and malnourished that he could barely lift his head, was nursed to health by Farid who was determined to see him stand on his feet. After several blood tests, X-rays and consistent monitoring, Bravo has not only regained its health but is currently ACF’s guard dog. “[Bravo is the] biggest, strongest and healthiest dogs at the shelter,” Chundrigar says proudly. “He gives me the warmest, most welcoming hugs every time I see him.”
ACF also holds regular donkey camps. “The way donkeys are treated in this country kills me and I wanted to somehow change that,” says Chundrigar. “The donkey camps started with literally just me and my senior vet standing on the roadside in [areas where donkey-carts are readily used], asking people to let us medically treat their donkeys for free.” While initially Chundrigar’s team was met with suspicion, with some cart owners believing that they were here to harm their sole source of income, they soon warmed up to them once they were convinced that the team was only there to help. Over 50 donkeys are fed and treated free of charge twice a month, in various parts of Karachi, including Sohrab Goth, Korangi and Nipa Chowrangi. ACF also conducted a ‘hydration drive’ last year when biscuits and chilled water bottles were distributed to people around the city.
Dr Farid gives one of the dogs eye treatment at the Edhi Foundation animal shelter along the highway.
Like PAWS, ACF relies heavily on social media to raise awareness about animal cruelty in Pakistan. “People see updates on our animal rescue activities and donkey camps and want to help out,” says Chundrigar. And it was through Facebook that Chundrigar teamed up with Zain Mustafa, an architect and die-hard animal lover, who is now a part of ACF’s core team. Many have even shown interest in adopting ACF’s rescued animals. “The encouraging part is that people are positive towards something being done for animals in this country,” she says. And while on the topic of showing compassion towards animals in the country, Mustafa adds, “It can be done by introducing the value of animals into our mainstream education system and curriculum at a very early age… By getting children to physically interact with a variety of animals and bridge the widening gap between ‘us’ and ‘them’.”
ACF’s second project is also currently in the pipeline. It will aim to provide a therapeutic centre for healing that will focus on conducting individual counseling, art therapy and support groups. “We will be working with sexually and physically abused women, children and transgenders. [The project] will also include education for donkey-cart owners that, I believe, will gradually help change their behaviour towards the animals,” says Chundrigar, who is training to become a certified counselor.
But with limited funding, the ACF can only do so much. Although people have been donating cash and tangibles such as food via the information provided to them on social media, the funds are trickling in slowly. “What we get is enough to manage our current animals’ food and medical treatment,” says Chundrigar, adding that the monthly cost for food and supplies at the shelter is well over Rs100,000 and keeps increasing as the organisation rescues more animals each day. “We still need help starting our new shelter, acquiring ambulances and starting an inner-city emergency unit.”
Even though Chundrigar is positive about the path ahead for ACF, she admits that for Pakistan, animal welfare and charity is something quite “out of the ordinary,” with people often mocking her work. “They said I was crazy to think I could do something for animals because the situation is too far gone. Also, it’s an uphill battle explaining to people why animals deserve love and a chance at having a better life.”
Ayesha Chundrigar Foundation
Iban number: Pk33BAHL1036008100660001
Account number: 10360081006600012
Bank Al Habib, Kh-e-Hafiz Branch, Karachi.
For food donations and volunteering queries, please write to:
Sonya Rehman is a writer/journalist based in Lahore. She tweets @sonyarehman
Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, June 15th, 2014.
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June 27, 2014 Posted by justonemorepet | Adopt Just One More Pet, Animal Abandonement, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Rescues, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Fostering and Rescue, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, NO KILL NATION, Outreach for Pets, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization, We Are All God's Creatures | 3 Comments
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June 7, 2014 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal Related Education, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Outreach for Pets, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Stop Animal Cruelty, Toughen Animal Abuse Laws and Sentences, We Are All God's Creatures | animal activists, animal cruelty, Animals Lovers, Be Prepared, be proactive, common sense, Dog Deaths, for the love of a pet, get involved, Heat, Hot Cars, JOMP, Just One More Pet, Knowledge Is Power, man's best friend, pet deaths, pet safety, Stop Animal Cruelty, Summer | 3 Comments
I WOULD RATHER SAVE 1 OF OUR HERO WAR DOGS,THAN TAKE BACK THAT DESERTER WHO COST THE LIVES OF GOOD MEN!
Man’s Best Friend… Absolutely His Troop Partner’s Best Friends!
The illegal and questionable Bergdahl swap for 5-Taliban Commanders from Gitmo, the Gitmo-5, that could endanger many more troops and even Americans back home has now become controversial and is sparking outrage from both Democrats and Republicans alike, from politicians to pundits to everyday Americans to many who served with Bergdahl and the families of troops that have already been lost in the attempt to search for him… especially now that it has come to light that Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl left behind a note in his tent saying he had become disillusioned with the Army, did not support the American mission in Afghanistan and was leaving to start a new life!
Even Afghanistan’s Foreign Ministry released a statement Monday criticizing the United States swapping five Taliban prisoners
June 4, 2014 Posted by justonemorepet | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Service and Military Animals, Working and Military Dogs and Related | 2 Comments
Save a Life…Adopt Just One More…Pet!
Everyday we read or hear another story about pets and other animals being abandoned in record numbers while at the same time we regularly hear about crazy new rules and laws being passed limiting the amount of pets that people may have, even down to one or two… or worse yet, none.
Nobody is promoting hoarding pets or animals, but at a time when there are more pets and animals of all types being abandoned or being taken to shelters already bursting at the seams, there is nothing crazier than legislating away the ability of willing adoptive families to take in just one more pet!!
Our goal is to raise awareness and help find homes for all pets and animals that need one by helping to match them with loving families and positive situations. Our goal is also to help fight the trend of unfavorable legislation and rules in an attempt to stop unnecessary Euthenization!!
“All over the world, major universities are researching the therapeutic value of pets in our society and the number of hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and mental institutions which are employing full-time pet therapists and animals is increasing daily.” ~ Betty White, American Actress, Animal Activist, and Author of Pet Love
So if you have the room in your home and the love in your heart… Adopt Just One More Pet or consider becoming a Foster parent for pets… Also check out: Little Critter: Just One More Pet
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There is always room for Just One More Pet. So if you have room in your home and room in your heart… Adopt Just One More! If you live in an area that promotes unreasonable limitations on pets… fight the good fight and help change the rules and legislation…
Save the Life of Just One More…Animal!
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If you can adopt or foster just one more pet, you could be saving a life, while adding joy to your own! Our shelters are over-flowing… Please join the fight to make them all ‘NO-Kill’ facilities.
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- Canine Dental Care Importance Often Overlooked August 16, 2014Paying attention to your dog and cat’s dental health is far too often overlooked, but can make a huge difference in their overall health! By Marion Algier – JOMP Photo via Pinterest Catch Fred - By Melissa Turner When it comes to the proper care of our four-legged friends one of the most important aspects […]justonemorepet
- Found This Baby Dying On A Hot Sidewalk. What He Does Next Will Floor You August 8, 2014Amazing!! PawMyGosh: It was a hot Florida day when Jeff Longo spotted something tiny on the sidewalk. When he looked closer, he realized it was a baby squirrel. It was lying there on the hot pavement close to death. He thought there was no way it would survive. But he was gonna do everything in […]justonemorepet
- Is Your Dog Bouncing Off the Walls, This Could Be Why August 3, 2014HuffPo: If your canine companion is tightly wound, wired, has no desire (ever) to settle down, relax, regroup, you probably refer to him as being hyperactive or suffering from ADHD. But even though the term is widely used in our society today, the actual clinical syndrome of hyperactivity is rare in canines. It’s probably more […]justonemorepet
- Pet Poisons: The Top 10 Suspects for Dogs – And for Cats August 3, 2014Story at-a-glance Earlier in the year, the Pet Poison Helpline released its annual list of most common pet toxins for 2013. For the first time, canine joint supplements made the top 10 list of dog toxins. Fortunately, most dogs who sample too many joint supplements only develop diarrhea, but in rare cases of overdose, liver […]justonemorepet
- The Ultimate Dog Pool Party July 26, 2014Video: The Ultimate Dog Pool Party… Fun!justonemorepet
- Pit Bull Hailed as Hero for Alerting Deaf Boy to Fire With a Lick July 17, 2014AP Photo: Indianapolis Fire Department, Rita Reith This photo provided by the Indianapolis Fire Department shows Ace, a pit bull, resting outside the home of Lindsay and James Bernard of Indianapolis after the home caught fire on Wednesday, July 16, 2014. INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A two-year old male pit bull named Ace is being hailed […]justonemorepet
- Off to the Races… Weiner Dog Races That Is July 13, 2014Wiener Dog Races, Kalispell, MT There’s Nothing Like Wiener Dog Races! Oktoberfest Wiener Dog Races.mpg Barrel Racing Wiener Dog Jerry needs no help playing with his ball. Sassy Dachshund Puppy Cute Dachshund montage Daisy – Teckel à poil long – HD Dachshund Water Race Wake Up Mommy!! I Wants Breakfast!! Teckel Superstar! – Dackel, kleiner […]justonemorepet
- Never Punish Your Pet for This Accident! July 13, 2014Video: Urinary Incontinence in Dogs and Cats By Dr. Karen Becker – HuffPo Please note this article addresses involuntary passage of urine only, and isn’t intended to cover other urination-related problems like too-frequent urination or behavioral-related problems like submissive urination. Involuntary Passage of Urine Involuntary passage of urine normally oc […]justonemorepet
- Keeping Your Pets Safe on the 4th of July July 3, 2014Family and friends of G.R. Gordon-Ross watch his private fireworks show at the Youth Sports Complex in Lawrence, Kan., Friday, June 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner) Mercury News – Originally posted on July 02, 2013: The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. Hot dogs, potato salad and, of course, fireworks. But Independence […]justonemorepet
- Making Your Own Dog Biscuits July 2, 2014For those of you who have always been curious as to how to make dog treats at home for your pet here is a basic recipe to get you started. With all the dog food & treat recalls that have caused severe conditions and even death; it is nice to know what is going into […]justonemorepet
- Canine Dental Care Importance Often Overlooked August 16, 2014
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Great Book for Children and Pet Lovers… And a Perfect Holiday GiftOne More Pet Emily loves animals so much that she can’t resist bringing them home. When a local farmer feels under the weather, she is only too eager to “feed the lambs, milk the cows and brush the rams.” The farmer is so grateful for Emily’s help that he gives her a giant egg... Can you guess what happens after that? The rhythmic verse begs to be read aloud, and the lively pictures will delight children as they watch Emily’s collection of pets get bigger and bigger.
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If You Were Stranded On An Island…A recent national survey revealed just how much Americans love their companion animals. When respondents were asked whether they’d like to spend life stranded on a deserted island with either their spouse or their pet, over 60% said they would prefer their dog or cat for companionship!