Newsletter - December 2005
Annual Club picnic
This year the annual club picnic was held at the home of Doug & Melanie
Gulley, in Grand Prairie, on Sat., Oct. 15th. Unfortunately, I was not
able to attend the picnic (or Celtic Heritage Festival) this year. One
of my hounds came down with kennel cough, just after the Ft. Worth shows,
and one by one, the others began to show signs of it too. Not wanting to
take any chances of spreading it, I decided to keep my hounds at home in
quarantine, for about 6 weeks. So, I apologize that my articles, on these
functions, are from information I gathered, from some of the folks who
The location of the Gulley's lovely property, which is entirely fenced
for the safety of the hounds, was a nice, easy location to find. It was
a great setup for the hounds.
The weather was wonderful and as always, the food was fantastic. As there
was a smaller turnout than normal this year, the club meeting was not held.
On behalf of all the NTIWC members, I would like to thank Doug and Melanie,
for graciously offering to host this year's picnic and Jeniffer Johnson
for providing me with the great photos.
Be Careful of Holiday Toxins and Dangers
This is the time of year when pets can be exposed inadvertently to toxic
substances or tempting taste treats that can be dangerous. One "toxic" plant
you don't have to worry much about is the poinsettia, though. These plants
are either nontoxic or only slightly irritating to the gastrointestinal
tract, depending on the reference source.
On the other hand, mistletoe berries are poisonous and it is best to be
very careful when hanging mistletoe so that pets are not exposed to the
berries. Even one or two berries of this plant may be fatal. Even the products
used to help plants make it through the holidays can be a problem. Some
of the solutions used to make the Christmas tree last through a long holiday
season can be pretty irritating to mouth or stomach tissues. If you add
these to the water in your Christmas tree stand you should be sure that
pets can not drink the water.
Plants are not the only problems. Holiday food treats and decorations
can be dangerous to pets. It takes a fairly large amount of milk chocolate
to cause poisoning problems in dogs and cats but a whole box of chocolates
is likely to cause
Tinsel strands seem to be very attractive and these will often cause severe
problems, often requiring surgical removal to prevent the death if they
are ingested. Chewing on the extension cords to the tree lights or the
electric train around the tree sometimes leads to problems, too.
The abundance of food found at holiday tables presents a danger. We see
a definite increase in pancreatitis around the holidays due to pets getting
fat laden table scraps.
At least one dog a year manages to eat the whole turkey carcass and has
a major case of constipation in a day or so. Try to resist the urge to
cover the pet's food with the extra gravy and put the trash out of reach
If you are going to board your pet for the holidays, make sure you have
all the contact numbers for wherever you will be written down for the kennel,
pet sitter or veterinary hospital. You might even consider giving your
vet written permission to treat your pets in your absence, especially if
your relationship with your vet is not close enough to be sure he or she
would be comfortable caring for the pets without your permission.
Do not tranquilize pets for air travel if you are taking them with you,
unless you are absolutely certain it is necessary. A recent review of pet
deaths during airplane trips revealed that most of the pets who died had
been sedated. The effects of sedatives are intensified at higher altitudes
and even though cargo holds are pressurized they are at a lower atmospheric
pressure than is found at ground level. If you do have to sedate a pet
follow the veterinarian's directions EXACTLY. It could save your pet's
If you take a little time to prepare and think about the special risks
holidays impose your pet should be safe. Just in case, make sure you know
the number of the emergency veterinary hospitals in your are and can drive
by it to be sure you can find it an emergency when you may not be thinking
as clearly as on an ordinary day.
Seasonal Tips: Winter
Eyes fearful, paws worn;
A sorrowful sight -
Love they said would be the cure
For the suffering
You had endured.
So our family grew that day.
We brought you home,
With us you'd stay
Slowly, gently the bond it grew;
Faithful, loyal -
Looking back it's so unclear
How we got by
Without you here.
You give and give,
It never ends.
They said we were a gift to you
But now we know
Who rescued who.
-- J.M. Berry
Holiday Foods to Avoid Feeding To Your Pet
Alcoholic beverages Chocolate (baker's, semi-sweet, milk chocolate)
Coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate covered espresso beans)
Moldy or spoiled foods
Onions, onion powder
Raisins and Grapes
Lilies that may be found in holiday flower arrangements could be deadly
to your cat. Many types of lily, such as Tiger, Asian, Japanese Show, Easter,
Stargazer, and the Casa Blanca, can cause kidney failure in cats Poinsettias
are generally over-rated in toxicity. If ingested, poinsettias can be irritating
to the mouth and stomach, and may cause mild vomiting or nausea.
Mistletoe has the potential to cause cardiovascular problems. However,
mistletoe ingestion usually only causes gastrointestinal upset. Holly ingestion
could cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and lethargy. Visit the University
of Illinois Toxicology Homepage. to view pictures of plants which are poisonous
Christmas Tree Hazards
Christmas tree water may contain fertilizers, which, if ingested, can
cause stomach upset. Stagnant tree water can be breeding grounds for bacteria,
which can also lead to vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea, if ingested.
Electrical cords - Avoid animal exposure to
electrical cords. If they are chewed they could electrocute your pet. Cover
up or hide electrical cords and never let your pet chew on them.
Ribbons or tinsel can become lodged in the
intestines and cause intestinal obstruction. This is a very common situation
Batteries contain corrosives, and if ingested
they can cause ulceration to the mouth, tongue, and the rest of the gastrointestinal
Glass ornaments can cut the tissues of the
gastrointestinal tract if ingested.
Keep all prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs out of the reach of
your pets, preferably in closed cabinets. Remind holiday guests to store
their medications safely as well. Pain killers, cold medicines, anti-cancer
drugs, antidepressants, vitamins, and diet pills are common examples of
human medication that could be potentially lethal even in small dosages.
One regular-strength ibuprofen tablet (200mg) can cause stomach ulcers
in a 10-pound dog.
Other Winter Hazards
Antifreeze has a pleasant taste. Unfortunately, very small amounts can
be lethal. As little as one teaspoon of antifreeze can be deadly to a cat;
less than one tablespoon can be deadly to a 10-pound dog. Thoroughly clean
up any spills, store antifreeze in tightly closed containers and store
in secured cabinets. If you think your pet has consumed antifreeze, contact
your veterinarian right away!
Liquid potpourris are popular household fragrances
commonly used during the holiday season. Pets are often exposed to liquid
potpourri by direct ingestion from simmer pots or spills, by rubbing against
leaky bottles or simmer pots containing the potpourri, or from spilling
the containers upon themselves. Oral exposures result during grooming.
Exposure of pets to some types of liquid potpourris can result in severe
oral, dermal and ocular damage.
Ice melting products can be irritating to skin
and mouth. Depending on the actual ingredient of the ice melt and the quantity,
signs of ingestion would include excessive drooling, depression, vomiting
or even electrolyte imbalances.
Rat and mouse killers are used more commonly
during colder weather. When using rat and mouse bait, place the products
in areas that are inaccessible to your companion animals.
Announcements & Upcoming Events
When Santa Comes
Santa comes quietly long before dawn
While shops are still busy and lights are still on
While dinners are cooking and kitchens are warm
and children count presents they'll open by morn.
He slips past the trees in windows aglow
Through the gate to the backyard as icy winds blow
To find the pup he brought last year, chained up in the snow
And, kneeling, he whispers "Are you ready to go?"
There are too many stops like this one tonight
Before the beginning of his regular flight
He leaves not a note or a footprint in sight
Just an unbuckled collar on a cold Christmas night...
-- Author Unknown
Our Newest NTIWC Members:
John and Dorothy Palmore
11109 Miramar Dr. Austin, TX 78726
WELCOME, JOHN & DOROTHY!!
Reminder... Irish Fest is just around the corner! It will be the first
weekend of March. If you will be able to help set up and/or tear down our
booth, please contact Cherry Rolle @ 817- 516-0994 or e-mail: Cherryr1@airmail.net.
Upcoming Performance Events in Texas
There are a couple of websites you should bookmark if interested in athletic
events for sight hounds.
This is the site for GIT- Gazehounds in Texas. It is a local LGRA club-
hosting racing, but also has links to all local events: ASFA, AKC coursing,
LGRA and NOTRA.
http://asfa.org - This
is the official site of the American Sight hound field Association. There
is a page that lists all events nationally as well as other items of interest.
This is the source for the squawkers we use for racing and training, but
they also have other things for greyhound sized dogs. If you plan to do
racing, contact Melanie Mercer at VETMEL1300@aol.com and
she'll get you contacts for IW sized racing muzzles and blankets. If you
want to make your dogs perk up, click the link to hear a squawker.
Jan 14 and 15 there is an ASFA trial In Hutto,
Jan 21 and 22 the Afghan Hound Club of Dallas
is having an all breed ASFA trial near Denton.
There is an AKC show in Glen Rose (Nolan River kennel club) that will
be having a field trial and JC tests on Jan 7 and 8.
Sanctioned B Match
The Denton Kennel Club is having a Match at the Denton Co Fairgrounds
on Sunday Feb. 12. Entries will be taken from 8-10 am and judging starts
at 10:30. Pre-entries end Feb 8 and cost $5. Gate entries are $10.
It's open to dogs of registrable breeds from 3 mo and older. No dogs with
major points or champions can enter.
Contact Melanie Mercer at VETMEL1300@aol.com if
you need more info.
Anyone interested in another Lure Coursing Practice?
Melanie Mercer, DVM, has kindly volunteered to offer her expertise (once
again) to set up and conduct, a lure coursing practice for anyone who is
interested in participating.
I am willing to sponsor the function at my property, in Boyd. We are tentatively
looking at February 18, 10am.
What we need to know is:
1.) WHO is interested in coming?
2.) Do we want to do a potluck lunch this time, or just hot drinks and
If you ARE interested in participating, please e-mail and let me know
your preferences, so I can make plans at email@example.com ASAP!
Celtic Heritage Festival - October
Celtic Heritage festival was held on Oct. 8th & 9th this year, at
the Bedford Boy's Ranch, the usual venue for this event.
Saturday's weather was a bit drizzly and rainy, during the dog parade,
but then on Sunday it was warm, sunny weather which is always great for
We had a good turnout at the NTIWC booth and a lot of folks came by to
ask questions and to visit with the hounds and their people.
Photos have been provided by Paul Stout. Thank you, Paul!
Information About Canine Flu
Below are links to educational information online about the newly emerging
Canine Influenza. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms and seek immediate
veterinary care for dogs displaying the symptoms. From the AVMA website
Canine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory infection of dogs
that is caused by a virus. The canine influenza virus is closely related
to the virus that causes equine influenza and it is thought that the
equine influenza virus mutated to produce the canine influenza virus.
Two clinical syndromes have been seen in dogs infected with the canine
influenza virus -- a mild form of the disease and a more severe form
that is accompanied by pneumonia.
- About the mild form -- Dogs suffering with the mild form of canine
influenza develop a soft, moist cough that persists for 10 to 30 days.
Some dogs have a dry cough similar to the "kennel cough" caused
by Bordetella bronchiseptica/parainfluenza virus complex. For this
reason, canine influenza virus infections are frequently mistaken for "kennel
cough." Dogs with the mild form of influenza may also have a thick
nasal discharge, which is usually caused by a secondary bacterial infection.
- About the severe form -- Dogs with the severe form of canine influenza
develop high fevers (104ºF to 106ºF) and have clinical signs
of pneumonia, such as increased respiratory rates and effort. Pneumonia
may be due to a secondary bacterial infection.
Because this is a newly emerging disease, almost all dogs, regardless
of breed or age, are susceptible to infection and have no immunity. Virtually
all dogs that are exposed to the virus become infected and nearly 80%
show clinical signs of disease. Fortunately, most affected dogs have
the mild form.
The links below will also be added to the NTIWC website for reference.
As always, if you have additional links you'd like to recommend to be placed
on the website, please email Jeniffer.
The Rainbow Bridge
Gone but Never Forgotten
Colin, beloved hound of Pam Jones & Tudor Pope crossed over the bridge
on October 18, th 2005. Sadly, he was lost to osteosarcoma. Here he is
pictured with one of his stuffies.
Casey O'Connor, beloved hound of Jean & Mike, was lost on October 26,
2005, to congestive heart failure. His absence has left a big, empty spot
in their hearts.
Enya Minahan, Beloved hound of Marcela & Derek, born 11-10-98 passed
over the bridge, on 10-25-05, after a long battle with cancer. It's been
hard for them these last few months, without her, and Connor misses her
a lot too. This photo was taken the month before her death. She always
enjoyed sitting outside, in the sunshine. Marcella says even on her last
day, she got to do that. (Enya right, Connor left)
Rainbow Bridge Artwork reprinted by permission from Sue
Orr, Tobi-Tor Irish Wolfhounds
From the Editor
Tahja Jones - 11 yrs. 8 mos., sending Holiday Greetings sporting her very
"stylish" Christmas hat. Pam & Tudor are enjoying every
moment they have with her, and say that she is slowing down now, considerably.
I'm sure that Pam would attribute much of Tahja's good health and longetivity,
to her raw diet. Tahja started her day with a walk; breakfast followed
by a small portion of omelet and bacon and has since had some freeze dried
venison liver treats.
PLEASE remember if you move, or change e-mail carriers, to let Cherry
(or Lesa) know, so we can get you updated on the PC mailing group list.
If you don't, you won't get notified about the club newletter, or other
club functions, when they are posted to our website.
For those of you who would prefer a color hard copy of the newsletter,
you can print it out from the NTIWC website. http://ntiwc.offlead.com
If you have any problems, you may contact either me at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Jeniffer Johnson (our NTIWC webmaster). Her e-mail address is: email@example.com.
Dogs Can Take Viagra -
and breathe a sigh of relief
BY DR. MARTY BECKER
Knight Ridder Newspapers
reprinted from wolfhoundweb.com
We have a lot in common with our pets, from enjoying walks in the outdoors
to liking to lounge around on the couch. But using Viagra? How would Viagra
be useful for a dog? Read on; you might be surprised. Many pet owners may
be interested to learn that another thing that we share with our pets is
that they also get heart diseases, (although not always the same kind of
problems commonly seen in people). According to the American Veterinary
Medical Association, of the dogs in the United States examined annually
by a veterinarian, approximately 3.2 million have some form of acquired
heart disease and may be in heart failure. And pet owners may be surprised
to learn that, like human medicine, there are specialists available to
treat heart problems in their dogs and cats.
When a pet is diagnosed with a heart problem by their regular veterinarian,
they can take their pet to a board-certified veterinary cardiologist.
Veterinary cardiologists can save the lives of younger pets with heart
birth defects and extend the length and quality of an older pet's life,
often using cutting-edge treatments like those used in humans. Also similar
to humans, heart disease in pets comes in many forms and treatments range
from medications to surgery.
For example, many cats are put on beta-blockers, which people also use
routinely for hypertension and heart muscle disease. Both cats and dogs
respond well to the standard oral therapy for congestive failure. Pet owners
can purchase their medications from the local human pharmacy just as they
would for themselves or their human family members. The good news for pet
owners is that most of the medications used in veterinary cardiology are
off patent and are very affordable.
Some patients are candidates for surgical repair of birth defects, angioplasty
and occasionally by-pass surgery. Surprisingly, dogs do extremely well
with the implantation of pacemakers. Many dogs experience renewed energy
and typically live normal lives once the pacemaker is implanted. The small
pacemaker generators used in veterinary medicine are actually the same
devices used in people.
The use of defibrillators in dogs is being researched and may also become
desirable in breed specific diseases with severe rhythm problems such as
in boxer dogs.
In addition to pacemaker implantation, veterinary cardiologists also may
implant a device called an ICD (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator)
in dogs with severe rhythm problems.
"This device also senses the heart rate of the patient but it is
used primarily to sense very fast heart rhythms," said O. Lynne Nelson,
DVM, MS Diplomat, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and
assistant professor at Washington State University College of Veterinary
Medicine. "In some patients, the very fast rhythms can degenerate
into ventricular fibrillation and death. This is what commonly happens
at the end stages of a `heart attack.' The ICD senses the fast rhythms
and sends low energy electrical impulses to the heart to normalize the
heart rate." WSU implanted the first ICD in a boxer dog with a symptomatic
heart rhythm disturbance in 2004 and many canine patients are being evaluated
for such a device.
Many of the diagnostic tools veterinary cardiologists use to diagnose
heart disease are also the same technologies used in human health care.
It has just been in the last two to three years that the use of the advanced
cardiac imaging technique 3D Heart Echo in human health care has become
more commonplace. Now its use is being applied to veterinary medicine.
This technology uses sound waves to create moving pictures of the heart
and is both non-invasive and painless. It allows veterinarians to view
the heart instantaneously in real-time.
"The new 3D technology can help veterinary cardiologists make better
diagnostic decisions because we can view the patient's heart from any angle
and see views not obtainable with conventional two dimensional echo," said
Dr. Carrol Loyer, a veterinary cardiologist with the Veterinary Referral
Center of Colorado and a board-certified cardiologist with the American
College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, or ACVIM.
Well, I promised I'd explain the use of Viagra in dogs. Another new therapy
on the forefront is the use of Viagra - but not for the same purpose as
"Viagra (Sildenafil) is now being used to treat both dogs and people
with severe pulmonary hypertension, high pressures in the lung vessels" explained
Dr. Bonnie Lefbom, ACVIM board certified cardiologist at Chesapeake Veterinary
Cardiology Associates in Virginia. This disease is physically debilitating
and many affected dogs are unable to walk across the room without collapsing.
Once they receive the proper dose of Viagra, these dogs can take short,
daily walks with their owners and return to a more normal quality of life.
Owners who opt to seek the expertise of a veterinary cardiologist will
discuss the pet's specific history, signs, and observations from the family
veterinarian. The specialist will conduct a complete physical examination
and diagnostics with particular focus on the heart. Once the diagnostics
are performed, the cardiologist will interpret the results and devise an
appropriate treatment plan for the pet's specific problem.
Pet owners wanting to find a specialist in their area can ask their regular
veterinarian or log on to www.acvim.org. ACVIM, the American College of
Veterinary Internal Medicine is, the national organization that supervises
the training and development of specialists in one of five areas - including
Our pets are near and dear to our hearts, but sometimes it is their hearts,
literally, that need a little help.
Dr. Marty Becker is the veterinary contributor to "Good
Morning America" and hosts "Top Vets Talk Pets" on "http://www.healthradionetwork.com/" .
He is also coauthor of "Chicken Soup For The Horse Lover's Soul." Write
to him in care of Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, 700 12th St. NE,
STE 1000, Washington, DC 20005.