Warm Weather Tips For Pet Care

FOCUS ON PETS

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It is spring and the Payson Humane Society is once again full to overflowing with unwanted dogs and cats, puppies and kittens. Isn't it unfortunate that people allow their pets to continually have litters when there are far too many pets to go around already? If you have a neighbor or friend with an un-neutered pet, you might mention that spaying and neutering provides for a more healthy life for their pet, and that healthy, adorable dogs and cats are being euthanized every day due to the overabundance of pets.

The next spay and neuter mobile clinic will be June 7, 8 and 9 at the Bashas' parking lot. The Arizona Humane Society is providing this service and it's first come, first served. They open at 7 a.m. each day. Call the Payson Humane Society for more information. Remember, that all veterinarians perform this surgery regularly. Call your vet with any questions or concerns. It is the greatest thing you can do for your pet.

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Mary Iorns would fill her house with greyhounds, but husband Terry thinks two are enough. Bay, left, and Lucy are happy to be off the track and enjoying all the comforts of home, including rubs, massages and hugs.

Speaking of overpopulation, I received an e-mail about a greyhound racing track in Connecticut that is closing. They voted to close on April 26 and any dogs that are not removed by May 14 will be euthanized. There were 1,000 dogs to place. Foster and permanent homes are being sought all over the country. Greyhounds are wonderful, gentle dogs, couch potatoes really, and they get along with most other pets and people. Since they have spent 22 hours a day in a crate at the track, there are lots of things they are eager to experience, like a nice walk, some scratching behind the ears and most importantly, a friend. Several of these dogs have already been placed in homes in the Phoenix area. If you want to help, contact http://www.greyhoundgang. com/, or call (413) 548-9898.

I took my three out for a hike and they thoroughly enjoyed a smelly stock tank. Gibson rolled in something really aromatic. He smelled almost as bad as if a skunk had gotten him -- maybe worse. It reminded me about the skunk remedy which I have not mentioned for a while. If your pet gets "skunked," you will want to have the remedy on hand. Tomato juice is a common solution for odor removal. However, a veterinarian suggested the following solution which is said to be very effective. Mix one quart 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, 1/4-cup baking soda (not baking powder) and two tablespoons of Ivory liquid dishwashing soap. Combine these in a non-metal container. This solution oxygenates the thiols, the part of the skunk spray that stinks, to neutralize the odor.

Soak the dog's fur with lukewarm water and then soap him/her up with this solution, taking care to not get it in the eyes. Leave the solution on the coat for five to ten minutes and then rinse thoroughly. You can also use this mixture to get the skunk smell out of your clothes. When finished, discard all the solution down the drain with plenty of running water. Do not attempt to store it. It quickly loses its strength and the oxygen gas it emits can cause a closed container to blow up. Hydrogen peroxide is dated. Keep a fresh supply on hand. Most bottles are 16 ounces so it takes two full bottles to make a quart. It is very inexpensive and comes in handy for many things. The Ivory liquid is a soap, not a detergent, and is very mild. It is another good product to keep on hand.

Products are available which remove smelly smells from our pets, like if they roll in dead fish. Check your local feed or pet store for a no-rinse shampoo. You just apply this liquid with a sponge or damp cloth. Like magic, the smell is (almost) gone.

Stickers or fox tails are another annoyance during the summer months. Dogs with long coats and long ears are particularly plagued with them. They get wedged between the pads of the feet. In trying to remove them with his teeth, the dog can get the foxtails stuck inside his mouth which will quickly cause an infection if not removed. Keep a watch on your pets to see if they are shaking their heads, chewing at their feet or scratching at their ears. If foxtails get down into the ear canal, it can be a real problem. Check pets regularly for these annoying stickers. This is one of the reasons why regular grooming is so important.

While you are sitting around watching a movie or the news, run your fingers over your pet, around his feet, legs, ears, all over. Check out any abnormality. If you find an area that is inflamed or swollen, a visit to the veterinarian is in order. The sooner you find the problem, the less likely surgery will be required. Surgery and anesthesia are never easy on the pet or the pocketbook.

Another warm weather problem can be ticks. Normally we are not bothered much with them here in the Rim country, but the White Mountain area is having a real problem this year. Be on the lookout for them. Ticks carry disease.

Spring and summer bring wonderful outdoor activities. They also bring problems. Make the best of the good while being ever diligent for the bad.

Christy Wrather is a columnist for the Roundup. She can be reached by e-mail at cpwrather@earthlink.net or by snail mail at HC1 Box 210, Strawberry, AZ 85544.

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