Check Out Our Advertisers!
     None  Accounting/Bookkeeping
     None  Attorney - Lawyer
     None  Auto
     None  Aviation
     None  Banks and Credit Unions
     None  Carpet Cleaning
     None  Chamber of Commerce
     None  Child Care
     None  Chiropractic Care
     None  Churches
     None  Computer Services
     None  Dental Care
     None  Dry Cleaning
     None  Electric utility
     None  Equine Services
     None  Errand Services
     None  Excavating
     None  Eye Care
     None  Feed Stores
     None  Field Mowing
     None  Financial Services
     None  Fireplace Sales/Service
     None  Fitness
     None  Flooring
     None  Hair/Nail Care and Cosmetics
     None  Handyman Services
     None  Health Care Facilities and Services
     None  Health Care
     None  Heating and Cooling
     None  Home Maintenance
     None  House Cleaning
     None  Insulation
     None  Insurance
     None  Internet Service
     None  Jewelry
     None  Mortgage
     None  Orthodontist
     None  Painting - Interior/Exterior
     None  Paving/Asphalt
     None  Pet Grooming
     None  Pet Sitter
     None  Plumbing
     None  Portable Buildings
     None  Propane Delivery
     None  Propane
     None  Property Management
     None  Racing - Cars
     None  Real Estate Services
     None  Restaurants
     None  Roofing
     None  Schools
     None  Septic Services
     None  Sheds, Outbuildings
     None  Shipping Services
     None  Specialty/Gifts
     None  Storage
     None  Tax Preparation
     None  Tires
     None  Tractor, Trailer and RV Sales
     None  Upholstery
     None  Veterinarian
     None  Window Replacement
     None  Windshield Repair
     None  Winery
     None  Woodworking

"The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month."
– Henry Van Dyke  
Contact Us | Advertise | Classified Ad | News Stands | Subscribe  

  Volume No. 16 Issue No. 3 March 2019  

None Black Forest News   None Book Review   None Business Briefs   None Community Calendar  
None Did You Know?   None FFPD Column   None From the Publisher   None Guest Column  
None Marks Meanderings   None Monkey Business   None News From D 49   None People on the Plains  
None Pet Care   None Phun Photos   None Prairie Life   None Rumors  
Front Page   |   Feature Stories   |   Search This Issue   |   Log In

Dr. Jim Humphries

  Two good questions
  By Dr. Jim Humphries

   Q: My last two dogs died of cancer. One was old for his breed, but my other dog was only 7 years old. Iíve had pets all my life, and I donít remember them having so much cancer. Is there more now?
   A: I see a lot of cancer in my end-of-life practice, much of it in older pets, but I do see bad metastatic cancer in young or middle-aged pets also. Iíve always heard the adage, ďIf you live long enough, you will get cancer,Ē and there is some truth to this comment. All of our cells must be replaced Ė- itís part of growing and aging. However, to be replaced, a cell must make a genetic copy of itself for the new cell to be like the old one. Problems occur when this copy-cell function does not go as planned and the copy is not just like the original. The copy cell begins to grow abnormally and rapidly, and this leads to tumors of various cell types growing in the body.
   Cancer can be of many types, depending on the original cell. It could be of blood vessel origin, or of bone origin or from lymph or white blood cells. These then turn into hemangiosarcoma (cancer of blood vessel cells) or osteosarcoma (cancer of bone cells), leukemia (cancer of the circulating cells in the blood stream) and so on.
   Affected cancer cells also will lose their normal control mechanisms, and the new tissues can just grow out of control. Others, while abnormal growths, do not grow or spread so fast and donít invade other tissue; many of these are called benign (like those ďfatty tumorsĒ most old dogs have).
   Of course, cancer is far more complex than this, but please know in most cases that if your pet develops cancer, it is nothing you did wrong. Our pets are living longer so there is simply more probability of them developing cancer.
   What we can do to prevent cancer is common sense things like good nutrition (I mean the more expensive foods that have better ingredients and less fillers or additives.) Fish oil is a great lifelong supplement for overall health (for people also). Spay and or neuter your pet a bit later in their life. Instead of the classic six months, letís wait and let those hormones have their protective effect for another six months. Have this procedure done after about one year of life. (For large or giant breeds of dogs, I suggest 18 months to two years.) Finally, pick a breed that is not prone to developing cancers. Flat-coated retrievers, boxers, Bernese Mountain Dogs and golden retrievers are among the breeds that have the highest percentage of cancer-related deaths.
   Q: Iíve been to several dog training classes but canít seem to make my dog behave. What am I doing wrong, or is my dog just ďchallengedĒ?
   A: All dogs will learn, some are more challenging than others. Here are some common mistakes most of us make:
  • Not starting early: Training should begin early. Puppies should begin socialization classes at 4 to 6 months old. These early months are crucial for your dog to learn to be comfortable and confident with new people and other dogs. Basic obedience classes should be started when your dog is 6 to 8 months old or immediately upon adopting an adult dog. Then donít forget, training should be done (and made fun) at home about once a week.
  • Not being regular and consistent: Dogs learn by consistency and routine. When you are inconsistent, your dog becomes confused and this can lead to problems. If you donít want your dog to beg, donít feed it from the table; and there are hundreds of examples like that. Set your house rules and be consistent.
  • Donít expect too much: Dogs learn with consistency and in small bits. Donít expect too much too early too fast. Expect learning to take time, and always make it fun.
  • Giving complicated verbal commands: Only use one or a few words for a command. Iíve taught my dog to ďgo to your bed,Ē with a treat (and a good dog bed) and he does it every time. But what he hears is Gotoyourbed: short, consistent words or phrases.
  • Getting louder or being harsh: Louder is not better. In fact, try all your commands softly and upbeat. They will listen much better, if they know a treat is coming and you are happy with them, using a soft command.
  • Forgetting to reward what you want: Small pieces of food are the best rewards; at first, you use it for all rewards. Later, spread it out to the point your dog behaves just to please you.
  • Being impatient: This one is hard for anyone looking for fast results. Good training takes time so you have to reward small steps and be patient. Success will come with time ó with short sessions, consistency, positivity and making training fun.

Dr. Jim Humphries is a veterinarian and provides hospice and end-of-life care for pets in the Colorado Springs area. He also serves as a visiting professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University. He lives in Falcon with his wife, horses and Great Danes.
Facebook print this page      

  © 2004-2019 The New Falcon Herald. All rights reserved. About | Contact | Advertise | News Stands | Privacy Policy