Previous month:
November 2009
Next month:
January 2010

December 2009

Descriptions of the Five Seminars we offer.

We will be adding two new seminars next year.

The first is called Knowing Your Pet’s Health and is about an hour and half long. The topics covered will include Human-Animal Bond, Snout-to-Tail Assessments, Role of Quality Nutrition, Importance of Water, Role of Supplementations, Role of Exercise, Role of Training and Socialization, Role of grooming, Poisoning, Pet Emergency Preparedness, Euthanasia and Pet Loss and Choosing a Pet professional.

The second is called Pet Emergency Planning with Your Pet. It is about an hour and half long. The topics covered will include Importance of having a plan, how to plan for an evacuation, how to put together evacuation and first aid kits for the car, family and pets, how to prepare an emergency preparedness kit for the home as well as preparing for various emergencies and disasters in your community.

We will still offer the four and eight hour pet first aid class as well as Instructor training.

The four hour class will cover primary pet assessment, rescue breathing, CPR, restraining and muzzling, bleeding and shock, fracture and limb injuries, choking management, insect bites and stings, snakebite, seizures, heat and cold injuries, snout-to-tail wellness and injury assessments, poisoning and how to prepare first aid and emergency preparedness kits.

The eight hour class covers all of the topics in the four hour class and well as a healthy living and a dental section.

The Instructor Training is a three day seminar.

The first day is the eight hour Pet Saver Program as well as an additional hour after the class ends.

Day Two is marketing and teaching techniques.

Day Three is presentations and graduation.


On Sunday, December 13th, the Danbury Animal Welfare Society invited me to their 2nd annual Champion Member Brunch. Champion members are those who donate $250 or more during the annual membership drive. Food was excellent and we sat through a wonderful, uplifting presentation on DAWS vision for the future as well as their annual update.

Through the community’s generous support as well as their sound financial practices, the shelter installed new kennel roofs, emergency exit lighting, new windows and doors and new exterior fencing. Among new capital improvements for 2010 include remodeling the interior to add a community meeting room. I am very excited about this since I will have a place to hold my pet first aid classes as well as other pet educational seminars.

They have provided continued education for their shelter manager. This keeps the shelter running at peak efficiency. They have added 65 new volunteers. They filled positions from office help to socialization and training of residents to clinic help and everything in between. No matter what your interest or skills are, there is a job waiting for you at the shelter.

This year the shelter adopted out more than 300 dogs, including 42 puppies. Big thanks go to the foster families who take in special needs and pregnant dogs. It also saw the adoption of 275 cats and kittens. They Trapped, Neutered and Returned 90 cats back to feral colonies, compared to 22 last year. They also performed 73 low-cost spay and neuters in the community.

DAWS vision for the future includes a new shelter by 2019, complete with an on-site medical clinic.

Their two biggest fundraisers for the year are the Puppy Love Ball set for February 20th and the Annual Walk for the Animals set for September 26th. The newest fundraiser is a 2010 calendar. They are $20 and make a great stocking stuffer for the animal lover in your life. All proceeds go directly to DAWS. You can contact them at  to buy tickets, make a donation or see adoptable dogs and cats. The direct link for the calendar is

DAWS would like to remind everyone during the Holiday Season to save a life and adopt not shop.

To read part one go to

Dehydration in Dogs and Cats

Copy of 11 (11 Square) - Polaris Collection Templates (The Viral Content Club™ ) by Viral Marketing Stars®  copy


Dehydration is the loss of normal body fluids including water and electrolytes. The body’s cells are now deficient in the necessary water needed to perform vital functions. Dehydration can cause permanent kidney damage, heatstroke, shock as well as damage the circulatory system. Untreated dehydration can lead to death in a matter of hours.

There are three ways dehydration can occur. There is a reduced fluid intake, an increase in fluid losses or a combination of both.

1.    Reduced fluid intake.

a.    Their water source is unavailable or unclean.

b.   Stressful events and travel reduce your pet’s desire for water. Stressful events include holiday gatherings, moving and additions to the family.

c.    Dogs and cats require a diet that is 70% moisture. Most dry foods are between 8 and 12% moisture. If supplemented foods and water do not make up the other 60%, then your pet may be living in a state of dehydration. This continual dehydration damages the kidneys. Kidney failure is the number one cause of death in cats and the number two cause for dogs.

2.    Increased fluid losses.

a.    Overexertion and panting due to heat or exercise.

b.   Medications can cause your pet to urinate frequently.

c.    Illnesses, diarrhea, vomiting or fevers.

d.   Excessive drooling. These can a particular breed issue or an allergic reaction.

e.   Large wounds or burns.

f.     Recuperating pets need more fluids than normal.

g.    Kidney disease and diabetic pets are unable to retain fluids and they urinate frequently.

Young, older, immune-compromised, pregnant and nursing pets are more susceptible to dehydration. When signs of dehydration are apparent, it’s important to go to your vet immediately.

Signs of dehydration include:

1.    Skin loses elasticity. The “pinch test” is a quick way to check for dehydration. Pull up the skin like a tent and let it fall back down. It should return to its original position immediately. This is not an accurate test for obese pets as their skin is already stretched to capacity.

2.    Lethargic or depressed.

3.    Sunken eyes.

4.    Dry, tacky gums.

5.    Increased heart rate.

6.    Slow capillary refill time. Normal capillary refill time is two seconds.

7.    Tremors in back legs.

While physical findings can point to dehydration, it cannot determine the extent. A complete blood count, packed cell volume and total blood protein tests are needed to determine extent, cause and check for kidney damage. A complete biochemistry profile is recommended.

Dehydration is measured in percentages:

1.    Less than 5% is considered mild dehydration. The stretched skin will return to normal quickly. This is not an accurate test on obese pets.

2.    Between 6 and 9%. There is a noticeable delay in skin returning to normal position, eyes can be sunken and the gums dry. This range can cause significant health problems in cats.

3.    Between 10 and 12%. The skin does not return to normal, eyes are very sunken, pulse is weak and the heart rate is accelerated. This will cause significant health problems in dogs and can be fatal in cats.

4.    Between 12 and 15%. This is life threatening for dogs. They will be in shock and most likely unconscious.

5.    15% is death.

It does not take long for your pet to go from 5% to 15% and any delay in treatment can be fatal.

In mild cases of dehydration, as determined by your vet; you can give your pet fluids by mouth or into the cheek pouch with a syringe. You can use Smart Water of UNFLAVORED Pedialyte instead of water as they will help to replace lost electrolytes. Do not use flavored Pedialyte or Gatorade as they contain artificial sugars. In more serious cases of dehydration, the pet needs immediate veterinarian intervention and treatment. The vet will determine the proper rehydration dosage using IV fluids. This pet will need monitoring at the hospital. Your vet will also determine and address the cause leading to dehydration. It bears repeating, untreated dehydration can lead to death in a matter of hours.

There are steps to reduce your pet’s risk of dehydration. Provide fresh, clean water for them at all times. Replace their water with Smart Water or unflavored Pedialyte during stressful events or when traveling. Give water before and during any activities. Provide your pets with a moisture-rich diet. Remember, prevention is always better than treatment.

Mary is an award winning, peer recognized  business, wellness, and safety strategist who specializes in the pet industry.

You can contact Mary by dropping a message or email her at