Monday, 25 August 2014

Could Your Personality Be Reflected in Your Pooch?

The breed of dog a person chooses may mirror his or her own personality and outlook, a new study suggests.

The online survey of 1,000 dog owners by researchers at Bath Spa University in Bath, England, found certain personality traits, such as extroversion, agreeableness andemotional stability, are linked to specific breeds.

The research is to be presented Friday at the British Psychological Society annual meeting in London.

"This study indicates that we might be able to make predictions about someone's personality based on the breed of dog that they choose to own," study author Lance Workman said in a society news release. "It seems likely that personality types are subconsciously drawn to certain breeds."

Researchers divided the breeds owned into seven groups:
·         Gundogs, such as golden retrievers
·         Hound dogs, such as greyhounds
·         Pastoral, such as German shepherds
·         Terriers, such as Staffordshire bulls
·         Toys, such as Chihuahuas
·         Utility, such as bulldogs
·         Working, such as Dobermans

Owners of pastoral and utility dogs were more extroverted, while those who chose gundogs and toy dogs were more agreeable. The study also found those who owned utility, toy and gundogs were more conscientious, while owners of hound dogs were more emotionally stable. Toy dog owners were more open to new experiences.

"The differences in personality factors found between owners of different breeds might arguably be related to the lifestyle of the owner," Workman said. "For example, more extroverted individuals might be better suited to the pastoral breeds such as German shepherd or border collie, whereas those who are particularly emotionally stable might be suited to ownership of hound dogs such as a beagle or greyhound."

The findings and conclusions of studies presented at medical meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Horse-Sense with Magnetics

by Linda Greenlaw

There are many people out there who do not believe magnetic therapy works at all, that it is "snake oil medicine". From my own personal experience, I know it does work, and very well at that. And with no side effects.

I am a former equestrian from New England. I have shown Pony Hunters, Junior Hunters, Green Hunters and Hunter Seat Equitation, winning many Championships in all these divisions. At one time, I was also a "working student" at a couple of New England stables, which afforded me the opportunity to experience many ways of dealing with many different problems.

It was not until I had serious, disabling injuries (not from riding) that I looked into the treatments for pain available to humans and animals. I discovered that some of the drugs given to horses for pain, used to be given to humans, until the medical community started seeing a lot of birth defects.

I have found through my own discussions with hundreds of farriers, vets, trainers, M.D.'s and Ph.D's, that a simple, common-sense approach to magnetic therapy on horses, is necessary. Many horse-people want to use magnetics on their horses. Their problem has been with the many different claims made about magnetics, and knowing how to properly apply the therapy. Or, some people have heard about magnetics, and want to know more about this therapy; and why is it slightly different for horses, as compared to humans.

My personal quest for knowledge about magnetics started when I become partially disabled. I went through a "song and a dance" with my doctor and her long list of anti-inflammatories (or NSAID's). I happen to have an encyclopedia about prescription drugs; and I would look up everything she gave me. Wouldn't you know it, these NSAID's were the same things horses get; just in a different dose according to body weight. Now I know how the horses feel. I had been treated like a horse, by my doctor!

Soon after that, I decided to apply "horse sense" to my own medical care and physical therapy program (as I was very disillusioned with my doctors). I have now been off of NSAID's for over three years. I get acupuncture from an R.N.; I go to a chiropractor, and most importantly, I use magnetics, every day. The difference in the quality of my life, is like night and day!

I am the kind of horse lover, who tends to translate from "horses" to "people". You see, horses are people to me! I have found in my research for my own health, that NSAID's can actually make arthritic type pain worse over the long term. For me, the NSAID's knotted my guts so much, it made my back pain worse! Imagine how this must affect horses that are sensitive to colic. That can kill a horse! What also causes me concern, is that the area that knots up on a horse is around where you sit when you ride.

I have also found that in both horses and people, most find faster healing and greater pain relief with magnetics, rather than with the drugs (and without the side effects). Strong, healthy, un-injured individuals with no pain may not notice or feel anything when using magnetics. That is because magnetics only do what is needed to properly align cells. If there is nothing wrong, the magnetics will only serve to pull proper nutrients to the area, as well as to keep the muscles and soft tissue loose. If there is nothing wrong, the magnetics are neutral (when administered in a non-toxic dose).

Horses, of course, are different from people; we humans can dissipate heat much better than horses — in other words, we sweat more efficiently. Also, both horses and humans have red blood cells, with metal in the blood that is pulled by the magnets. Faster blood flow opens the blood vessels, removing toxins from the effected area; while rushing oxygen and nutrients to this area. Faster blood flow is also beneficial for poor circulation conditions.

The stronger the magnetic gauss, the hotter the area will become from the increased blood flow. Therefore, since horses are not able to dissipate heat as well as humans, they need extra care in the timing, placement and gauss strength used. It is well known that the horses' hoof, in particular, needs to be treated with extra caution, because horses cannot tolerate excessive heat or moisture in their hoof; and conditions such as founder, laminitis and thrush can develop.
From my "one-to-one" research, I have found many master farriers who have told me about their experience with magnetics and navicular-type problems. There was concern about both implanting a magnet into a hole in the hoof; and with the non-invasive, external use of magnetics, being too strong (or too hot) for the hoof.

I've come up with a hoof pad that I think is a common sense solution to using magnetic therapy on a horse, especially, around the hoof area. I worked with master farriers, from the very beginning of my magnetic hoof pad idea, to make the best product possible. The farriers who tried my pads on their own horses, told me "it causes the hoof to grow more RESINOUS". At first, I did not understand, why these farriers were excited about this. I found out why. It would be a non-invasive way to correct the dry, cracked hoof problem; sore heels and many more conditions, due to it's support, shock absorption and low gauss magnetics. Thanks to master farrier, John Blombach's kind suggestions, (which I followed "to the letter"); I think my inventions' design makes "horse sense".

One of the best times to use magnetic therapy on horses is before or after riding, or during shipping or handling. When applied on the way to a show, I'm sure your horse would then be calmer (and more relaxed, or comfortable) and thus, give you a better performance. I know I feel more relaxed and comfortable when I use magnetics for my own arthritic pains, than when I must go without them.
There have been many discussions on what type of magnetic fields work best, whether to use bi-polar or uni-polar magnetics.. With bi-polar, you can use either side of the magnet. With uni-polar, you must be sure NOT to put the positive side to the pain point. From my own research, both work very well. As a matter of fact, ANY non-toxic gauss strength of magnetics will help, to varying degrees. (I have provided a chart which details varying gauss strengths to use, and some general "rules of thumb".)

Without testing to prove out this question, and other questions about magnetics, I feel it is wiser to play it safe with magnetic gauss strength. It has been considered safe to not go too high in gauss strength. I have heard of success, with using up to 129 gauss on VERY short treatments. I have also had success on the bursitis in my wrists, using the same strength magnetics I've used in the hoof pads (under 100 gauss).

Here is my list of DO's and DON'T's for magnetic use:
Never use magnetics over an open wound; it will 'weep' and bleed more.
Never exercise a horse with a high gauss magnetic on, damage could result.

Leave your low strength magnetics on, and put the higher strength magnetics on only for a short period of time per application.
Use care in the length of time, and strength of magnetics used.
Consult and work with a professional when using magnetics; whether a farrier, a vet or other equine caretaker.
Two short treatments a day, before and after riding, are usually plenty.
Good to use while shipping, the horse should arrive calmer, and more comfortable.
Good to use while working on your horse on the cross-ties, they should be calmer.

LOW STRENGTH Under 100 gauss, magnetic strength
MEDIUM STRENGTH From 100 to 500 gauss, magnetic strength
HIGH STRENGTH From 500 to 800 gauss, magnetic strength
VERY HIGH STRENGTH From 800 to 1290 gauss, magnetic strength
Anything over these strengths could be very toxic and harmful to your horse!

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Conjunctivitis in Dogs

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva, the tissue lining the eyelids and attaching to the eyeball near the cornea. The conjunctiva can become irritated due to allergies induced by pollens, grasses, etc., or from infections caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi. If the white portion of the eyeball (sclera) is also inflamed, this condition is occasionally referred to as 'pink eye.' Conjunctivitis is the most common ailment affecting the eye of the dog.

What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of conjunctivitis vary depending on the cause. Typically, both allergies and infections cause a severe redness or 'meaty' appearance of the conjunctiva. This is caused by edema or fluid build-up and an increase in the size and number of blood vessels within the tissue. Either allergies or infections cause the eye to discharge or 'weep.'
The consistency of the discharge often helps determine its cause. Usually infections caused by bacteria, fungi, etc., create a thick yellow or greenish eye discharge. The eyelids may actually stick together when held shut. This results from the accumulation of white blood cells or 'pus' excreted into the area in an effort to fight off the infection. This type of discharge is also typical of a condition called keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or 'dry eye,' in which insufficient tears are produced. Allergies, on the other hand, generally cause a clear or watery discharge. Regardless of the cause, a patient with conjunctivitis will often squint and/or keep the third eyelid partially covering the eyeball. Conjunctivitis is often painful, causing a dog to paw at or rub the eye against objects such as your leg or the carpet.

What are the risks?
Normally, conjunctivitis is not life threatening, however, in advanced cases of infection, the organisms can spread and affect other structures of the eye. Vision could become impaired. In addition, infections or foreign bodies may cause corneal ulcers which are extremely serious conditions. Conjunctivitis may also be a symptom of a more serious disease such as canine distemper. As in humans, some infections can be transmitted to other individuals or littermates. Allergies are not contagious and therefore pose no threat to other dogs.

What is the management?
All cases of conjunctivitis should be treated at once. A culture and sensitivity test may be necessary to determine if bacteria are the cause, and if so, what medication should be used for treatment. Scrapings of the conjunctiva can be made and examined to test for various viral infections. Eye drops or ointments are usually the drugs of choice. Eye drops are watery solutions that must be applied every few hours, while ointments last longer and are usually only applied two to three times per day.

If the cause is suspected to be allergy, then various medications are available containing anti-inflammatories, usually hydrocortisones. If the cause is an infection, then bactericidal or fungicidal ointments or solutions may be applied. In severe cases, oral antibiotics are used in addition to the topical preparations. Most cases will respond to treatment, however, it may take one to two weeks to fully recover. In general, treatment is continued for several days after the eye regains its normal appearance.

It is important not to use hydrocortisone-containing agents if a corneal ulcer is present. Hydrocortisone, although great at minimizing eye inflammation, may actually hinder the healing of or worsen an ulcerated cornea.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Five Equine Body Condition Score Resources on

You've heard the warnings: Obesity—concerning on its own—can lead to a host of other serious health problems in horses. But your horse isn't obese, is he? Nah…he's just a little chunky with a little fat over his tailhead, or maybe just a touch of a cresty neck.
Guess what: That horse is probably overweight, and could be well on his way to obesity. So to help you better understand how to tell whether your horse is overweight, too skinny, or just right, we've compiled five body condition scoring resources available to you for free on
And for additional information about helping that overweight horse subsist on fewer calories, see "5 Tips for Feeding Easy Keepers" in the July 2014 issue of The Horse: Your Guide to Equine Health Care. And when you purchase the single issue, you’ll not only get the print issue in the mail but also an immediate digital download of the issue you can read today.
Article: Determining Horses' Body Weight and Ideal Condition When it comes to calculating a horse's nutrient requirements, it's important to first determine that animal's body weight and condition. Body weight is measured in kilograms or pounds. Body condition refers to how much or how little fat coverage an animal has, and it can be measured through both subjective visual inspection and objective and quantitative body measurements. Find out what you need to know. Read Now
Video: What's Your Horse's Body Condition Score? Regular body condition scoring helps you keep your horse in good health. Learn how and when to score your horse with Bob Coleman, PhD, PAS, of the University of Kentucky. Watch Now
Special Report: Body Condition Score: Back to Basics A horse’s body condition score can tell a lot about his overall well-being. So, how does your horse weigh in? This free report gives you the information you need so you can judge where your horse falls on the scales. Download Now
Poster: Equine Body Condition Score What defines obese for a horse? For that matter, what determines if a horse is too skinny? Of course, it's simple to point out those horses at either end of the spectrum, but for horses in between there can be gray areas. Get a visual lesson on what to look for to accurately score your horse's body condition. Download Now

Friday, 25 July 2014

Breed Profile - The Black and Tan Coonhound

“If you have known the music of coonhounds on a trail and heard the excitement in their voices when they strike, and seen their eagerness and determination when they tree, if you have seen their courage and bravery…and witnessed their resolve to never quit, you know there has to be a God to make an animal like that.”
—William W. Ramsey, “Coonhound Eulogy”

In a shady meadow in northwest Alabama, you can walk among the gravestones and read the names: Smokey, Ranger, Preacher, Ruff, Bear Creek Sue. Some have carved granite headstones, some have homemade signs. Some stretch back decades, others are recent. All mark the resting places of dogs so beloved that their owners took the trouble to bring them to their final resting place in the Key Underwood Coon Dog Memorial Graveyard ( a cemetery dedicated solely to coonhounds. No other breed may be buried there, because in the heart of the coonhound lover, no other breed is worthy.
Such is the passion engendered by the long-eared, long-running, deep-voiced hounds of the Deep South, which include the Bluetick, Redbone, English, and Treeing Walker, as well as the Black and Tan.
The Black and Tan was the first of these to be considered a separate breed from the American Foxhound from which they all evolved, and records of Black and Tan Coonhounds stretch back at least 300 years. All coonhound breeds—even the “English” Coonhound—are “made in America.” As there are no raccoons in Europe, it wasn’t until white settlers in the US wanted a hound to track and tree this clever critter that anyone thought to modify existing hound breeds to suit this new purpose. Foxhounds were designed to hunt fast-moving prey along the ground in the daylight; when their quarry climbed a tree, the dogs became confused and sometimes lost the trail. Coonhounds are nocturnal specialists, bred to trail game methodically until it seeks refuge in a tree; the dogs then remain below to prevent escape, baying loudly to lead the hunters to their location. Each dog has a distinctive bay or “bugle” that her owner can recognize and interpret, knowing from sound alone whether the dog is seeking a trail, has an uncertain scent, has hit a hot trail, or has brought the quarry “to tree.” The hounds may become so excited at treeing the game, they will frantically leap at and half-climb the trunk trying to reach the raccoon.
While traditional coonhound aficionados may thrill to this chase, the average dog owner may wonder whether a breed created to hunt prey through woods in the dark of night and chase it up a tree, all the time baying loudly enough to be heard from miles off, has a place in our modern, largely urban world. There is a striking dissimilarity between the popularity of coonhounds as marked by registration statistics of the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the United Kennel Club (UKC). The Black and Tan, for example, stands 91st in popularity according to the AKC, a body focused, to a large extent, on show dogs. The UKC, however, which is associated more with working dogs, lists the Black and Tan in the #5 spot for overall popularity—with coonhound breeds as a whole earning four of the five top spots. This would suggest that, where working ability is still valued, coonhounds top the polls. But can they be just good companions, in addition to—or perhaps in spite of—being superb hunters? According to, a breed information and rescue link site run by a group of hound lovers who worry about the unpopularity of their breeds with the dog-adopting public, coonhounds are true southern gentlemen and make excellent pets.
“This shunning of the hounds is puzzling to us coonhound lovers who know our hounds to be loving, sensitive family companions of the best sort…Full of energy and ready to rock when a job is at hand, then content to laze on the porch or dog bed for hours when it’s quiet time,” reads the site.
“The one thing that the general public should know about coonhounds is that they have great social skills with people, children and other dogs,” adds Jean Stone, one of the people behind CoonhoundCompanions. “They are also very charming and goofy!” Like all coonhounds, Black and Tans are easy to care for, with short, tight coats of, yes, black with tan markings, that barely need an occasional wipe-down for maintenance. Their pendulous ears should be checked and cleaned regularly. This is a vigorous breed with few ongoing health issues. Their size (22 to 27 inches) and ability to jump (remember those hounds leaping up the tree trunk?) means a tall, sturdy fence is required to keep them safe in their yard. And then there’s the “rebel yell.” If you think a B&T may be for you but you’ve never heard a coonhound baying, surf on over to YouTube and search for clips of coonhounds in full tongue. It is a sound that some adore and refer to as “music.” Others can’t abide it. If you are one of these or you have close neighbours who wouldn’t appreciate your dog’s “music,” look for another breed. Although most of us will never sit in the darkness of a southern night listening to the baying of coonhounds on the trail, wouldn’t it be comforting to know that your Black and Tan was on guard against those pesky varmints overrunning our suburban backyards? Pass me another mint julep, Scarlett.
- See more at:

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Positive Reinforcement Has Its Rewards

Does rewarding a horse during training make a difference? Scientists recently sought to answer that question by comparing how horses respond when trained with and without positive reinforcement.
The researchers worked with twenty horses driven on long-reins in an indoor arena, focussing on training the horses to halt. Half the horses were trained using only negative reinforcement, while the other half received both negative and positive reinforcement.
After five days of training, the two groups responded equally well when asked to halt. But there were signs that the horses which received rewards during training had a demeanour different from the others.
Horses encouraged with positive handling licked their lips more, shook their heads less often, and increased their overall roundedness. All these signs indicate that giving a horse positive reinforcement during training makes for a happier horse.

Doggy Dental Facts

  • Puppies have 28 temporary teeth, 14 in the upper jaw and 14 in the lower jaw. These deciduous teeth erupt at about three to four weeks of age.
  • IllustrationsDogs have 42 permanent teeth, 20 on the top, and 22 on the bottom (Figure 1). These begin to emerge at about four months of age.
  • Dogs have 6 permanent teeth that have 3 roots each, and 14 teeth that each have 2 roots.
  • Puppies should lose a puppy tooth before the corresponding adult tooth emerges. If a puppy tooth is still in place when an adult tooth begins to show it is called a retained deciduous teeth. If this occurs, see your veterinarian so the dog's occlusion is not affected.
  • Studies show that by age three, 80 percent of dogs exhibit signs of gum disease. Symptoms include yellow and brown build up of tartar along the gumline, red inflamed gums and persistent bad breath.
  • Facial swelling below the eye is usually due to an infection of the 4th premolar (carnassial) tooth.
  • Sneezing and nasal discharge may be due to an infection of the upper canine tooth. The infection may lead to an opening between the mouth and the nasal cavity. This is called an oronasal fistula.
  • Small dog breeds are more likely to develop periodontal disease than large dogs because the teeth of small dogs are often too large for their mouths, according to veterinary dentistry experts.
  • A broken tooth is a common problem, especially among outdoor dogs. The canine teeth of working dogs are essential to allowing the dogs to carry prey and other objects. If these teeth become broken, a canine dentist can prepare a metal crown.