Sunday, February 28, 2010

Another thought on Ownership versus Guardianship

Ownership versus Guardianship
(Approved by the Executive Board, June 2005)
Source: AVMA Task Force on Legal Status of Animals

Some animal owners may like to refer to themselves as "pet guardians," however "guardian" is a legal term that has significant legal implications and repercussions. Its use to describe the relationship between animals and their owners is inappropriate. Under well-developed principles of guardianship law, guardianship is a fiduciary relationship (the highest legal civil duty owed by one person to another). The ward's interests are always to prevail over those of the guardian. Some conflicts that arise from application of human guardianship law to animals are described in the text that follows. On the basis of these conflicts, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends that "guardian" not be adopted, even to semantically describe the relationship between humans and their animals.

The AVMA recognizes that American society has evolved from an agrarian one in which the animals most of us owned primarily had economic utility, to an urban one in which most of us derive some emotional value from our animals. Use of guardian, however, does not clarify the responsibilities of owners to their animals that are important for forming good human-animal bonds. Instead, use of guardian may create legal questions and consequences that have the potential to adversely affect both the animals and humans involved in these relationships. Such legal questions and consequences apply to animal owners, service providers, society and animals, and include, but are not limited to:

Animal Owners

Reductions in the rights of owners and imposition of additional legal obligations—With respect to veterinary care, animal owners will have less authority and fewer treatment options. Required treatment may exceed the financial capacity of the owner to pay, yet guardianship will require that owners accept such financial burdens. Financial inability to provide treatment could easily result in increased animal abandonment.

Entailment of wards—Use of guardian gives rise to its counterpart "ward." The ward is defined as the person for whose benefit the guardianship has been established. Wards have legal rights. Applying human guardianship law to animals would mean that animals have legal rights that can be recognized in court (i.e., animals would have legal standing). This may subject owners to civil lawsuits filed by third parties on behalf of the animal.

Inability to select procedures such as euthanasia or spay/neuter—Owners wishing to relieve animal suffering by euthanasia may no longer have that option. Non-health justifications for euthanasia, including population control, may no longer be acceptable under guardianship. Spaying and neutering may also not be possible, if such procedures were not deemed to be in the best interest of the animal.

Confidentiality of veterinary information and control of medical records—Where confidentiality of veterinary medical records is governed by state statutes or regulations, conditions are defined under which and to whom medical records may or must be released. Generally owners have authority over release of their animals' medical records. Under guardianship, a veterinarian, contrary to the owner's wishes, may be able to release information to third parties because he/she believes it is in the best interest of the animal. Conversely, the veterinarian may choose not to release medical records to the owner or others because he/she believes it is not in the animal's best interest to do so.

Ability to transfer an animal to another party—Background checks may be required to ensure that transfer of an animal from one guardian to another is in the best interest of the animal. Transfer of guardianship from one guardian to another, for profit, may not be legal. Third parties may have the opportunity to impede transfer proceedings if they deem such action to be in the best interest of the animal.

Coverage of animal-related claims by homeowners' insurance—Homeowners' property loss insurance may no longer cover animal-related claims should animals be no longer defined as property under the law. Under guardianship, animals would no longer be considered property.

Required registration as guardian—In states having guardian registries, animal guardians may be required to register and to comply with all laws and regulations pertaining to that registration. Requirements for registration could include background checks, bonding, and conflict-of-interest evaluations. Registration processes are time-consuming and potentially costly.

Annual guardianship reports—Animal guardians may be required to file annual guardianship reports, including associated financial reports.
Service Providers

Loss of protection under animal abandonment laws—Animal abandonment laws are predicated on the basis that animals are property. Guardianship removes the status of animals as property.

Veterinarians' responsibilities unclear—The veterinarian's responsibilities become unclear when a guardian's direction is contrary to the best interests of the animal. Veterinarians may be required to go to court to obtain a judicial determination as to whether or not theirs or the guardian's direction is the appropriate course of action. Inability to provide timely treatment to an ill or injured animal during the course of court proceedings creates the potential for unnecessary animal suffering. For example, debate as to whether to treat a compound fracture versus selecting euthanasia for the animal could create the potential for continued pain, infection and other complications while awaiting a judicial decision. Cases involving animal issues are likely to have lower priority than those involving human issues.

Prohibitions on prescribing and dispensing controlled substances—Veterinarians may not be able to lawfully prescribe or dispense controlled substances or legend drugs to a guardian who no longer has legal status as the owner of an animal (i.e., current law assumes animals are owned and that owners receive drugs and administer them, as prescribed, to the animal).

Payment for services—Guardianship may create questions as to whom (guardian) or what (guardianship) is responsible for payment of associated animal services. Personal payment guarantees may need to be obtained.

Interstate transport—Service providers may have an obligation to prevent the physical transfer of an animal from a guardianship state to an ownership state.

Unconstitutional taking of private property—A complete shift to guardianship could result in claims of a state having unconstitutionally taken private property (animals) without just compensation.

Impacts on existing statutes and regulations—Numerous statutes, regulations and policies would have to be reviewed and language altered to replace owner with guardian. These include, but not limited to, pharmacy laws, controlled substance laws, tax laws, veterinary practice laws, and other laws, regulations and policies related to animal use and services.

Impacts on ability to responsibly use animals—Guardianship may preclude the responsible use of animals for agricultural production (food and fiber), research, exhibition and entertainment (e.g., racing, circuses, rodeo), and companionship. Use of animals and animal products for such purposes may no longer be legal.

Ability to control, quarantine and vaccinate animals—Guardianship may affect the ability of governmental agencies to control and quarantine animals and require vaccination. Ensuring animal and public health requires the ability to effectively control and eradicate disease. Quarantine, vaccination, and sometimes depopulation, are necessary components of effective disease control and eradication.

Conflicts between federal and state statutes, regulations and policies—Potential conflicts may arise between states' laws, regulations and policies that are predicated on the basis of guardianship and federal laws, regulations and policies that are predicated on the basis of animals as property.

Homeless/unwanted animals—Financial burdens and inability to control burgeoning populations (e.g., problems associated with euthanasia and spay/neuter choices) may both contribute to the problem of unwanted animals.

Use of assistance animals—The concept of assistance animals (e.g., guide dogs, hearing dogs) may be objectionable under guardianship; therefore, there may be fewer animals available to provide such services. The use of animals for search and rescue may also not be acceptable.

Burdens of ownership—Owning or keeping animals may become burdensome with consequent negative impacts on animal-related industries, including loss of jobs.

Bidirectional benefits of human-animal bonds lost—Under guardianship, people may be less willing to possess animals because of concerns about increased liability. Some responsible individuals and animals would thereby be deprived of the benefits of the human-animal bond.

Reduction in animals' receipt of needed services—Guardianship may reduce a person's willingness to seek appropriate services for animals in a timely fashion.

Animals left in limbo—Guardianship may leave the welfare of animals in limbo during associated legal proceedings. A delay in the veterinarian's ability to provide medical care is one example.

Adverse effects on health and welfare—Guardianship may adversely affect the health and welfare of individual animals and animal populations.

Source: AVMA Task Force on Legal Status of Animals
Contact: Dr. Gail Golab, Asst. Dir., Prof. and Public Affairs, AVMA, 847-285-6618

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Winter Storm Feb 27 Closed

Good Morning!

With ice and 4-8 Inches of new snow plus a prediction of more...SNOW. We are closed today. Stay warm! Stay safe! I am planning on opening tomorrow at 9 am for classes and social.

Friday, February 26, 2010

With spring animals...what for orphaned baby animals!

So you have an orphaned puppy, kitten, or a wild creature...NOW WHAT!!!

How and When to Rescue Wildlife (from

Some of the questions most commonly asked about wildlife are addressed by the following paragraphs. Please keep in mind that if any animal, baby or adult, needs rescuing, the sooner you get it to an experienced and licenced wildlife rehabilitator, the better the chances are for the animal's survival.

Most baby animals are not abandoned even though you may not see the parents. Parent animals leave the nest to forage for food for the babies, and feed themselves, and can remain hidden in relatively little cover. Watch from a well-hidden place to see if the parents return. Please do not disturb the nest. Birds, for instance, will return to the nest to feed babies every 15 minutes to half hour if they do not feel threatened. Rabbits, on the other hand, only return to the nest twice a day. If you are not sure about a rabbit nest, sprinkle flour around the perimeter of the nest and leave it alone. The mother rabbit will leave tracks in the flour. Do not disturb her nest. If the mother rabbit does not return to her nest within 10-12 hours, or if a mother bird does not return to her nest within 4-8 hours, please contact a wildlife rehabilitator or the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in your area for a referral.

We were all taught as youngsters that a parent animal will not care for a baby after humans have touched the baby. This is not true. Approaching a wild animal's nest or offspring can cause a parent animal to leave the area. However, if you return the baby to the nest and leave the area, parents will return to care for the baby. The longer you remain in the area, the more likely you are to disrupt the normal behavior of the parents. If you are sure the baby animal is abandoned or lost, contact a wildlife rehabilitator in your area.

If you know that a baby animal is orphaned because you have seen the parents injured or killed, and the baby animal's body feels cool to the touch, or the baby is crying loudly, you must act quickly AND CAREFULLY. Wild animals, even babies, can injure you. If you are willing to help, please place the animal in a box lined with paper towels with a source of heat, such as a hot water bottle or a heating pad. The source of heat should be warm to the touch but not hot. Please do not allow your children to play with or hold the animal. As much as your children would enjoy this experience, it is terribly frightening to a baby animal. Place the animal in a dark, warm and quiet place, and immediately call a wildlife rehabilitator or the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in your area for a referral. The sooner you get the animal to an experienced rehabilitator, the better the chances are for the animal's survival.

Ducklings found alone should not be left alone. Mallard hens do not return to the nest once ducklings are hatched. Chances are they hatched after the hen and other hatchlings left or they fell behind. Do not try to introduce them to other hens and ducklings as the hen will undoubtedly defend her own clutch and may possibly try to kill other ducklings. Please keep the duckling(s) in a warm and dark box lined with paper towels, and please do not give them water to swim in. They can chill and drown in a very small amount of water. Please do not allow your children to play with or hold the duckling(s). Call a wildlife rehabilitator or the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in your area for a referral. The sooner you get the duckling(s) to an experienced wildlife rehabilitator, the better the chances are for the duckling's survival.

Baby mammals and birds do not eat cow's milk, eggs, or bread. Please do not feed any of these to any baby animal, bird or mammal. In fact, injured or chilled animals should not be fed at all. Again, keep it warm, quiet and isolated. Please do not allow children to handle the animal. Call a wildlife rehabilitator or the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in your area for a referral.

If you find an adult bird or mammal that is injured, please keep in mind that stress from capture and handling will jeopardize its chances of recovery. Place it in a cardboard box or kennel carrier lined with a towel or paper towels, cover the box with a towel to block light (it will still be able to breathe), and place it in a dark, warm, quiet, and protected place. Please do not try to comfort the animal by talking to it or holding it. It is very likely in pain and is most certainly terrified by contact with a human. Contact a wildlife rehabilitator immediately. Again, the sooner you get the animal to an experienced wildlife rehabilitator, the better the chances are for the animal's survival. We cannot stress this enough.

If you find an injured raccoon, skunk or fox, PLEASE do not attempt to handle the animal. It is possible that the animal could carry rabies. Please locate a Rabies-Vector-Species-permitted rehabilitator and immediately contact them.

So you have an orphaned puppy, kitten, or other animal. Below are some helpful options for you in this emergency.


Orphaned Kittens

Raising an orphaned kitten is a noble and rewarding experience. The bonding that will occur in the first few days will likely last for many years. Orphaned kittens are very fragile; raising them requires jumping numerous hurdles. Do not be disappointed if you are not successful.

What problems am I likely to encounter?

Several critical problems must be addressed in caring for orphaned kittens. Among these are chilling, dehydration, and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). These problems are interrelated and may often exist at the same time. Close observation and prompt attention if any of these problems develop are essential to survival. Of course, proper feeding of the orphaned kitten is extremely important.


Chilling in newborn kittens can lead to significant mortality. A kitten will dissipate far more body heat per pound of body weight than an adult cat. The normal newborn kitten depends upon radiant heat from his mother to help maintain his body temperature. In the absence of the mother, various methods of providing heat, such as incubators, heat lamps, or hot water bottles can be used.

Rectal temperatures in a normal newborn kitten range from 95 to 99o F (35 to 37.2oC) for the first week, 97 to 100oF (36.1 to 37.7o C) for the second and third weeks, and reach the normal temperature of an adult (100 to 102o F; 37.7 to 38.9o C) by the fourth week.

When the rectal temperature drops below 94o F (34.4o C), the accompanying metabolic alterations are life-threatening. Immediate action is necessary to provide the warmth the kitten needs to survive. A healthy newborn can usually survive chilling if warmed slowly.

During the first four days of his life, the orphaned kitten should be maintained in an environmental temperature of 85 to 90o F (29.4 to 32.2o C). The temperature may gradually be decreased to 80o F (26.7o C) by the seventh to tenth day and to 72o F (22.2o C) by the end of the fourth week. If the litter is large, the temperature need not be as high. As kittens huddle together, their body heat provides additional warmth.

Caution: Too rapid warming of a chilled kitten may result in death.


The lack of regular liquid intake or the exposure of the kitten to a low humidity environment can easily result in dehydration. The inefficiency of the digestion and metabolism of a chilled kitten may also lead to dehydration and other changes.

Experienced individuals can detect dehydration by the sense of touch. Two signs of dehydration are the loss of elasticity in the skin and dry and sticky mucous membranes (gums) in the mouth.

An environmental relative humidity of 55 to 65 percent is adequate to prevent drying of the skin in a normal newborn kitten. A relative humidity of 85 to 90 percent is more effective in maintaining kittens if they are small and weak.

Caution: The environmental temperature should not exceed 90o F (32.2o C) when high humidity is provided. A temperature of 95o F (35o C) coupled with relative humidity of 95 percent can lead to respiratory distress.

Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels)

Signs of hypoglycemia (abnormal decrease of sugar in the blood) are severe depression, muscle twitching and sometimes convulsions. If a kitten shows signs of hypoglycemia, a solution containing glucose will have to be administered. A few drops of corn syrup on the tongue can be life-saving.

What do I feed my orphaned kitten?

Total nutrition for the newborn orphans must be supplied by a milk replacer until the kittens are about three weeks of age. At this age, the kittens are ready to start nibbling moistened solid food.

Preferred diets:

A commercial kitten milk replacer which can be purchased at pet supplies stores, or for short-term emergencies, you can make up a diet:

l cup of milk
l tablespoon corn oil
l pinch of salt
egg yolks (no whites)

Blend mixture uniformly.
Is the temperature of the food important?

Since the newborn may have trouble generating enough heat to maintain his body temperature, the milk replacer should be warmed to 95 to 100o F (35 to 37.8o C) for the best results. Testing the milk replacer's temperature on one's forearm (as for babies) is generally accurate enough. The milk replacer should be about the same temperature as one's skin or slightly warmer. As the kittens grow older, the milk replacer can be fed at room temperature.

How do I feed my kitten?

Spoon feeding is slow and requires great patience. Each spoonful must be slowly "poured" into the kitten's mouth to prevent liquids from entering the lungs. The kitten's head must not be elevated, or the lungs may fill with fluids. Newborn kittens usually do not have a well-developed gag reflex to signal this.

Dropper feeding accomplishes the same result as spoon feeding but is somewhat cleaner and generally speedier.

Baby bottles made for kittens can be used quite successfully in most situations. The size of the hole in the nipple is critical for success. If the bottle is turned upside down and milk replacer drips from the nipple, the hole is too large. Use of this nipple may cause drowning of the kitten. If the bottle is turned upside down and milk replacer comes out only after considerable squeezing of the bottle, the hole is too small. Use of this nipple will result in the kitten becoming discouraged and refusing to nurse. The hole is the proper size if the bottle is turned upside down and milk replacer drips from the nipple with minimal squeezing of the bottle.

Tube feeding is the easiest, cleanest and most efficient method of hand feeding. However, it requires proper equipment and technique to prevent putting milk replacer into the kitten's lungs. If bottle feeding is not successful, your vet will supply the equipment and demonstrate the proper technique. This is not a difficult procedure, so do not hesitate to ask about it if it is needed.

When and how much do I feed?

Commercial milk replacers have directions on their labels for proper amounts to feed. It is necessary for the kitten's weight to be obtained properly in ounces or grams. The amounts on the labels are based on the kitten getting only the milk replacer. The amounts given are also for a 24 hour period. That quantity should be divided by the number of feedings per 24 hours. Four meals, equally spaced during a 24 hour period, are ample for feeding a kitten when adequate nutrients are provided. Six or more feedings may be necessary if the kitten is small or weak. Hand feeding can generally be ended by the third week and certainly by the fourth. By this time the kitten can consume food, free-choice, from a dish (see below).

How do I get the kitten to urinate and defecate?

The kitten's genital area must be stimulated after feeding to cause urination and defecation. The genital area should be massaged with a moist cloth or cotton ball to stimulate action. This cleaning should continue during the first two weeks. If this procedure is not followed, the kitten may become constipated.

When does the kitten start to eat from a bowl?

By three weeks, the kitten can start to eat food from the dish along with the milk replacer. A gruel can be made by thoroughly mixing a kitten food (canned or dry) with the milk replacer to reach the consistency of a thick milk shake. The mixture should not be too thick at first or the kitten will not consume very much. As the consumption of food increases, the amount of milk replacer can be gradually decreased. By four to four and one-half weeks, the orphaned kitten can consume enough moistened solid food to meet his needs. It is better to avoid starting a kitten on a baby food regimen. This creates extra work and can also create a finicky eater. Many such foods will not meet the nutritional needs of a growing kitten.

Should my kitten be treated for worms?

Vets routinely treat kittens for worms at 3 and 6 weeks of age. He will need to see the kitten at the appropriate ages so that hecan be accurately weighed.

When is the first vaccination given?

The first vaccination is normally given to kittens at 6-8 weeks of age. If your kitten did not nurse from his mother during the first 2-3 days after birth, there will be no protective immunity passed to him. If that is the case, the first vaccination should be given at about 2-3 weeks of age.


Most female dogs are excellent mothers. But occasionally, when the momma dog is very young or is one of the temperamental toy breeds, it may neglect its offspring. Some older dogs suffer milk failure and have no milk to give their puppies. Other mothers produce contaminated milk or vaginal exudates that are toxic to the puppies. At other times, a litters contains a star-crossed runt that will not survive unless we hand raise it ourselves. Any pup that weighs twenty or more percent less than its littermates is best raised by hand.

Supplies You Will Need:
You will need to have a nest box for the baby or babies. Since the infants often soil their container, I usually find a small cardboard box that I can readily replace to keep the baby in.

You will need a heating pad. I usually pick up a heavy-duty model at WalMart. Then I go to their aquarium section and purchase an aquarium thermometer. In the same section you will find pet nursing bottles and Hartz Advanced Care Puppy Milk Replacement powder. You can also purchase Esbilac powdered puppy milk by Pet Ag (Borden’s) at veterinary offices and pet stores. A small food scale is also nice to have to weigh the infant(s). If the pup is weak you may want to tube feed it. If so, pick up a 3-milliliter syringe and an 18Guage butterfly infusion set from a veterinary hospital or human medical supply center.

Delivering The Puppy:
When puppies are born they are wrapped in a clear sac called the amniotic membrane. This membrane must be removed from the puppy’s face in order for it to breathe. I tear this membrane with my fingers and slide the whole pup out. Then I snip off the umbilical cord which connects the puppy’s belly button to the afterbirth with a scissors. I leave about a half inch of cord attached to the puppy and tie it off with a piece of thread so it will not bleed. Then I use a rubber bulb to clean mucus away from the puppy’s mouth, throat and nose.

Nest Box:
The nest box does not need to be elaborate. It needs to be just big enough for the puppy to turn around but not much bigger. Be sure the sides are tall enough so that the puppy can not fall out. Line the box with crumpled Kleenex tissue, diapers or paper towels. To maintain temperature, keep a heating pad set at its lowest setting under one side of the box. Wrap the pad with sufficient bath towels so that the inside of the box stays at 97 degrees Fahrenheit but no higher. With only one side of the box heated the puppy will be able to crawl away from the heat source if it gets too warm. Place the box in a draft free location. As the baby matures the temperature in the box can be gradually lowered.

Newborn puppies can not generate enough heat to keep their bodies warm and have not yet developed a shivering reflex. They will rely on you to regulate temperature during the first 14 days of their life. Normal rectal temperature for a newborn puppy is 94-98F. By their second week of life, rectal temperature should be 97-100F. By the fourth week normal rectal temperature is 100-102F. The first thing to do with chilled puppies is to warm them up very slowly to ninety-five degrees. Orphan pups need an environmental temperature of about 97°F (36°C) the first week, in the mid 80's the second week, and then in the 70's. When the mother is there to keep the pups warm, additional temperature is unnecessary.. When the pup reaches the end of its first month of life it can tolerate room air temperature of 70-75F.

Be very cautious using the heating pad since the puppy can be easily hurt by too high a temperature while it is still too young to move away from the heat source.

The First Milk Or Colostrum:
Colostrum is the first milk that the mother produces after giving birth. It is very thick, yellowish-cream in color, and rich in antibodies that protect the puppy against disease. Puppies that do not ingest colostrum during their first twelve hours of life can not fight diseases they encounter as well as pups that do. Giving the puppy oral doses of blood plasma from a healthy dog is one way to compensate for the lack of colostrum. When this is not done (and it is usually not done) one needs to be especially sanitary when handling and feeding the puppy.

What To Feed:
I prefer to feed puppies a powdered infant formula that I prepares just before use. Two excellent ones that are available are Esbilac marketed by Pet Ag, which is available at veterinary offices and pet stores and Hartz Advanced Care Puppy Milk Replacement powder available at WalMart Stores. Mix both according to the directions on the label (two parts boiled water to one part powder). Store the opened canister in the freezer. Allow some time after mixing a batch for bubbles to leave the formula. Keep reconstituted formula in the refrigerator between uses and discard any remaining formula at the end of the day.

If for some reason you can not obtain puppy milk replacement you can mix a formula. It consists of one-half cup evaporated whole milk, one half cup boiled water, one teaspoon full of corn oil, one drop of pediatric multivitamin (Visorbin or equivalent), two raw egg yolks and a tablespoon full of plain whole yogurt. For some reason, formulas based on evaporated milk cause less diarrhea and indigestion than those based on fresh cow’s milk. Adding a quarter of a lactase tablet to each batch of formula helps the puppy digest the large amount of lactose present in cow’s milk.

Bottle Feeding:
I mix my milk formula just before I use it. A good puppy-nursing bottle holds 2-4 ounces of formula. They are generally sold without holes punched in the nipple. I use a flame-heated needle to melt two small holes in the latex cap. The holes should only be big enough for a few drops of milk drip out when the bottle is vigorously shaken. If too many holes are punched in the cap the puppies tend to inhale the formula rather than ingest it. If too few or too small a hole is made the puppy will ingest too much air. Mix the formula well so there are no clumps. Let it cool until it is slightly above room temperature. Always feed pups while they are resting on their stomachs. Never feed them upright or upside down as you would a human infant. Gently insert the nipple into the pup’s mouth using a prying motion while you apply pressure to the sides of the bottle to release a drop or two of milk. From then on the pup should suck on its own.

We all have a tendency to over feed puppies. It is much safer to give them a little less than they desire. Over-feeding can lead to pneumonia when milk is inhaled into the lungs rather then swallowed into the stomach. It can also cause diarrhea. It is much safer to feed smaller amounts more frequently than larger amounts less frequently. If milk bubbles out of the pup’s nose it is flowing too rapidly from the bottle. This is usually due to too large a hole(s) in the nipple or over feeding. I microwave a bowl of water and set the bottle in it to heat the formula to 99-100 degrees Fahrenheit before use.

Some owners find it easier to feed very small newborn pups from a one or three milliliter syringe and switch to a bottle when the pup is two weeks old.

Boil nursing bottles and syringes between every use.

How Much To Feed:
The two powdered formulas I suggested contain about one calorie per milliliter when reconstituted at one part formula to two parts water. With either of these products, each day the average puppy needs 25-35 milliliters of formula for every 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) of body weight. Divide this number by the number of feedings per day to obtain the amount for each feeding. During week two, give 15-20 ml for every 100 grams body weight. During weeks three and four give 20 ml for every 100 grams body weight. These amounts are always only a rough estimate. Feed the puppy until its belly is gently rounded or pear-shaped.

How Often To Feed:
Feed very young puppies every three or four hours or six to eight feeding a day. Some people get up to give their puppy a midnight feeding but this is not necessary. By the time the puppy is three weeks old, four feedings per day are quite sufficient. At five weeks of age the puppy should be eating some solid foods. At this age feed it two to three times a day if at all. Puppies that are hungry and need feeding will cry continuously, move their heads from side to side and suckle on each other and on objects in the nest box.

Burping The Puppy:
After each feeding hold the puppy upright with its tummy against your shoulder and pat it gently until it burps releasing trapped air. Nursing bottles that do not release enough milk lead to more air being trapped. If the puppy should bloat or become colicky add a few drops of infant anticolic medicine (simethicone, Equate Infants’ Gas Relief, WalMart Stores Inc.) to the formula.

Helping Your Puppy Eliminate:
Normal puppy stools are yellowish brown with a jam-like consistency. After every feeding, gently massage the anus and urinary orifice with a cotton ball or Kleenex moistened with warm water until they urinate and defecate. Be very gentle when you do this and don’t worry if no urine or stool is produced after every feeding. By the time the pup is three weeks old it should be able to go without your help.

Problems That Can Arise:
If diarrhea occurs add more water to the formula to make up for the fluid that is lost. If this does not rapidly cure the problem the pup may need to be placed on antibiotics and receive subcutaneous fluids. Watery yellowish or greenish stools are sometimes associated with feeding too much. If they occur, try diluting the formula 50-50 with Pedialyte until the stools return to normal consistency. You can also give the pup 2-3 drops of kaopectate just prior to each feeding.

Newborn puppies quickly become dehydrated if they are not nursing. They can also become dehydrated if their environment is too hot and dry. Two indicators of dehydration are loss of elasticity of the skin (the skin stays tented when gently pinched up) and decreased saliva production (the gums and tongue feel tacky or dry).

Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar can develop rapidly in a puppy that is not nursing. These puppies are limp, depressed and weak. Their gums are often bluish and their muscles may twitch. Dextrose solution or corn syrup placed on their tongue is sometimes helpful but it is better if these pups are left in an intensive care setting at a veterinary center where dextrose can be administered intravenously or intralingually (in the tongue).

Because newborn puppies can not regulate their temperature well they are quite susceptible to chilling. If this should occur the best way to warm them is to place them on a hot water bottle and gently blow them with a hair drier.

Stools that are clumped and cheese-like can be due to feeding the formula too concentrated. When puppies strain to defecate and pass overly hard stools, increase the frequency of feeding and dilute the formula. Impacted pups also have bloated abdomens. You can give them a few drops of mineral oil or cat hairball ointment to help them evacuate the stool. If they still remain bound up they may need a warm water enema. This is best done at a veterinary hospital.

It is prudent to worm your puppies with pyrantel pamoate when they are six weeks of age. You can purchase this worming medicine at all WalMart Stores.

If the puppies are kept isolated from other dogs their first vaccinations can be given at 12 weeks of age. If other unvaccinated dogs come in contact with the pup, the first vaccine should be administered at 6-8 weeks. The vaccine should immunize against canine distemper, canine hepatitis (adeno-2 virus) and parvovirus. Some include leptospirosis. At 12 weeks it should receive a rabies vaccination and at 12 and 18 weeks the pup should receive a booster of its first vaccination.

Tube Feeding:

I discourage tube feeding of puppies that will nurse a bottle because puppies need the companionship they get when we slowly feed them from a bottle. But puppies that are too weak to nurse need to be tube fed. It is difficult to explain this process in writing. The best way to learn how to tube feed is to have someone experienced in the technique do it with you the first time. To tube feed, I fill a three or six-milliliter syringe with heated formula being careful that no air bubbles are present. Then I attach an eighteen-gauge infusion (butterfly) set to the syringe. I snip off the needle and fill the remaining tubing with milk. Then I lay the tube along side the puppy and make a mark with an indelible pen on the tube when the tip is alongside the puppy’s last rib. Then I gently open the puppy’s mouth and begin to thread the tubing over the puppy’s tongue very slowly. This gives the pup time to swallow the tubing rather than have it go into the windpipe. If you are accidentally in the windpipe the pup will squirm and fuss. When I think the tube is correctly placed, with my thumb and index finger I carefully palpate the puppy’s neck to feel two tube-like structures. One, in the center of the neck, will be the windpipe (trachea). The other will be the catheter tube. If I only feel one structure I remove the tube and reinsert it again until I am certain I am in the esophagus and not in the trachea. Then I slowly inject the contents of the syringe. When tube feeding feed no more than 75% of what the puppy would have taken orally so it does not regurgitate the formula.

Bathing Puppies:
During their first week of life it is best to just clean puppies with a damp pledget of cotton. When the puppy is one week old its body can be submersed in warm water. When the bath is finished carefully blow dry the puppy. Be careful to keep the dryer far away from the puppy so as not to overheat it.

Weaning – You Are Almost There!

Between 3 and 4 weeks, puppies should begin accepting fine textured solid foods. By four and a half to five and a half weeks the puppy should be weaned. Purchase some cans of gourmet cat or dog food in chicken and beef flavors and smear a bit on the roof of the puppy’s mouth. It will soon get the idea. Do not feed it fish flavored foods or it will become a fussy eater. This is the same time you should begin to offer formula in a bowel. The earlier puppies eat on their own the better. I do not suggest baby foods because they are too low in calcium and vitamins. Although many puppies will eat as early as four weeks, some take an additional two or three weeks before they express interest in solid food. As soon as puppy chow is offered, keep a dish of water available. By the time the pup is 10 weeks old it should be receiving puppy chow dry.

When the entire litter is deprived of the mother's milk, if the mother
dies or her milk does not come in (agalactia), is not sufficient
(hypogalactia) or is toxic (mastitis), use of a milk substitute
adapted for dogs usually ensures the survival of the puppies, although
there may be a slight slowdown (less than ten percent) in growth
compared to the average of the breed, which is often regained later by
spontaneous consumption of a weaning formula.

On their own, puppies will nurse more than twenty times per day. It
would be difficult for the owner to keep up with such a feeding
schedule! A schedule of feeding once every three hours for the first
week should be adequate, as long as the feedings are regular and the
sleep schedule is respected (puppies sleep more than ninety percent of
the time during the first week) so the puppies get the rest so
essential to bonding and imprinting.

While it is possible to adapt cow's milk for puppies, powdered puppy
formulas are much better, especially since their lactose content is

In addition to saving time and money, powdered puppy formulas are
packaged dry. This limits the risk of diarrhea in the puppies, whose
stomach acid is not yet strong enough to completely sterilize the
digesting food.

After adding water and heating the formula to 37°C, the owner can feed
the puppy either by means of a bottle, or by gavage, using a probe
(urinary probe), if the puppy refuses to nurse. If the milk is given
by mouth using a syringe, it should have the consistency of rather
thick baby cereal to trigger the swallowing reflex and limit the risk
of food "going down the wrong way." If food enters the respiratory
tract, bronchial pneumonia may result.

The following are a few points that will help decide how much milk to
feed the puppies:

One kilogram of bitch milk contains about 1350 kilocalories.
A puppy needs three to four millilitres of milk per gram of weight gain.
The caloric requirements of nursing puppies are more than two-and-a-
half times greater than the maintenance requirements of an adult dog
of the same weight.

For example, if a one-month-old puppy weighs three kilograms (adult
weight twenty-two kilograms), its daily average weight gain is about
six grams per kilogram of estimated adult weight, or 130 grams per day.
To gain this much weight, the puppy must eat 4 x 130 = 520 grams of
milk per day, which is equal to 0.52 x 1350 = 600 kilocalories.

A household recipe that can be used temporarily as a substitute for
bitch milk.
270g Unsweetened Evaporated Milk
70g Fresh Cream
450g Nine eggs without shell
56g One egg with shell
154g Mineral Water
TOTAL 1000g
From the ANIWA Encyclopaedia

1 cup of milk
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Flax seed oil
2 raw egg yolks
1-2 junket tablets
Put it in a bottle, shake it vigorously, then stand it in hot water,
it goes into a custard type consistency. You can also add liquid
vitamins (B & C), but if that puts her off drinking it, then don't
give it in the food.
As an orphan Toy breed pup gets a little older, I start using (human)
baby bottles (Nuk or Avent brands) and teats for newborn's (Pigeon
cross-cut size for 3 months has been recommended also)


1 x 8 oz. carton of vanilla yoghurt
1 x can of evaporated milk (not low fat)
6 oz boiled cooled water
2 x egg yolks (someone once told me to add a tablespoon of mayonnaise)
This keeps well in the refrigerator and the pups thrive on it. Put a
drop of Pet Nutri Drops in before the feeding or on their tongues
before the feeding.
From the Walkowitcz-Wilcox book Successful Dog Breeding and Canine

10 oz. evaporated milk (whole fat or part skim -- do not use all skim)
or goat's milk
3 oz. sterilized water (baby water or boiled water) -- delete if using
goat's milk
1 egg yolk (raw)
2 Tablespoons regular mayonnaise (optional)
1 cup whole fat yoghurt (whole fat or part skim -- avoid all skim)
Place all ingredients in a blender and mix (or use a wire whisk) till
well blended. Use all formula within 7 days.

Warm formula to puppy body temperature before feeding (dogs are 101
degrees). Always discard formula leftover at a feeding. This formula
is thick and so is best administered by stomach tube. If using a
bottle, you may need to enlarge the hole slightly. It provides 11
calories per cc.

1 cup Carnation Evaporated Milk
1 cup boiled, cooled water
1 raw egg yolk
2 tablespoons Natural Yoghurt
1 teaspoon honey

1 cup milk Goat's milk or evaporated milk
1 teaspoon salad oil
1 drop baby vitamins
2 egg yolks

1 cup of canned Condensed milk or Evaporated milk
4 oz plain, full-fat yoghurt
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon of baby vitamins
1 envelope of Knox unflavoured gelatine in addition to other
ingredients will help keep stools solid.
13 oz. can of evaporated milk
Equal amount of water
4 oz. of plain yoghurt
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon of liquid vitamins.
The water element is very important in any formula. The newborn puppy
has a tremendous need for water, since he himself is almost 85% water.
50/50 Evaporated Milk and WARM (pre-boiled) water
1 beaten egg yoke
1 Teaspoon of Sandoz Calcium
1 Teaspoon of Glucose Powder
3 drops of Pentavite Vitamin Drops
Strain with a tea strainer.
This is used as a supplement if you have to hand-raise, given to the
bitch during whelping process, used to wean puppies. It is suppose to
be as close to bitch milk as possible and produce superior puppies.
1 Tablespoon Honey
1 Tablespoon Whipping Cream
2 Egg Yolks
1 Can PET (brand) Evaporated Milk
2 Packages Knox (brand) unflavoured gelatin
1 Can water
Combine all above together. Add one more can of water. Blend well.
Refrigerate. The stuff turns to a "pudding" state, but melts when
1 tin of Carnation Evaporated Milk
Equal amount of water
1 whole egg
1 heaped teaspoon of honey
Mix all together and strain, then heat in microwave to desired
Diet can fully support life or be supplemental
1 x regular size can of Evaporated Milk (cows)
1 x equal size can of Water
1 x 8 ounce container regular Plain Yogurt ( 6 oz container also OK)
1 x strained jar baby food meat, first choice is Veal, second is
Chicken, third is Lamb. Must have NO Additives (other ingredients and/
or spices) and can only be prepared with Meat Broth as the fluid (in
the USA I recommend a brand called Beechnut)
½ teaspoon honey - can be reduced or omitted if stools too loose.
Blend all Ingredients. Can be refrigerated several days (3). Can be
gently heated in microwave. Will flow through baby bottle nipples (I
use Preemie crosscut nipples as they are the softest, most flexible)


1 (one) cup whole (full cream) milk
1 (one) teaspoon of corn (or other vegetable) oil
1 (one) egg yolk (NO white)
1 (one) pinch of salt
1 (one) drop of infant multivitamin supplement.
Blend the mixture.
Warm to body temperature before feeding (in warm water ie. DO NOT HEAT
Refrigerate unused portion.
Discard any unused mixture after 24 hours.

1 cup whole milk (cow or goat)
1 pinch table grade salt
3 egg yolks - no whites
1 tablespoon corn oil
¼ teaspoon liquid vitamins
Blend and serve at 95° - 100° or skin temperature
This formula is meant to be used on newborns who are chilled, weak or
otherwise compromised. This formula should be administered every 1-2
hours (or more often) by stomach tube and the puppy should be warmed
slowly. Once the puppy begins to maintain a normal body temperature,
regular feeding can resume. NEVER FEED A CHILLED PUPPY MILK REPLACER.
8oz. lactated ringers solution or sterilized water
1 tablespoon white Karo syrup or white sugar (do not use honey)
Substitute plain, unflavoured Pedialyte
Mix ingredients and warm to body temperature. Preferred administration
is stomach tube (to ensure correct dosage). Feed ½ cc per 2 oz. of
body weight once per hour. If puppy is very weak, you may half the
dosage and feed twice as often. This formula should be followed up
with milk replacer as soon as the puppy is maintaining normal body
temperature. This formula should not be fed exclusively for more than
8 hours.
Written by Cathy Ochs-Cline. Links to other articles by Cathy on
Pudding Recipe

large 4 cup size vanilla pudding
½ cup sugar
4 cups of milk
4 egg yolks
Cook on low heat to pudding consistency and offer to new mother at
body temperature. She can eat as much as she wants. Has never caused
diarrhoea and brings in abundance of milk!!!

OR from scratch...

mix the following in a saucepan and cook to pudding consistency.
2/3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons cornstarch
½ teas salt
4 cups milk (or one can evap milk plus equal parts water to make quart)
4 egg yolks
3 teaspoons vanilla
Feed with syringe, on spoon, or let eat from bowl.

...full of protein and nourishment....have never had it cause diarrhoea.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Stop the leash pulling...fix the jumping...end the surfing

Spring Workshops!

On the Road Again: Saturday April 11 , 2010 at 3:00-5:00pm. This fun class provides the desired skills in order to handle your dog in public. Class participants will practice skills in several different locations in the community. Fee is $60

Dog and Pet First Aid: Sunday March 7 , 2010 at 1:00-3:00pm . This informative workshop will be both lecture and hands on. It will cover a variety of topics and participants will gain the skills needed to deal with emergencies or injury. Fee is $55. Please, NO DOGS.

Focus, Control and Recall EVERYTIME ™ and Counter Surfin: Saturday March 13, at 2:00-3:30pm. Learn to keep your dog’s focus, in any situation, including dog parks, around those pesky squirrels, learn Come When Called EVERYTIME ™and so much more. Fee is $40. Limited to 5 students.

Polite Greetings, Leash Walking and Too Much Barking:Thursday April 22, at 7:00-8:15pm. Does your dog's pulling or jumping embarrass you? Or maybe you just want your arm back in its socket and the scratches on your legs to heal. Whatever your reasons for teaching your dog not to jump up during greetings and to walk politely on leash, it's a great idea! Fee is $35. Limited to 5 students.

Make your Own Dog Toys & Desserts: Sunday May 23, at 7:00-8:30pm. A great gift for your fur-ball. Toys made for all of your furry friends (DOGS & CATS). We will make a tug toy and other fun dog toys. $30 includes supplies while also enjoying wonderful desserts! Please, NO DOGS.

Senior Dog Care: Sunday June 30, at 7:00-8:30pm. This special informative class is specifically for those who are, or will have, the unique experience of a senior dog. This discussion will include topics on nutrition, joint issues, hearing, sight, and other areas. Fee is $35.

Puppy Primer: Saturdays--April 17, at 6:00-7:30pm; May 15, at 6:00-7:30pm; June 12, at 6:00-7:30pm. This wonderful workshop will be your survival guide to puppyhood! Maybe it’s your first puppy or it’s been years since your home had the pitter patter of puppy feet. This jam packed workshop will cover all you need to establish a wonderful foundation for your puppy’s education. Fee is $35.

Pre-registration needed, CALL TODAY Discounts for registering for more than one!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Unleash your dog's true canine spirit!

From Camp Unleashed: Escape to the country and enjoy a re-energizing retreat in nature with your dog and other dog lovers. Hike with your dog off-leash in a safe, forested setting; take refreshing swims together in an inviting lake; discover your dog’s talents in agility and other canine sports.

Two Locations to Choose From

Camp Unleashed takes place in two scenic and natural locations, both set along forested mountains with natural streams.

Our Camp Unleashed Berkshires is held in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts, near Great Barrington and Lenox, on the 1,300-acre grounds of the Becket-Chimney Corners YMCA Camp ( in Becket, MA. It is within easy reach from the New York State Thruway and the Massachusetts Turnpike, (39 miles northwest of Springfield, 121 miles west of Boston, and 150 miles from New York City).

Our new Camp Unleashed Asheville takes place at Blue Star Camps ( on a private 500-acre estate, just outside of Hendersonville, NC in the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, 27 miles from the scenic and artsy city of Asheville.

Both camps have private spring-fed lakes, gorgeous grassy open sports fields, miles of trails in the forest for hiking, and both are accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA).

Each Camp Unleashed session is limited to 50 people to ensure a high quality experience and maximum freedom for the dogs. Camp is for dogs of all sizes, shapes and varieties as long as they are dog and people friendly. Camp is all about fun and NOT for serious sports competition or "obedience" training. We believe that dogs, like us, learn best through positive reinforcement when they are having a good time. All of our activities are designed to enhance and deepen your relationship with your dog.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Separation Anxiety VS. Looking For Something To Do

Separation Anxiety VS. Looking For Something To Do

Separation anxiety (S.A.) symptoms often resemble boredom behaviors, including chewing, dissecting, digging (if dogs are left outside), "accidents" in the house, and excessive vocalization. A close look at your lifestyle will determine if yours is a case of dog anxiety or dog boredom.

Some Dogs Struggle With Modern Lifestyles

According to Raymond and Lorna Coppinger, dogs evolved because humans have inadvertently or intentionally selected for "low flight distance" for millennia - those dogs that were most comfortable in close proximity to humans and their settlements were most likely to receive food from humans. Closeness to humans conferred a reproductive advantage for dogs through increased access to resources.

Traditionally, this arrangement worked well for dogs. Then and in many rural areas today, leashes or fences were few or non-existent. Dogs could roam off-leash, greeting other dogs, chasing squirrels, rabbits, deer, woodchucks, cats, and the occasional skunk or porcupine. Crashing happily through woods, fields, and streams, dogs exercised their bodies and all their senses. Many worked closely with their owners all day hunting, herding, carting, or guarding. These dogs would then return home exhausted, crash on the floor to happily receive belly rubs, and sleep until morning. Very few dogs living this type of lifestyle suffer from separation anxiety.

Automobile traffic makes this type of lifestyle dangerous for dogs now, and busy modern lifestyles and long working days make similar stimulations impractical and out of reach for most dog owners. This is a conflict of interests - what is in the best interest of the dog (plentiful mental and physical stimulation) conflicts with the owner's desire to relax after a long day.

Ask Not What Your Dog Can Do For You, But What You Are Doing For Your Dog

How much exercise does your dog get? How much daily training? How often do you play with her? How long are you separated each day? How often does she socialize with other dogs appropriately?

Many dogs have deficits in socialization (with humans and dogs), mental stimulation (training, toys, play), and/or physical stimulation (running, swimming, walking, hiking, playing). Make sure to provide your dog with an opportunity to engage in all three daily. If dogs are not provided with this stimulation, boredom digging, chewing, barking, will likely ensue. Fulfilling basic needs remedies behavior problems related to boredom.

Puppy Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety can take root in puppyhood - now is the time for prevention. It is always better to prevent than un-train; so provide your puppy with "stuff to do" in your absence (stuffed Kongs, a visit from a puppy walker to play/walk), and always remember to make entries and exits to the home very low key (these are good tips for adult dogs as well!). Practice separation as a behavior, starting with a small duration and gradually building as your dog is successful.

If you must say goodbye to your dog, do it well before you plan on leaving (at least a half hour in advance) and get it out of the way - remember that this is for your benefit - not your dog's; dramatic goodbyes will only teach her that separation is cause for stress. Wait for calm behavior before greeting your dog upon your return home, and keep the greetings quiet, relaxed.

Identifying Separation Anxiety In Dogs

If your dog's basic needs are being met and you still suspect separation anxiety, look for the following symptoms: extreme destruction of property or self (tearing walls apart, bloodying paws trying to escape from a crate, breaking or cracking of teeth trying to escape the house or enter if left outside, anorexia/inability to drink fluids when left alone, inability to be separated from you (even briefly, in another room) while you're at home, and anxiety behavior related to one specific individual in the household (dog is not relieved by the presence of other household members in the absence of the attachment figure). If you note these symptoms in your dog, consult with a behavioral professional for guidance.

Dog Separation Anxiety Solutions

Dog separation anxiety treatment should include desensitization and counter-conditioning to the attachment figure's absence as well as the environmental cues which predict her absence (grabbing keys, putting coat/shoes on, sunglasses, starting the car, etc.). For extreme cases, it is best to bring a veterinary behaviorist into the rehabilitation team, as some S.A. dogs can benefit from conventional or alternative medical treatments. For dogs with hormonal or neuro-chemical imbalances, desensitization and counter-conditioning may need to be accompanied by medication or supplementation. For these dogs, neither medical nor behavioral treatment will be successful without the other.

Courtesy of Dogster
Leading the Way offers doggie daycare and all types of training, including private, group classes and a residential training program. Behavior assessment and modification is done using ONLY positive methods focused on shaping behavior.

We have over 25 years of professional experience, dedicated to enhancing the relationship of both ends of the leash, through knowledge, compassion, and building long term relationships with our clients, both two and four legged.