Saturday

Dog breed DNA testing can be a mixed bag of bucks




Do you know what breeds your dog may carry?

Unless you have a pure-bred pedigreed pooch, it’s possible you may not. Addressing this concern, veterinary medicine now markets a host of testing capabilities, all aimed at identifying the various canine breeds a dog may have in its ancestry.

Some dog breed DNA kits use saliva, swabbed from the pet’s mouth. Others test blood instead.

Sure, the accuracy claims of various canine DNA testing options vary.

Some seem to offer wider dog breed recognition capabilities, including exotic and rare breeds not commonly found. But none of the Canine DNA Breed Identification Test Kits makes any claim of 100 percent accuracy.

Prices are all over the map, running anywhere from about $65 to $200 or more.

Having adopted a mixed breed pup from a canine rescue group, I wanted to run a DNA test to identify the breeds in her background. We are pretty sure she is a Border Collie and Labrador Retriever mix. At least, that’s what they told us. And she sure looks the part.

However, she may have additional dog breeds in her bloodlines.

My veterinarian offers a DNA testing program, using a blood sample from the dog. The test costs $160.  The local pet store (part of a major pet supply retailer chain) can do a similar test for about $75.

I opted not to have my vet run the pricey test. And I clicked onto the internet to compare other dog breed DNA testing choice.

The Wisdom Panel test, one of the most popular ones, retails for $79.99. I found it for $65.99 on Amazon. And, because I am an Amazon Prime member, the shipping is free. They’ll send me the kit, which includes swabs to collect the dog’s saliva samples, and a packet to mail them in for testing. Within a few weeks, I should receive the canine breed report.

So we’ll stay tuned to learn my pup’s actual dog breed DNA test results. Is she a Borador … or something more complicated than that?

Image/s:
Created by this user
with public domain clipart

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Wednesday

Raw food may sicken dogs and humans



Raw food is all the rage among plenty of dog owners. Pet lovers shell out significant sums to purchase fresh or frozen raw meats and other portions for their pups.

Maybe it’s the back-to-nature, basic food thing that appeals to these dog owners. After all, dogs survived for centuries in the wild by eating raw food.

Now, however, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says raw food may be dangerous to dogs. Apparently, such food-borne illnesses as Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes can crop up in some raw foods.

These bacteria can possibly infect pets who ingest foods containing them, as well as the humans who feed those animals and handle them.

What is raw food?

Generally, raw pet food is comprised of uncooked meat. This may include beef, bison, pork, poultry, or a host of other types of natural protein. Often, raw food contains animal bones, organ meats, and skin as well.

What are the symptoms of raw food infections?

Food poisoning symptoms in pets and humans may include

  • appetite loss
  • decreased activity
  • diarrhea
  • fever
  • joint pain
  • lethargy
  • nausea
  • stomach pain
  • vomiting

In the most severe canine cases, dogs may suffer neurological disease, particularly if such infections are not promptly treated.

Among humans, pregnant women, newborns, the elderly, and individuals with immune system impairment are at particular risk.

What precautions can pet owners take to prevent raw food illness?

Ideally, pet owners will cook raw foods to kill any bacteria those products may contain.

Proper hygiene is essential for those who choose raw foods for their pets. These food products must be produced under strict quality control practices, packaged well, and used quickly to ensure freshness.

In addition, humans should wash hands thoroughly after handling raw foods. Cooking and serving utensils and dog dishes also need to be sterilized.

In the face of this FDA warning, dog owners may be well advised to pay particular care when feeding butcher bones and leftovers to their canine companions, in addition to products marketed specifically as raw pet foods.

Image/s:
Dog Eating Raw Bison Meat
- Creative Commons Licensing

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Monday

Border Collie owners sleep in peace … and cozy PJs




Border Collies are working dogs, especially for herding. These lovely and wonderful canine companions are smart, easy to train, and exceptionally loyal.

That makes Border Collies excellent pets and protective watchdogs too!

Protected 
by 
Border Patrol

Maybe that’s why we like these cotton flannel Border Collie pajamas so much. We think the message says it all about this delightful dog breed.

This Border Collie design, available for men or women, is only found at CafePress. Besides pajamas, this pick also comes on mugs, totes, tees, caps, and a whole lot of other fun items.

Image/s:
Protected by Border Patrol
Product promo photo
Fair use


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Friday

Rottweiler fans are gonna love this one




Do you love Rottweilers? Know a Rottie fan?

These big sweethearts win the adoration of tons of dog lovers – particularly big dog fans. If you’ve ever known and loved a Rottweiler, you’re already nodding in assent.

My Rottie 
is a hottie.

This cheery canine companion’s design is available on tons of products: tanks, tees, tops, totes, tumblers and tons more gift and personal items. And it’s only at CafePress.

Fun stuff for the Rottie enthusiast.

Image/s:
My Rottie is a hottie –
Product promo photo
Fair use


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Tuesday

Zinc oxide sunscreens may be dangerous to dogs




Sunscreens add safety to summer fun, protecting humans and even pets (particularly light-haired and light-skinned pets) from the sun. However, dog lovers should be wary of sunscreen products containing zinc oxide, which can be dangerous, if ingested.

How can zinc oxide harm pets?

Zinc oxide, included in many sunscreens, is not water-soluble. For this reason, this mineral compound is often found in waterproof sun protection lotions and creams. It’s also used in diaper rash ointments and calamine lotions, as it provides a barrier on the skin.

Topically, zinc oxide may be helpful, especially to humans. But it may be harmful, if swallowed, particularly by a dog.

When a dog licks sunscreen off himself (or off of a human), or if he happens to eat a tube of sunscreen, the animal may face serious health problems. 

Symptoms of zinc oxide poisoning may include:

  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhea
  • lethargy
  • loss of appetite
  • pale gums
  • vomiting
  • weakness

In the most extreme cases, zinc oxide poisoning may cause hemolytic anemia, a disorder in the red blood cells of the dog. Eventually, this can lead to brain, heart, or other organ failure.

If a dog owner suspects his or her pet has consumed sunscreen containing zinc oxide, a trip to the veterinarian is well advised.

How can dog owners keep their pets free from zinc oxide poisoning?

It pays to be a label reader. If a pet owner purchases sunscreen, diaper rash ointment, or other products containing zinc oxide, the safest bet is to keep it far away from the dog.

Image/s:
Dog in Sunglasses - ModCam
Stock.Xchng


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