Service Dog verses Emotional Support Animal

by Sue on June 23, 2016

Again today I received a phone call from the authorities who had an Emotional Support Animal owner in custody for break the law by taking an Emotional Support Animal into a store posted Service Animals Only.

I cannot express this enough.

Despite what online companies out there try to tell you, in order to relieve you of some of your money, Emotional Support Animals are NOT Service Animals and are NOT allowed into places posted Service Animals Only. Official looking Emotional Support Animal  tags that have the Department of Justice seal on them and/or state “Full Access Required” are WRONG and may eventually get you in trouble with the law for falsifying a Service Animal (such as the call I received today). Why do these companies sell these tags, patches, or “registrations” and not advise you of the rules? Simple. They have your money, they don’t care what happens to you.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states the following…

“Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.”

Which means that if your dog is an Emotional Support Animal, it is NOT a Service Animal, does not have the same rights as a Service Animal and cannot enter ANY place posted Service Animals Only.

Service Animals are recognized by the Department of Justice/ADA. Emotional Support Animals are recognized by the Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act. That means that Emotional Support Animals are allowed to stay in rented or leased dwellings with a no pets policy and they are allowed to fly on an airline. They are NOT allowed into grocery stores, hotels/motels (unless they allow pets), restaurants, hospitals, anyplace posted service animals only.

Thank you for reading this and understanding. I do not like getting phone calls from authorities because someone decided to break the law and falsify a service dog. Remember….falsifying a service dog IS a federal offence!

 

Sussie

Customer Service Supervisor for

www.servicedogtags.com

We care about our customers and want them to know the rules and regs. We would rather lose a sale than sell something to someone that will not work for them.

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Jeepers, Creepers. Make sure to check those Peepers!

by Sue on June 14, 2016

Giving your dog regular home eye exams will help keep you alert to any tearing, cloudiness or inflammation that may indicate a health problem. The following suggestions will help keep your dog’s vision sharp.

Face your dog in a brightly lit area and look into his eyes. They should be clear, bright and the area around the eyeball should be white. The pupils should be equal in size. There should be no tearing, discharge or any crust in the corners of the eyes.

With your thumb, gently roll down your dog’s lower eyelid and look at the lining. It should be pink, not red or white.

The following could be signs that something may be wrong with one or both of your dog’s eyes:

Discharge & crusty gunk
Tearing
Red or white eyelid linings
Tear-stained fur
Closed eye(s)
Cloudiness or change in eye color
Visible third eyelid
Unequal pupil sizes

Gently wipe with a damp cotton ball to help keep your dog’s eyes gunk-free. Wipe outward from the corner of the eye and be careful not to touch his eyeball as you may scratch the cornea. If your dog constantly suffers from runny eyes and discharge, please see your veterinarian. Your dog may have an infection.

Long-haired breeds can get eye damage if their locks are not trimmed. Using scissors with rounded tips, carefully trim the hair around your dog’s eyes to keep his vision clear and prevent hairs from poking and scratching. In wirehaired breeds you may simply pluck the hairs which are close to the eyes. My wires seem to get hairs growing towards the eyes from the corners of the eyes. These hairs are easy to pluck.

Soaps and topical medications can be major irritants. Make sure to protect your dog’s eyes before bathing him, applying ointments or flea-control formulas.

Dogs love the open road with the wind in their face. But if debris or an insect touches their eyes they can suffer pain and a long-lasting injury. It’s much safer to drive with the windows only partially down so the dog cannot put his head outside the vehicle. The wind can also dry out your dog’s eyes which can possibly cause irritation and infection.

Do a little research and find out if eye conditions are common in your dog’s breed. Of course your dog should have his eyes checked on annual vet visits. But knowing about possible inherited problems will help you take important precautions.

Watch your  dog’s body language. Pawing or rubbing his eye area may alert you to possible problems.

The following eye disorders are commonly seen in dogs:

Conjunctivitis: One or both of your dog’s eyes will look red and swollen and there may be discharge.
Dry Eye: Diminished tear production can cause corneal inflammation, squinting and discharge.
Cherry Eye: An enlarged tear gland forms a cherry-like mass on the dog’s eye.
Epiphora: An overflow of tears creates stains on the dog’s facial fur.
Glaucoma: The cornea becomes cloudy and the eye enlarges due to an increased pressure in the eyeball.
Ectropion: A turning outward of the upper eyelid causes the lower lid to droop.
Entropion: A rolling in of the eyelid causes discharge and tearing.
Cataract: An opacity on the lens of the eye can cause impaired vision and possible blindness .
Progressive Retinal Atrophy: Caused by degeneration of retinal tissue. Night blindness is often it’s first sign.

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Dog Liposuction?

by Sue on June 8, 2016

It’s easy to hear about liposuction and dogs and think “Wow, people have gone too far”. But it’s not what we first think it is.

While human liposuction focuses on weight loss for cosmetic reasons. When the procedure is performed on a dog it’s actually used to improve the health of the dog. The non-invasive procedure removes the fat from lipomas in senior dogs.

Lipomas are harmless tumors of fat cells that can be large and/or numerous on some dogs. If gone untreated, they can grow quite large and interfere with the dog’s movement if they are in a bad place.

“They can be really big,” stated Rebecca Pentecost, DVM. “I had one that we took almost three and a half liters of fat out of it.”

Dr. Pentecost, a veterinarian at Animal Clinic Northview in North Ridgeville, Ohio, has performed the procedure on patients from several states and countries.

The procedure is a safer alternative to major surgery, which could leave senior dogs with a long recovery time and up to 30 stitches. Liposuction requires only a small incision and up to two days of recovery. The procedure can be done with less anesthesia as well. which is another benefit for older dogs.

The downside? Since the entire lipoma is not removed, there is a 23 % likelihood that the fat will come back. But it is worth the risk as the older a dog gets the less they tolerate lengthy operations.

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Should you be concerned about the Zika virus and your dog?

by Sue on June 2, 2016

The Zika virus, transmitted through mosquitoes, has been in the news lately as a health concern for humans causing fever and joint pain and, of most concern for pregnant women, serious birth defects in infants.

Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito. Currently only humans and primates can contract the Zika virus. There is no evidence that dogs can contract the disease however the research has not been done.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported the following regarding animals and the virus:

  • At this time, animals do not appear to be involved in the spread of Zika virus.
  • There is no evidence that Zika virus is spread to people from contact with animals.
  • There have not been any reports of dogs, or any other pets becoming sick with Zika virus. However, more research is needed to better understand Zika virus in animals.
  • Animals in the United States are not at risk of becoming sick with Zika virus.

The most concerning disease transmitted to dogs by mosquitoes is heartworm disease, which can be prevented by giving monthly preventative medications.

Taking precautions to prevent mosquitoes near your kennel and home is a good idea. Mosquitoes need standing water to produce so look on your property for any place that holds water for long periods and eliminate these sources. Change the water in bird baths, wading pools, etc. at least once a week.

Keep pets indoors during peak mosquito hours, which are dawn and dusk. Reduce light at night since light tends to attract mosquitoes. Bug Zappers help keep the mosquito population down as well.

Have a safe and happy summer.

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Rare human disease found in dogs

by Sue on May 18, 2016

A rare, severe form of pulmonary hypertension which, up until now, has only been classified as a human disease has also been discovered in dogs.

“Our research is the first to document the existence of pulmonary veno-occlusive disease, or PVOD, in dogs,” said Kurt Williams, the lead author of the study and an expert in respiratory pathology in MSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “PVOD is considered one of the most severe forms of pulmonary hypertension.”

The number of pulmonary hypertension (or PH) cases reported in the United States is low, affecting under 50 people per million each year. PVOD is diagnosed in only about 10 percent of PH cases. Unfortunately, there are very few effective treatment options for PVOD and a lung transplant often becomes the best choice.

“PVOD might be more common in dogs than in people, but this has yet to be determined and needs to be looked at further,” Williams said.

Pulmonary hypertension develops because of abnormal blood vessels in the lungs. That makes it harder for the heart to push blood through and provide oxygen to the rest of the bod. In cases of PVOD, the small veins in the lungs become blocked increasing pressure in these blood vessels and ultimately causing heart failure.

“The same process happens in canines,” Williams said. “These dogs also come in with similar symptoms as humans, yet because subtle changes in health may not be recognized as quickly in dogs, death can occur quickly once the animal is seen by a veterinarian.”

Symptoms include coughing, increased rate of breathing, difficulty breathing, loss of appetite and chronic fatigue. Progression of the disease in humans can last up to two years before death finally comes.

“PVOD is a poorly understood disease not just because it’s so rare, but also because there’ve been no other animals known to have the disease,” Williams said. “Our finding changes things.”

Williams said that the discovery could be very important for human medicine because the canine disease may serve as a model for human PVOD.

“Its cases like this that help to remind us how important veterinary medicine is to medicine in general,” he said. “Our colleagues in the human medical community are becoming much more aware of the many diseases shared by our respective patients and how together we can learn from each other.”

 

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Heatstroke in Dog: Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

by Sue on May 5, 2016

Heatstroke or heat stress is a state of hyperthermia (elevated core body temperature above the normal range) resulting in thermal injury to tissues. Heatstroke occurs when heat generation exceeds the body’s ability to lose heat. Heatstroke is a very serious condition: it can lead to multiple organ failure and dogs can die quickly from heatstroke.

 

What are the main predisposing factors?

A warm/hot, humid environment

Lack of adequate ventilation/air flow

Lack of adequate shade

Lack of adequate drinking water

Excessive exercise

What are the signs of heatstroke?

 

Signs may vary between individuals, but commonly include:

Incessant panting (increases as heat stroke progresses)

Drooling, salivating

Agitation, restlessness

Very red or pale gums

Bright red tongue

Increased heart rate

Breathing distress

Vomiting, Diarrhea (possibly with blood)

Signs of mental confusion, delirium

Dizziness, staggering

Lethargy, weakness

Muscle tremors

Seizures

Collapsing and lying down

Little to no urine production

Coma

How do you avoid heatstroke for your dog?

 

You can help to prevent heatstroke by ensuring your dog is kept in appropriate environmental conditions and being aware of the symptoms so action can be taken swiftly.

Provide your dog with a cool, shaded area with good ventilation at all times – adequate ventilation and air flow are important as dogs cool down via evaporative cooling (panting) which requires adequate air flow.

Provide plenty of clean fresh water and extra water sources in case of spillage.

Bring your dog indoors on hot, humid days if the indoor environment is cooler for the animal (e.g. air-conditioning, child-safe fans, open windows where possible and shade).

Do not exercise your dog in hot, humid conditions. On hot days try to walk your dog very early in the morning or very late in the afternoon when it is cool, and avoid the hottest part of the day.

Do not leave your dog in a car or vehicle – even when the windows are down dogs can still overheat and die. One study found that even on mild days the temperature inside the vehicle rises rapidly to dangerous levels.

Avoid hot sand, concrete, asphalt areas or any other areas where heat is reflected and there is no access to shade.

How should you treat a dog with heatstroke?

First step is to instigate Emergency First Aid at home – the aim of first aid is to help normalize body temperature.

  1. Apply or spray tepid/cool water onto the animal’s fur/skin. Followed by fanning of the pet to maximize heat loss.
  2. Wetting down the area around your pet can also help.
  3. 3.     Don’t use ice-cold water or ice as this may exacerbate the problem. NOTE: There are videos online of dogs playing in kiddie pools full of ice. This is perfectly safe providing the dog is not suffering from heatstroke. Dropping the temperature down too quickly on a dog with heat stroke can cause shock.
  4. Then take your dog to the nearest Vet immediately.
  5. Heat stroke is a life threatening emergency – always see a vet. Even if your dog looks like they may be recovering or you just suspect they might have heat stroke they should still always be checked by a vet. Given the seriousness of this condition, it is better to be safe than sorry and have your dog checked out by a vet.

How do vets help dogs with heatstroke?

Vets are trained to assess the severity of the heatstroke and then provide emergency medical treatment as required. They will check your dog’s body temperature and vital signs and then instigate emergency treatment which may include:

Putting your dog on a drip (intravenous fluids)

Cooling treatments e.g. cooling enemas

Supplemental oxygen

Medication as required

Blood tests to check organ function

Ongoing monitoring and treatment as required

More tips for taking care of dogs in hot weather:

Owners need to be aware of sunburn especially in dogs with white, non-pigmented skin and a white-colored coat.

All dogs are susceptible to heat stroke so owners need to make sure that they take active steps to prevent it.

Other exacerbating factors can include:

Obesity

Brachycephalic breeds (short-nosed/flat-faced) e.g. Pugs, English bull dogs, French bulldogs, Pekingese and Persian and Himalayan cats.

Respiratory disease/breathing problems – laryngeal paralysis, collapsing trachea

Thick/long hair coat

Heart problems/Cardiovascular disease

Extremes in age (young/old)

Neurological disease

Excessive exercise

Dehydration

Follow these rules will lead to a safe, and enjoyable, summer.

 

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Brusha Brusha Brusha

by Sue on March 30, 2016

Brushing your dog’s teeth isn’t just about fresh breath. It’s a part of good oral care is important to your dog’s overall health. Although most people aren’t aware of it, gum disease is a common and serious problem in dogs. Yet brushing your dog’s teeth can prevent it.

Veterinarians estimate that 85 percent of dogs over five years of age suffer from gum disease. Gum disease develops when food particles and bacteria collect along the gum line and form soft deposits called plaque. Over time that turns into rock-hard tartar. If tartar isn’t removed from your dog’s teeth, it will eventually inflame the gums. As the inflamed gums begin to separate from the teeth, pockets form. This causes gum disease to worsen. At this point, your dog can experience severe pain, lose teeth, form abscesses in his mouth and develop a bacterial infection. This infection can spread through the bloodstream to the kidneys, liver, heart or brain.

Gum disease is irreversible, so now is a great time to get started on a regular oral care regimen for your dog. Remember…prevention is the key.

It’s ideal to brush your dog’s teeth daily, just like you brush your own. However, if you cannot do that, aim to brush your dog’s teeth at least every other day.

Smaller dogs and dogs with flat or short, broad snouts (like pugs and bulldogs) may need more frequent brushing. Their teeth are often crowded together, which allows more plaque to accumulate and increases their risk of developing gum disease.

Things to keep in mind:

If your dog is losing weight, starts eating slower or refusing to eat for no apparent reason, it is time to have their teeth checked.

If your dog develops bad breath, don’t reach for breath fresheners for your dog until you have their teeth checked. Giving breath fresheners to a dog with bad teeth is like sweeping dirt under a rug.

Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly does not totally eliminate a professional dental done by a qualified Veterinarian. It will however greatly reduce the trips to the Vet for this procedure.

Since I started brushing my dog’s teeth, my Vet is doing a professional cleaning on my dog’s teeth every three years now instead of every year like before.

 

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Follow up to last week’s survey.

by Sue on March 25, 2016

Did anyone notice the trick selection listed? If you said there is no such thing as an “Emotional Service Animal” you are correct. There IS no such thing as an Emotional Service Animal. Service Animals are dogs which help a person with a physical, mental, or neurological disability with day to day tasks. Emotional Support Animals are strictly Companion Animals. The ADA rules say the following about Service Animals.

 

Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with dis­abilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pull­ing a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. Service animals are working animals, not pets. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person’s disability. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

Note carefully the last sentence. This is why there is no such thing as an Emotional Service Animal.

So what type of dog do you have you ask? Is it an ESA or is it a Service Dog? The answer may shock you. People are led to believe that if you have a mental disorder, your dog is an emotional support animal. Actually that is far from the truth. The ADA has a partial list of disabilities that a Service Dog can be used for.

Physical Problem:

Asthma (or other breathing problems)

Blindness (& partial blindness)

Deafness (& partial deafness)

Diabetes

Dizziness/Balance problems

Epilepsy

General Hearing Difficulty

Mobility Problems

Neurological Problems

Paralysis

Physical Weakness

Speech Problems

Seizures

 

Emotional/Mental Problem:

Age-Related Cognitive Decline

Any Psychiatric Condition (see exclusions below)

Autism

Depression

Dyslexia

Bipolar Disorder

Emotionally Overwhelmed

Panic Attacks

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Anxiety

Social Phobia

Stress Problems

 

ADA Definitions of Qualified Disability

 

Under the ADA, an individual with a disability is a person who:

Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;

Has a record of such an impairment; or

Is regarded as having such an impairment.

A physical impairment is defined by the ADA as:

Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine.

A mental/emotional impairment is defined by the ADA as:

Any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.

The ADA does not list all conditions or diseases that make up physical, mental, and emotional impairments, because it would be impossible to provide a comprehensive list given the variety of possible impairments.

Exclusions to the Qualified Disability Definition

Neither deviant behavior (e.g., political, religious, or sexual) nor conflicts that are primarily between the individual and society are mental disorders unless the deviance or conflict is a symptom of a dysfunction in the individual. According to Title II of the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, current or future interpretation of psychological disabilities excludes common personality traits such as poor judgment or a quick temper.

Service Animals are allowed into places posted Service Animals Only. Emotional Support Animals are NOT allowed into places posted Service Animals Only. Service Animals are recognized by the Department of Justice under the American’s with Disabilities Act. Emotional Support Animals are recognized by the Fair Housing Act and the Department of Transportation’s Air Carrier Access Act. This means that Service Animals have access to any place open to the Public. Emotional Support Animals are allowed into dwellings with a “No Pets” policy that the owner is renting or leasing, and on Airlines. Taking an Emotional Support Animal into a place posted Service Animals Only is against the law as it is misrepresenting a dog as a Service Animal. The ADA states the following about misrepresentation.

Under federal laws, the fine for misrepresenting a dog as a service animal is $3,000, plus you can be subject to prison time. State laws vary, but many carry penalties as well.

 

This also leads me to bring up another misconception. Registries or certifications of Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals.

Each year more and more sites have popped up online claiming to “Register” or “Certify” service dogs and emotional support animals.

 

The Facts:

  1. No federal government agencies certify or register service dogs or emotional support animals.
  2. No federal government agency designates any businesses as an official registrar or certifier.
  3. Ask yourself how someone can certify that you have a legitimate service dog or ESA if they have never seen your dog.
  4. The certificates that these bogus businesses issue aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. You might as well get your neighbor to certify your dog because it would be just as legitimate.
  5. These businesses bank on the fact that most people believe your dog must be registered or certified by someone to be a “Real” service dog or emotional support animal.

 

Real service dogs or emotional support animals do not need to be registered or certified by ANYONE and any business claiming to do either is misleading you.

 

You may read more about the above at this website http://www.servicedogtag.com/the-service-dog-registration-certification-scam/

 

The ADA states the following. ADA will not impose any type of formal training requirements, registration or certification process. While some groups have urged the Department to modify this position, the Department has determined that such a modification would not serve the full array of individuals with disabilities who use service animals, since individuals with disabilities may be capable of training, and some have trained, their service animal to perform tasks or do work to accommodate their disability. A training, registration or certification requirement would increase the expense of acquiring a service animal and might limit access to service animals, especially for individuals with limited financial resources.

 

Hopefully this helps clear up some, or allot of confusion when it comes to Service Animals verses Emotional Support Animals.

 

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It’s shedding season again!

by Sue on March 2, 2016

Despite the common belief, there is no way to completely stop your dog from shedding. Aside from the hairless breeds, all dogs shed to one degree or another, regardless of size, coat length or hair type. The best you can hope to do is control or reduce dog shedding by regular grooming.

Dogs need to get rid of unneeded or damaged hair. Most grow a heavier coat in the winter to help them safe from the elements and then shed that extra fur in the summer to stay cool. Shedding can also result from skin irritation or infections, parasites or a poor diet. There are many ways that you can reduce dog shedding or prevent it from becoming a problem

 

REGULAR BRUSHING!

Regular combing and brushing is essential.  Use an appropriate brush for the dog’s coat type, followed by a finishing comb. Many breeds benefit from daily brushing. It makes the coat softer, cleaner and less prone to heavy shedding. It will also root out fleas and other parasites.

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OIL!

Try adding unscented salmon oil to your dog’s food on a daily basis. It is almost without taste, contains omega-3 fatty acids that help condition the skin and provide a healthy, shiny coat. It also helps control shedding in many breeds.

NUTRITION!

If a dog isn’t receiving the proper nutrition he needs, his skin and coat will suffer. What dogs are fed helps to influence the texture of their dog coat and skin health. Healthy skin has healthy follicles that support long-lived lustrous hair. Unhealthy skin has sickly hair follicles and poor skin oils. The hair is brittle and dull. It breaks off and falls out easily. It’s important that the dog’s food full of nutrients. For a dog coat to be healthy and not to shed, dogs require proteins that are absorbable.

Remember, it’s not possible to completely stop shedding but if you take these steps, you can definitely control and reduce dog shedding.

 

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A fantastic contest open to ANYONE!

by Sue on February 29, 2016

This is not a joke. It’s real. We really are giving one away.

Click below to enter for a chance to win a fitbit

http://contest.io/c/jrz3mdwr

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