June 2013
Pet Circkles.

"I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being." ~ Abe Lincoln.

Pets, Children, and Lawn Chemicals Don't Mix.
By Circkles Staff Writers.

A new study due to be published in July in the journal Science of the Total Environment finds that dogs are ingesting, inhaling and otherwise being exposed to garden and lawn chemicals associated with bladder cancer. Dogs "directly ingest the chemicals from the plant, or they could lick their paws or fur and ingest chemicals that have been picked up on their feet, legs or body," said lead author Deborah Knapp of Purdue University's Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences. The dogs can also transfer the chemicals to their owners and children, researchers said. They suggested that Scottish Terriers, West Highland White Terriers, Shetland Sheepdogs, Beagles and Wire Fox Terriers are at more risk because they already have a high genetic tendency to get bladder cancer. However, scientific studies revealed years ago that lymphoma, a very common type of cancer in dogs, is also caused by yard chemicals. Anybody who has thought about it at all (and many of us don't) can draw the conclusion that any chemicals in the yard or garden have the potential to harm pets and wildlife. The biggest problem here is that most people just plain don't think of this, and they surely don't consider that the chemicals are being brought into their homes by pets and family members who have contact with their pets.

There are much safer alternatives to toxic lawn chemicals on the market now.
- Corn gluten is a natural, nontoxic alternative to commercial ‘weed ‘n feed’ products. Corn gluten is an organic fertilizer and a pre-emergent weed killer which has become popular for use in residential lawns as well as school fields and golf courses. Exposure to corn gluten is safe for pets.
Also be aware of where your pet goes when outside the home, like public parks and other lawns, especially in spring and fall when lawn fertilizers are usually applied. Wash your dog’s paws with dish washing detergent after running on lawns which may have been recently treated with fertilizers. Dish washing detergents have a grease-cutting ingredient in them and some lawn chemical sprays have an oil base. If you suspect you pet has rolled around in contaminated grass, giving them a shower with the same soap is necessary to avoid the pet's fur transferring the chemicals to your furniture, bedding and children who are in close contact with them.

Garden herbicides, insecticide baits, sprays and granules are also often used without thought to the effects these chemicals may have on pets. Slug and snail baits containing metaldehyde are toxic and can be lethal to dogs if ingested. Metaldehyde toxicity causes rapid onset of neurological symptoms that can be fatal if untreated. Signs of poisoning begin within one to four hours of exposure and include repeated seizures due to metaldehyde poisoning and elevated body temperature similar to those observed in pets suffering from heatstroke. Affected pets usually require hospitalization for 24 to 72 hours after metaldehyde ingestion.

Fly bait and garden insecticides often contain methomyl or carbofuran, which can cause seizures and respiratory arrest in dogs and cats. Organophosphate toxicity from garden insecticides may lead to chronic anorexia, muscle weakness and muscle twitching which may last for days or weeks. Some organophosphate insecticides commonly used include coumaphos, cyothioate, diazinon, fampfhur, fention, phosmet, and tetrachlorvinphos. These insecticides inhibit cholinesterases and acetylcholinesterase, essential enzymes which break down acetylcholine, causing seizures and shaking due to continuous nervous transmission to nervous tissue, organs and muscles.

Pet and People Friendly Garden Pest Alternatives:

- The Flies Be Gone fly trap uses nontoxic sterilized food materials as bait, and is effective for outdoor fly control.

- Holey Moley nontoxic mole control uses the natural ingredients Castor Oil and Fuller’s Earth to repel moles. These ingredients are safe for pets, children and the environment.

- Snail Bait: There are two common types of snail/slug bait. Metaldehyde mentioned above and iron-based used in many "organic" snail baits labeled as safe for pets, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea, sometimes tinged with blood.
Snail Bait Alternatives: Place shallow dishes on top of the soil close to the damaged plants, wait until dusk and then fill them with the cheapest—but freshest—beer you can find. The next morning, they should be filled with dead drunken slugs. Dump the used beer and dead slugs out every evening and repeat.
Coffee grounds: New research has found caffeine to be very effective at dispatching slugs. Surround plants under attack with a mulch of used coffee grounds to deter slugs and feed the plants.  Diatomaceous earth: Works well on several crawling invaders and is available at almost any garden center. It looks like white flour, but it's incredibly sharp to crawling soft-bodied insects on a microscopic level. Surround plants under attack with protective rings of DE (be sure to wear a dust mask); freshen them up if they get wet.

- Follow our Garden Circkles page for monthly articles and editorial columns on pet-friendly alternatives to most harmful chemical yard and garden products.


Detox Your Pet from Chemical Exposure.
By Circkles Staff Writers.

Say your dog or cat just spent a week on a chemically treated lawn, or you just now read our article above and realized your pet has been exposed to harmful lawn and garden chemicals for years and you are thinking they aren't as healthy as they could be. There are some surprisingly effective herbs and foods that can be used to help detox harmful chemicals and heavy metals from your pets body. Warning: Most essential oils are harmful to cats because they cannot process them through their bodies like we can, so we are talking about the food or fresh herb alternatives here.

Fresh Cilantro: Effective for humans also in eliminating mercury built up in the body from seafoods, fish and environmental pollutants. Most animals do not like the taste of cilantro, but it is easy to mix a few fresh leaves into their food and they won't notice. This was proven by research that was published in recent years as being very effective on humans.

Red Clover Trifolium Pratense: Is a powerful blood and lymph cleanser and well tolerated by most animals because of it's naturally sweet taste. It may be difficult to get a carnivore to eat it without mixing it with their food, but it's also high in minerals that will be beneficial to their diet anyway.

Turmeric: This is on my list of "Wonder Herbs" because research keeps coming out revealing it's incredible ability to shrink tumors and actually reverse some cancers. On a personal note: I have used it on ferrets for ferret tumor syndrome and their hair actually grew back, so I know there is truth to this one myself. A little goes a long way. If you are feeding your pet too much, their fur will start to turn orange as this herb will stain anything it comes into contact with. Just a small sprinkle on their food every couple days is well tolerated by most pets.

Chlorella: is a "green food," a single-celled, micro-algae that is about two to ten microns in size. In rats, chlorella was found to promote the excretion of dioxin in the feces during lab studies. The molecular structure of Chlorella allows it to bond to metals, chemicals and some pesticides.
When chlorella is taken into the body, its natural action will bind it to lingering heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides found in the digestive tract, which is the body's pathway to the bloodstream where these harmful toxins are delivered and deposited into the cells.
So chlorella first and foremost will help the body eliminate unwanted metals and toxins, but is uniquely designed to not bind to the minerals the body naturally needs to function like calcium, magnesium, or zinc.

Note: Chlorella has a unique feature that makes getting the right kind important. Chlorella is completely indigestible by humans and some pets may have digestion problems that make it less effective, so we recommend supplementing with Broken Cell Wall chlorella. Another factor to consider is what waters the chlorella was harvested from. Being a naturally grown food, it will be affected by polluted water and will retain environmental toxins if it's grown in contaminated waters. Colder waters, such as Norwegian waters, are considered the cleanest and some brands of algae state they are harvested from this source.

Apples: An apple a day keep the doctor away may work for pets as well. Apples help chelate heavy metals and most animals tolerate apples well. Chelated basically means "firmly attached", usually to an amino acid or other organic component so that the two do not disassociate in the digestive system. So apples will bind to heavy metals and make it possible for the body to eliminate them rather than storing them in tissue where they will accumulate over time and reach toxic levels. Apple slices make good treats for pets. You don't want to give too much apple at once, say a full apple, because it may cause diarrhea to most carnivores.

All of the above heavy metal detoxifiers also work on humans. Heavy metals accumulate in the body from any environmental toxin and many foods. so detoxing your pet for metal poisoning every 2-3 months is a good maintenance procedure. It may take months to remove the heavy metals your pet has stored in their system, but go slowly with detoxing because it will dump toxins into the bloodstream rapidly which could make your pet sick at first. It's typical for humans to feel worse the first 3-4 days of a detox procedure because these toxins are being dumped into the bloodstream for elimination. Until a good portion of it is excreted through the urine and feces, it can feel like having the flu. So if your pet becomes a bit lethargic after the first few days of detoxing, make sure they are drinking plenty of water, if they won't voluntarily drink more during the first few days, find ways to trick them into drinking more. Most animals like the taste of brewer's yeast and it is good for them. Mix a tablespoon with a bowl of water and they will usually drink it right up.

If your pet develops diarrhea, cut back on the detox by half until it stops. Then reintroduce it more gradually. It's surprising how many pets will eat herbs if you have them growing around your yard. They seem to have a natural instinctive sense of which herbs will help them and for what. It's remarkable, so you may want to consider having more herbs around the yard just for your pets. Of course, research them to make sure they are not harmful first and keep in mind that just because we can eat it, doesn't necessary mean they can.

© 2013 Circkles.com. All images and articles.

FDA Pet Product Recalls for 2013.

Pets who look like their owners:

NATURAL PET REMEDIES: Basic Cleanse for Toxins.

If you have an animal you know has been exposed to toxins, it's very beneficial to do a liver and kidney cleanse. Make a tea of 1 part dandelion root and 1 part crushed milk thistle seed - simmer for 15-20 minutes. Let cool and drizzle 1/2 tsp per 50 lbs of body weight on food every day for 1 week. Make sure the animal drinks plenty of water during this time. You may find they have to relieve themselves a little more often due to the cleanse dumping a lot of toxins into their system that need to be eliminated more often than usual.

Make sure if you are using dandelions grown in your yard that they are organic and have been pesticide free for at least 3 years or you will contaminate your pet even more.


DOG BREEDS- Characteristics and Concerns.
(We will get to cat breeds later.)

American / English Mastiff
Most people would be hard-pressed to find a difference between an American and an English Mastiff these days. In an attempt to address issues of hip dysplasia, drooling, and a short lifespan, Fredericka Wagner of Flying W Farms crossed an English Mastiff with an Anatolian Mastiff, a breed known for its intelligence and lengthy lifespan for a large breed. Through selective breeding, Fredericka created the American Mastiff. The dog is relatively new, and the breeders have chosen not to register with most breed registries.

Mastiffs are considered giant breed dogs. English Mastiffs are some of the biggest dogs in recorded history, with the males being considerably larger than the females. The greatest weight ever recorded for a dog, 343 pounds, was that of an English Mastiff from England named Aicama Zorba of La Susa, although claims of larger dogs exist.

This breed of Mastiff generally prefers to be a couch potato, and is not very active and need to be exercised daily. English and American Mastiffs are not aggressive by nature, but may take immediate defensive action by placing itself between its master and anything it considers a threat. Mastiffs, even fearless ones, will rarely attack an intruder or perceived threat (unless severely provoked) and instead will generally pin the individual until a human they know arrives and tells them it's okay Mastiffs are good natured, calm, easygoing, and surprisingly gentle for their size. They are a very sensitive breed, and as such harsh training methods and discipline are not recommended. The Mastiff is typically an extremely loyal breed, exceptionally devoted to its family and good with children and small dogs and is often called the "gentle giant" of the dog world.


Life Expectancy:
The average lifespan of the Mastiff is about 7 years although it's not uncommon for some to live to 10–11 years.

Health Concerns: Giant breed dogs have some special care requirements. They should not go up and down stairs, as their large body size makes it very difficult for them to negotiate steps on the way down and severe injury due to falling down stairs from miscalculating steps is very common. They also should not jump down from trucks or vehicles, decks, or other heights over a foot because their enormous size and weight is hard on their bones and injury can easily occur to their spine and joints from jumping or landing hard. Block off staircases and steps with baby gates to prevent injury when you are not home. Some people use a ramp to load and unload a giant breed dog from a high vehicle.

They like to have their head elevated while sleeping, and a pillow will be greatly appreciated by your mastiff to relieve some of the stress on their neck from their enormous heads.

Major problems can include hip dysplasia and gastric torsion. Mastiffs are one of the breeds that require special care be given to their digestion and diet in order to avoid stomach problems.
Minor problems include obesity, osteosarcoma, and cystinuria. Problems only occasionally found include cardiomyopathy, allergies, vaginal hyperplasia, cruciate ligament rupture, hypothyroidism, OCD, entropion, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and persistent pupillary membranes (PPM).

Looking for a Mastiff? Use our Petfinder tool below and search for an adoptable dog that needs a home in your area now.

To view breeds we've already written about, view our Dog Breeds on The Hangout. (Must be a Circkles member to view The Hangout.)


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