Sat. & Sun., April 14 & 15, 2012, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.--San Diego Pet Expo, at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. This is San Diego's largest pet event with entertainment, expert speakers, Splash Dog demonstrations, pet products and adoptions. Tickets are $3 to $6, parking $9, with children 5 and under free. Unless you are participating in the Splash Dog event (no experience needed) please leave your dogs at home
Sat., April 14, 2012, 9 to 11 a.m.--Dog Beach Cleanup with Friends of Dog Beach, at the pawprint entry to Dog Beach. Bags & gloves, plus toys & treats will be provided for you and your friendly dogs
Sat., April 21, 2012, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.--Fighting Parkinson's Step by Step 2012, at NTC Park (Liberty Station) in Point Loma. Walk or Run, and attend the Health & Fitness Expo and Pet Festival (leashed pets welcome). Sponsored by the Parkinson's Association of San Diego
Sat., April 21, 2012, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.--PAWS Dog Wash, at Dog Beach Dog Wash, 4933 Voltaire St., Ocean Beach. Wash your little (or big) buddy and half the proceeds will go to PAWS San Diego, to support veterinary care and food/supply delivery to elderly, disabled and chronically ill pet owners
Sat., April 28, 2012, 9 a.m. to 12 Noon-- I Love A Clean San Diego's 10th Annual Creek to Bay Cleanup, at 86 sites throughout San Diego county, including Dog Beach. Recruit your family and friends and sign up online at
Sat., May 5, 2012, 9 a.m.-12 noon--18th Annual Walk for Animals to benefit the San Diego Humane Society & SPCA,
at Crown Point Shores in Pacific Beach.
Sat., May 12, 2012, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.--Pet Day on the Bay by Hornblower Cruises, to benefit the Helen Woodward Animal Center. Tickets for the 1-hour cruise are $23 a person, and dogs cruise free. Begins at North Harbor Drive between Broadway and Ash.
Sat., June 9, 2012, 4 p.m.--Fiesta del PAWS, at 1048 Myrtle Way, San Diego 92103, to support PAWS' mission to provide veterinary care subsidies and monthly pet food/supply delivery to hundreds of low-income elderly, disabled and chronically ill pet owners. Tickets are $85 and up.
Sunday, June 10, 2012, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.--4th Annual Doggie Street Festival -- Location TBA. Pet adoption event, with pet information, products & services, and good food and music. Last year 130 pets found new forever homes.
Sat., June 16, 2012, 10 a.m.-- 7th Annual Loews Surf Dog Competition, at Dunes Park/Beach, 700 Seacoast Drive, Imperial Beach. Competition for small dogs, large dogs, tandem rides & celebrity dogs, starts at 11 a.m.
Sat., July 28, 2012, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.-- Hounds for Hope, at Dusty Rhodes Park, Sunset Cliffs Blvd. between West Pt. Loma Blvd. & Nimitz. The 2nd Annual Canine Cancer Awareness & Wellness Festival is designed to promote healthy care for our furry fiends. Sponsored by Labrador Harbor, with proceeds to benefit Labs in Need.
Fri., August 3, 2012, Dusk-- Free showing of Nickelodeon's 2009 comedy, "Hotel for Dogs," at Dusty Rhodes Park (Sunset Cliffs Blvd. between West Pt. Loma Blvd. & Nimitz). Sponsored by the Dusty Rhodes Recreation Council. Donations to benefit the Dusty Rhodes Dog Park.
|Is Your Pet Suffering from Spring Allergies? |
Does your dog keep you awake at night scratching and licking? Is he or she missing patches of fur, and showing redness around the mouth, ears, paws, belly or rear end? With Spring's arrival, we spend more time outdoors, and our dogs have more exposure to grasses, pollens, molds and trees to which some dogs have allergic reactions.
In addition to lost sleep for you and misery for your pet, all this licking and scratching cause skin eruptions, which then lead to bacterial and yeast infections, which lead to many trips to your veterinary clinic, and frequent baths with medicated shampoos and anti-itch conditioners.
If the allergies are mild, they can often be controlled with a simple foot bath after walking through fields and lawns. Add some iodine or vinegar to a shallow pan of warm water and soak your dog's feet and dry thoroughly after a walk, and before entering your house. Weekly or more frequent baths remove the offending allergens from the entire animal. Treating your dog with over-the-counter antihistamines (Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec, Tavist are some common brands; avoid those with "-D" decongestants added) may help alleviate the itching, but they also may make dogs sleepy or constipated. Don't use antihistamines with pregnant or epileptic dogs, or those with glaucoma or heart problems. Check with your Vet for appropriate dosages.
While fleas tend to be a year-round problem in San Diego, they become especially problematic for many dogs from Easter through Thanksgiving, and may cause severe allergic reactions. Now is the time to begin regularly treating your pet with safe and effective flea control products, such as Advantage II or Frontline Plus. Dog Beach Dog Wash offers several natural flea shampoos (herbal, pyrethrum and neem) but while they will kill the fleas on the animal, once rinsed off the shampoos have no lasting effect. Since topical flea products should not be applied for a day or two after a bath, we offer individual or 6-pack Capstar oral pills that protect your pet for 24 hours, and begin working within 30 minutes, so that your pet is protected from reinfestation between the bath and applying a longer-lasting flea killer. Dog Beach Dog Wash has several safe and effective products to rid your home and your yard of these maddening pests as well.
Building up your pet's immune system is a sound way to ward off common allergies. Start with a healthy diet low in carbohydrates (corn, wheat, rice, potatoes, other starches) and increase fruits (especially berries), vegetables and lean meat. You can add pro-biotic and vitamin supplements, including Omega fatty acids found in fish and flaxseed oils.
Meanwhile, you can also reduce the allergens in your home with frequent vacuuming using HEPA filter bags, installing electrostatic filters in your furnace/air conditioning units, or a separate air filter in the room where your pet sleeps. There are environmental allergens that may be problematic for your dog in your home year-round (dust mites, cat dander, mold, chemical residue from cleaning products, food, or any substance that your dog comes in contact with). Other suggestion for managing your dog's exposure to seasonal allergens include
* Limit your dog's outdoor time during peak allergy seasons
* Avoid going outside at dawn and dusk when high outdoor pollen are highest
* Keep lawn grass cut short to reduce seed and pollen production
* Keep pets off the lawn one to two hours after mowing or when the lawn is wet
* Avoid letting your dog put its head out of car windows when traveling
If these mild treatments don't eliminate the symptoms of outdoor allergies, or your dog suffers from indoor or year-round allergies, you may want to consult a Vet who is board certified in veterinary dermatology, or a holistic Vet who specializes in herbal medicine (Chinese and western), homeopathy and natural supplementation.
You can have a Vet dermatologist identify the specific allergens affecting your dog with a skin (intradermal) test, or a blood (serologic) test. Allergy shots (immunotherapy) directed at your pet's specific allergens can be developed, which will set you back a few hundred dollars a year, in addition to the few hundred spent on the tests. But the return of your pet's overall health and good looks, and the restoration of your sound sleep, may be worth it.
|Other Conditions That Can Cause Itching|
(from THE WHOLE DOG JOURNAL, April 2011 issue)
Allergies are not the only reason that dogs itch. In fact, to properly diagnose hypersensitivity, one of the first things a veterinarian needs to do is to rule out other potential causes of itching. "Allergies are a diagnosis of exclusion," says Donna Spector, DVM, DACVIM, an internal medicine specialist with a consulting practice in Deerfield, Illinois. A dog's medical history can sometimes help his vet identify the reason for the dog's itching, but in other cases, the history may be lacking (such as with a shelter dog).
In other cases, a good history may exist, but the picture it presents is muddled. Complicating the diagnostic task is the fact that some causes of itching may actually be a secondary effect of the dog's allergy. For example, a dog may be itchy because he has a yeast infection (an overgrowth of an organism commonly found on even healthy dogs)--or he may may developed a yeast infection as a result of licking and chewing (due to an allergy), which created the conditions in which the yeast organism thrives. It may take some time and tests for your vet to sort it all out. Here are some of the other conditions that can cause dogs to itch.
* Bacterial infection (pyoderma)
* Contact dermatitis from exposure to a caustic agent
* Drug reaction
* Fungal infection (including yeast)
* Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing's disease - causes a secondary infection)
* Hypothyroidism (causes a secondary infection)
* Immune-mediated disorders -- Includes conditions such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
* Liver, pancreatic, or renal disease
* Parasitic infection -- includes internal parasites, as well as external parasites such as fleas, ticks, and mites. Three main tyes of mites are most problematic: Cheyletiella ("walking dandruff"); Demodex canis (which causes demodicosis, also known as red mange or demodectic mange); and Sarcoptes scabiei canis (which causes scabies, also known as sarcoptic mange)
Happy Earth Day!
Jane & Mindy (with Chipper, Juno & Zydeco)
"We are alone, absolutely alone on this chance planet; and amid all the forms of life that surround us, not one, excepting the dog has made an alliance with us."