A Quick History of Veterinary Medicine

vet history bainbridgeBy Linda Cole

Modern day veterinarians have an essential role in the health and welfare of our pets, as well as livestock and wildlife. Vets are well-versed in the science of animal health, and they promote public health by identifying and combating infectious zoonotic diseases that can be passed from animals to humans. Advances in medical science have provided veterinary professionals with sophisticated equipment, tests, procedures and medicines to treat our pets. However, the history of veterinary science dates back much further than you may realize.

The first known people to dabble in the field of veterinary medicine began around 9000 BC in Middle East countries including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Turkey and Iraq. Sheepherders had a crude understanding of medical skills which were used to treat their dogs and other animals. From 4000 to 3000 BC, Egyptians took earlier medical skills and made further advancements. Historical records and Egyptian hieroglyphs record how they used herbs to treat and promote good health in domesticated animals.

Vedic literature, which was written around 1500 BC, refers to four sacred texts from India written in the Sanskrit language that forms the basis of the Hindu religion. The Kahun Papyrus from Egypt dates back to 1900 BC. Both texts are likely the first written accounts of veterinary medicine. One of the sacred texts documents India’s first Buddhist king, Asoka, who ensured there were two kinds of medicine: one for humans and one for animals. If he discovered there was no medicine available for one or the other, he ordered healing herbs to be bought and planted where they were needed.

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Why Do Young Puppies Still Need Their Mothers?

By Laurie Darroch

A young puppy still needs his birth mother in the early weeks, for health reasons and also for the formation of socialization skills.

As individuals, puppies mature at different rates. The age that is commonly considered appropriate for a puppy to leave Mom is about eight weeks of age. By that time, the pup will have learned some skills from his mother and from playing with littermates.

Although puppies learn and grow at a faster rate than human babies, they are born fairly helpless and do need their mother for awhile, for the following reasons:

Vision

Puppies usually do not fully open their eyes until they are 12 to 18 days old, although it can be earlier, and one eye may open at a time. This means a very young puppy does not have the use of vision and needs to stay close to its mother.

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A Spooktacular Howl-o-ween Photo Contest!

By Julia Williams

Fright night is finally here! Are you ready for all the haunting fun? More importantly, is your four-legged friend ready?

Do you have a captivatingly creepy monster costume for your pet? Or maybe you prefer to go the cute route and dress your pet like a clown or a pirate? Or perhaps just a simple pair of devil horns suits your little “angel” best?

No matter what kind of bewitching getup your pet will be wearing today – even if it’s au naturel – CANIDAE wants to see their photo, and there are pet food prizes!

Once you’ve snapped a great photo of your pet, entering the contest is easy peasy. Just visit the CANIDAE Facebook contest page to upload a photo of your pet in their booootiful Halloween costume (or just celebrating the holiday), and you might win 6 months free CANIDAE.

Prizes to be awarded:

• 6 months free CANIDAE to the pet with the most online votes
• 6 months free CANIDAE to the dog chosen by our pet-loving panel
• 6 months free CANIDAE to the cat chosen by our pet-loving panel

Contest ends at midnight PST on November 3rd. See rules for eligibility and voting information. Pets who have won any CANIDAE contest within the last 12 months are not eligible. Votes are welcome from other countries, but entries must be from the US or Canada, due to shipping restrictions.

Let the Halloween revelry begin!

Move Over Pigs – Truffle Hunting Dogs Are Taking Over!

By Linda Cole

Truffles are one of the most expensive culinary delicacies used in cooking. This highly prized tubular fungi grows underground and can only be found by pigs or dogs trained to sniff them out. Female pigs have been the traditional truffle hunters because finding them is something they do naturally with no training, but they are apt to eat the pricey mushrooms. Truffle hunting dogs have been used in Italy and France for years, and now American hunters are also relying on canine noses to root out these elusive and expensive treats.

The Lagotto Romagnolo, an Italian water dog, has been the breed used by Italian truffle hunters since the 1800s. Retrievers, setters, pointers and dogs used in detection work – including the Belgian Malinois, German Shepherd and Beagle – all easily adapt to hunting truffles. Poodles, Fox Terriers and Dachshunds also have a good nose for finding the hidden gems. But any dog, mixed or purebred, can be trained to sniff out truffles. Like pigs, dogs will eat the truffles; however, it’s much easier to stop a dog from eating one than it is to convince a 300 pound pig to drop her favorite treat.

Truffles are among the world’s most expensive natural foods. They are found in Europe, North America, Asia and North Africa. Warty and irregular, truffles can be as small as marbles up to the size of a fist. They’re often found around the base of pine, willow, hazelnut and oak trees, although pretty much any tree can have one of these prized treats hidden underneath.
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The Best Halloween Costumes for Pets

By Langley Cornwell

Which one are you – a pet owner who dresses up the family dog or cat for Halloween, or a pet owner who thinks it’s a silly practice? Most people fall into one category or the other, without a lot of gray space in between. Even if you’re in the “it’s silly” camp, you have to admit that sometimes Halloween costumes for pets are funny, sometimes they’re clever and sometimes they’re downright brilliant.

Let’s Pretend

It’s popular to dress up your dog or cat as another animal. There are some precious pandas, penguins, pigs, bumblebees and sharks out there. Another standby is a lion mane costume for a cat. This Halloween costume is especially effective if the cat is an oversized orange tabby. I recently saw a plush lion’s mane on a Golden Retriever which was also cute, especially considering the dog’s loving, wistful stare (very un-lion like).

I always thought my Samoyed mix looked like a polar bear, and apparently I’m not alone. A local animal shelter recently held a Halloween costume fundraiser and the winner was a white, fluffy dog dressed like a polar bear.

There are spider costumes for every size dog. The best I’ve seen is a black Pug with black spider legs, but there was a German Shepherd dressed like a big spider with a hairy spider body and hairy spider legs. Horrifyingly cute!

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Are Pets Affected by the Daylight Savings Time Change?

daylight savings marioBy Linda Cole

Daylight savings time reverts back to standard time on Sunday, November 2, except for most of Arizona and Hawaii that don’t participate in the time change. We lose an hour (spring forward) in the spring and gain it back (fall back) in the fall. These yearly time changes may not be that big of a deal to us, but to pets it can be confusing and stressful. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help your pet adjust and hopefully avoid having your extra hour of sleep interrupted by a hungry cat or anxious dog wondering why you’re still in bed.

Humans, animals, plants and even fungi have a biological clock on an approximate 24 hour cycle. Our circadian rhythm (internal clock) tells us when it’s time to sleep, wake up and eat. It’s how bears and other hibernating animals know when it’s time to find a nesting site for the winter, and it’s what signals migrating butterflies and birds that it’s time for their seasonal journey. The circadian rhythm is based on periods of light and darkness, and it doesn’t matter if light is natural or artificial. Animals know when the seasons are changing and our pets do notice an increase or decrease in daylight when we change times each year.

A dog or cat’s daily routine is something they would prefer to be written in stone. Unfortunately, things happen that can alter schedules, and a simple time change can be perplexing for some pets. Because they live in the human world, we are the ones that decide when it’s time for our pets to go for a walk, play or eat their CANIDAE, and also when it’s time to go to bed and wake up. In the fall when we gain an hour and can sleep in, our pets are still on daylight savings time and don’t understand why we’re still in bed when they are up and ready to go. Their internal clock is saying morning has arrived and it’s time to get moving (and get fed!).
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