Thyroid Problems in Dogs and Cats

thyroid rekre89By Langley Cornwell

As a responsible pet owner, there are many health issues dogs and cats may experience that you should be aware of. In fact, being a pet owner often means learning about things you had no idea even existed. Each species has specific health conditions that affect them, and then there are several that can afflict both cats and dogs. One of these conditions is thyroid problems.

Both dogs and cats can have problems with their thyroid gland. The thyroid gland produces the hormone that controls metabolism. Cats tend to have hyperthyroidism (too much hormone) while dogs often suffer from hypothyroidism (too little hormone).

How to Know if Your Pet Has a Thyroid Problem

If you notice your dog or cat is acting either extra sluggish or extremely active—as compared to their normal behavior — or is gaining or losing weight, you will want to call your vet and discuss this. It’s important, because if left untreated, thyroid issues may have a detrimental effect on your pet’s quality of life. The symptoms of thyroid problems, if left untreated, can lead to other conditions and can even eventually be fatal.

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What’s In a Dog’s Name?

Gizmo Donna ThackerBy Laurie Darroch

People have a myriad of reasons why they give their dog a particular name. Some names are tender and touching, others are downright funny. They may be carefully thought out or suddenly occur in a light bulb moment. Whatever the reason behind each moniker we give our loved canine companions, they are forever saddled with our choice. Dogs don’t seem to mind what their name is though, as long as we love them.


My friend Donna has a dog named “Gizmo.” If you are a movie buff you will recognize the name from the movie Gremlins. Her “Gizmo” looks just like the fictional character.

My second dog “Kira” was named after a couple of movie characters I loved. She got her name from the flying Gelfling in the Muppet-style movie The Dark Crystal, and after the muse Kira who came to Earth and fell in love with a dancing human in the movie Xanadu. Considering her human grandmother was a small screen celebrity, Kira had to have a name that tied her to the cinema world and my love of a good story.

Karen’s dog “Felipe” is named after her favorite place on earth – San Felipe, a small fishing village in Baja, Mexico. With her dog named after her loved second home, the warm town is always with her, even from far away.

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The Briard, a Faithful French Sheepdog

briard tinaBy Linda Cole

Before fences were used to set boundaries and contain livestock, sheep were free to roam the countryside. Unfortunately, in France farmers who allowed their flocks to roam outside their invisible boundaries were forced to pay high tariffs. Shepherds discovered that the Briard had the temperament and intelligence to work with sheep to keep them contained, but herding wasn’t the original job for this wise dog breed.

The history of the breed begins in France sometime during the Middle Ages. Depictions of large Briard-like dogs are on 8th century tapestries created during the reign of Charlemagne (742-814), and found in writings from the 12th century. Charlemagne gifted friends with Briards, and Napoleon is reported to have owned two of them. Thomas Jefferson fell in love with the breed while serving as Minister to France from 1784-1789, and had dogs imported to his Monticello plantation to tend his flock of Merino sheep. Marquis De Lafayette was a huge supporter of America during the Revolutionary War and brought Briards with him when he joined George Washington’s staff in 1777. Jefferson and Lafayette are both credited with introducing America to this excellent herding dog.

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Choosing Healthy Treats for Your Dog or Cat

pet treats MartinBy Julia Williams

We have a bedtime ritual here that my three cats look forward to (I know, because if I forget, they are quick to remind me!). The ritual is simple: first, I give the cat treat bag a few shakes and voila – kitties appear instantly, as if by magic. I then dole out their individual allotment of the treats, and watch as they scarf up every last crumb. My cats like this ritual because they get yummy treats, and I like it because it lets me do a quick head count before I say my goodnights.

My cats love the CANIDAE PURE Taste cat treats. They dance around the kitchen in feverish excitement, and their loud meows and purrs let me know they think these grain free treats are the bomb. Dutiful Cat Servant that I am, my job is to give my feline friends what they want … BUT only if it’s good for them. So I enjoy the ritual because I know I’m giving them treats that not only taste great (so I’ve heard, haven’t eaten any myself) and make them happy, but they’re healthy for them too. June Cleaver would approve of these treats, I’m sure!

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New Study Says Watching Cat Videos Can Improve Your Mood

cat videos storemBy Linda Cole

Are you guilty of watching cat videos online, even sneaking in viewing time at work? Well, you aren’t alone. Watching cat videos is one of the most popular things to do on the internet these days. Some people may see it as a waste of time, but according to a new study, watching cat videos is more than just entertaining and has some surprising affects on your mood and health.

For the last four years, cat lovers have flocked to Minneapolis for the annual Internet Cat Video Festival. The event this year was held August 11 at the CHS Field in St. Paul, MN and drew a crowd of around 13,000 dedicated cat loving fans. The sold out event, hosted by the Walker Arts Center, featured some of this year’s best internet cat videos that were shown on the stadium’s giant scoreboard. Cat lovers who couldn’t get tickets gathered outside the ballpark’s fence to watch the videos. It was a purrfect evening for all with lots of giggles, laughs and awws. A Golden Kitty statue was presented to this year’s winner entitled “Cat Behavior Finally Explained.” It was created by the people who make the Cat CATastrophes series.

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A Tribute to Sam Simon: Friend to All Animals

sam simon mollyBy Langley Cornwell

If there is a man worthy of tribute based on his animal rescue efforts, it is Sam Simon. Born in 1955 and recently deceased due to complications surrounding his terminal cancer, Sam Simon made every effort to see that animals got the care and treatment they needed, whether the owners could afford it or not. His efforts even extended to changing the lives of humans through animal assistance.

Mr. Simon, television writer and producer, is probably best known as one of the co-creators of the animated sit-com The Simpsons, but that is far from his most significant role in life. Of course, the income he received from the wildly successful show was certainly part of the resources he used to fund all of his animal rescue efforts.

Sam Simon Foundation

While some millionaires were buying homes with acres of manicured lawn just so they had something impressive to look at, Sam Simon did something a bit more extraordinary with his resources and his ability to purchase land. He created the Sam Simon Foundation, completely funded by him to the tune of millions of dollars per year.

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