Little Cody, (a.k.a. Codymeister) loves to feel the breeze out the car window.  :)

codywindLove this shot, Candi!

Ripley’s humans are Florida Gators fans & today is their homecoming.  They asked Sheltie Nation to wish them luck!

ripley(1)Go Gators!  :)

food1. Grapes
Many people give this fruit to their dogs as a treat. However, just a few bites can cause fatal kidney failure in some dogs.

Both grapes and raisins can be toxic. Some dogs eat them with seemingly no ill effects. However, some dogs become ill after ingesting only a few grapes or raisins. The first symptom is vomiting, followed by acute kidney failure, from which many dogs do not recover. As of yet, the toxin is unknown, nor do we know why some dogs become sick and others eat grapes or raisins without a problem.

2. Bread dough
The yeast-containing bread dough can ferment in the dog’s stomach, releasing large quantities of alcohol. Dogs may become very ill from alcohol poisoning.  Small dogs are most susceptible to this toxicity.

3. Macadamia nuts
The ingestion of as few as six macadamia nuts has caused paralysis in dogs. Dogs with macadamia poisoning will appear anxious and have difficulty moving their rear legs. The legs may appear to be painful. Luckily, the paralysis is temporary and clears up within a few days. The causative agent of the paralysis is unknown.

4. Salmon
Salmon and trout can be infected with a parasite called Nanophyetus salmincola, a type of trematode worm. The worms themselves can be infected with a type of bacteria known as Neorickettsia helminthoeca. The bacteria only infects canids; other animals show no symptoms from eating it. When dogs eat raw fish infected with this bacteria, they can show symptoms including weakness, vomiting, loss of appetite, swollen glands, and fever. Ninety percent of untreated dogs die. However, cooking kills the worm and the bacteria.

5. Onions
Onions and garlic contain a chemical called thiosulfate. When ingested either in large quantities or in small quantities over a long period of time, they can cause anemia. This is reversible if you stop feeding the onions or garlic.

6. Xylitol
This toxicity usually occurs when dogs eat large amounts of sugar-free candy or gum. In humans, xylitol does not cause a drop in blood sugar; in dogs it does. This can lead to weakness, staggering, and other symptoms of hypoglycemia. There is also some evidence that some dogs may develop liver failure after ingesting xylitol.  Read more about this here.

7. Cooked chicken bones
Cooked bones are much more dangerous than raw bones. They are much more brittle than raw bones and can splinter into sharp shards.  But why risk feeding any chicken bones?  Give them something else.

8. Turkey skin
Dogs that are fed a straight diet of dry food with little variety- may get an inflammation of the pancreas called “pancreatitis” if they eat certain foods that they are not used to.

In dogs, pancreatitis often results from eating a very high-fat meal. While dogs that are used to eating a high-fat diet, like sled dogs, can eat pure fat with no problems, dogs that are not used to such foods often cannot. When such a dog eats a high-fat meal, its pancreas overproduces enzymes, to the extent that they actually begin to “digest” the pancreas and inflame it. Common culprits are turkey skin and ham fat. Symptoms include vomiting and stomach pain. This is a medical emergency, and such dogs must be treated by a vet. Some breeds, like miniature schnauzers, are genetically predisposed to pancreatitis.

9. Cocoa bean mulch
A common food byproduct used in gardens has been found to cause vomiting, tremors and fast heartbeat when dogs eat it.

Cocoa bean shells contain the same toxic theobromine that chocolate does, and are poisonous to dogs for the same reason. The mulch has an attractive chocolate smell that is irresistible to many dogs.

See our previous post on Chocolate for more information on this toxic food.

10. Poinsettia, Holly & Mistletoe
Despite common misconceptions, poinsettias are only mildly toxic, and most dogs who eat them will experience no symptoms at all. Some dogs will drool or vomit after eating them. Holly causes intense nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe causes vomiting, diarrhea, neurological problems and heart failure.

Thanks to Linda for the great shot of Maxx getting his dinner!

Next: Did you know? Tea Tree Oil is toxic to dogs.

Back to: Sheltie FAQ

Here is Kippy (8 years), and Sedona (4-month-old Shepherd). The smile on Kip’s face shows such contentedness, but the smile isn’t just the muzzle, it’s the eyes! I LOVE the Sheltie eyes: they truly are the windows to their souls!KipsmilesJennifer,I couldn’t have said it better!

Girl saved by her rescue pup
A Sheltie runt with little chance to live had an amazing gift

By Lisa Rosetta, The Salt Lake Tribune

MAGNA – It was Shanna Wilkinson’s 13th birthday and for her gift, she got to choose a Shetland sheepdog puppy to raise and train for American Kennel Club competition.

To her mother’s dismay, Shanna picked a runt, a sickly pup the veterinarian said wouldn’t survive.  But Shanna took her anyway, coddling and bottle feeding the little Sheltie named Holly until she was well enough to eat on her own.

Shanna had saved the pup’s life. It was a favor that Holly would return four years later, when Shanna was diagnosed with late-onset juvenile epilepsy – and Holly began predicting her seizures.

For her skill, Holly is one of only six service dogs in the country being recognized by the AKC in Boise today with a Canine Excellence Award.

In 2004, Shanna began collapsing and experiencing grand mal seizures – up to nine a day – that leave her feeling tired, sore, and “like I’ve been hit by a bus,” she said.

Just before the seizures occur, Holly acts out, barking, whining, pawing and staring intently at Shanna.

“At first, we didn’t know what she was trying to tell us because we didn’t know what was going on,” said Cynthia Wilkinson, Shanna’s mother. “But then we started putting it together that she’d start this strange behavior and then Shanna would have a seizure.”

Cynthia timed it. Between five and 10 minutes before Shanna has a seizure, Holly reliably alerts. The 15-inch-tall Sheltie then takes her place alongside Shanna during her short seizures.

“Even when Holly has gotten kicked [by Shanna], she won’t leave,” Cynthia said. “She wants to be right there. I’ve tried to physically pick her up and move her and she comes right back.”

Having a heads-up about her impending seizures allows Shanna to avoid potential dangers, such as the sharp edges of a coffee table, and lie down so she does not fall and hurt herself – an advantage, she said, that has changed her life.

“I feel comfortable to go out in public and that I’ll have an opportunity to go away from everyone and go lay down when Holly alerts me,” said Shanna, now 20. “[Holly] has really given me back my independence.”

When she was first diagnosed, Shanna said she stopped going out with friends and doing “normal teenage activities.” Her fear of when and where her seizures may strike kept her at home.

“But now, I can go out with my friends and they feel confident and OK to be with me because Holly is there,” she said.

For reasons researchers haven’t been able to explain – or absolutely prove – a small number of dogs such as Holly appear to be able to alert humans to impending seizures.

Some service dog providers believe patients unknowingly provide a behavioral cue, such as minute gestures or postures, or perhaps a smell or a sound, according to an article published in the European journal Seizure. Still others believe it could be a combination of all of these things.

“People always want to say, ‘Well, how do they [dogs] know?’ I don’t know how [Holly] knows, other than maybe [Shanna’s] heart rate changes,” Cynthia said. “Something in her body must change.”

Cynthia, a dog breeder and trainer, said a dog’s ability to predict seizures is innate – it can’t be taught. This is contrary to seizure response dogs, which can be trained to assist a patient during and after a seizure.

Once the Wilkinsons understood Holly’s behavior, they talked to Shanna’s doctor about the possibility of making Holly a full-time service dog. Before they could enroll the Sheltie in service dog training, they needed a physician’s note.

“[The doctor] was really supportive,” Cynthia said. “He thought it was a great idea.”

Holly and Shanna, partners in AKC agility and herding competitions, had to learn how to work together as a service dog team.

Now the Sheltie sports a blue service dog vest, rebuffing strangers who approach her offering affection. In public places, such as restaurants, she’s nearly inconspicuous.

Because Holly’s fluffy, multicolored coat often obscures her vest, and because most people identify Labradors or German shepherds as working dogs, people don’t always immediately recognize Holly as a service dog, Cynthia said.

But the Sheltie ensures Shanna’s safety, and Cynthia’s peace of mind. “It gives me a lot of security to know Holly can handle it,” Cynthia said.

Today, Holly will be recognized for her work by an AKC club in Boise and again in December in Long Beach, Calif. Shanna will accept a silver medal and a $1,000 check in honor of her 7-year-old dog.

“I really do owe her my life,” said Shanna, who now is working on getting her associate’s degree from Salt Lake Community College. Holly, of course, is in the classroom with her every day.

Reflecting on that day Shanna warmed up to the feeble pup, Cynthia smiles. “Sometimes, things just turn out exactly like they’re supposed to,” she said.

The entire article can be read here.