Jude Fine -
Mansfield - Intern
Smith-Boyd - Intern
1st Quarter 2003:
2nd Quarter 2003:
Memorializing One Lab's Love Can Save Many Lab Lives
With the loss of one's beloved Lab, even the kindest gestures of well-meaning friends bring little comfort. The loss of a connection too powerful for
words causes a pain so intense that there is no remedy. Perhaps the only way
to find a bit of relief is to attempt the seemingly impossible task of
transforming loss into gain. How, might you ask, can you spin anything
positive out of a negative event as harsh as losing one's beloved
Lab? You can do what two wonderful families have done.
When Jack and Ann Arnold lost their very special friend, Buddy, they
wanted to memorialize his heart and soul. Buddy Arnold, their beautiful chocolate
Lab, was 11 years old when he died of complications from malignant
fibrosarcoma. This new cancer followed malignant oral melanoma, which had
been treated successfully by four surgeries in March 2001.
LABMED and the Labrador-L e-mail list first heard of Buddy in April of 1998,
when he was 7 years old. He had had cruciate ligament surgery, which went
well, but he developed aspiration pneumonia and fought for his life for 7
intense days before he recovered. Less than three years later, however, he
got oral cancer, and just a few short months after that diagnosis, he
The Arnolds showed their love and devotion to Buddy in numerous ways.
There was always a family member willing to sleep on the floor if Buddy
couldn't climb the stairs to the bedroom. They would take their recuperating dog to work
with them so he wouldn't have to be home all day by himself. They would spend any
amount they could if it would just help their dog to get well or if they could
relieve some of his suffering. But the time came when no matter what they
did, or how hard they tried, they had to say good-bye.
Jack and Anne said good-bye to their best friend Buddy on November 23,
2001, nine days after his 11th birthday.
Jack Arnold was a very special friend of LABMED as early as August 15, 1996,
when the Labrador-L e-mail list first heard about the Sad Little Man who was
to become Buddy Whaley, LABMED's ambassador. Jack Arnold was the first person
to e-mail Buddy's rescuers with a very significant message: "Don't let them put
this dog down due to lack of funds. Here is my donation." More money from other
kind-hearted people poured in, of course, and LABMED was born. But Jack was the
Fitch's Buddy of Cottontown
November 14, 1990 -
Meet just a few of the rescued Labs that have gotten a second chance at
a happy, healthy life thanks to Jack Arnold. Thank you, Jack, for your generous spirit and your devotion to
our cause. And for your love for your Buddy. We know it was repaid, time and time again.
The Pecos Memorial Fund is dedicated to helping Labradors who have
suffered at the hands of humans yet kept their grace and spirit despite the
cruel treatment they received. This fund was started in memory of Pecos, a
yellow Lab who escaped from his yard while his owners were on vacation and
somehow found his way home despite the severe injuries he received after he had
been doused with lighter fluid and set afire. Although Pecos was transferred to a
vet school with the best of facilities, once he was assessed there, it was
felt that the burns he received were too severe and the most humane thing to
do was to euthanize him.
A $5,000 reward fund was established to help bring the abusers to
justice, but unfortunately they have not been caught yet. Due to press
coverage of this tragic event, donations had started to come in to help with
Pecos' treatment and continued to come in even after he was euthanized. Through
the generosity of
Georgia Labrador Retriever Rescue who decided to donate all of the funds raised for Pecos to LABMED and another nonprofit group, we can help keep the memory of Pecos alive by using these funds to help those Labs and Lab-mixes who come to us for assistance when they have suffered injuries or illness due to abuse or neglect.
March 1990 - October 2002
Max's Fund was established by several individuals who were profoundly touched
in a lasting way by a wonderful Labrador Retriever named Max. Their hearts
will always carry a piece of the love Max spread around so generously.
In the donor's own words: Anyone who has loved a Lab certainly has a story to tell and Max is no exception. His story would fill the pages of an entire book, and in his
12 1/2 years he touched the lives of so many people beyond his immediate family.
He lived to love (not to be loved) and the list of people who loved him in return and miss him is endless. Perhaps
Max's real legacy is the way he actually CAN live forever
through this fund that helps provide medical care to other Labs who otherwise
wouldn't have access to the resources that Max did. During his life, Max's medical bills were significant, and the surgery, treatment and attention he required to correct hip dysplasia
when he was just 2 years old and the discomfort of arthritis later
in life was extensive. Max had the luxury of never having to forego
any medical help due to cost. He had 24-hour a day care at home from
his family. If only every Lab were so lucky. Max's owners said: "Max
was quite simply the love of our lives. Until the day he died, we
still believed he could live forever, because the thought of life
without him was inconceivable. As time has passed, we have begun to
accept that we may never get over Max's absence in our family, and
our broken hearts may never completely mend. And that is O.K. We hope
that this fund can be yet another one of Max's amazing gifts, as
well as our way of thanking him for changing the way we live and
Donation Fund comes from the Pilcher Family, who designated that their
gift be used to help "any Lab needing the money at the moment when
you might not have the funds for its care." The phenomenal
reciprocal love between Murphy and his family is beautifully
captured in Geri Pilcher's poem to the late great Murphy:
You taught me love, how to give not take,
You ran like the wind, you swam in the lake,
You slept on my bed, curled up in a ball,
Until the time when the angels would call.
My brave little boy, the time had come,
To go to heaven, now your pain is gone,
Take walks in the clouds with dad and mom,
We'll be together when Mac, Maia, and I come.
What could be a better birthday
present than seeing your guests collectively contribute to the
well-being of a Lab in need of help? That's how Liz and Alex King
felt when they planned a party to celebrate son Alex's 13th
birthday. Guest donations to LABMED totalled $334, which can go a
long way toward ensuring a second chance for at least one Lab.
From the Kings' description, it sounds like we all would have had a
Boy, did we have a party. Nineteen 12 year olds showed up to cloudy
skies and the threat of rain, but it did not stop us from having one
heck of a good time. We bobbed for donuts hanging on strings,
juggled, danced crazy and had a 'cookie walk.' The kids were so
proud of what we did.....$334 raised for LABMED!!!!!! Check out our
donation jar with the LABMED logo in the attached photo! Alex was so
very very happy......and pleased. We are hoping to sponsor a dog so
that he can share this info with all his guests. I will begin that
process right away. Thanks for all that you do,
Liz and Alex King
LABMED is grateful for all of these funds, which help create a solid funding
base for helping rescuers cover the veterinary costs of ailing Labs. Each month, these funds save lives while helping to memorialize the Lab's infinite capacity for unconditional love.
Meet LABMED's Fleece Menagerie!
| Treat your dog to a SPRING FLING with these adorable 8-10 inch plush toys! Their richly textured coats and 2 internal squeakers will make all dogs think they are retrieving the most perfect creatures that ever waddled through barnyard heaven!
BLACK SHEEP has thick, curly "hair" over a perfectly chunky body that
is SO grabbable. HONEY BUNNY has tightly woven, textured "hair" and luscious,
long rabbit ears, while LUCKY DUCK has fine, silky down and a beak as yellow
as sunshine. See for yourself by pasting the following link into your
"Dear LABMED," wrote your dog in a recent email to us. "Please tell
my folks to tuck these tender creatures in my Easter basket for grateful licks
and loads of fun! And if they missed Easter, there's always my birthday!!"
And remember, your gift to your dog will help a less fortunate Lab
get a second chance at love and play!
March 16 through 22nd 2003 was National Poison Control Week, but it's
never too late to be informed about lethal substances. Visit the ASPCA website to
learn about common toxins and how to keep your pet safe. ASPCA WEBSITE
Common signs of poisoning:
- Muscle tremors.
- Vomiting or diarrhea, sometimes with blood.
- Excessive salivation - drooling or foaming.
- Redness of skin, ears, eyes.
- Mental depression or excitement.
- Bleeding (as with rat poison ingestion).
- Ulceration or blisters of the mouth or skin.
- Excessive pawing at the mouth and licking.
- Swelling of a limb or the face, as is often seen with insect bites and stings.
- Elevated or depressed body temperature (elevations usually due to increased
muscle activity -- tremors, seizures).
If you see these signs:
Call your veterinarian or veterinary emergency clinic immediately.
Have the following information ready:
- Exact name of toxin ingested, inhaled, or absorbed.
- About how much of the toxin was ingested.
- How long ago you suspect that your pet may have been poisoned.
- Approximate weight of your pet.
- What signs your pet is showing -- vomiting, tremors, salivation, and
general observations -- such as color of the gums (capillary refill
time), respiratory rate, heart rate, and if possible, body temperature.
- If the poison is known, take the box or package with you.
- Do NOT induce vomiting without consulting your veterinarian or Poison Control center first. Some toxins are caustic, and vomiting will only increase damage. Some toxins need to be neutralized with activated charcoal, others need to be expelled by vomiting, and still others have antidotes.
- Topical toxins need to be rinsed (skin, eye) with copious amounts of water.
Know these common household poisons:
- Antifreeze (Ethylene glycol).
- Slug/Snail bait.
- Prescription medications.
- Mouse and Rat poison.
- Some plants (indoor and outdoor), shrubs, and trees. Check with your veterinarian for help in finding information on native plants in your area that are toxic to pets.
- Flea and Tick treatments. Using more or not following product recommendations is NOT the way to kill more fleas and ticks!
- Lawn fertilizers, weed killers.
- Household cleaners and chemicals.
Pet poison-proofing tips
- Rat, slug, snail, mice, and ant baits are made to be attractive and
tasty, even to the curious pet. Don't count on how well you hide these baits,
either. Make sure that they are safely out of pet's reach (and that the pet
isn't able to chew through something to get at them). If using locked bait
boxes, keep them in locked cabinets or weight them down!! Pets have been
known to pick them up and shake out the poison bait.
- Medications made for humans may have tasty coatings. Ethylene glycol
antifreeze is known to be sweet-tasting.
- Unknowingly playing fetch or encouraging your dog to chew on plants
or trees that are poisonous could have disastrous effects.
- A spray bottle, can, or other container may look like a toy until
the container is punctured and contents leak out!
by Saralyn Sharp
Hip dysplasia is a complicated disease. It has occurred in every breed of
dog, but seems to be most prevalent in medium to large breed dogs. It also
seems to be more prevalent in Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and
German Shepherds, although this may simply be a function of those breeds'
popularity and greater numbers than a true higher prevalence.
Notice to people who visit my home
The mechanics of hip dysplasia are simple; the hip joint is a ball-and-socket
type joint meaning that the head of the femur forms a ball shape, which fits
into a hollow formed by the pelvic bones. Dysplasia is created when either
the "socket" part of the joint, or more usually the "ball" part of the joint,
are not shaped properly and therefore don't fit together properly. When this
happens, the femur head tends to move abnormally in the joint and create
trauma and inflammation in the cartilage that cushions between the bones.
This inflammation can lead to arthritis, and eventually to bone spurs. Bone
spurs are tiny pieces of bone that grow in response to the chronic
inflammation. Although the pieces are tiny, they in turn traumatize the
cartilage (like grains of sand in your shoe) leading to more inflammation and pain.
This is a picture of a good hip
This is a picture of a bad hip
Now comes the complicated part. Just what causes these bones to become
misshapen? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question.
Unlike some other canine maladies that are governed by one gene pair, hip
dysplasia seems to be affected by several different genes, none of which
carry complete dominance over the other, and to complicate matters even
further, it does appear that diet and exercise also play a part in hip
dysplasia. With the disease being controlled by many genes and containing
the diet/exercise component, it has proved to be very difficult for breeders
to eliminate from the breeds. In addition to this, an individual dog's
response to hip dysplasia can vary widely, and onset of the disease can also
vary. Conversely, hips that are the most dysplastic often are not in joint
at all (subluxated) and, therefore, are not causing trauma or pain to
the joint. Therefore, you can never assume that because your dog does not show
pain, its hips are not dysplastic.
What are the signs of hip dysplasia? The first signs an owner may notice is
a peculiar gait, often a rolling of the hips or a "wiggle" in the back end.
This is often accompanied by the "bunny" hop, a gait where the dog uses both
back legs together, at a run. As the disease progresses, lameness may appear, and the dog may exhibit a reluctance to stand from a sitting or prone position and a reluctance to sit. Any dog that exhibits these signs should be evaluated by a veterinarian.
The veterinarian will palpate the joint to evaluate for crepitus (grating of
bone on bone) and range of motion (dogs with hip dysplasia often have reduced
range of motion and pain on extension of the hips). Radiographs (X-rays)
will also be recommended. The palpation may require sedation in dogs for
whom it is painful. Sedation at the time of radiographs is always recommended so that the thigh muscles will relax and show the true extent of the dysplasia.
If your dog is deemed dysplastic, there are a number of treatments ranging
from medical management to a Total Hip Replacement (THR). Medical management
can often be used in cases of mild dysplasia and will often slow the progression of the disease. It usually includes chondro-protectives (nutraceuticals such as glucosamine, chondroitin, and Vitamin C), pain management, weight control, and moderate exercise. For cases of severe dysplasia, or where the dog displays a lot of pain, surgical
intervention is usually required. The type of surgery performed often depends on the age of your dog, and your pocketbook. Young dogs, usually under eight months of
age, with dysplasia but no arthritis can often be cured by a Triple Pelvic
Osteotomy (TPO). TPOs are a surgery where the pelvis is fractured, re-angled
to invite a deeper setting of the head of the femur, and plated to allow
stability during healing. Frequently this requires two surgeries, one for
each side, however, the surgery is often curative. Older dogs, and those
with arthritis already in the joint, need to have the joint itself addressed
in surgery. The most frequently performed surgeries performed in these cases
are a Femoral Head Osteotomy (FHO) and a Total Hip Replacement (THR). In the
FHO, the head and neck of the femur of the affected joint are removed, and
the dog's muscles form a false joint. This surgery is most effective in
lighter weight dogs; since it relieves the pain, however, larger dogs still
can benefit from it. The false joint will probably never be as strong as the
original joint, therefore this surgery is not recommended for working dogs or those in heavy training. Dogs who have this surgery should, nevertheless, be
maintained with moderate exercise. By removing the head of the femur, it eliminates the knocking and grinding of bones and thus eliminates the pain. This surgery is considered curative. THR surgery is currently considered the
"gold standard" treatment for hip dysplasia. In this surgery, the head and
neck of the femur are removed and replaced with a titanium appliance that is
made to fit into the socket. With this surgery, a dog may be expected to
return to a normal working schedule. Because the ball of the appliance fits
securely into the socket, the joint is made to be normal. Unlike in humans,
where artificial hips may have to be replaced in 10 years, the shortened
lifespan of a dog means that appliances rarely need to be replaced. Frequently, dogs with bilateral hip dysplasia need only have one hip replaced, for it can take the pressure off of the other hip, and medical management can slow the progression of the disease in the other hip. The THR is the most expensive treatment for hip dysplasia.
Ideally, the easiest way to deal with hip dysplasia is to prevent it. Unfortunately, as discussed earlier, the disease is not simple to eradicate
from a breeding program. Breeders thus use many methods to prevent the disease. Currently, veterinary medicine recommends that all breeding stock
be radiographed for signs of the disease by either the current Orthopedic
Foundation of America (OFA) measures, or through the newer University of
Pennsylvania veterinary hospital's PENNhip methods. PENNhip is a promising method of quantifying the laxity of hip and can be done at a younger age than
the current OFA method. PENNhip requires that all information on any
radiographed dog be submitted and then ranks an individual dog against others
of its breed. OFA does not require that all radiographs be submitted; most
breeders, therefore, only send radiographs of dogs they believe will pass,
making it difficult to track the true percentage of hip dysplasia in the
breed. By using only dogs with good hips, the likelihood that their
offspring will have good hips should increase.
The second component of hip dysplasia prevention is diet and exercise.
Veterinarians noted that they saw an explosion of the disease when people
began feeding puppy diets, with their superior nutrition. This was puzzling,
because it seemed that the opposite should have happened, that as dogs
received superior nutrition, they should be healthier. Research into this
has shown that the superior nutrition actually caused the puppies to grow too
quickly, and the puppies' joints were unable to keep up with the rapid
growth. With this knowledge, many dog food companies created puppy food that
was more moderate in protein and nutrients, so that it moderates growth and
allows the cartilage and tendons to keep up with bone growth. It does not
stunt the dog's growth; it simply means that the dog will take longer to
reach full growth. In growing animals, moderate exercise is necessary for
normal bone and joint development; excessive exercise, however, can wear on
the ligaments and tendons, and is therefore not recommended until the dog has
reached full growth. It is also important to breed for moderation in size of
dogs, as it is known that excessive size and weight cause excessive wear and
tear on the joints.
Hip dysplasia is a devastating and often debilitating disease, but there are
treatments for it, and many household pets can be managed on a strict regimen
of weight control, moderate exercise, chondro-protectives, and pain medicine.
If surgery is required, a dog can often be maintained while the owner saves
for the surgery. There are also ways to moderate or prevent the disease
through good breeding programs, a large breed puppy diet, and moderate exercise during a puppy's growing years. When obtaining a puppy, make sure
the breeder's stock has been checked for the disease for as many generations
as possible. If you are obtaining an adult dog through rescue, and thus cannot ascertain its history, start a weight control program immediately
(discuss with your veterinarian the weight at which your dog should be maintained), begin a moderate exercise program, and have your veterinarian perform an orthopedic exam to see if chondro-protectives should be added to your dog's diet.
Life with a confirmed dog-lover . . .
- The dogs live here...you don't.
- If you don't want dog hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture.
- Yes, they have some disgusting habits. So do I and so do you.
- OF COURSE they smell like dogs.
- It's their nature to try to sniff you in embarrassing places. Please
feel free to sniff them.
- I like them a lot better than I like most people.
- To you they are dogs. To me they are adopted children who are
short, hairy, walk on all fours, and don't speak clearly. I have no
problem with any of these things.
- Dogs are better than kids: they eat less, don't ask for money all
the time, are easier to train, usually come when called, never drive your
car, don't hang out with drug-using friends, don't smoke or drink, don't
worry about whether they have the latest fashions, don't wear your
clothes, and don't need a gazillion dollars for college.
Calendar: May - July, 2003
- July: Rose City LRC - St Paul, OR (Specialty)
- July: LRC Twin Cities (Hunt Test)
- July: Rose City LRC - Portland, OR (Hunt Test)
Abbey's Best Smile