Tag

dog

Close up image of chihuaha face

WHY YOUR DOG SMELLS BETTER THAN YOU

By | Behavior, Client Education

A dog’s sense of smell is about 1,000 to 10,000,000 times more sensitive than a human’s (depending on the breed). While you have about 5 million scent glands, a dog, depending on the breed, has anywhere from 125 million to 300 million making your dog’s sense of smell 10,000 to 100,000 times better than yours. And the part of a dog’s brain that is used to analyze smells is, proportionally speaking, 40 times greater than a human’s.

Dogs’ noses function quite differently from ours. When we inhale, we smell and breathe through the same airways within our nose. When dogs inhale, a fold of tissue just inside their nostril helps to separate these two functions.

Dogs also have a second olfactory capability, due to the Jacobson’s organ, an organ not found in human. Also called the vomeronasal organ, it’s located in the bottom of a dog’s nasal passage and picks up a variety of pheromones, the chemicals unique to each animal species that signal mating readiness and other sex-related details.

So how good is a dog’s sense of smell? If we used the sense of sight as an analogy, it means that what you can see 1/3 of a mile away, your dog could see 3,000 miles away.

We might notice a teaspoon of sugar in our cup of coffee- A dog can detect that teaspoon of sugar in a million gallons of water. Or one rotten apple in two million barrels.

Face of a tan and white dog with a cute nose.

Cute face, cute nose! At Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic.

A drug sniffing dog detected 35 pounds of marijuana that was packed in a plastic container and submerged in a gas tank filled with gasoline.

A cancer-sniffing dog kept returning to a spot on a patient’s skin that doctors had declared cancer-free. A subsequent biopsy confirmed there was melanoma in a small fraction of the cells.

What does this super sense of smell mean for your family dog’s behavior?

It’s why male dogs that have not been neutered can pick up a scent and follow their nose to the receptive female that might be nowhere in the neighborhood.

It’s why your dog knows there’s a treat sitting on a table that is too high up for him to ever be able to see it.

It’s why the local fire hydrant and/or tree, acts as Fido’s Facebook- letting all the dogs know who’s been by.

Yellow fire hydrant.

Facebook for Dogs in San Tan Valley, waiting for someone to come along and “post” on its time line.

 

 

Have a question about your pet or its behavior?  Contact us at Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic by texting or calling  480-987-4555

long haired daschund after receiving antivenin for rattlesnake bite

SNAKE BITE BONNIE – What to do if a rattlesnake bites your pet!

By | Cases, Client Education

Snake Bite Bonnie

No matter how careful you are

No matter careful you are to insure your pet’s safety, no matter how mindful you are that it’s rattlesnake season, could this happen to your dog? Bonnie, a sweet little miniature Dachshund, did nothing wrong. Her owners did nothing wrong. She was just playing in her yard along with the other dogs at her house.  Suddenly, a rattlesnake appeared, biting her on the right side of the muzzle.

The owners scooped Bonnie up, jumped into the car and made the 35 minute drive from Florence to Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic in 20 minutes.

A Diamondback Rattlesnake like the one that bit Bonnie.

A Diamondback Rattlesnake like the one that bit Bonnie.

When Bonnie got to the clinic she was lying on her side, unresponsive with labored breathing and a weak pulse. Her muzzle, where she had been bitten, was swelling. She laid there on her side, not moving. The experienced staff at Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic immediately took Bonnie in and began administering oxygen. As Dr. Schmidt evaluated the dog’s condition, IV fluids were started. Narcotics were given for pain. He explained the situation to the owners who already were prepared for the worst.  At this point it been less than 40 minutes since Bonnie had been bitten and she looked bad. She would have a chance with antivenin and the owners gave the go ahead.

Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic always has antivenin on hand for its clients and their pets and a vial was reconstituted. Within an hour of being bitten, Bonnie had received the antivenin and was being monitored continuously by the experienced and well trained staff. A technician constantly monitored her condition throughout the day. Later that afternoon, Bonnie became more alert and responsive. By the end of the day she was able to sit up and move around. Eventually she could walk a few steps.

This story has a happy ending because:

A).The owners got their pet to the veterinarian immediately.

B). Antivenin was administered quickly.

But luck had something to do with it as well. Rattlesnake bites can, and often are, fatal and responsible pet owners are going to great lengths to keep their pets safe. The rattlesnake vaccine can buy time and mitigate the effects of a snakebite. “Snake proofing” pets to steer clear of snakes is helpful but doesn’t take into account snakes that literally come out of nowhere. Additionally, some people are reluctant to subject their dog to the electric shock used with most snake proofing methods even though that shock could save their pet’s life. And, while Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic stocks antivenin– the cost, while nowhere approaching what’s spent when a human gets bit, is not cheap. So what is a responsible pet owner to do? Everything possible to insure your pet and a snake never, ever meet. That means assuming rattlesnakes are everywhere.

  • Don’t let your pet nose around the yard before you’ve checked what’s lurking there
  • Don’t let your pet get ahead of you on a hike.
  • Teach your pet to avoid snakes.
  • Consider a rattlesnake vaccine.

But if despite all these precautions your dog does get bit, remember,

Bonnie survived because her owners took action immediately.

 

For more information on snakes and snakebites in San Tan Valley, contact Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic

DRIVEN TO DRINK

By | RIKKI "Tails"

“Tails” from the Vet Clinic

DRIVEN TO DRINK

by Rikki Schmidt

One day a golden retriever was brought into the clinic by a concerned couple. The beautiful animal, named Sunny, appeared to be in the peak of health.

“And why are we seeing Sunny today?” Marc asked as the technician led the obedient dog and his owners into an exam room.

“Well Doc,” the woman began, “he’s been drinking an awful lot of water lately. Like maybe a gallon a day.” The possibility of diabetes began to loom large in Marc’s mind.

“Is he losing weight?” Marc asked. “Does his eyesight seem to be getting worse?” While he was talking to the people he put a water dish down in front of Sunny but the dog paid no attention.

Sunny looking at the water but not drinking.

Sunny looking at the water but not drinking.

“Nope,” the man said quickly. “Nothing seems to be wrong with him at all. He’s just drinking like a fish for some reason. Like my wife said, about a gallon a day.”

Marc examined the sweet dog who was quite amenable to all the poking and prodding. “With excessive thirst,” he explained to the couple, “we always have to consider diabetes. Although Sunny doesn’t seem to exhibit any of the other symptoms.  And he didn’t drink any of the water here. I’d like to take some blood tests to see what’s going on.”

The couple readily consented so Marc drew the blood and told them he would call in a few days with the results. But two days later when the tests came back, everything was normal. It seems Sunny didn’t have diabetes or anything else. Marc asked the owners to come back for another consultation. He put a water bowl down but once again, Sunny didn’t seem interested.

“How’s Sunny doing,” he asked.

“Still drinking a gallon a day,” the husband told him.

“How do you know it’s that much?” Marc pressed for more information on this puzzling case.

“Well,” the wife explained. “You know how terrible the tap water here tastes. So we buy bottled water. And we got Sunny one of them ‘self-filling’ coolers. You know, like the kind you see in offices? The ones with the big jug on top? But instead of having to press the lever to get water, this one is set up so it automatically fills Sunny’s water dish as soon as it’s emptied. Makes it real convenient for us. But less than a week goes by and I have to replace that five gallon jug.”

“When do you notice the dog drinking?” Marc asked. “And what is he doing just before he’s drinking? Is it after he’s been walked or chased a ball?”

The woman thought for a moment “Seems like there’s no one time he drinks more than others. And I can’t tell you what he’s been doing beforehand.  We have a big fenced yard and a doggy door so he pretty much comes and goes as he pleases. I can tell you what he does right after he drinks though.”

Marc was interested “What’s that?”

“Well, you know how when you drain enough water out of them jugs, it sort of has to readjust itself with the pressure and all? Kind of makes that ‘glug’ sound and a bunch a bubbles come up?”

“Yes..” Marc said slowly.

“Well, it seems Sunny likes that part.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, he gets real excited about it. Every time he hears that ‘glug’ and sees the bubbles he wags his tail and gets all happy. Seems like he looks forward to it. While he’s drinkin’, he’s watching the jug like he can’t wait for it to happen.”

“Really?” Marc stroked his chin as a ridiculous, yet plausible explanation began to take shape in his mind. “You think it’s possible that Sunny may be drinking all the water just to hear that glug sound?”

The husband and wife looked at each other.

“I mean it sounds almost like a learned response,” Marc continued. “Sunny knows if he drinks enough water, sooner or later he’ll see the bubbles and hear that sound he likes. So he keeps drinking to make it happen. Look, we’ve offered him water the two times he’s been in the clinic and he hasn’t touched it.”

At first, the dog’s owners sat there in silence. But then, they too, realized that, as bizarre as it sounded, Marc’s theory had possibilities.

“Well I’ll be!” the husband exclaimed. There’s nothing wrong with that dog at all.”

The wife chimed in, “yeah, he just been ‘conditioned.’ Like Pavlov’s dog.”

“More like Perrier’s dog” Marc said and they all laughed.

 

 

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270 East Hunt Hwy, Ste. #4
San Tan Valley, AZ 85143
480-987-4555