Tag Archives: pets

Action to prevent heartworm in dogs

According to a State of Pet Health Report by Banfield Pet Hospital in Jackson, nearly seven percent of dogs in Mississippi will acquire heartworms this summer, the highest proportion across the nation. The reason risk of infection is so high there is because they have the greatest number of mosquito’s in the US, and heartworm is spread from host to host through the bites of these parasites. However, heartworms are frequently found in dogs throughout the 50 states.

The heartworm is a small thread-like worm. The definitive host is the dog but it can also infect cats, wolves, coyotes, foxes and other animals, such as ferrets, sea lions and even, under very rare circumstances, humans.

Heartworms can live in your dog for six months before any symptoms are displayed. All dogs regardless of their age, sex, or habitat are susceptible to heartworm infection, which is why prevention is necessary. The good news is that heartworm is easily treatable – it just requires keen eyed pet owners to be aware of what the signs are and take action immediately if you suspect that your dog may be suffering with this condition.

What are the signs?

Symptoms of heartworm infection include:

• Coughing
• Shortness of breath
• Fainting after exercise
• Tiring easily
• Weight loss
• Loss of appetite
• Listlessness
• Anaemia
• Jaundice
• Poor coat condition
• Swelling of the abdomen
• Bloody stool

Each of these symptoms on their own, if persistent, warrant a trip to your veterinarian; don’t dismiss them – let a qualified professional be the one to advise you whether or not the symptoms are serious.

Treatments
If your dog doesn’t have heartworm, then there are a variety of preventative treatments available, which will more than likely come in the form of a chewable tablet.

A couple of popular brands used are Heartguard and Interceptor, but there are other brands available which are just as efficient. Ask your vet which ones they recommend.

If your dog has been infected with heartworms, a possible treatment could be Immiticide and would be administered by your veterinarian. This drug has great efficiency and fewer side effects, which makes it a safer alternative for dogs with late-stage infections.

Depending on the condition that your dog was brought in for treatment, there may still be a few practical steps that your dog needs to undertake, e.g. rest, to ensure they receive the maximum benefits for the treatments that have been administered.

Do you know of any other effective brands that can be used to treat heartworms? If so contact us here at Pet Chauffeur so that we can add them to our list.

Advertisements

Cancer doesn’t have to mean the end for your dog

Cancer.  For decades this one word has struck fear into the heart of anyone who has been given this diagnosis.  Many believed death to be the certain outcome.
Nowadays this isn’t necessarily the case. We forget that with all of the incredible breakthroughs in science and medicine, cancer needn’t be the end.  Even though they cannot speak and tell us when something is wrong, cancer can be detected and treated in dogs, and in many cases it can be cured. The success of treatment will depend on the type of cancer, the treatment used and on how early the tumour is found. The sooner treatment begins, the greater the chances of success. Therefore, one of the best things you can do for your dog is to keep a close eye on them for signs of the disease.
There are doctors who specialise in field oncology, such as the world renowned dog cancer expert Dr Demian Dressler, whose research into the subject has brought immense comfort and hope to dog lovers the world over who have received the upsetting news about their beloved pets.  His comprehensive book, “The Dog Cancer Survival Guide” covers an array of issues surrounding cancer in dogs, such as the various treatments available, the correct diet for a dog that has been diagnosed with cancer, even how to manage your emotions during your difficult time.  So rest assured that a lot can be done to save the life of your pet.
So, how do you know if your dog has cancer?  First of all it would be a good idea to start by taking a look at the breed of your dog.  Did you know that certain breeds have a higher rate of cancers than others?
In my research I discovered the following:
Highest incidence breeds which also develop cancer at an earlier age than other dogs.
• Boxer.
• Golden Retriever
• Rottweiller
• Bernese Mountain Dog

High incidence breeds
• Boston Terrier
• English Bulldog
• Scottish Terrier
• Cocker Spaniel

Average incidence breeds:
• Irish Setter
• Schnauzer
• Labrador
• Mongrels

Relatively low incidence breeds:
• Beagle
• Poodle
• Collie
• Dachshund

It isn’t a sure-fire guarantee that these breed of dogs will develop cancer; it is just to make you aware that there is a higher probability that these breeds may develop the illness.

This isn’t an exhaustive list and there may be some variables from one breed to the next, but these are the signs that indicate your dog might have cancer:

1. Abnormal swellings or lumps that don’t reduce in size or continue to grow
2. Sores that do not heal
3. Loss of appetite
4. Weight loss
5. Bleeding or discharge from openings on/in the body
6. Difficulty eating or swallowing
7. Emitting foul odours (not just breaking wind)
8. Apathy, lack of interest in exercise; reluctance to move around much
9. Persistent lameness or stiffness
10. Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating

If your dog has any of these symptoms take them over to your vet as soon as possible.  Don’t immediately fear the worst as these symptoms may be signs of other illnesses too.

If your dog is diagnosed with cancer, however, it still isn’t the end of the world. The vet will discuss your various options, but remember that it is important that you do your research to satisfy yourself that the best course of action for your dog is being taken.  They should know of all the specialist cancer clinics that treat dogs and so they should be able to recommend one to you if they are not able to offer treatment for the type of cancer that your dog has.  Typically the treatments offered are, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery but there are other options available, such as cryotherapy.  Check out our page for the addresses of some of the best veterinary practices in New York.

The key is to arm yourself with as much knowledge as you possibly can so that, should the worst happen, you are able to make informed decisions about the best treatment for your beloved friend.

Pet Chauffeur can handle all your pet transportation needs.If you need a pet taxi for your pet travels, try Petride.com

Pet Airways – The first pet only airline

Travelling abroad or in the US can be quite a taxing operation with so many things to organise.  For those travelling with pets this can be a lot more problematic.  Apart from ensuring that your pet has had the right shots, has up to date health certificates etc, the safety of animals in transit is also a big issue.   How it all happened

Pet Airways  are leaders in the field of pet comfort and safety during long haul travel.  The company was born after the founders, Dan and Alysa Wiesel,  kept running into difficulty with airlines when trying to travel with their beloved dog, Zoe.  There just seemed to be no suitable way for Zoe to fly with them whenever they wanted to go on vacation.  Finally they gave up trying to convince human airlines to transport animals more responsibly and decided to take up the cause themselves.  In 2008, Pet Airways was born.

Pet Airways is the first airline that caters exclusively for animals.  With the exception of the pilots (obviously, LOL!) and pet attendants onboard, all of the passengers are of the furry variety.  The beauty of this airline is that it’s run by pet lovers for pet lovers.  Every conceivable occurrence has been thought of to ensure that pets arrive at their destination healthy and happy.

Locations

At present, Pet Airways operates domestic flights only and flies to and from the following cities: Atlanta, Baltimore/Washington, Chicago, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles/Hawthorne, New York, Omaha and Phoenix.  If you need help finding reliable international pet shippers, feel free to contact us and we will point you in the right direction.

The plane

Pet Airways uses the Beechcroft 1900 as the plane of choice for flying animals around the country.  This plane was chosen because of its impeccable safety record.  The animals all travel in the main cabin of the plane, NOT in cargo and each pet has their own container.  There is a climate-controller on board which ensures that the pets will neither be too hot or cold.

As with traditional flights, tickets  are booked online. There are different size seats to accommodate the various frames of animals who may be travelling: your pet can only travel on a given flight if the correct size seat is available.  If there isn’t a seat available on the day you want to travel,  you can either choose a different day or be put on their waiting list just in case another pet drops out.

Pets are checked every 15 minutes during the flight, or as needed and have regular potty breaks.  Everything is done to ensure that they are not distressed at any point during the flight.

Fares

As with all niche/boutique enterprises, you must expect to spend a bit more than you would on human airlines.  Fares start from $149 per animal per flight, but keep an eye out as they sometimes have sales.

It’s great to finally see the issues of animal safety during flights being addressed in this way.  It’s a relief to have the peace of mind that while your pets are out of your sight, they are being looked after by people who love them as much as you do.

Pet transportation by Pet Chauffeur can help Taxi your pets to this location.

Client Testimonials

    Testimonial from Roberta Flack
I have depended on Pet Chauffeur for ten (10) years to help me get my pets to life saving situations. Whether the trip is long or short, my animals are always looked after with the greatest care.  It’s good to know this kind of assistance is available and on time.  Thank you David and crew for being in my life.  Even if my concerts and public appearances take me from home, I can trust Pet Chauffeur to look after the travel needs of all of the dogs and cats, who are a part of my family.  BIG THANKS!
” Testimonial from another happy client”
   About seven years ago, in late November, my dog needed major surgery at Animal Medical Center in the far E 60s, a pretty far walk from my UWS apartment. My dog was small, but never learned to ride in a bag; she was a rescue and freaked out when she was put in the bag, so I worried that she had had some kind of trauma about being shut up in places and didn’t push it.AMC called me on Thanksgiving night to let me know that she could be picked up if I wanted to come get her. I didn’t want her to have to spend one more minute there than necessary so I walked over there in a mix of light snow and rain; I thought I needed to save all the money I could for a cab ride home and didn’t even want to buy a  Metrocard. I worried about getting a cab, though. Cabs often pass people, even with small dogs, and I didn’t see many as I walked over.My dog had had a giant tumor removed from her side. She had been shaved and was stapled up from end to end like some kind of Frankenstein dog. I wrapped her in a blanket and headed out, apologizing for the weather and hoping I’d be able to get a cab somehow.Then outside the exit to the hospital I saw an orange and blue van labeled “Pet Chauffeur.” I walked up and asked the driver if he was waiting for someone. No, he had just dropped someone off. I asked how much it would cost to take me and my dog back to my apartment and it turned out I had just enough money with me. The driver took us home in the bad weather, without my dog ever having to wait in the cold rain and snow at all.I don’t have any business advice to offer Mr. Lang. I just wanted to say how much I appreciated that van being there that night and I sincerely hope he makes it through this recession storm. Good luck–

De-stress your dog with ‘doga’

Life in the twenty-first century is stressful for everyone.  While spas and retreat centers for city folk are doing a roaring trade during this global recession, our four-legged friends are increasingly feeling the need for some Zen-like calm in the midst of the hustle and bustle of urban life.

Yoga for dogs, or ‘doga’ as it is also known, isn’t new but there appears to be more of a demand for combined sessions for stressed out owners and their pets.

Doga combines massage and meditation with gentle stretching for dogs and their human partners. In chaturanga, dogs sit with their front paws in the air while their human partners provide support. In an “upward-paw pose,” or sun salutation, owners lift dogs onto their hind legs. In a resting pose, the person reclines, with legs slightly bent over the dog’s torso, bolster-style, to relieve pressure on the spine.

Suzi Teitelman, a Florida-based instructor has been teaching ‘doga’ since 2002. She started it when she noticed that her dog liked to join her when she was going through her paces.  Suzi developed this into a business and says she has since trained more than 100 people around the world in doga, some from as far away as China and Japan. Disco yoga, kid yoga, beach yoga, spin yoga and yogalites are all part of her repertoire.

But how does yoga help dogs?  Can they really get the same benefits as human beings?

Animal therapist Dan Thomas is head of grooming at London’s Pet Pavilion company which introduced the scheme to the UK. He says he is amazed at the effect of the classes on the dogs taking part.  “After a few minutes even the most unruly of participants appeared to chill out, relax and become calmer,” he told BBC News Online.

Not everyone in the yoga community is comfortable with this. “Doga runs the risk of trivializing yoga by turning a 2,500-year-old practice into a fad,” said Julie Lawrence, 60, a yoga instructor and studio owner in Portland, Oregon. “To live in harmony with all beings, including dogs, is a truly yogic principle. But yoga class may not be the most appropriate way to express this.”

The fact that interest in doga is increasing indicates that lots of dog owners are finding this to be a beneficial time of exercise and relaxation with their furry friends.

Curious?  Well you can check out the doga class right here in NYC and see what you think at Doga Dog.  If you know of any others, you can drop us a line here at Pet Chauffeur and let us know.  Have fun!

Rats! The new household pet?

When I say the word ‘rat’ what image springs to mind?  Traps and exterminator are top of my list.  But there are some folks in NYC who are actually considering trading traditional pets for more unconventional ones like rats!

Sunday 29th May saw the City’s first Fancy Rat Convention which featured rat breeders and even a rat’s only fashion show. Holding stands at the Convention were rat rescue groups and those offering medical advice and medicines to treat rat ailments as most veterinarians will not allow them on the premises.

The convention was the brain child of Tara Delahoz of Queens, who tried to convince reporters that once they actually got to know the creatures that sends shivers down everyone’s spine, they would actually get to like them.  Rats are the perfect household pet, Tara insisted, boasting they are easier to care for than dogs or cats and smarter and cleaner than guinea pigs.  This statment was not backed up with any evidence, however.

The big misconception, the rat fanciers argued, is that all rats tend to be categorized as the filthy ones seen scuttling along the tracks on the subway or scavenging for food amongst the garbage.  But actually there are different breeds of rats, the ones suitable for households are specially bred and trained, much like purebred dogs!

Would you consider purchasing a specially trained household rat insted of Fido or Fifi?  If not a rat, what other unconventional creature would you consider as a pet?

Dogs Sniff Out Lung Cancer

Specially trained dogs can identify most patients with lung cancer by smelling their breath, researchers said.

Sniffing 100 breath samples from patients with biopsy-confirmed lung cancer, the dogs failed to flag only 29, reported Thorsten Walles, MD, of Schillerhoehe Hospital in Gerlingen, Germany, and colleagues online in the European Respiratory Journal.

Among 400 other samples from individuals without lung cancer, the canine sniff test gave false positives for just 28, the researchers found.

Click here to provide feedback
Action Points


  • Explain that specially trained dogs could identify most patients with lung cancer by smelling their breath.
  • Point out that the findings may be more important for confirming that human exhalations contain markers for lung cancer, which eventually may be detectable by more conventional means.

However, Walles and colleagues suggested that the findings were most important for confirming that human exhalations contain markers for lung cancer, which eventually may be detectable by more conventional means.

“This is a big step forward in the diagnosis of lung cancer, but we still need to precisely identify the compounds observed in the exhaled breath of patients,” said Walles in a press release.

Several earlier studies have found that dogs, with their keen sense of smell, can identify patients with various forms of cancer, including tumors of the breast, colon, and lung merely by sniffing. The proposition originated in 1989 with a case report of a man whose melanoma was diagnosed because his dog kept sniffing the lesion.

The dogs used in the current study were young family pets  —  two German shepherds, one Labrador retriever, and one Australian shepherd. Using test tubes containing exhalations from 35 lung cancer patients and 60 healthy controls, a professional dog trainer taught the animals to lie down in front of tubes with samples from the patients.

During both the training and the subsequent testing phase, each sample was given to the dogs only once so that they would not simply learn to recognize individual participants’ characteristic odors.

The testing involved 50 healthy people, 25 patients with histologically confirmed lung cancer, and 50 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). These were different individuals than those providing samples for the training phase.

In the cancer patient group, one patient had stage I disease, two each at IIa and IIb tumors, four were staged IIIa, five had IIIb disease, and 11 were at stage IV.

Blinded observers watched the dogs as they each sniffed at five tubes per session. If a dog appeared to hesitate in front of a tube, it was automatically recorded as an incorrect result. The investigators also took a variety of steps to keep from subtly influencing the dogs.

The testing was conducted in three phases. First, the dogs were presented with samples from healthy controls and lung cancer patients. Next, samples from lung cancer and COPD patients were presented. Finally, the dogs evaluated samples from all three groups.

Somewhat surprisingly, the dogs had the most difficulty in the first test, discriminating the lung cancer patient samples from those of healthy people. The total number of correct results from the four dogs was 22 versus 18 false results.

Accuracy was much better in the second phase, with the dogs correctly identifying 32 samples from the COPD and lung cancer patients against eight false results.

Results were better still in the third test, with 19 correct results and only one incorrect.

Overall, the sensitivity for detecting lung cancer was 71% overall (95% CI not reported). There was little difference in accuracy according to disease stage, the researchers indicated: All samples from the sole stage I patient had positive results in the sniff test. Accuracy rates for other disease stages were:

  • 75% for stage IIa
  • 75% for stage IIb
  • 94% for IIIa
  • 75% for stage IIIb
  • 63% for stage IV

The dogs varied somewhat in their ability to sniff out cancer accurately, with one dog scoring 68% of samples correctly while another had 84% correct results (kappa statistic 0.436).

Specificity overall was 93% (95% CI not reported).

Walles and colleagues also calculated “corporate dog decision” accuracy by counting as accurate only those results on which three of the four dogs gave the same result. Sensitivity of these group decisions was 72% (95% CI 51% to 88%), with specificity of 94% (95% CI 87% to 98%).

The researchers determined as well that the dogs were as accurate in classifying smokers versus nonsmokers, indicating that the animals were not simply responding to tobacco-related breath components.

Because their study ruled out a role in the results for smoking and certain other potential confounders, the current study is an advance over previous research on dog sniff tests for cancer.

It “confirms the existence of a stable marker (or scent pattern) that is strongly associated with lung cancer and independent of COPD,” Walles and colleagues wrote, “reliably discriminated from tobacco smoke, food odors and (potential) drug metabolites.”

Whether dogs will ultimately be better than machines for breath analysis remains to be determined, they indicated.

“Electronic nose technologies” are not yet practical because of their complicated sampling procedures and vulnerability interference, the researchers commented.

Dogs, on the other hand, are “virtually on the verge of respectability” for disease detection. Yet without better understanding of what they are responding to, it will be impossible to develop a reliable screening test for lung cancer based on their abilities, Walles and colleagues suggested.

“Unfortunately, dogs cannot communicate the biochemistry of the scent of cancer,” they lamented.

By John  Gever, Senior Editor, MedPage Today
Published: August 18, 2011

Pet Chauffeur Tries to Adapt to Tough Economy

The recession has not been kind to the pet industry. While their finances are in flux, pet owners are less likely to splurge on toys or grooming, and fewer vacations spell empty kennels at the boarding house. In fact, prospective owners are less likely to take on the financial burden of a new dog or cat to begin with.

As you can see in the video above, David Lang, owner of a Manhattan business called Pet Chauffeur, is keenly aware of these challenges. Fifteen years ago, Mr. Lang noticed that the subway system’s vast ridership included few dogs. Passengers can bring small pets on board in carrying cases, but owners of larger dogs cannot travel with their pets by subway, bus or taxi. Sensing he could fill a void, he founded Pet Chauffeur, a taxi service for animals, in 1996.

From his home office on East 36th Street, Mr. Lang coordinates a fleet of four orange-and-blue minivans and a staff of 12 dispatchers and drivers. Customers have the option of riding along with their pets, but many choose not to, leaving the drivers to learn their dogs’ idiosyncrasies first-hand. And dogs are not the only animals getting a lift: Pet Chauffeur has transported everything from leopards to bulk shipments of lab rats. But dogs are the most frequent riders, and Mr. Lang says the most popular destinations are veterinary clinics, grooming salons and boarding kennels.

The bulk of Pet Chauffeur’s $1 million annual revenue comes from its business in New York City, but its vans have traveled as far as Florida, and the company also coordinates the shipping of animals by air. Because many of his customers live in Manhattan’s tonier neighborhoods, Mr. Lang hopes to sell ad space on his vans to luxury retailers. “I got vans running up and down Fifth Avenue all day long,” he said. “Who wouldn’t want their perfume on top of a Pet Chauffeur?”

Despite these plans, Mr. Lang is wary of expansion. He used to run a boarding service and a pet supply retail Web site, both of which failed to weather the recent recession. He now concentrates all of his effort on transportation and has adapted his company to the new economic context in two ways: first, he targets high-end customers. In 2008, he came to the conclusion, “now’s the time to get rid of the people who don’t want to pay for our service anyway, and up the price, and go with the high-end people that want our service.”

Pet Chauffeur’s other post-recession adaptation is to collaborate with competitors. If Mr. Lang is unable to arrange a pick-up for a customer, he will refer that person to companies like Pet Taxi or Tony’s Canine Cab. Because the pet taxi industry represents such a niche service, Mr. Lang said, he’d “rather see someone go with the other guy than not go at all.” Mr. Lang added: “Anyway, we’ve got the best service, so they’ll come back to us in the end.”

Best places for online pet products

The great thing about the web is that we are spoilt for choice when it comes to the products we can purchase for our pets.  At just a few clicks of a button you can order everything thing from gifts to food. The downside can be that many people find so much choice overwhelming, not to mention the fact that as it is difficult to regulate every company that advertises products, you cannot always be assured that the companies advertising products are legitimate.  Or if the products are even safe.

Have no fear, Pet Chauffeur is here!  During our 15 years working within the pet care industry, we have had plenty of time to test which sites are really offering the best products out there as well as the best customer service.   The next time you want to purchase something online for your pet, give these companies a try and say Pet Chauffeur sent you!

www.petstore.com

www.petnetdirect.com

www.petco.com

www.petsmart.com

www.petmarketnyc.com

www.drsfostersmith.com

www.marinedepot.com

www.thatpetplace.com

www.nybird.com

www.1800petmeds.com

www.rabbitstop.com

www.newworldaquarium.com

www.poshpuppyboutique.com

www.doggievogue.com

www.newyorkdogdesign.com

Does your city need a Pet transportaion service?

              Fifteen years ago, Mr. Lang noticed that the subway system’s vast ridership included few dogs. Passengers can bring small pets on board in carrying cases, but owners of larger dogs cannot travel with their pets by subway, bus or taxi. Sensing he could fill a void, he founded Pet Chauffeur, a taxi service for animals, in 1996.

From his home office on East 36th Street, Mr. Lang coordinates a fleet of four orange-and-blue minivans and a staff of 12 dispatchers and drivers. Customers have the option of riding along with their pets, but many choose not to, leaving the drivers to learn their dogs’ idiosyncrasies first-hand. And dogs are not the only animals getting a lift: Pet Chauffeur has transported everything from leopards to bulk shipments of lab rats. But dogs are the most frequent riders, and Mr. Lang says the most popular destinations are veterinary clinics, grooming salons and boarding kennels.

by Dane Carlson