Dogs Can Smell Cancer

Dogs can smell cancer.  These researchers have trained dogs to sit when they smell lung cancer and they got it right 99% of the time.  This is not new news.  I wonder why it hasn’t been applied more globaly?  Is it a shortage of cancer researchers who also know how to train dogs?

Dogs Excel on Smell Test to Find Cancer – New York Times.

For more dog posts see my blog Humans for Dogs.

Why does my dog lean?

Judging from the general lack of information on the web and the large variation of answers that I did find, I think we don’t yet know enough about dog behavior.  From what I found, I concluded that our chocolate lab is looking for attention when he leans on you.  (The other option was aggression and I’m not buying that as a cause for leaning for our 75 pound lap dog!)  From Dominance aggression in dogs: Part 1.

Owners need to distinguish these behaviors from mere pushiness or attention-seeking. For example, if a dog is leaning against its owner just to get attention, the owner can physically move the dog without its becoming aggressive. Unlike most dominantly aggressive dogs, dogs that lean on a person for attention do not stiffen, open their eyes, and move with the person so they are again touching or pressing.

Think Like a Dog

If you want to figure out why your dog is misbehaving, you need to think like a dog, not a human.  This article does a great job of showing how we misinterpret why dogs misbehave.  One of our dogs has diarrhea in every room of the house if we leave him at home alone.  I decided it couldn’t be because he was mad at us because it didn’t seem to be something he could control.  Besides, if we leave him in the bedroom, he doesn’t have a problem.  Our vet confirmed that he’s nervous.  The house is too much freedom; the bedroom feels safe.

Do Dogs Think? – Owners assume their pet’s brain works like their own. That’s a big mistake. By Jon Katz.

How much do dogs sleep?

My dogs sleep a lot.  A really lot.  So I decided to see if I could find the real answer to “how much do dogs sleep?” According to Sleep and Dreams in Dogs and Cats:

Under controlled laboratory conditions both cats and dogs sleep about 13 hours per day but they wake up more frequently than people do.

According to Planet Dog:

• Adult dogs spend approximately half their life sleeping,
typically 12 hours a day.

• Some breeds need more sleep than others –
as much as 18 hours per day! (typically larger breeds).

I think mine sleep more than average – closer to the 18 hour limit.  They sleep 8 hours a night with us.  They sleep while we read or watch TV in the evening.  And they sleep all day if we leave them inside.  I’d bet they are only awake 4-5 hours a day during a normal day.

Buy your dog a good bed. Here’s one if they like turning in circles before they lie down.

Photo by mikecpeck.

Emergency Vet Clinic Again! Wasps and Dogs

Last night on our way out the door to dinner, our 5 year old picked up one of the patio chairs and said "Look at me!  I’m strong!"  Then he dropped it and a flood of wasps swarmed up from the underside.  We got him away safely and went to dinner thinking we’d take care of the nest after dark when the wasps were sleeping. 

Well, Teddy, my 75 pound dog, decided to investigate.  Whether it was to greet them or eat them, I don’t know.  I am sure she tried to lick them, because her face was all swollen!  She could barely open one of her eyes.  So I called the emergency vet clinic for the third time this month and they told me 1 mg of benadryl per pound of dog and to watch to make sure that her airway didn’t swell up.  So I gave her three little pink pills and lots of hugs.

Today she’s fine.  I’m glad she recovers so quickly!

No Drinks for Dogs!

Alcohol is toxic for dogs.  Your vet might not ask how many drinks a week your dog has, but maybe that’s because they know if they are having any, they wouldn’t be there. 

I couldn’t find anything on the web about alcohol and dogs so I am posting my experience so others can learn from it.  Note that I used to have a friend that fed his dog beer and the dog didn’t have any noticeable side effects.  But one drop of gin was way too much gin for my dog.  Here it is …

We were having a drink on the porch with friends and my boyfriend finished his gin and tonic and put the glass on the floor.  One of the dogs knocked it over and both dogs ate the ice cubes.  We didn’t think anything of it since the drink was empty.  An hour later my dog Teddy couldn’t walk straight, a half hour after that her legs wouldn’t support her at all, she was having trouble breathing and she started vomiting all over the floor and herself.  (And made no move to clean herself up or move out of it.)  She was also terrified and just wanted to lie as close to me as possible.  Wait till you watch your dog try to flop across the floor to get next to you – it’s terrifying.  Two hours after the gin flavored ice cube she was fine.  (I then felt like I might need a gin and tonic myself!)  Before we remembered the glass and the ice cubes, the emergency clinic vets were thinking back problems and neurological disorders.  When we finally remembered the knocked over glass, they immediately said that was it.  So, NO ALCOHOL FOR DOGS.  Not even a drop!