Scent Dog News Feb 2016 The Search and Rescue Dog Association of Alberta

Bits and Bites

Cabela’s Home Town Heroes event Nov 11-14, 2015

SARDAA members are always delighted to attend events at Cabelas; this event was no exception.

Team Photos

SARDAA’s team photos were taken by Jim Dobie (Jim Dobie Photography) in December of 2015 in the foyer of the University of Alberta’s old Dentistry/Pharmacy Building.

The University of Alberta’s Facilities and Operations has made its Dentistry/Pharmacy Centre available to official agency groups for training purposes. The opportunity to train in this building has given our dogs the chance to build skill in searching for hiders in large floor areas with multiple rooms, in teaching the dogs to indicate persons located behind closed doors, to search lockers, and to search rooms with a variety of cupboards, smaller rooms and/or workstations. Practice in the building has engaged the imagination of our training director and team members in designing training scenarios using a myriad of problems/challenges for both handlers and their dogs. Use of this building has been fun and inspiring, and has also proved challenging and rewarding! Our thanks to U of A for the courtesy they have extended to us in making the building available while they work on renovations. We look forward to more training sessions in future months.

Active Team
The Senior Dogs
Field Techs with Training Assistant, 'Annabel.'

Perseverance award – Mike

This in an internal award bestowed on the SARDAA team member demonstrating a high level of perseverance during the past year.

New Active dogs

Active SAR Dog Ranger and Handler Don
Active SAR Dog Che and Handler David

New Associates

SAR Dog in Training Valla and Handler Julia
SAR Dog in Training Islay and Handler Pete

New Supporting Associates

SAR Dog in Training Galaxy and Handler Barbi
SAR Dog in Training Blitz and Handler Mike

Arthritis in Dogs

Reprinted with permission from Pets+Us

Arthritis in dogs is one of the most common canine health problems, especially as they age. Unfortunately there is no cure for this degenerative joint disease, but there are many things you can do to help reduce pain and joint inflammation and to provide a better quality of life for your dog.

Start treatment early

As your dog ages, continued wear and tear on the joints puts your dog at risk for developing this painful disease. The symptoms of arthritis may be hard to recognize for several reasons.

  • Dogs are very good at hiding pain and injury. This is a trait that helped keep dogs safe in the wild, but it can make it difficult for us to recognize their health issues.
  • The symptoms of this disease develop gradually over time, so you may not notice much change from day to day.
  • Signs of arthritis in dogs can be subtle, but if you suspect it see your veterinarian as soon as possible. The sooner you begin treatment, the better.

Dogs with arthritis may be reluctant to move, or to run and play for long periods of time. Watch for any limping or stiffness when rising. Painful joints can also be sore to the touch. Jumping, climbing, and running are high-impact activities that put more pressure on joints. They can be very painful for dogs with arthritis, so watch for hesitation or unwillingness to perform these activities. Obesity, cold, and dampness can also make symptoms worse.

Your veterinarian may recommend prescription medications for pain and inflammation, but never ever give your dog human medications without the consent of your veterinarian.

10 ways you can help dogs with arthritis

Here are 10 things you can do to help your beloved companion live a more comfortable active life.

  1. Give nutritional supplements – Natural supplements like Glucosamine and Chondroitin can help protect arthritic joints. Omega fatty acid supplements made from fish oil can help reduce inflammation and strengthen body tissues.
  2. A warm comfy bed – Give your dog’s arthritic joints the comforting support they need with an orthopedic bed. It will make your dog much more comfortable and help reduce pain and stiffness. Warmth can also make achy joints feel better. Consider getting a bed heater for added comfort.
  3. Massage – Your dog’s painful joints may be sore to the touch, but gentle massages can help ease joint pain and comfort your pet.
  4. Provide regular low-impact exercise – It is important for your dog to stay active. Daily exercise in moderation helps keep joints flexible and maintains muscle mass. Movement may be painful, so it’s best to provide short periods of gentle exercise. Go for short walks several times a day. The best exercise for your dog is swimming as it puts no impact on the joints.
  5. Keep your dog at a healthy weight – Carrying extra weight puts even greater stress on painful joints. If your dog is overweight, feed a special weight loss diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Feed only as much as your veterinarian recommends. Reduce the amount of treats you give and select healthy high-protein treats.
  6. Ramps and assisted living devices – Jumping up on furniture or into the car puts extreme pressure on painful joints and may be difficult for your dog. Consider providing ramps or doggy steps for easier access. Slings and other devices also help lift an arthritic dog.
  7. Placement of food and water dishes – Bending to reach the food and water dish can put stress on the neck and spine, which can be painful for your arthritic dog. Consider elevating bowls to make them more accessible.
  8. Padded surfaces – When walking is painful, dogs become less confident in their gait, creating issues with balance and coordination. Slick surfaces like tile or wood are more difficult to navigate and provide no cushioning to absorb impact on painful joints. Carpeting will cushion your dog’s step, making walking easier and less painful.
  9. Care for your dog’s nails and paws – Keeping your dog’s nails properly trimmed is important for a proper stance and gait. Overgrown nails can be painful, causing your dog to change regular walking patterns. Changes in gait can also put unusual pressure on joints and ligaments, negatively affecting non-arthritic joints.
  10. Physiotherapy – Many dogs show marked improvement with physiotherapy. You may want to consider whirlpool, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, or chiropractic treatments to reduce pain and help keep your dog more active.

Arthritis cannot be cured, but the symptoms can be controlled. Develop a management plan with the help of your veterinarian. Together you can give your dog a fuller, more satisfying life with less pain and stiffness.

SAR Alberta training days and AGM

SAR Alberta training days and AGM will be held at Pigeon Lake April 29 and 30, 2016.

Still no word on SARScene 2016!

YouTube video put out by Edmonton Police Service on SAR managers, featuring ground searchers and search dogs.

Dangers of Xylitol

A substance called xylitol is making thousands of dog sick and even causing death, affecting more pets now than ever before, and it's probably in your home right now.

Xylitol is a sugar substitute most often associated with “sugar-free” chewing gum and mints, but it’s also found some brands of peanut butter, toothpastes, certain medications, and vitamins, many sugar-free products (chocolate, JELLO, yogurt, pudding), and even some household products such as baby wipes and lip balm.

Why is Xylitol so dangerous? According to Caroline Colie, AKC Family Dog magazine Nutrition & Health columnist: “The dog’s pancreas confuses xylitol with real sugar and releases insulin to store it. The insulin removes real sugar from the bloodstream and the dog can become weak, and have tremors and even seizures starting within 30 minutes of eating it.” Other symptoms of hypoglycemia include poor coordination and vomiting/diarrhea.

Liver failure (and death) can also result from xylitol ingestion, and symptoms can take as much as eight hours as show up. A dog only needs to consume a very little amount of xylitol to receive a deadly dose. As much as two pieces of gum can cause a problem in a small-breed dog.

How to Protect your dog...

How to protect your dog - Read the ingredients: If you’re offering your dog peanut butter, look for xylitol in the ingredients, as some brands, namely specialty brands, are using the sugar substitute to sweeten their product. Also, check the label on products with buzz words relating to sugar, such as “reduced sugar,” “diabetic-friendly,” “cavity-free,” or “no sugar added,” for example, as these also may contain xylitol.

Keep gum, candies, mints, and purses out of reach: Even if you don’t typically have these items in your home, be sure that guests visiting keep their purses out of the dog’s reach in case they are carrying xylitol-containing medications or products, such as gum, mints, or candies.

And Finally!

Retired SAR Dog B.B.
SARDAA’s team photos were taken by Jim Dobie (Jim Dobie Photography) in December of 2015 in the foyer of the University of Alberta’s old Dentistry/Pharmacy Building.

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.