Some interesting news stories (I think) that I thought I might share with you.
A study was done that determined that where you live may have something to do with your dog’s expected lifespan. Dogs have been found to live longer and healthier in some U.S. states than others, with factors such as preventable diseases and spaying or neutering playing important roles in health and well-being.
Banfield Pet Hospital’s State of Pet Health 2013 Report found that dogs in Mississippi and Alabama were found to have the shortest life spans, at 10.1 and 10.2 years, respectively. Conversely, South Dakota and Montana, as 12.4 years each, were the two states with the longest life span for dogs. They analyzed medical data from nearly 2.2 million dogs for its report.
Suggested variables that can extend a dog’s life include genetics, whether a dog is spayed or neutered, and the amount of veterinary care a dog receives throughout their lifetime. Breed type and size also make an important impact, with smaller dogs living longer on average. In the Southeast, heartworm disease might also play a role in the reduced life span noted in that region. It was shown to be one of the top three conditions for pets seen at their Southern state hospitals.
Another study, done by Veterinary Pet Insurance Co., listed the most common medical conditions associated with visiting dog parks. The top three were 1. sprains, 2. soft tissue injuries, and 3. kennel cough. The most expensive malady on their list was hyperthermia or heat stroke, which cost an average of $676 per pet. Yup, that sounds about right! Keep your pets hydrated and cool in the warm weather!
And yet, listen to this amazing story of survival…
A spaniel mix named Sutty, was rescued after surviving 10 days without food or water on a mountain in north Wales. The 14 year old dog had built a nest on a ledge and was found by climbers. Sutty is credited for helping save his owner by barking for help after his owner had fallen 450 feet off the mountain and lay unconscious. The dog apparently got frightened and ran off when a helicopter rescued his owner, only to be found 14 days later. Amazing!
Approximately 12 million dogs and cats are diagnosed with cancer each year, according to the Center for Cancer Research. With these startling statistics in mind, the 12 Million Dog March was started- and aptly named- to raise awareness and generate money so that pets with cancer can get treatment.
Mark Tillinger, president and co-founder of the Riedel & Cody fund, is the nonprofit organization behind the march. Tillinger began the fund shortly after his own Bernese Mountain Dog Riedel died of cancer.
The marches are free and feature family-friendly games and activities, educational clinics, and, of course, a march. They alternate locations yearly, and this May will be in Norwalk, Connecticut. May, 2015 will be back in Chicago. If you are in the area and interested, check out the details on their website, www.reidelcody.org. If you can’t make it to a march, but still want to lend support, a virtual march is offered via the website. It is free to join: just sign up and upload a photo of your pet. For every person who registers for the march, Blue Buffalo dog food will donate $1 to the Riedel & Cody Fund. They use the money to help all types of dogs and cats – anyone who has an animal with cancer and can’t afford treatment. Sounds like a great thing to do. Something people and kids can do, for free, to help animals. You’ve gotta love that!