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See on Scoop.itAnimal Health

When Alena Matthews was growing up in Alberton, attending Westisle Composite High School, she had no idea she’d be returning there one day to encourage another generation of students to pursue their dreams.

See on www.theguardian.pe.ca

When it comes to pet-centered events in the GTA, you’d be hard pressed to find a dog lover who has not heard of Woofstock. Touted as North America’s largest outdoor dog festival, Woofstock attracts over 300,000 visitors to the historic St. Lawrence Market neighborhood every summer and has been a favourite among dog lovers since its inception in 2003.

With its popularity secure in the hearts of pet parents, it’s no wonder that the creators of this poochtastic festival decided to branch out and create a corresponding event slated to take place just in time for the Holiday Season.  And Winter Woofstock was born.

Much like its summer counterpart, Winter Woofstock is a veritable who’s who of the canine world and attracts over 25,000 pet lovers each year.  Wander the aisles of this puptacular festival and you’re sure to find something to tickle your fancy. From holistic food to tasty treats; creative toys to doggy fashion, Winter Woofstock has everything the discerning pet lover wants.

Unlike the original Woofstock, which takes place outdoors on the streets of downtown Toronto, Winter Woofstock moves the celebration indoors at the Direct Energy Centre on the CNE grounds.  Once again, dogs are encouraged to accompany their humans and partake in the fun and festivities.  Pet parents can speak with experts in the animal health field, take in a doggy fashion show and enjoy an exciting afternoon out with their favourite four-legged friend.

This year will mark the second time that Avivagen will participate in Winter Woofstock and we’re looking forward to once again connecting with pet people and their pups.  Dog lovers can stop by our booth, fill out a ballot to win some great prizes and even pick up a sample bottle of our unique canine supplement, Oximunol Chewable Tablets, which helps support and optimize immune function, mobility and enhance skin/coat.

Reasons why we love Woofstock:

  • Not only are dogs welcome, Woofstock actually goes out of the way to encourage pet parents to bring their dogs. From special High Tea events to doggy fashion shows, Woofstock does a great job of making their event truly dog friendly
  • It is the Who’s Who of the doggy world. Anyone who is anyone in the animal health field is there and there is something to suit the tastes of even the most fickle canine
  • If you’re looking for something natural or unique you’re sure to find it in the aisles of Woofstock.  Pet parents searching for something different will have no trouble finding what they want.

This year Winter Woofstock takes place on November 17th & 18th, 2012 at the Direct Energy Centre (CNE grounds).  We hope to see you there!

Got Lice??

True story: this weekend I found out that I had been exposed to lice.  That’s right, itchy, creepy, crawly, I-don’t-want-to-cut-off-all-my-hair LICE.  Thankfully, I ended up being lice free (thanks in part to the tea tree oil spray that I use as part of my regular hair car routine!) but I did learn a few things from the experience that I thought I’d share.

 

 

Things I learned:

1. There is a lice epidemic going on right now of epic proportions

2. If you have kids, know kids or work with kids, chances are you have been exposed to lice

3. It takes 3-4 weeks for nits (lice eggs) to hatch and mature into adults so you can be walking around with and spreading nits and not even know it.

4. There are companies out there, such as The Lice People, who specialize in helping you dealing with these pesky critters.

5. As with most things in life, the best defense is a good offense.  Preventative sprays containing mint and/or tea tree oil can make your scalp less attractive to pesky critters such as lice.

Pets and lice:

As the good pet parent that I am, my first thought after learning of my exposure immediately turned to my pets.  Can they catch lice from me?  Could I have caught lice from them?  And most importantly, how do I go about ridding my household of these creepy crawlers?

The good news is that lice are highly species specific.  That means that the species of lice that feed on human blood WILL NOT feed on the blood of dogs or cats.  Conversely, dog lice (which are rare) will only feed on dogs and cat lice (also rare) will only feed on cats.  So if you or your family ends up dealing with a lice infestation you can rest assured that your pets are safe.

You’ve got lice – now what?

Years ago finding out that you had lice was socially and emotionally devastating.  Not only did it mean a trip to the barber to get your lovely locks hacked off but it also meant the social stigma associated with these parasitic creatures.

Thankfully, nowadays, dealing with lice is much simpler thanks to companies such as The Lice People, which is where I headed as soon as I learned of my exposure.  For just $20 the Lice People will go through your head with a special comb and check for nits and adult lice.  If anything is found they will systematically go over your hair, strand-by-strand, and remove every nit and adult so that when you leave you are completely lice-free.

They also provide you with a handy checklist of do’s and don’ts so you can get your house lice-free with as little hassle and panic as possible.

All in all I have to say that my lice experience, though stressful, was not as bad as it could have been thanks to the friendly and knowledgeable staff at The Lice People.  Not only did Lee (that’s the women who checked me out) provide me with loads of helpful tips and information, she made me feel at ease and took what could have been a disastrous situation and made it much less painful.

Common Sense Cleaning Tips from The Lice People:

1. Change sheets on any bed the infested person may have slept in during the last 24 hours.  Wash and dry in HOT temperatures.

2. Throw comforters and bedspreads into the dryer for 30 minutes on high heat.  If that is not possible, place the bedding into garbage bags and isolate them for 24-48 hours.  Lice cannot live long without access to human blood and will quickly die when cut off from their food supply.

3. Combs, brushes and hair ties used in the last 24 hours by the infested person can be cleaned by any of the following methods:

– Place in alcohol, ammonia or dish detergent and allow to soak for at least 2 hours

– Put into boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes

– Put in a Ziploc bag and place in the freezer overnight

– Place in your dishwasher on hot cycle

– Don’t use them for 24 hours

4. Run a light vacuum over the areas where the infested person visits frequently.  Alternatively you can throw a sheet over the areas for 24 hours or just don’t go to those places of your house.  Again, lice cannot live long without access to your blood and will quickly die when no human host is available.

5. If the infested person sleeps with any stuffed animals or toys be sure to throw them into a hot dryer for at least 30 minutes

6. Be a friend and TELL A FRIEND!  (*** I was shocked to learn that many parents will hide their children’s lice infestation in order to avoid any backlash from other parents or their kid’s school.  This not only perpetuates the stigma of lice being something that should be hidden but also puts your children at risk of re-infestation)

7. Make head checks part of your weekly routine

8. Use a mint or tea tree oil based shampoo or spray to keep your head lice free.  Comb with a lice comb once or twice a week and watch for signs of lice

If you or someone you know has been exposed to lice please feel free to contact:

The Wag of a Tail


This week’s theme = Summer Fun!

Kelso shows us how to stay cool and refreshed when the temperatures start to climb.

KELSO’S STORY (by mommy Danielle)

One day back in March 2001, I decided to go to visit the animals at the local shelter not necessarily looking for a dog.  Well, after seeing this 3 month old little brown fluff ball, it was love at first sight and I just had to bring him home.  He turned out to be the smartest little puppy ever, was housebroken within a couple days and learned to sit, stay and lay down so fast that I told myself “Well he definitely isn’t dumb like Kelso on That 70’s show!”  So the name Kelso stuck!

It’s a good thing that I love this boy because Kelso turned out to be a “lemon” of a dog!  He has/had multiple health issues ranging from hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, bladder stones, very bad food and environmental allergies and most recently a heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy.

Kelso has never been a very high energy dog mainly because of his bad hips and thyroid issues, but even so, throughout the years, we’ve enjoyed doing many activities together such as regular daily walks, jogging/biking, agility classes just for fun, swimming and so on.  But after 11 and a half years, Kelso is getting very tired and is a lot happier just being a retired old man lounging around in the house.

Due to Kelso’s heart condition, I know that I don’t have much time left with him, and although it makes me sad to think that I will have to say goodbye soon, I am very happy to have so many wonderful memories of this one of a kind dog to smile and look back on.  He truly is the best🙂

 

 

ABOUT PHOENIX

I’ve bred Rough Collies for many years, and about 7 years ago decided to buy a dog from another breeder, someone whose animals I had admired for a very long time.  My youngest daughter and I went, initially to look at puppies of a different colour and gender, but came home instead with a sable and white boy – 13 weeks old – who was absolutely stunning!  We called him “Phoenix” for  the phoenix named “Fawkes”  from the Harry Potter stories, and he also answers to the nicknames ‘Pooh, Poohie, Poohie-dooie and Handsome’.

The plan was that he would get me back out into the show / obedience rings again, but it quickly became apparent that while I was ‘okay’ in his mind, his heart belongs 100% to my daughter, Meaganne, who loves him back just as much.

Phoenix is 7 1/2 years old, and at present he is our oldest dog.  He has a number of official CKC titles, as well as several unofficial ones too.  Meaganne suffered a nasty spinal injury 15 years ago that has left her with chronic pain, among other things.  Phoenix has become her ‘unofficial’ service dog.  He will pick things up for her, when she can’t reach them, and seems to know just when she really needs pressure or heat along the length of her back.  He will lie, stretched out along her whole body for hours.

Phoenix is gracious enough to allow her to share HIS double bed, pretty much whenever she wants to, especially if she is settling in with a book and  SNACK ( potato chips, sandwich, cheese slices, etc.)   If he feels she is not sharing enough of her snack, he is most willing to paw her or woof at her – just in case she hasn’t noticed the 80 lb furball drooling all over the bedding…..

Phoenix loves to have a job to  do , whether it is retrieving his dumbbell, doing ‘jumpies’, or posing for photos.  His favourite job at the moment is picking up everyone’s bowl after they are fed.  Once he’s brought them to us in the correct order, he gets a treat.  He also really enjoys playing with our other two dogs.  He likes to search through the doggy toy box until he finds just which toy he wants to play with, and on occasion will even put them all back in the box when asked to do so.  Going for van rides, especially to  ‘schoolies’ (obedience classes) are also favourite things to do.

He is  always willing to share big old wet Phoenix style ‘lickie – lickies’ with any bare piece of human flesh he can find, whenever he thinks he can get away with it – not so affectionately referred to around here as being ‘Pooh – gooed’  If he has an itchy spot, he ‘talks’ to it the whole time he scratches.

He is a really sweet boy, who genuinely enjoys being around the people in his family all the time, especially his own personal  human.  He likes to sniff the flowers in our gardens, reminding us of the ‘Ferdinand the Bull’ story.  He makes us smile and laugh at all his antics all the time.   We are so lucky to have him in our lives.

 

Thank you to Phoenix’s grandma for the wonderful write up!

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