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My Weekly Editorial

Discussion in 'Writers' Room' started by Dogmatix, May 18, 2006.

  1. Dogmatix

    Dogmatix New Member

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    Something a bit light this week.

    I am definitely looking forward to autumn with its chilly mornings and warm sunny days, not to mention football and the brilliant turning of the leaves. Honestly, it makes me just a little homesick for good old New England. One of my favorite things about the cooling off of the season is the warming up of my oven. Apple pies, Brunswick stew, roasted turkey…. Yes well you can see where I’m going with this. Obviously I love to cook and it’s not just for the two legged members of my family. I also like to cook for my pets. I have a few recipes that I use just about every year, beginning in the fall and right on through the holidays. Sometimes I even give my baked goods as gifts. Believe me they’re always received with appreciative barks and purrs.

    If your dog and cat are feeling a little left out this season here are a couple of healthy recipes you can prepare for them. Just remember, if your pet has any underlying health problems or requires a special diet talk to your veterinarian first.

    Fancy’s Favorite Treats
    1 cup of rolled oats
    ¼ cup of olive oil
    2 tbsp. butter
    1 cup water
    1 ½ tbsp. dark brown sugar
    2 tsp. chicken broth
    ½ cup skim milk
    ¾ cup cornmeal
    1 large brown egg (beaten)
    1 cup of low fat cheddar (shredded)
    2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
    Extra flour for kneading/rolling

    Heat 1 cup of water to a slow boil. Combine oats, butter/oil and the hot water. Once combined allow to rest for about 12 minutes. Add in remaining ingredients in small batches and mixing thoroughly between, until well combined.

    Lightly flour a cutting board and knead out the dough until smooth and consistent. This should take about 5 minutes. Roll the dough out and cut into small “dog friendly” shapes. Fancy suggests cats and mailmen! Bake the shapes on a greased cookie sheet at 325 degrees for about 40 minutes or until slightly brown on the edges. Cool thoroughly before serving.


    Zippy’s Tuna-licious Cat Bites

    4 oz. of canned light chunk tuna in oil (drained)
    2 oz. of unsalted sardines in oil (drained)
    4 oz. of canned salmon
    3 tbsp. low fat cheddar (shredded)

    1.5 tsp. brewer's yeast
    ¼ cup steamed/mashed carrot (baby food mashed carrots work just fine)
    2 tbsp. whole rolled oats
    2 tbsp. canned tomato paste
    1 large brown egg (beaten)
    1 tsp. dried catnip

    Mash together all the fish with your food processor then slowly add in the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Roll the mixture into small “meatballs” and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees on the center oven rack for about 18 minutes, but watch carefully! Treats should be golden brown in color when done. Cool thoroughly before serving.


    Happy baking!
     
  2. lady.cordelia

    lady.cordelia New Member

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    I love your editorials! You should write a pet manual!

    BTW, along the lines of ownership, I just can't stress enough the importance of heart worm preventative. We adopted a little shih tzu back in June and she was heart worm positive, but otherwise had been well cared for. A simple, relatively inexpensive (when you consider treatment costs), and nice little treat (it is made into a little treat for them) once a month would have prevented what could have been a tragedy. Luckily, we caught it in time and they had just matured to adults and no eggs matured. She has been treated and is doing beautifully. Not all dogs fair so well.

    Also, we adopted a dog in January that was severely malnourished and the rescue group still neutered him despite his state of health. They should have waited until he gained some weight. I would have signed a contract to get him neutered if they were in such a hurry to adopt him out. He died as a result of their malpractice. I definitely believe in the importance of spaying and neutering, however it should only be done on healthy dogs. It is a torture for them otherwise. Poor thing. It still breaks my heart. The rescue group was a rather new one and I reported them and they have changed their practices, thank God!

    Anyways, I am so thankful for great vets like you and for putting the word out for us! I know I have a lot to learn in raising my little canine friend.
     
  3. Dogmatix

    Dogmatix New Member

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    Thanks for the kind words. Heartworm disease is epidemic in North Carolina. I've written several articles about it in the past. I'm sure I'll write more in the future. Glad you're reading.
     
  4. Dogmatix

    Dogmatix New Member

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    Pregnancy and Toxoplasmosis: What’s the Risk?

    Every once in a while I’ll get a phone call from some newly pregnant mother, in tears because someone told her she had to give up her beloved cat. What these mothers have heard about is a disease called Toxoplasmosis which can have devastating affects in unborn children. They’ve heard some horror story that owning a cat greatly increases the risk that their child will contract this debilitating, even deadly disease.

    Toxoplasmosis is a tiny microscopic organism that infects many species of animals. Cats however, can not only be infected by Toxoplasma, but can carry and transmit their infection to humans through their feces. Surprisingly many people become infected with Toxoplasma and don’t even know it. For those with a well functioning immune system Toxoplasmosis can seem as mild as a cold. Once the infection has run its course immunity to reinfection is for life. There are blood tests available which will tell you if you have been infected in the past and if you are now immune to reinfection.

    The concern over Toxoplasmosis lies mainly in pregnant women. According to WEB-MD, if a woman is infected with Toxoplasma, during pregnancy or within the 60 days just prior to becoming pregnant there is a 30-40% chance that her child will be infected as well. The earlier in the pregnancy infection occurs the more severe the risk to fetal health. Miscarriage, severe neurologic disease, blindness, and hydrocephalus are all possible outcomes of infection. It’s important to remember that fetal infection will occur only if a woman is exposed to Toxoplasma for the FIRST time during her pregnancy. Woman previously exposed will not transmit Toxoplasmosis to their unborn child.

    Toxoplasmosis is contracted by ingestion of the Toxoplasma organism. While cats can pass one form of the organism in their feces, they most often do so only when they are initially infected. Older, healthy cats and cats that live indoors pose a near insignificant risk for passing infection on to their owners. In addition fecal Toxoplasma requires time outside of the body to become capable of causing infection. Fresh cat feces are not infective to humans. Only after a minimum of 24-48 hours after being passed is there a risk of infection from cat feces.

    Although cat ownership always comes up when discussing Toxoplasmosis a person is much more likely to contract an infection from undercooked meat products, unwashed vegetables, or during gardening activities. Toxoplasma organisms from feces left in the soil can survive and remain infective for a long time and freezing winter temperatures aren’t always enough to kill them. Ingesting undercooked meat products from infected animas is another cause of infection.

    If you are concerned about the possibility of Toxoplasmosis talk with your OB-GYN about having a blood test to check for previous infection. Remember, if you’ve already been exposed to Toxoplasma and have a healthy immune system then there is virtually no risk to your unborn child. You can also have your cat tested for infection, but a positive result doesn’t mean that your cat is shedding the organism in her stool. If she’s not, and most aren’t, then she’s no risk to you.

    If you have a cat don’t give her up, use common sense instead. Keep her inside away from infected cats and don’t feed her raw meat. Ask someone else to take over litter-box duty. Feces should be scooped immediately and the box cleaned thoroughly every day. Wear gloves and wash hands after handling cat feces. Just as important wear gloves when digging in the garden and wash your hands and your vegetables well after harvesting. Produce from the supermarket should also be washed before consuming. Meat products must be thoroughly cooked before eating. If you have questions about your particular risk, talk to you doctor.
     
  5. mehastings

    mehastings Active Member

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    Excellent article Dogmatix. I have a number of friends with cats and don't know how many people have told them to get rid of their cats when they became pregnant. Thankfully none of them did.
     

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