Thank You Arizona Governor Ducey!

I’ve been meaning to write to celebrate Arizona’s new Governor Doug Ducey.  This Republican governor issued his first veto a month ago to the great benefit of animals and Arizona.  House Bill 2150 was rushed through the legislature and sought to remove farm animals from the definition of “animals” under the state’s cruelty laws.  This bill would have lowered and/or removed penalties for cruelty and even permitted abandonment of farm animals.  This means farm animals could have been left to die in the desert with no criminal repercussion for the humans involved.  Similarly, the denial of medical care for farm animals was removed from the list of criminal offenses.

Senator Steve Pierce is the author of this horrid bill.  I strongly encourage those in his district to vote him out of office.  Conversely, I hope my fellow Arizonans join me in thanking Governor Ducey for both the wisdom and heart for animals he displayed in this veto.  My thanks too for all the animal advocates who rallied on short notice to contact the Governor’s office.  It is great to know that in our state, farm animals like horses, cows, pigs and chickens are still considered animals and legally protected from cruelty.

Sources:  State of Arizona Office of the Governor, The Daily Courier, In Defense of Animals





A New Strain of Canine Influenza Kills Dogs in the Midwest

A new strain of canine influenza has hit the Midwest sickening more than 1,000 dogs.  At first, the outbreak was attributed to Influenza A H3N8, a virus that was first observed in the United States in 2004. But further testing by researchers at the University of Wisconsin and Cornell University identified a new virus.  It is similar to the Influenza A H3N2 found in Asia. This new virus has also infected cats. So far, this influenza has not spread to humans.

Clinical signs range from mild malaise to anorexia, coughing, fever and a runny nose. Treatment is supportive as there is currently no cure available. Severely affected dogs and cats are placed in hospital isolation wards and treated with fluids, antibiotics and nebulization. The goal is to prevent a secondary bacterial pneumonia which can be life-threatening.

Since no specific treatment is available for this virus, prevention is the key to protecting both dogs and cats. If you live in the Midwest keep pets away from places where large numbers of animals congregate including dog parks, pet stores, boarding facilities and shelters. Take precautions to avoid accidental transfer of the virus from sick animals to your pets. Disinfect clothing, equipment and hands after interacting with other animals. Unfortunately, the canine flu vaccine that is currently available is for H3N8. It is unknown if vaccination with this product will provide any cross protection for this new virus.


-Brooks, Wendy. “Canine Influenza (H3N8)”. The Pet Health Library, VIN, Published 10/24/2005, Reviewed 4/30/2014.

-Schwartz, Joe. “Midwest Canine Influenza outbreak caused by new strain of virus”. April 12, 2015.

You Make The Diagnosis: Paw Problem In A Dog

Pictured below is the front paw of a dog. The dog licked the top of his paw repeatedly. The constant licking turned the hair an abnormal brown color. He refused to let his family look at his paw. When I parted his hair, I found a large inflamed lesion that was the size of a dime.  Below is a close up of the paw. Study it closely then answer the following questions: 1) What is the common name of this lesion? 2) What are the most common causes?

Paw cyst

Diagnosis: Interdigital Cyst

Possible causes of lesions like this include inflammatory cyst caused by an insect bite or foreign body, abscess (infection), allergies or growths that can be cancerous. The dog had surgery to remove the lump. A long thin foreign body was found lodged inside.  He made a complete recovery.