Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Charitable Deductions for Animal Rescue Volunteers

By Julian Block, an attorney and author, for Pet News and Views




Charitable Deductions for Animal Rescue Volunteers



Many of you volunteer
to help raise funds or perform other tasks on behalf of animal-rescue groups and other charitable organizations. When the annual reckoning with the Internal Revenue Service rolls around, the reward for your willingness to help out can take the form of write-offs for unreimbursed expenses incurred while you do volunteer work for rescue groups. To qualify as charitable deductions, the expenses in question must further the groups’ missions, such as foster care for stray animals.

As an animal-rescue volunteer, you need to be mindful of tricky rules for donations, whether they take the form of gifts of cash or property or volunteer expenses. What follows is a summary of the many possibilities.

Only Out-of-Pocket Outlays Count

The law allows volunteers to claim itemized deductions on Schedule A of Form 1040 only for what you spend to cover unreimbursed expenses—for instance, telephone calls, postage stamps and stationery, as well as other materials (say, to prepare
posters or other forms of advertising for fund-raising campaigns).

What kinds of expenses can rescue workers write off at tax time? Some examples of qualifying outlays that are frequently overlooked: animal feed, medicines, cat litter, litter boxes, pet dishes, cleaning supplies, garbage bags, paper towels, laundry detergent and dish detergent; animal bedding, animal toys, fees paid to veterinarians and trainers, and food for volunteers building temporary shelters for pets evacuated from flood zones in hurricanes.

Forget About Deducting Your Time
While deductions are allowed for gifts of property, the IRS doesn’t consider your services to qualify as “property.” Nor does the law allow you to claim anything for the use of your home or office to conduct meetings: that, too, isn’t a contribution of “property.”

Uniforms
Some organizations require volunteers to wear uniforms. Because these uniforms aren’t adaptable to ordinary wear, deductions are allowed for their cost and cleaning.

Travel
An often missed outlay begins the moment that you leave your home. Your allowable deductions include travel expenses to and from animal shelters, veterinarians, committee meetings, fundraising events, and so on. If you travel to and from your volunteer work by planes, trains, buses, or taxis, just make sure to keep track of your fares and claim them as travel expenses.

If you use your own auto, you have two options for handling the expenses: The first option is to deduct the actual cost of gas and oil. Unlike write-offs for business driving, you can’t claim depreciation because that isn’t an actual cash payment. Nor can you claim insurance and repairs unless you use the car only for charitable driving or the repairs are directly attributable to that use.

The second option is to make the paperwork simpler by claiming a standard mileage rate. The standard rate is 14 cents a mile for tax year 2011, unchanged since 1997, as set by law.

Whether you use the mileage allowance or drive a gas guzzler and claim actual costs, remember to deduct parking fees and bridge or highway tolls, as well. It’s a good idea, in case an IRS examiner questions your charitable travel, to be able to support your deductions with a glove compartment diary in which you record why and how far you went, as well as what you spend on parking. You don’t have to use the same car each time and can use more than one car at the same time. If you rent an auto and drive it only for charitable travel, include the entire rental charge with your other charitable expenses.

Overnight Expenses
When volunteer work requires that you be away from home overnight, your deductions also include lodgings and meals as long as they’re “reasonable,” as opposed to “lavish or extravagant.” Note that these meals are 100 percent deductible, unlike business meals, which are only 50 percent deductible.

An example: You can deduct these expenses when you attend an organization’s convention as a duly appointed delegate. But you can’t deduct for such personal expenses as sightseeing or movie tickets. Nor are you allowed to deduct travel or other expenses incurred by your spouse or children.

To back up your deductions in the event of an IRS audit, save a copy of the convention program and check off the sessions that you attend as a delegate. Sign an attendance book for any sessions that provide one. Keep a diary of your convention related expenses, along with hotel and restaurant bills.

IRS Paperwork
Strict rules apply when a volunteer incurs an unreimbursed expense of $250 or more, such as an airline ticket. No deduction for the outlay is permitted unless you obtain and keep for your records a written statement from the charity. The statement needs to describe the type of services you performed for the charity and whether you received any benefits in return. The charity needn’t list the expenses you pay as a volunteer.

Audits
Rescue workers might avoid the bother of audits by including brief explanations with their returns. Their statements should explain how deduction amounts were arrived at.

They shouldn’t over-explain, cautions the IRS. It wants them to be concise and attach some supporting evidence, but not every receipt. They should attach copies, not originals, because the documents may become separated from their returns. Hold off on submitting originals until the agency actually asks for proof of deductions. The IRS doesn’t allow electronic filing of Form 1040s with attachments. Submit paper 1040s.

Help from the IRS

For more information, take a look at IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, or telephone 800-TAX-FORM.

About the Author

Julian Block is an attorney and author based in Larchmont, NY. He has been cited as “a leading tax professional” (New York Times), “an accomplished writer on taxes” (Wall Street Journal) and “an authority on tax planning” (Financial Planning Magazine). His books include “Julian Block’s Tax Deductible Travel and Moving Expenses: How to Take advantage of Every Tax Break the Law Allows,” from which this article is excerpted. Please visit his site by clicking here.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Please welcome Waif

Written by a CP Intakes volunteer



Did you ever found yourself walking down a road, lost and hungry and you didn't know where to turn next?

That is what happened to one little wheaten cairn. Only one year old and on his own on the streets! Then one day a nice lady scooped him up and took him home and nourished him back to health. The Good Samaritan decided that she was unable to keep him, but she fortunately knew he would be in the best hands with Col. Potter.

Waif is now in the loving arms of his foster mom. Please give Waif a warm welcome to CP and his new life!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Sweets

Sunday is full of SWEETS! Each week we will showcase the sweeter side of Cairns. If you have a sweet filled cairn and would like us to consider YOUR picture for an upcoming "Sunday Sweets" send it to us at cpcrnblog@gmail.com! (All photo submissions become the property of CPCRN and may be used for fundraising, promotion and/or outreach purposes.

Gem

Jeffery

Brodie

Abby & Gem


Jill

Saturday, January 28, 2012

CP Welcomes Family Heritage

Written by CP's VP of Intakes

A family's roots and heritage define us. They make us who and what we are. Our heritage shapes our character, our morals and many times, our passions and interests for our lifetime. Such is the case with the history of CP's Family Heritage group. This group was named as a result of a winning square in Col. Potter's New Leash on Life Raffle. The winner got to name a group of furkids in Col. Potter. Her choice was to name a group after people in her family history who made loving animals a way of life. I think most of at Col. Potter can relate to that!

Please help me welcome Marla T's Family Heritage:

Palmer: Male, 6 years old, wheaten



Lulu: Female, 6 years old, black



Babe: Female, 4 years old, wheaten



Remember, you too can Name A Cairn by donating to our program of the same name via our website. This is the gift of life that keeps on giving. Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Rather than spending money on some candy, flowers or stuffed animal, why not help a living, breathing Cairn by making a donation to honor someone you love?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Taboo trots into CP!

Written by a CP Intakes volunteer



Today a very cute, sweet, well behaved 8 year young cairn boy has joined Col. Potter. He is an owner surrender, not because he's been a bad boy, but his family's life was getting more busy with all the things families with children do. His family felt he wasn't getting the attention he was used to and deserved. They wanted him to have a better life and felt Col. Potter would be able to find this sweetheart just the right home! Who wouldn't want to just hug this adorable face?

This guy has manners--he even shakes paws with you! He likes children, other dogs and having fun. He enjoys grooming and prides himself on looking good! Not long ago one of our CP members lost her beloved dog to canine influenza. To honor Beth's lost love, our newest cairn boy will bear his name with pride and joy.

Please welcome TABOO!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wacky Wednesday!

Wednesday is the day to be WACKY! Each week we will showcase a terrierific cairn picture with an appropriate caption. If you have a terrierific cairn and would like us to consider YOUR picture and caption for an upcoming "Wacky Wednesday" send it to us at cpcrnblog@gmail.com! (All photo submissions become the property of CPCRN and may be used for fundraising, promotion and/or outreach purposes.

A big shout out to Rocky and Meatloaf for being our Wacky Wednesday models this week!


That's the Cairn Rescue Annual Party!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Please Welcome a Very Special Boy

Written by a CP Intakes volunteer



This week a gorgeous black brindle boy joined Col. Potter. He's 4 years old, healthy, happy, and all cairn. When a cairn is in the process of coming into Col, Potter, Intakes receives photos as part of the process. The head of Intakes, Valerie, reviews the photos along with all the other pertinent information for each and every cairn. A lot of wheels turn in unison to bring a new furkid into Col. Potter. Sometimes it all works in strange ways.

This new boy is an owner surrender given up in hopes he could have a better life. We all want the best possible life for our cairns. Sadly there's times that life may be cut short despite all best efforts and love. Such was the case with Valerie's Harvard a few months ago. Harvard's leaving left a big hole in the hearts of many but especially his mom. However, Harvard has taken on a new role of guiding cairns to Col. Potter - especially the black brindles. Have you noticed how many black brindles have been making their way to Col. Potter lately? We believe our new spirit guide, Harvard, has a paw in all this. And he was at work today.

The opportunity to name a cairn was given to Valerie in honor of Harvard by some special friends. She had been waiting for just the right cairn to come along. When Valerie saw this cairn boy's photos, she knew this was the one, the one to bear a very special name in honor of her Harvard. The volunteer who brought this boy into Col. Potter said he is a calm cairn with a soft soul present in his eyes. As he walked across the clinic with a vet tech today, his head and tail were held high. This is not what we usually see with a new intake. He is spending some time at the vet clinic for his 'spa' treatment before heading to a foster home. Soon he will be ready for his new journey.

If you would like to honor the passing of a special furkid, your own or someone dear to your heart, please consider a donation to name a cairn. It will provide a way for their spirit to live on, guiding another cairn to a new life. It is my humble honor to introduce HARV.

Monday, January 23, 2012

WELCOME OUR NEWEST LITTLE BLACK BEAUTY!

Written by CP's VP of Intakes



Today as the winter storm chugged east, another little Cairn found her way out of the storm and into the warmth and caring arms of Col. Potter.

Another gorgeous little black beauty now calls CP her family.

Please help me welcome Kaira, a 5 year old female. Her name was donated by Susan T in memory of her first Cairn who only lived four years and was an Angel of Joy who loved life to the fullest, but developed liver cancer and lost her battle near Christmas 1999. Kaira means "friend, beloved and precious jewel" in three different languages and seems to fit this little beauty to a T!

CP's Kaira, I think you have another little Cairn named Kaira watching over you tonight ...

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday Sweets

Sunday is full of SWEETS! Each week we will showcase the sweeter side of Cairns. If you have a sweet filled cairn and would like us to consider YOUR picture for an upcoming "Sunday Sweets" send it to us at cpcrnblog@gmail.com! (All photo submissions become the property of CPCRN and may be used for fundraising, promotion and/or outreach purposes.



Rocky & Tess



Gigi


Folly


Kayla

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Welcome Wembly!

Written by a CP Intakes volunteer



Wembly is a happy, well-loved little 2.5 year old cairn. Due to life changes and a move to another country, his mom contacted us to see if we could find him a new loving home. As expected, his mom was very sad to let him go, but so relieved to find a cairn rescue group to turn to. He became a Col Potter kid this week and will arrive in his foster home soon.

Welcome little guy!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012

CP Gets Winter Chill

Written by CP's VP of Intakes

For many of us across the northern part of the US, we have lived a charmed life so far this winter, with mild temperatures and little or no snow. Here in the upper midwest, that came to a howling stop this week as we were greeted with falling temperatures, blowing winds and snow. Considering it was sunny just a few days ago with a temperature in the low 50's, today definitely had a Winter Chill to it!

Two little Cairns also experienced a big change today when they found freedom in the loving arms of Col. Potter and none too soon as the Winter Chill is setting in across the country.


Gloves: Female, black brindle, born 4/23/04




Scarf: Female, wheaten, born 3/22/05



My thanks to a very special rescue angel who made their rescue possible.

Please help me welcome CP's Winter Chill -- Gloves and Scarf. You will be warm and comfortable from here on out girls!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wacky Wednesday!

Wednesday is the day to be WACKY! Each week we will showcase a terrierific cairn picture with an appropriate caption. If you have a terrierific cairn and would like us to consider YOUR picture and caption for an upcoming "Wacky Wednesday" send it to us at cpcrnblog@gmail.com! (All photo submissions become the property of CPCRN and may be used for fundraising, promotion and/or outreach purposes.

A big shout out to Rocky and Tess for being our Wacky Wednesday models this week!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Welcome "Sonny Boy" to the CP Family!

Written by a CP Intakes volunteer



Only sunny days ahead for “Sonny Boy”! Sonny Boy found himself with another rescue that did not have the experience of finding homes for cairns, he was there for several months so, they contacted us to see if we might have room to take him.

He loves other dogs, is playful and outgoing with other dogs. But, he is very very shy and timid around people. You can pick him up and pet him, but he will not come to you. He just needs someone to work with him and his foster mom is ready to do that and to let him know that he doesn’t need to be afraid. I’m sure with all the love he will get in his foster home he will be ready in no time for his forever home. Thanks to CP and all it’s great volunteers he is now going to find a good home.

Welcome Sonny Boy!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Russell T - The Tale of a Survivor!

Written by a CP Intakes volunteer



Now and then a cairn comes into Col. Potter that has a tale to tell. Russell T is lucky to be here today to tell his tale and what a tale it is!

Not long ago a person was driving down a long country road. I'm sure you've been on one those roads - no houses for miles, just a long road, maybe some wire fences surrounding the occasional farmer's field. You know, the kind of road that never ends and you hope your car doesn't break down because there's NOTHING for miles!

Well, one person was traveling down such a road and suddenly spotted two cairns - out in the middle of nowhere!! The cairns were picked up and taken to a cairn person for help. This person did everything imaginable to locate the owner(s) of the two cairns. No collars, no tags, no microchips, no reports with agencies or law officials that these cairns were missing or that anyone was looking for them. Pictures were emailed to all vets in the area, still nothing. After all efforts were exhausted, the caretaker began the process of helping these two cairns to a new life. One cairn found a wonderful, dedicated home but Russell T was still homeless. His caretaker contacted Col. Potter for help. Today Russell T became a Col. Potter kid.

As if being dumped in winter in the countryside to die isn't bad enough, Russell T was discovered to be heart worm positive. He's going to be starting treatment soon. With the help of Col. Potter's Medical Team and his wonderful foster home, he's looking forward to a new life and bright future. Russell T is a gorgeous black brindle with red/mahogany accents. He's estimated to be 7 to 8 years old and has a charming personality.

Russell T is named after the renowned author, Russell T. Davies of Dr. Who fame. CP's Russell T is anxious to start the next chapter of his tale. He has told me that he expects a happy ending of good health, a great home and forever love.

Let's give Russell T a warm Col. Potter welcome as well as all our support for a full recovery and a great life ahead!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Sweets

Sunday is full of SWEETS! Each week we will showcase the sweeter side of Cairns. If you have a sweet filled cairn and would like us to consider YOUR picture for an upcoming "Sunday Sweets" send it to us at cpcrnblog@gmail.com! (All photo submissions become the property of CPCRN and may be used for fundraising, promotion and/or outreach purposes.



Cola


Christy



Buddy & Christy



Barter



Dividend & Laurie

Friday, January 13, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Introducing Clint

Written by a CP Intakes volunteer



Little Clint found himself in a shelter and, unfortunately, no one came looking for him. His hold time was up and in danger of losing his life. Fortunately, Col Potter was able to get him out. Clint is estimated to be 3 years old and described as cute and friendly, and he gets along well with other dogs.

Clint is currently at the vet for his spa treatment and will be heading to his foster home this coming weekend.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Novartis Suspends Production of Interceptor and Sentinel

Whole Dog Journal

January 9, 2012

If you use these products, you may need to find alternatives.

It seems like every time I turn around these days, I hear about another drug shortage (more on that topic in an upcoming WDJ article). This time, it’s Novartis Animal Health announcing in late December that it has suspended production of Interceptor, Sentinel, and other drugs while its manufacturing facility in Lincoln, Nebraska, undergoes “voluntary” improvements. Numerous human and animal over-the-counter drugs are manufactured at this plant. According to reports, the company hopes to know in January when production will be resumed.

If you currently use either of these products, you may need to find a substitute, at least temporarily. Interceptor is a monthly heartworm preventive medication; it should be easy to switch to Heartgard (or generic equivalent), Revolution, or the newer Advantage Multi. Be sure to purchase these from a reliable source to avoid potentially ineffective counterfeit products. See “When Buying Veterinary Drugs Online, Look for Accredited Sites,” (WDJ June 2011)

Sentinel is a combination of Interceptor (milbemycin oxime) and Program (lufenuron), an insect growth regulator that prevents fleas that bite your dog from producing viable offspring, and therefore can be useful in combating a flea infestation. Program is manufactured by Novartis and is therefore almost certainly one of the other products whose production has been suspended. If you don’t have fleas, you don’t need to use lufenuron.

If you do have a flea problem, you can switch to flea and tick products that contain their own insect growth regulators. Advantage II and Advantix II use pyriproxyfen (Nylar), while Frontline Plus and Certifect use S-methoprene (Precor). For more information on these products, see "New Flea and Tick Products Hit the Market" (WDJ December 2011).

Wacky Wednesday!

Wednesday is the day to be WACKY! Each week we will showcase a terrierific cairn picture with an appropriate caption. If you have a terrierific cairn and would like us to consider YOUR picture and caption for an upcoming "Wacky Wednesday" send it to us at cpcrnblog@gmail.com! (All photo submissions become the property of CPCRN and may be used for fundraising, promotion and/or outreach purposes.

A big shout out to Abbie for being our Wacky Wednesday model this week!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Nine ways to keep down your Vet bills

Contributed by a CP Volunteer

1. Use a leash
. Unless your dog has absolutely perfect recall, you need to be cautious about where and when you allow your dog off-leash. Most people who think their dogs have perfect recall are completely delusional. So be judicious.

2. Pay attention to your dog. Even leashed dogs can get into trouble if their owners aren’t watching. Lots of bad things can happen, for instance, when dogs walk around blind corners ahead of their owners. Many people use retractable leashes in such a way that their dogs might as well not be leashed at all. Don’t be one of those people.

3. Use common sense around other dogs. You know your dog is friendly, but the dog he’s checking out may not be. Ask the other dog’s owner whether it’s safe to let them sniff face-to-face. If the other dog’s owner isn’t anywhere in sight, then you know something about how responsible he or she is. Use extreme caution in such scenarios.

4. Brush your dog’s teeth. Yes, it’s a nuisance to brush your dog’s teeth once daily. And yes, lots of people make lots of noise online about how their special diet or treat or toy obviates the need. The fact is that nothing works as well as tooth brushing, and people who claim otherwise usually are pushing their own agendas. Regular brushing will spare your dog the hardship of dental disease like nothing else. It also is your best bet for avoiding expensive dental work

5. Stay away from foxtails and porcupines. Foxtails are sharp grass seeds, and everyone knows what porcupines are. These two pests can lead to your pup getting foreign bodies in his nose, anus, and every part in between. They’re easy to avoid if you use a leash and pay attention to your dog.

6. Socialize your dog properly. Well-socialized dogs get into fewer fights and are less likely to behave aggressively toward humans. Well-socialized dogs allow their owners to brush their teeth and trim their nails and check their ears — so that you don’t have to pay vets or groomers to perform these tasks.

7. Keep toxic or dangerous items out of reach. Over the holidays, I treated dozens of dogs for chocolate ingestion. I treated dozens of others for GI upset after they ate garbage or were fed inappropriate treats. Chocolate treat season is finally winding down, but plenty of problematic ingestible items are ubiquitous. Many dogs spend time in the hospital after consuming sugarless gum (which, if it contains xylitol, can be highly toxic to susceptible dogs), macadamia nuts, raisins, or even overdoses of their own palatable medications, such as Rimadyl flavor chews. Keep these items locked up or out of reach.

8. Don’t give human medications to your pet without first talking to your vet. Very little good ever has come from the canine equivalent of self-medicating. Some human medications are markedly toxic to pets. Some, such as aspirin, rarely work but interfere dangerously with other medications that may be effective. Dogs who receive a few Advils for a sore paw may end up in the hospital for three days of treatment. Talk to your vet before you medicate your dog.

9. Get regular veterinary checkups. Planned visits can prevent unplanned ones by catching problems before they get out of control.Here’s to a happy, healthy, and safe new year for you and your dog.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday Sweets

Sunday is full of SWEETS! Each week we will showcase the sweeter side of Cairns. If you have a sweet filled cairn and would like us to consider YOUR picture for an upcoming "Sunday Sweets" send it to us at cpcrnblog@gmail.com! (All photo submissions become the property of CPCRN and may be used for fundraising, promotion and/or outreach purposes.

Houston

Trudy Lou

Taffy

Fletcher

Kayla & Sadie

Barter

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Please Welcome our First New Cairn of 2012 - Karma

Written by a CP Intakes volunteer



Please welcome this darling little 6 year old male cairn to Col. Potter. Because of personal reasons, his owner needed to find a new home for this little boy and contacted us for help. Karma arrived at his foster home today, ready to begin his new life.


Welcome, Karma!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

CP's 2011 Cherry on the top

Written by a CP Intakes volunteer



Please give a warm welcome to CP's last 2011 intake, the cherry on top of a wonderful year of saving cairns, the divine Marachino. This sweet girl is 12 years old, and spent her last years living outside year round. No matter how cold, or hot, or wet, or snowy, she was outside. Relegated to 'her yard' because she reportedly started having housetraining issues. That's the story anyway. But hearing that another old cairn girl lived out there too raises questions that won't be answered. Sadly for her companion, only Marachino was surrendered.

Marachino is reportedly sweet, confused by that thing called 'heat' coming out of the car's vents on the ride to the vet, and in need of some human kindness. Luckily for her, she will be given her spa treatment this week and then move to her foster home where she will only know kindness and love.

Welcome, Marachino!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wacky Wednesday!

Wednesday is the day to be WACKY! Each week we will showcase a terrierific cairn picture with an appropriate caption. If you have a terrierific cairn and would like us to consider YOUR picture and caption for an upcoming "Wacky Wednesday" send it to us at cpcrnblog@gmail.com! (All photo submissions become the property of CPCRN and may be used for fundraising, promotion and/or outreach purposes.

A big shout out to Sunni for being our Wacky Wednesday model this week!



Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Dog's New Years Resolutions

Author Unknown
from Westie News

I will stop trying to find the few remaining clean pieces of carpet in the house when I am about to throw up.

I will not roll on dead seagulls, fish, crabs, etc.

I will not eat other animals' poop.

I will not lick my human's face after eating animal poop.

I will not eat my own vomit.

I will not eat "kitty box crunchies".

I will not eat any more socks and then re-deposit them in the backyard after processing.

The diaper pail is not a cookie jar. I will not eat the disposable diapers, especially the dirty ones.

I will not chew my human's toothbrush and not tell them.

I will not chew crayons or pens, specially not the red ones, or my people will think I am hemorrhaging.

When in the car, I will not insist on having the window rolled down when it's raining outside.

I will not drop soggy tennis balls in the underwear of someone who is sitting on the toilet.

I will not bark each time I hear a door bell on TV.

I will not walk under the big dog when he is peeing.

I will not steal Mom's underwear and dance all over the back yard with it.

I will not play tug-o'-war with Dad's underwear when he's on the toilet.

The sofa is not a face towel. Neither are Mom & Dad's laps.

My head does not belong in the refrigerator.

I will not bite the officer's hand when he reaches in for Mom's driver's license and car registration.

I do not need to suddenly stand straight up when I'm lying under the coffee table.

I will not roll my toys behind the fridge.

The garbage collector is NOT stealing our stuff.

I must shake the rainwater out of my fur BEFORE entering the house.


Monday, January 2, 2012

What to do if your dog has a seizure

Contributed by a CP Volunteer

Having had a Cairn with seizures, this is very interesting.... and it's always in the back of my mind...

Seizures are one of the most misunderstood conditions in canine health. Some doctors estimate that between 0.5 and 5.7% of all dogs experience a seizure at some point. Today I'd like to help you understand what happens during a seizure and how to react in the best way to keep your dog safe.

Seeing your dog have a seizure for the first time is truly frightening. It comes on with no warning. One minute your dog is happily enjoying an afternoon nap. Then, in an instant, his entire body begins shaking with wild muscle spasms. He has an empty "faraway" look in his eyes ... and you can't help but wonder if he knows what's happening. It's a tough thing to talk about, but it happens. And it happens more often than you might think. If they happen to your dog, you need to be prepared. You should:

Keep your dog safe. If he's not on the ground, make sure he doesn't fall. If his thrashing might knock something over that could hurt him, move it.

Keep yourself safe. Your dog will not swallow his tongue. NEVER put your hands in his mouth - you could get seriously bitten.

Be aware. The more you can tell your vet, the better. What happened? How long did it last? How severe was it?

Get treatment. Once the seizure has passed, take your dog to the vet.

Finding out why your dog had a seizure is like solving a puzzle. It's tough to put all the pieces together. A seizure is difficult to diagnose because it's not a disease. It's a symptom (with any number of causes). It could be "epilepsy." This common diagnosis is made when no other causes can be found. Epilepsy could even be genetic since it is more common in certain breeds, like German Shepherd dogs, Irish Setters, Retrievers, Poodles and Dachshunds. There is no diagnostic test for epilepsy. The only way to find out if your dog has it is through the process of elimination. All other possible causes must be ruled out through a series of testing.

The diagnostic process generally requires a lot of testing-and that means lots of money, too. Some people wonder: does the cause really matter as long as the dog comes through the seizure OK?

If the cause is medical, environmental, metabolic or traumatic, it could be serious or life threatening, so you need to identify it and treat it. If the cause is medical, environmental, metabolic or traumatic, it could be serious or life threatening, so you need to identify it and treat it.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sunday Sweets! Happy New Year!

Sunday is full of SWEETS! Each week we will showcase the sweeter side of Cairns. If you have a sweet filled cairn and would like us to consider YOUR picture for an upcoming "Sunday Sweets" send it to us at cpcrnblog@gmail.com! (All photo submissions become the property of CPCRN and may be used for fundraising, promotion and/or outreach purposes.

Defi, Cassie, Hunter

Tazz

Radar

Widgit

Sunni

Kasey