Monday, February 28, 2011



Hello, my name is Scruffy.
I am about 2 or 3 months old now and am looking for a forever home.

I used to live in the Hulu Kelang market. I was very sick and suffering from a severe case of sarcoptic mange. Because of that people didn't like me and used to kick me to get me away from them.

I could not understand why they couldn't see that all I wanted was for someone to love me, epsecially since my mommy died from eating some poisoned food...

Thankfully I was rescued from the market and my condition has improved significantly. My skin no longer smells bad, and all the nasty crusty stuff has gone away. My fur is starting to grow again too...

My carers think that I should be able to go to my new home soon.

As you can see I am a playful and energetic puppy but I am also a quick learner. I will do anything to please my new "parents".

I have already started potty training and I am proud to say that I can now hold my bladder for over 2 hours. My carers are very pleased with my progress, as I have already learnt not to "poo" in my crate. I have had ZERO poo acidents after my first day of potty training! :)

I will need lots of exercise, and hope to be able to go for daily walks. I will also need some obedience training, but I will need someone who will teach me with kindness and patience. I would like someone who will also spend time with me, and not leave me all alone for long periods.

I will be a faithful, loyal and loving companion,

Please call my carer, Natasha, at 016-322 8816
if you think you can find it in your heart to give me a home and family that I can call my own soon.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

What is Mange? And how to treat it....

Source: ASPCA

What Is Mange?

Mange is a skin disease caused by several species of tiny mites, common external parasites found in companion canines. Some mange mites are normal residents of your dog’s skin and hair follicles, while others are not. All mites can cause mild to severe skin infections if they proliferate.

What Causes Mange in Dogs?

Sarcoptic mange (Sarcoptes scabei) is transferred easily between hosts. Also known as canine scabies, sarcoptic mange is caused by mites that are oval-shaped, light-colored and microscopic.

All dogs raised normally by their mothers possess demodectic mange mites (Demodex canis), which are transferred from mother to pup via cuddling during the first few days of life. Most dogs live in harmony with their mites, never suffering any consequences.

There are three types of demodectic mange that affect canines. Localized cases occur when these mites proliferate in one or two small, confined areas. This results in isolated scaly bald patches—usually on the dog's face—creating a polka-dot appearance. Localized demodicosis is considered a common ailment of puppyhood, and approximately 90% of cases resolve with no treatment of any kind.

Generalized demodectic mange, in contrast, affects larger areas of skin or a dog’s entire body. Secondary bacterial infections make this a very itchy and often smelly skin disease. This form of mange could also be a sign of a compromised immune system, hereditary problem, endocrine problem or other underlying health issue. Treatment depends on the age at which the dog developed the disease.

One of the most resistant forms of mange, demodectic pododermatitis is confined to the foot and accompanied by bacterial infections. Deep biopsies are often required to locate these mites and make a proper diagnosis.

Is Demodectic Mange Contagious?

Current thinking is that Demodex mites can be transferred from one dog to another—but as long as the dog is healthy, the mites simply add to the dog's natural mite population and no skin disease results. Isolation of dogs with even the most severe cases is still felt to be unnecessary—though in rare circumstances, contagion is possible. While there are still different theories about dog-to-dog transmission of Demodex mites, it is accepted that mites cannot be transmitted to humans or to cats.

What Are the General Symptoms of Mange in Dogs?

The symptoms of mange depend on which type of mite is present. Demodectic mange tends to cause hair loss, bald spots, scabbing and sores. Secondary bacterial infections can make demodectic mange an itchy and uncomfortable disease.

Sarcoptic mange tends to cause intense itching. It can result in restlessness and frantic scratching, symptoms that generally appear one week after exposure. It also can result in hair loss, reddened skin, body sores and scabs. The most commonly affected areas are a dog’s ears, elbows, face and legs, but it can rapidly spread to the entire body.

When passed to humans, sarcoptic mange causes a rash of red bumps, similar to mosquito bites. Humans cannot get demodectic mange from dogs.

What Should I Do If I Think My Dog Has Mange?

Take your dog to a veterinarian, who will perform a physical exam, analyze skin scrapings and try to confirm the presence of mange mites with a microscope. It can be difficult to identify mange mites if they’re buried deep in a dog’s skin, so your vet may rely on clinical signs or your pet’s history to make a final diagnosis.

Are Certain Dogs Prone to Mange?

  • Puppies and dogs less than 18 months old are especially prone to developing localized demodectic mange, which often clears up on its own.
  • Generalized demodectic mange, the more serious, pervasive kind, can be hereditary in dogs. Old English sheepdogs and shar peis are prone to a severe form of demodectic mange affecting the feet. Older dogs who have an underlying illness may also be more prone.

How Is Mange Treated?

Depending on the type of mange and the breed of your dog, medication may be given orally or applied topically, by injection, or via shampoo and dip.

The first step in the treatment of sarcoptic mange is isolating your dog to prevent the condition from spreading to other pets and humans. Your vet may prescribe antiparasitic medications, as well as medication to ease itching, inflammation and secondary skin infections. Results are usually seen after a month of treatment.

Medications and managing physiological stress are essential when treating demodectic mange. Some infected dogs may also require special treatment—such as medicated shampoos—for secondary skin infections.

Please note, many skin treatments can be toxic to dogs and should not be repeated frequently, so check with your vet before beginning any treatment program for mange.

Is There a Cure for Mange?

Younger dogs often recover fully from mange, but adult dogs often require long-term therapy to control the disease. Dogs with demodectic mange should not be bred, as this condition is thought to be hereditary.

Treatment, no matter which option is chosen, should be accompanied by skin scrapes every two weeks. After two consecutive scrapes are negative, medication is discontinued, but a final scrape should be performed one month after treatment to ensure there isn’t a recurrence.

How Can I Prevent a Recurrence of Mange?

  • If your dog has been diagnosed with sarcoptic mange, you’ll need to thoroughly clean or replace his bedding and collar and treat all animals in contact.
  • If you suspect a neighbor’s dog may be infected, keep your pets away to keep the disease at bay.
  • Bring your dog to the vet periodically as recommended for recheck skin scrapes to ensure the mites have been eradicated.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Dog's Ten Commandments

A Dog's Ten Commandments by Stan Rawlinson

1. My life is likely to last 10-15 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful. Remember that before you buy me.

It would be ideal if this 10-15 year consideration came into play when adding a dog to the family is first contemplated. Far too many prospective dog owners are "in the moment" when they get Fido and once cute puppyhood is past and Fido is a grown dog the romance is over and Fido becomes a burden and a chore.

Too many times a dog is left in a fenced back yard (or tied) and only gets attention at feeding time – if someone remembers to feed him/her at all.

How many pet ads do we see that say:

"cute dog – one year old – don’t have enough time to spend with him/her – re-homing free?"

2. Give me time to understand what you want of me, don't be impatient, short-tempered, or irritable.

Dogs will want to please you and do what you want if you’ve taken the time to help them understand. If you tell Fido to lay down once ever six months he’s more than likely not going to comply. If you’ve not properly house trained the process is not going to come to him in a flash of light.

3. Place your trust in me and I will always trust you back. Respect is earned not given as an inalienable right.

That one’s self-explanatory; if one doesn’t establish a loving, trusting relationship with Fido he’ll never be socialized and pleasant to be around. Loved and trusted dogs want to please their owners.

4. Don’t be angry with me for long and don’t lock me up as punishment. I am not capable of understanding why? I only know I have been rejected, you have your work, entertainment and friends - I only have you.

You are the supreme being in your dog’s life and his/her life revolves around you and your presence. Fido is totally dependent on you and locking him/her up doesn’t solve anything but makes a nervous, anxious, frantic dog. A fenced yard is one thing but locking a dog up in a bathroom for hours is mistreatment in any language.

5. Talk to me sometimes, even if I don’t understand your words, I understand your voice and your tone - "you only have to look at my tail."

Dogs respond to their human’s tone of voice and react accordingly. If you scream and yell at a dog all the time he/she soon becomes immune to the unkindness and ignores it to survive. If, instead, your voice reflects love and direction a dog will make every effort to figure out what you want.

6. Be aware that however you treat me; I will never forget it and if it's cruel it may affect me forever.

Harsh and unkind treatment does not work with dogs. Although they may not understand they remember and will avoid those persons that are mean and hurt them.

7. Please don't hit me. I can't hit back but I can bite and scratch and I really don't ever want to do that.

An undisciplined dog is a pleasure to no one. Hitting and striking a dog does not train; it irritates, confuses and creates both fear and anger. Educate yourself on the training and care of dogs before you own one.

8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, obstinate or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right foods, or I've been out in the sun too long or my heart might be getting old or weak. I may be just dog tired.

Be attuned to what’s going on with your dog. If he/she suddenly slows down, is lethargic, inattentive or cross it’s highly likely there’s a reason and it could be health related. Never assume a suddenly grumpy dog has just had a personality change – check it out.

9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You, too, will grow old and may also need love, care, comfort and attention.

Pay particular attention to what’s going on with older dogs. Often their eyesight begins to fail, they become incontinent, joints become painful and thought processes aren’t as quick. Be considerate – your dog will go as far as he/she can for you and you should do the same.

10. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say: "I can't bear to watch" or "let it happen inmy absence." Everything is easier for me if you are there. Remember, irrespective of what you do I will always love you.

This is the hardest thing dog owners will ever face. They have to make the final decision and it’s inevitable with extreme illness or beyond functioning old age.


**Stan Rawlinson, Author of A Dog's Ten Commandments, Dog Behaviourist & Obedience Trainer's website is

Monday, February 7, 2011

Ugly Side of Net Vigilantes...

Previous Article: You Tube Animal Abuse Video Incites Public Fury

Please contact the Department of Veterinary Services if you have any valid information regarding the people who were responsible for abusing the poodle in the You Tube clip.

Those with information can call the department at 03-8870 2000 or SMS DVS HQAduan (Your Complaint) to 15888.


Extracted from The Star 6 Feb 2011

The YouTube video of a poodle being abused that was widely circulated recently caused a lot of fury on the Internet, not just because of the cruelty but also for the abuse of information it created.

JONE Fun opened his Facebook message inbox one morning and found it inundated with hundreds of messages. Almost all were insulting in nature. They called him an idiot, brainless and other words that cannot possibly be mentioned here.

His purported crime – abusing a Toy Poodle. This was the infamous video that was widely circulated on the Internet in recent weeks.
Evidence but no proof: People who get worked up over animal abuse forget how hard it is to figure out who did it when all they have is a picture or video to go by.

“I was shocked and wondered what was happening. I thought some people were just trying to create chaos,” he says.

Fun, 29, claims he was actively gathering information about the case but then someone created a fake account of the alleged abuser and put his picture on the profile.

Without checking the facts, people started bombarding him with unsavoury comments although he looks nothing like the abuser, Fun says.

“When people are mad with anger, they might be irrational.”

On the bright side, Fun has become a mini-celebrity with people creating groups to support his innocence. The groups called “Jone Fun – Man or Legend” and “Justice for Jone” were created in an attempt to gather 9,000 signatures in his support.

And support has come from all over the world – Kuwait and America among others, according to Fun. Even a Taiwanese model has befriended him, he adds.

But the whole episode has left him bemused.

“I don’t know if I should be happy or angry. At least my network has been widened,” remarks the consultant in audio-visual systems.

He is no longer receiving any abusive messages but he notes wryly that not even one person has apologised for abusing him earlier.

As an observer of the case from the start, he says, he has seen how the story has been twisted so many times.

Unverified info
Follow the blogs and social networking sites and all you see is a mountain of unverified information about it. Infor­mation about the suspects, from the make, colour and registration number of their car to their addresses and mobile phone numbers, are all there.

University student Pauli Cash, 24, who is also a part-time technology consultant, believes there is a veracity to the posting of information on an official page that allows for people to assume it is real, even if the official page is merely a scam.

“People get really worked up over animal abuse, and rightly so, but they forget how hard it is to figure out who did it when all they have is a picture or video to go by,” says Cash.

“Internet addiction is rampant and will cause many to get hurt in the coming years,” he adds.

Commenting on the toy poodle abuse video, an appalled Facebook member who only wants to be known as Hamidah points out the presence of numerous clips of animals and their funny antics on the Internet. “Maybe it is time we think of other tricks if we want to shoot funny or cute videos of our pets. Can they find a better idea if they want their pet to do a trick? This is definitely not okay. Are we advocating that it is okay to torture animals? Why in the first place did he need to torture the poor dog?” she rants.

Wrong faces: Tan (left) showing the absence of tattoos on his arm as proof that he is not the alleged poodle abuser, while Kang claims he received threats to kill him.

Another Facebook user, Siew, says she was too frightened to watch the video but strongly believes that it is wrong to force animals to do funny tricks.

“Pets and animals are not here for our amusement. They may amuse us with their antics, but we should not be forcing them to do what we think is amusing.”

However, Siew, a former journalist, concedes that “punish and reward” is an established practice when it comes to animal training.

“Unfortunately, that has been the established norm. Circuses where such animal acts are found use that method and are painted as ‘good fun’, ‘family-oriented’ entertainment. Even zoos encourage such acts. But this is just one out of the many changes people have made to the natural world to meet our ‘needs’, and we’ve become so adept at it to the point that it is seen as a ‘right’, so much so that we rarely appreciate nature as it is, and we always think it needs to be changed – like how some residents turned the entrance to the Bukit Gasing forest reserve into an urban garden.”

Interestingly, there have been cases of animal abuse which were solved by Internet users, and this could explain why the person who claimed to have found the USB containing the video clip of the poodle being abused uploaded it on YouTube.

In 2009, users in the United States were outraged when they saw a video of a teenage boy abusing a cat named Dusty. They pieced together information using social networking sites and clues from the video to identify the boy from Oklahoma.

The local authorities were alerted and two boys were arrested. The cat was still alive and was treated by a vet.

Then there is the now famous case of 45-year-old Mary Bale of Coventry, England. A video from a security camera uploaded on YouTube showed an older woman petting a grey cat and then tossing it into a garbage can before closing the lid.

The cat was found 15 hours later, still alive. Internet users jumped on the case and managed to find Bale’s employer, address, and social networking profiles, and harassed her until she went into hiding.
Case of mistaken identity
In the poodle case, however, it has just been one mistaken identity after another.

Businessman Johnson Kang claims he received more than 130 calls with some threats to kill him for allegedly abusing the dog. The calls started coming in after someone created a Twitter account with his phone number under the name of an individual believed to be the one who had abused the poodle called Sushi.

Another businessman, Tan Leong Seng, the owner of a restaurant in Melaka Raya, saw his business experience a sudden increase as curious people thronged his shop to catch a glimpse of him. The address of his Yong Peng fishball shop had been posted on Facebook as that of the poodle abuser.

A man by the name of Daniel was even mentioned by a Taiwanese news channel as the person in the video. He later made a police report to clear his name. In one of his Facebook posts, he pleaded with people to leave him alone, saying that he did not have a tattoo on his left arm, which the abuser had. He, however, concedes that he has an uncanny resemblance to the abuser’s.

Other phone numbers posted on Facebook turned out to be hoaxes as well.

When one of these numbers was called, the man who picked up the phone identified himself as Ah Heng. He says he was bombarded by about 30 calls a few days ago.

“I don’t know what is going on and why I suddenly got so many calls,” says the man who also claims to be unaware of the poodle abuse case.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) office manager M. Shelvy says all the information or leads on the Internet turned out to be false after checking them.

“I don’t know why people are doing this,” she says, adding that the public should leave it to the police and Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) to investigate.

A Facebook user who goes by the name of Lin Ling comments that people should not cause unnecessary hurt and distress by simply naming anyone who they thought was a suspect.

“I understand that people want justice to be done. I want it too. But they have to capture the real culprit, not an innocent party,” she says.

She adds that she tried explaining this idea in the group but her comments were deleted by the administrators.

Podcast producer John Lim believes that people are too ready to believe what they read on the Internet and don’t check the facts. This is further complicated by social media tools such as Twitter that offer the opportunity to respond spontaneously, he points out.

“In an emotional topic like animal abuse, people are going to respond. That might be the consequence of the social media being easily usable,” he says.

Only a few days ago, the police issued a statement denying a message about a child kidnapping that had spread like wildfire through SMS and social networking sites.

The message urged those who saw a white MyVi bearing a certain number plate to call a Mr Rashid at a given number. The person in the car had allegedly driven away with a baby in the Puchong area.

“You can’t blame social media or technology. It’s just a tool. It’s the responsibility of the users to check the authenticity of the information,” says Lim.

Medium of exposure
On the other hand, he says, social media has helped fuel the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions through the dissemination of information.

Siew, however, believes that in the poodle abuse video case, broadcasting the video on the Internet was not the right thing to do. She argues that while any wrongdoing needs to be exposed, especially those that are shown to have caused direct harm such as in the poodle abuse case, what should have been done was to inform the relevant authorities.

“The person taking the video would know the location of the crime and could have informed the authorities without doing this street vigilantism. If they feared reprisals, this is where protection of sources come in, and a Whistleblower Protection Act can help.”

Siew highlights another principle at stake here.

“Media ethics require that persons suspected of a crime are not named until they are charged. The same principle works here even if the person may not be a journalist or know better, because on the Internet, any user is a publisher. We protest about state control of the Internet and argue for self-regulation, yet this is how we do it,” she notes.

David Lian, from the APAC Social Media Practice Lead, Text 100, believes reactions will vary from person to person depending on their upbringing and disposition.

He says that while some people take information at face value, there are those who are cynical about everything they read on the Internet.

In the poodle abuse case, he says animal lovers might believe anything even though its hearsay information.

“If you have a vested interest, you would be naturally outraged,” he says, adding that he also wonders if anything can be done about those spreading false information.

“There is a human tendency to believe in rumours regardless of the medium,” he says.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Prepare Your Pet for Fireworks this Chinese New Year

As we usher in the Year of the Rabbit with fireworks, we often forget that while loud booms and flashing fireworks make humans "oooooo" and "awwww", this awesome show could chase our dogs and cats from the safety of their homes.

Pets become disoriented and end up miles away, and those are the lucky ones. Many more meet their fate by running frantically into the path of a car.

Be a responsible Pet Parent this Chinese New Year and make sure you provide a safe environment for your four-legged best friends.

Prepare Your Pet for Fireworks - The 5 Do'

Chinese New Year is when pets are exposed to the unpredictable loud bangs and flashes of fireworks. Pets simply don't understand what's going on and many are really scared of the whole process. And, unfortunately, they are now subjected to this on a more frequent basis – it's no longer a once a year event.

If you know your dog or cat is scared of fireworks, or think he might be, or if you have a puppy or kitten.


Many pets are successfully helped through desensitisation. CDs are now available, which simulates the random and unpredictable noises of fireworks. It should be played several weeks prior to the fireworks season, gradually building up the volume and length of time it is played. Your pet will then gradually become used to the noises and begin to ignore them.

Whilst playing the CD, you should also take the opportunity to distract your pet. Either play with him, or give him some training lessons, or give him his favourite toy or chew. This will increase the effect of the desensitisation program by making your pet think on something else whilst the background noise is going on.

However, also allow your pet some time without this distraction to hear the noise. Hopefully the CD will manage to accustom your pet to the noise so that he'll completely ignore it. However it is really best to be completely prepared and allow him every chance to cope.

Create a safe, comfortable and quiet den area for him. Ideally, this should be in a place which is furthest from the fireworks, and where he is used to resting. The room should be able to be darkened to hide the firework flashes.

Prepare the area in advance, with lots of comfy blankets to allow him to burrow into if he wants to, and take him there several times before the event, allowing him to settle there with a chew or toy for a while, and feed him there a few times too.

Make sure however, that he is free to come and go to this area, taking care not to lock him in the room alone.

Some pets find the most unusual place to seek comfort. It has been known for them to hide under desks, in kitchen cabinets and even in the bath! Don't be concerned about this, just work with your pet and think about how they may be finding their chosen place secure. It may even be helpful to provide a pet crate covered with a blanket or a large cardboard box, both filled with comfortable bedding, favourite toys and some water.

So, really take some time to think about this – from your pet's point of view - and set up the area where they are most happy. Perhaps they might like to lie under a table covered with a blanket.

If you already know that your dog is scared and that he needs some further help then using a DAP along with the CD will be very useful. DAP stands for Dog Appeasing Pheromone. It's a plug in device, similar to an air freshener, which releases calming pheromones into the air. It should be plugged in, in the room where the pet spends most time and switched on 24 hours a day for about 2 weeks prior to, the fireworks. (the DAP can be useful for other behavioural problems too).

Feliway is a similar product for cats.

There are several additional steps which can be taken on the day of the event

• Check that the den area is accessible, and prepared.

• Take your dog for a walk to make sure he has been to the toilet before the fireworks start.

• Feed him an hour before the event, adding some potato or white pasta to fill him up and make him sleepy

• If you can, set up some rhythmic music in the room. This can help to mask out the noise, so turn it up to a moderate level. Do, however, check that he likes it beforehand – and turn it off if he doesn't, or seems more stressed.

• When the fireworks start, take your pet to his den area and encourage him to settle there.

• Do NOT try to pat and stroke him in an attempt to sooth him if he is showing signs of stress. This simply rewards how he is behaving and teaches him that he's right to be scared. Don't let him know that you're concerned.

• Instead, if he's not settling in his den, try to distract him with a game or an easy training session, but don't force him to play.

• You may even want to consider setting up a TV in the “safe” room and simply sitting in there with him. Normal quiet, family company may help to calm him.

And a word on safety
During high levels of stress, pets can be very unpredictable. They also become unable to take account of their personal safety, and may well panic. Therefore, it is your responsibility to look after their safety needs. Make sure that they have no access to potentially dangerous items around the house, such as open fires or glass doors. Really take the time to do a house safety check. And if you need to take him outside – at any time when a firework may go off - make sure that he is kept safe on the lead.