Dane Cook and his pooping dog give up apartment

TMZ reports that Dane Cook has given up his fight to live in what he believes is an apartment that has a supernatural force.

“Cook was evicted from a West Hollywood apartment last August after a jury decided the "comedian" habitually violated the rules requiring him to pick up his dog’s crap.

“As reported yesterday, Cook threw a Hail Mary at the judge, arguing that hizzoner should block the eviction because the apartment building had almost paranormal qualities — John Belushi and Steve Martin both lived there, and Cook believed if he moved out his creative juices stop flowing and a bad case of writer’s block would ruin his career. Did anyone see "Employee of the Month?"

Cook has apparently abandoned the appeal.

Dog poop contains common pathogens such as tapeworms, roundworms, cryptosporidium, salmonella, E.coli, and many others.  Owners, clean up after your dogs and wash your damn hands.

It’s gotten so bad that the Israeli city of Petah Tikva, a suburb of Tel Aviv, has started a six-month trial program where it is matching the DNA of dog poop, either in special containers or found on the street, to a database of registered dogs and their owners.

“Owners who scoop up their dogs’ droppings and place them in specially marked bins on Petah Tikva’s streets will be eligible for rewards of pet food coupons and dog toys.

“But droppings found underfoot in the street and matched through the DNA database to a registered pet could earn its owner a municipal fine.”

Doug Powell and Randy Phebus talk Salmonella in dog food

Or we try too. Look, we’re not the most photogenic, or brief, but there’s some decent info and pretty pictures of dogs.

Certain lots of Pedigree dog food and other pet food have been recalled after it was discovered that Salmonella could be present in the product. So here’s some considerations to prevent spreading Salmonella around your home if you have a pet or contaminated food and treats.


Pedigree pet food and pregnancy: Managing cross-contamination risks at home

I am now 6 ½ months pregnant and still somewhat peacefully coexisting with our four pets. But pregnancy has meant giving special attention to handwashing and avoiding cross-contamination.
Although I thought I was being overly cautious, on Sept. 13 Pedigree small crunchy bites and Pedigree large breed complete nutrition dry pet food products were recalled due to possible Salmonella contamination (see http://www.wormsandgermsblog.com/2008/09/articles/animals/dogs/pet-food-recall-salmonella/). This appears to be the same food we feed our dogs and I know one of them was throwing up outside yesterday. Of course … she also likes to eat grass and other vomitous materials.

In addition to pet food which may contain pathogens, I pay close attention to the handling of dog treats which have been found problematic in the past. Our dogs have been getting their fill of bones lately because we haven’t had the usual time and energy to devote to their exercise. I try to avoid touching the dog bones when I take them out of the package and I wash the scissors I use to cut the packages open. I always wash my hands afterwards.

It really isn’t easy to think about washing hands every time you feed and pet the dogs, but the following are things I am trying to do to keep me and my future baby safe:

  • regularly wash the dog dishes
  • wash my hands every time I fill the dog water and food bowls (the dogs eat and drink, spreading any microbes from one bowl to the next)
  • wash my hands after opening treats and/or giving them to the dogs
  • wash the scissors after opening treat bags
  • wash my hands after playing with the pets
  • avoid letting the dogs lick my face of hands
  • wipe down the counter where pet treats have touched

These steps are all much more difficult for me than they sound. I’m usually very playful and affectionate with my pets, even though I no longer allow the dogs on the bed or couch. It’s also very difficult to think about handwashing when you are out on a walk with the dogs and give them treats as part of a training process. In those cases I just remind myself not to touch my face or use a wet wipe when I have one handy.

I am still learning after years of taking it for granted that my dogs’ food was safe. Food safety, even for pets, is not simple.

For human symptoms of salmonella poisoning, check out http://barfblog.foodsafety.ksu.edu/2008/06/articles/salmonella/salmonella-symptoms/

According to an article in the North Country Gazette (April 3, 2007) related to a past pet food recall:

Pets with salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Apparently well animals can be a carrier and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian

Dog or beef for dinner?

I think it’s funny the way my roommate from India always asks before taking food from anyone if it contains any beef.

If the answer is yes, she tries hard to hide her face of disgust and politely says, “No thanks.”

It is not surprising. Indians consider cows to be sacred and magical, more than what we think of our pets.

I imagine the same reaction in American tourists when scanning the dog section of a restaurant menu during their trip to the Olympics.

The Beijing Catering Trade Association banned dog meat from the Menu of all the 112 designated Olympic Restaurants, to avoid this reaction of dog-loving tourists.

It is a big disappointment for those who were daring enough to try this treat they would never be able to consume in their own countries.

However, it is probably not going to affect the residents, since they don’t tend to eat dog meat during the hot months of summer anyway.

All this fuss about banning dog meat in Beijing during the Olympic season makes me wonder if officers should be more concerned about food safety rather than scaring off a few tourists.

In the end, isn’t killing a dog for its meat the same as having beef for dinner? My Indian roommate would probably agree.

Setting Boundaries: Pets and your newborn baby

My ex mother-in-law once told me that if I had a baby I would have to get rid of my cats. I replied, “No cats, no baby.” My step-brother’s cats mysteriously disappeared once his firstborn was old enough to crawl. Doug and I have two cats and two dogs and no intention of giving them up or sending them outdoors once the baby arrives. Sure, there’s dog hair all over the floors and it’s going to be a hassle learning to manage new and old responsibilities – and much more difficult to keep pet hair out of the baby’s mouth once she’s mobile. But we committed to the pets long ago and have been working on teaching them their order in the home.

The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan, recommends that the dogs not even be allowed near the baby’s belongings at first to teach them that Baby is Alpha. Let them sniff at a distance until they know their place. When the dogs go for a walk, it should be behind the stroller, and they shouldn’t get unsupervised visitation, if they are allowed at all, in the baby’s room. It’s all about setting boundaries.

The Worms and Germs Blog by Doug’s ex-hockey buddy Scott Weese (he’s still a buddy but no hockey for Doug in Manhattan) recommends in “Old pet, new baby…new problems?” that we visit our veterinarian and the humane society to get advice on introducing the dogs and cats to the baby. Scott provides relevant downloadable pamphlets from the Calgary Humane Society in his blog post.
We want all four pets and the three of us to survive the transition without nips, scratches, or territory marking. We get enough of that from our friends and colleagues.

Dane Cook in trouble for dog poop

Dane Cook recently spent time in a Beverly Hills courthouse fighting allegations that his mini-Pinscher, named Beast, poops all over his apartment complex.  The management of La Fontaine in West Hollywood took the comedian to court to have him evicted on grounds that he was not properly cleaning up after his dog.

"Neither he nor his girlfriend pick up after the dog," said a source.  "They’ve sent him three notices so far over the last year warning him he’ll be evicted, and they have video. The neighbors all hate him."

Cook’s rep, Ina Treciokas, told the press in April: “Dane vigorously denies the allegations in the complaint and is looking forward to complete vindication through the legal proceedings.”

On Tuesday, the building manager took the stand and told the court that the actor is a serial offender, despite the signs in the gardens warning against animals pooping on the lawn.  He also said he noticed "recurring small black poop being left behind in the backyard."  The manager is alleged to have video footage of Cook’s pooch committing the offense.
Cook faced a trial by jury and he was found guilty 11-1.  His landlord can now officially evict him.

Dog poop contains common pathogens such as tapeworms, roundworms, cryptosporidium, salmonella, e.coli, and many others.  The owners should always  and after picking up dog poop hands should always be washed.

Scooping Poop

“Pick up your dogs’ droppings.”

I’ve seen the street signs for years, but I always thought it was the yuck factor.   As I’ve grown up and gone through high school biology, I’ve learned that it’s not just the yuck factor, it’s also the sick factor.  Dog waste on the sidewalk is a significant contributing factor to the spread many disease, bacteria and protozoa.  Some of the common pathogens are tapeworms, roundworms, cryptosporidium, salmonella, e.coli, parvovirus and many others.

One of the worst culprits is the tapeworm.  They are the single most common infection transmitted by discarded dog poop in United States.
Tapeworms are caused by the ingestion of flea larvae, but also can be caused if an owner tracks flea larvae-contaminated dog poo into the house and a pet is exposed.  In the veterinary clinic I work at during the summers, tapeworms are commonly referred to as rice worms.  They’re easily treated with flea preventative and tapeworm treatment, but even more easily prevented by properly disposing of animal poop.

Doggie doo is also an environmental pollutant.  If the waste is not picked up it will run into the sewers with the rain.  This leads to contaminated streams and seawater.

According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, Americans owned 68 million dogs in 2000, and 40% of these dogs were large dogs over 40 pounds.  This adds up to a large mess if owners don’t clean up after their pets.

Pet poop is a problem, but what’s the solution?  Many cities have laws concerning scooping poo.  Most states will issue a ticket ranging from $25 to $200 for leaving a dog’s business on the sidewalk.  Australia has even gone so far as to have their own plain clothes poop police approaching irresponsible owners to change their behavior.

How do we take care of it?  Common recommendations are to carry a “doggie doo-doo” sack along when taking a pet out for a walk.  Using flea preventative will help prevent a pet from developing tapeworms from ingesting any flea larvae on their own skin, but they are still susceptible to flea larvae in the environment.  Annual distemper/parovirus vaccinations from a licensed veterinarian will help protect dogs from parvovirus, which is spread through fecal material.

Most importantly, wash your hands after picking up animal waste.  Otherwise get ready for those tapeworms.

Michelle Mazur: Cloning pets not for me

Many pet owners are unwilling to let go of their elderly pets, even once the pet has passed away.  Now they don’t have to.

BioArts International is behind a project called Best Friends Again where they’ve developed a commercial method to clone dogs.  They’ve launched a “Golden Clone Giveaway,” in which owners send in a 500-word essay about why their dog would be the best dog to be cloned.  The winner will be chosen June 30th, and their pet will be cloned for free.

I work at a local vet clinic in Wichita, Kansas, and most clients I talk with say they would be delighted to have the chance to clone their beloved dog.  Not me. Cloned pets can come with a ton of medical problems, and there’s a pretty good chance that they won’t have the same personality at the original dog.  There’s no guarantee that cloned Fluffy will be as good as original Fluffy, and may leave an even larger hole in the owner’s heart.  I can’t imagine going through the heartbreak of cloning my dog, Joey.  Yes, I said heartbreak.

Joey is a six-year-old West Highland white terrier.  This breed is well known for being prone to allergies, however Joey is completely without.  He is incredibly healthy and happy; I really couldn’t ask for a better dog.  But once he passes away, I plan to act like a normal person and cope with my grief.  Coping will not include sending a DNA sample to Best Friends Again in California.  Most likely, I would be sent a rambunctious little devil that bears no similarities to Joey, other than physical appearance.  This terror dog will quickly ruin any memories of Joey that I had.

I can’t imagine a more perfect dog to be cloned than Joey, but I’ll save my money and tears and instead adopt one of the many thousands of dogs at animals shelters all across the nation.

Nip/tuck — doggy style

Cosmetic surgery for dogs is real and lucrative business.

Now, for the first time, liposuction is available outside Germany at the University of Sydney’s new $2.3 million Canine Teaching Hospital, which opened last week.

The university’s associate professor in small animal surgery, Geraldine Hunt, introduced the technology here two years ago, and has so far performed the procedure, which can cost about $2000, on 15 dogs.

However, Dr Hunt urged owners to review their pets’ exercise and diet regime before considering any surgical procedures.

"I would have to be very careful about whether to recommend it for cosmetic reasons. It is much more responsible to look at what is in the best interests of the dog."

The story also says that owners were asking for testicular implants for their pooches, most often so they could compete in dog shows, be exported for sale overseas or to negate a prostate problem.

But, occasionally, people requested the $400 procedure — which excludes the cost of the implants in small, medium and large — for the sake of appearances.

Randwick Veterinary Hospital’s Andrew Herron said,

"I would definitely be counselling these people that this is a cosmetic procedure and they’d have to give me a pretty good reason to do it. If it was to show off down the park, I’d probably suggest I take them from him and put his in the dog."

Dog stew linked to salmonella; Korea asks, should dog meat be regulated?

The Wall Street Journal reports that in South Korea, soup or stew made with the meat of dogs is called "sweet meat" or "healthy soup."

But dog meat has recently been linked to a spate of salmonella and staph infections, drawing the attention of authorities — and bringing a long-simmering cultural dispute to a boil.

Though dog meat is officially banned in Seoul, enforcement is lax. It is served by an unsupervised industry of small farmers, butchers and mom-and-pop restaurants.

In March, Seoul’s food-safety office tied some salmonella cases to dog meat. Concerned, officials proposed designating dogs as "livestock," which would subject the meat to rules on sanitation. While there’s no timetable for a final decision, the agency is now making a formal survey of handling methods at restaurants known to serve dog.

People in the dog-meat industry worry their costs will rise under new regulations, weakening demand and tightening the squeeze on a business that’s already got an image problem.

Outside the capital, there are no restrictions on dog meat. A large outdoor market in the suburb of Moran, 20 miles south of central Seoul, is one of the centers of the trade in South Korea. About a dozen butchers line a row at the market, with a shop that sells herbs and spices for the stew at the end. The smell of butane, used to fuel burners to remove fur from dog carcasses, hangs over the market. Some butchers also sell goat, goose and chicken.

This in the country that is being gripped by Internet-fueled rumors about the safety of U.S. beef.

Our dog, Sadie, who likes to sit propped up, objects.