Bones are Unsafe for Your Dog

Created Tuesday, 22 June 2010 19:36

No Bones About It: Bones are Unsafe for Your Dog

The idea that it’s natural for dogs to chew on bones is a popular one. However, it’s a dangerous practice and can cause serious injury to your pet.

“Some people think it’s safe to give dogs large bones, like those from a ham or a roast,” says Carmela Stamper, D.V.M., a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the Food and Drug Administration. “Bones are unsafe no matter what their size. Giving your dog a bone may make your pet a candidate for a trip to your veterinarian’s office later, possible emergency surgery, or even death.”

“Make sure you throw out bones from your own meals in a way that your dog can’t get to them,” adds Stamper, who suggests taking the trash out right away or putting the bones up high and out of your dog’s reach until you have a chance to dispose of them. “And pay attention to where your dog’s nose is when you walk him around the neighborhood-steer him away from any objects lying in the grass.”

Here are 10 reasons why it’s a bad idea to give your dog a bone:

  1. Broken teeth. This may call for expensive veterinary dentistry.
  2. Mouth or tongue injuries. These can be very bloody and messy and may require a trip to see your veterinarian.
  3. Bone gets looped around your dog’s lower jaw. This can be frightening or painful for your dog and potentially costly to you, as it usually means a trip to see your veterinarian.
  4. Bone gets stuck in esophagus, the tube that food travels through to reach the stomach. Your dog may gag, trying to bring the bone back up, and will need to see your veterinarian.
  5. Bone gets stuck in windpipe. This may happen if your dog accidentally inhales a small enough piece of bone. This is an emergency because your dog will have trouble breathing. Get your pet to your veterinarian immediately!
  6. Bone gets stuck in stomach. It went down just fine, but the bone may be too big to pass out of the stomach and into the intestines. Depending on the bone’s size, your dog may need surgery or upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, a procedure in which your veterinarian uses a long tube with a built-in camera and grabbing tools to try to remove the stuck bone from the stomach.
  7. Bone gets stuck in intestines and causes a blockage. It may be time for surgery.
  8. Constipation due to bone fragments. Your dog may have a hard time passing the bone fragments because they’re very sharp and they scrape the inside of the large intestine or rectum as they move along. This causes severe pain and may require a visit to your veterinarian.
  9. Severe bleeding from the rectum. This is very messy and can be dangerous. It’s time for a trip to see your veterinarian.
  10. Peritonitis. This nasty, difficult-to-treat bacterial infection of the abdomen is caused when bone fragments poke holes in your dog’s stomach or intestines. Your dog needs an emergency visit to your veterinarian because peritonitis can kill your dog.

“Talk with your veterinarian about alternatives to giving bones to your dog,” says Stamper. “There are many bone-like products made with materials that are safe for dogs to chew on.”

“Always supervise your dog with any chew product, especially one your dog hasn’t had before,” adds Stamper. “And always, if your dog ‘just isn’t acting right,’ call your veterinarian right away!”

Always talk with your veterinarian first before you give bones to your dog.  And always, if your dog “just isn’t acting right,” call your vet right away!


Books and Munchies at the Old Pearl Brewery

Created Friday, 18 June 2010 13:26

Books and Munchies at the Old Pearl Brewery

By hook and by crook and a great deal of determination, the once semi-industrial area around the old Pearl Brewery in San Antonio, TX is gentrifying; renovate the buildings, slap in some top-grade landscaping and bring in the right mix of retail stores, eateries and offices, schedule something like a regular farmers’ market on Saturdays, and the yuppie herds descend in droves. I do not mean to sound snide, by the way – I just appreciate the effort, believing as I do that a neighborhood ought to be yuppified enough to be safe, but still scruffy enough to be interesting.

The neighborhood around Josephine and Grayson, just off 281 pretty well hits the mark, with the added benefit of being on the northern edge of the Riverwalk extension. Oh, how we love the Riverwalk – just can’t get enough of it, here in San Antonio; eventually, I believe that riverwalk extensions and parks will go all the way through the city, from San Pedro Springs, all the way out to 1604 . . .

I was drawn to the Pearl last weekend by a book-signing at the Twig, for a book that I had worked on for Watercress Press, the tiny subsidy publishing bidness, at which I am junior partner. When the author’s pocketbook permits, we can do some very nice, high-end books indeed: History, Texiana, memoirs, some poetry – that kind of thing. Our latest publication, A 21 Story Salute combines two of our favorites; history and memoir. Barbara Bir, the author/editor went around to twenty-one World War II-era veterans and a couple of spouses, and interviewed them about their experiences during the conflict, and about their lives afterwards.

All were pretty interesting, in themselves, but a good few of them were downright fascinating; it depended, I think, on how good a story-teller they were. A handful of them were at the Twig for the signing: Eddie Patrick was a kid genius, when it came to radios and electronics: he wound up as a senior NCO at the age of 19, serving at a Flying Tigers airbase in China, well behind the Japanese lines. Bob Joyce kept a diary, all through his tour of duty as a B-17 radio operator, flying a series of dangerous missions from Italy. On those missions, he carried a pair of regular Army boots, his father’s rosary, a good-luck bracelet from his home-town girlfriend, and a $2.00 bill, so he would never be broke. And Granville Coggs went from being a Tuskegee airman at the very end of the war, to being a medical doctor, inventor, musician and senior athlete.

Afterwards, we wandered out the back, towards the parking lot where the weekly farmers’ market is held on Saturdays, and discovered that . . . well, stuff had changed since we were there last. La Gloria has opened at the far corner of the parking lot, overlooking the Riverwalk extension, and oh, my – what a treat. La Gloria advertises authentic Mexican street food. I wasn’t hungry but my daughter was, and she indulged herself with a pork and cheese quesadilla – which she said was absolutely splendid, and just the right size to satisfy without filling up. There were a fair sprinkling of other patrons on a mid-Sunday afternoon – and the food they had all looked and smelled good. There’s a terrace, with a water-misting system in place, and tables and chairs set out in a garden area, landscaped with boulders, trees and an array of quirky metal statues. Honestly, we could not think of a better place to take guests from out of town, to sample authentic Mexican food, on the Riverwalk – and where the parking would be quite a bit easier than going all the way downtown.


Shakespeare in San Antonio

Created Sunday, 13 June 2010 14:16

Saturday Evening in the Botanical Garden

Perhaps it might come as a surprise to the bi-coastal cultural types to find out there is more to San Antonio than the Alamo and a greater variety of available forms of amusements on a weekend evening than high school football. I am always so amused by the insularity of said bi-coastal cultural elites – and the naked surprise on their faces when they find out that high culture and the arts are very much appreciated, here in the wilds of fly-over country. Helllooo McNay Museum of Modern Art! Lets hear a shout-out for the Houston Grand Opera, going strong ever since the mid-1950s! And Austin – keeping it weird and arty for decades. Actually, there are many, many more outposts of high culture star-scattered all over the Lone Star State, but let’s keep that our little secret, shall we? Otherwise, everyone would move in; that would quite take away the fun of our happy little enclaves and add an unbearable level of pretension to an event like . . . going down to the San Antonio Botanical Garden on a summer Saturday evening, as we did last weekend, with folding chairs, and blankets, bottles of water and insect repellent, shady hats and fans . . . for Shakespeare In the Park.

This is actually the second year that we have gone; last year, my daughter wanted to go – something to do with academic credit, I think – and it was unbearably hot, even after the sun set (which is when the performances begin) and there was a thunderstorm blowing in, lightening flickering clear on the horizon. We were high on the hillside, overlooking the natural amphitheater where the stage is set up, and the lightening was a suitable backdrop for “The Tempest” – envisioned by the producers as taking place on an alien planet after a starship crash. Alas, the actor cast as Prospero kept forgetting his lines; cringe-making for the rest of the cast, especially as Prospero is supposed to carry the play, striding like Gandalf the White through the ruins of Minas Tirith. Seeing the oncoming storm, and fearing to watch any more theatrical humiliation, we departed during the interval – but this year, the presentation by the company of the Majick Theater hit the spot.

This time, it was Romeo and Juliet – with a local twist: the Montagues and Capulets being a pair of rival theatrical companies in 1929 San Antonio, with a Chief of Police, instead of a Prince of Verona, and the cast in full 1920’s flapper dresses or shirts and ties with suspenders. Once one got past the odd conceit of rival performers going at each other with swords in backstreets and alleyways . . . and the oddness of hearing San Antonio, or ‘Santone’ wedged in wherever Verona was named in the original text, it was quite tolerable, and the set was very clever; the stage-door of the Capulet’s establishment revolved to show the inside of their house, and a sliding loading-dock door on the Montague side swung open to show the Friar’s little cell.

And this time- unlike last year – the hillside was practically standing-room only; a solid mass of people and folding chairs all the way from the edge of the stage to the top of the hill where the observation tower is. The only drawback to having a completely wonderful evening of it is that no outside food and drink might be brought in, which prevents one having a kind of lavish Glyndebourne Opera Festival experience, and kicking back to watch Shakespeare under the stars, assisted by a flute of champagne. Ah well, at least we’ll always have Shakespeare and Majik.










Spring Jubilee

Created Thursday, 03 June 2010 00:00
by Julia Hayden

Converse – Spring Jubilee

This last weekend, we took the big dog and went to check out the annual Spring Jubilee in Converse. Converse is another one of those once-separate-and-identifiable towns to the north and east of San Antonio, like Universal City, Live Oak, Selma, Bulverde and Wetmore which has merged more or less indistinguishably with greater suburban San Antonio.

The larger and more out-laying towns still maintain a corporate identity, with things like city halls, fire departments, animal shelter and public parks – of which Converse’s city park is definitely one of the finest. This was the location for the third annual spring jubilee, to benefit the local American Legion post– which since Converse is practically next door to Randolph AFB and just up the road a little way from Fort Sam Houston – boasts a large and active membership, especially that segment of it which rides motorbikes. No, this is most definitely not your father’s or your grandfather’s American Legion. The Jubilee rolled together a parade, a chili cook-off, live bands, a car and motorcycle show and run, and carnival rides for the children . . . and the usual much, much more.

The park was green and very well kept, with a winding seasonal creek cutting across one part, the banks well-grown with yellow Indian Blanket wildflowers – alas, it was terribly hot, even early in the day, so we were wilting by half-past noon. The lady selling orchids was not, or the pleasant young man selling very clever little wooden plant hangers, for suspending any number of small pots from notches cut in either side of a long plank. This kind of arrangement would be perfect for someone trying to garden from an apartment balcony, for the plants would spread up and down, rather than out. The Converse Animal Shelter was also there, with some very appealing puppies for adoption. This is one of the local no-kill shelters – and my, I had to drag my daughter away from the cutest of them.

I think we spent the longest time at a specialty tee shirt booth – there were quite a few original designs, some of them to do with the Twilight books, and a lot to do with zombies. My daughter liked the “I fight like a girl” design. The designer has a regular booth at the Eisenhower Road flea-market: the inspiration for this particular design was her own daughter . . . who is, thank you very much – very, very, very good at personal self-defense. (So is mine, thanks to eight years in the Marines.)

All in all, a good morning spent – and we are so looking forward to Night in Old Converse, when it will, with luck, be much, much cooler.

Just for fun, this is a chili recipe that was worked out by three guys I knew when I was stationed in Japan, who were operating a deli out of their barracks room. It may not be the best chili in the world – but it is the best crock-pot chili made by three guys in a barracks room.

VP-46 (DeLeo’s Deli) Chili

Combine in a large crockpot:
2 Very large cans Denison chili & beans (24 or 36 oz)
1 14-oz can kidney beans
1 chopped onion
3 chopped green peppers
2 can sliced mushrooms
2 cans jalapeno relish
chili powder to taste. Heat until vegetables are cooked through. Enjoy!