Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, January 5, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 10



 Mountain Views News Saturday, January 5, 2013 


PART I By Dr. Nicole Gueniat

Dogs and cats suffer from dental disease like humans do. By the 
age of 3 years, most pets will have dental disease unless owners 
are practicing preventive dentistry. The most common dental 
disease is periodontal disease, which lies hidden beneath the 
gums around the teeth. This causes pain, foul smelling breath 
(halitosis), and eventually, loss of teeth. It is the most common 
dental condition veterinarians treat. Accumulation of plaque and 
calculus on the visible part of the tooth is a sign that subgingival 
calculus and periodontal disease are present. Periodontal disease 
means infection and leads to erosion of the periodontal ligament 
and bone structures around the tooth.

In humans as well as in pets, a critical connection between 
periodontal disease and diseases of the heart, kidneys, liver 
and other organs has been shown. The same bacteria found in 
periodontal disease have been found in these organs, probably 
carried there in the blood. In addition to contributing to disease 
in other organs, periodontal disease in pets causes pain, difficulty 
eating, halitosis and finally, tooth loss. These signs may not be 
readily apparent to owners as animals may conceal pain and other 
signs may not be noticed. Other dental diseases present in pets 
include tooth root abscesses, retained baby teeth, malalignment, 
abnormal wear of the teeth, and fractured teeth. Cavities may 
occur as well. 

A contributing factor to periodontal disease is the accumulation 
of plaque (sticky film of bacteria on the teeth), which, calcified, 
becomes a hard crust on the teeth called calculus or tartar. You 
can see this on the teeth, starting at the gum line and traveling 
down the tooth over time. It may become so thick it overgrows 
the gums. The gums may be red, swollen and bleeding and the 
teeth may be loose by the time owners notice the problem. 

Your veterinarian can evaluate the overall and dental health of 
your pet, perform dental x-rays for a thorough oral exam, make 
diagnoses and treat existing conditions. A thorough oral exam 
should be performed at least annually to detect problems early 
when treatment is less extensive and most effective. Senior pets 
require more frequent exams and treatment.

Please visit us next time to learn what you can do to guard your 
pet’s dental health.

Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc

“One Love, One Heart…Let’s Get Together and I’ll Feel Alright” ~ Bob Marley

“Can We All Get Along?” ~ Rodney King

 Whenever I start to think I have learned all of the valuable 
lessons in life that nature has to offer, I am reminded of yet another 
fantastic phenomenon that astounds me and inspires me to explore 
further, to find the answers to the ‘whats’ and ‘whys’ that apply. The 
fact is, I should know better than to think I have ever figured life 
out at all, because as a young child I was clearly taught that one 
never truly “arrives” when it comes to knowing and understanding 
the miracles and mysteries of life. I even remember the adults 
saying on occasion, that ‘when one stops learning, one stops living’. 
I imagine that as a child when I heard my parents and teachers 
say such things, it probably meant very little to me at the time. It 
wasn’t until I grew older and had my own personal experiences 
with living, that I realized the amazing lessons that God’s nature 
and earth can teach us. As much as grown ups wish they could 
protect their children from harm, heartache and disappointment, 
a child can only benefit so much from hearing the stories told by 
an elder. Let’s face it, attending the school of life is the best way to 
learn most valuable lessons, and nature and earth are among God’s 
best teachers.

 This past week, while sorting through a long list of e-mail 
messages and watching the accompanying attached videos, (or at 
least those that I had the patience to watch), I was reminded of 
an amazing phenomenon of nature that most definitely astounded 
me, and drove me to wonder just how it can be. I am talking about 
animals of distant, unrelated species who are apparently able to 
put away their inherent instinctive differences, in order to not only 
survive, but also to show random kindness to other beings that are 
in most ways very different from themselves. I know what you are 
probably thinking by now- “Chris has really gone off the deep end 
with this article”, but I don’t think so. Please hear me out.

 There have been way too many documented accounts of cross-
species friendships and practical nurturing relationships for me to 
take credit for being so creative to have made this stuff up! The 
e-mailed video that brought this subject to mind, was that of a 
dog and a wild crow who shared an enormous back yard at the 
pup’s home in the south part of Germany in 2006. The dog was 
apparently quite a social sort, but there were no other pets in his 
home to interact with, so he became rather lonely over a period of 
time. Then, when a huge crow came flying out of a tall tree nearby 
and plopped itself down in the dog’s backyard, he commenced 
squawking at the dog and taunting him. Instead of rushing forward 
to attack the seemingly crazy crow, the dog approached slowly, 
whimpered humbly and proceeded to rub his furry neck against 
the big black bird’s beak! Soon they were inseparable pals, just like 
sibling sweethearts, and they ended up spending all their time 
together playing under the tree canopies in the back yard. After 
watching the video about this unlikely kinship between dog and 
crow, I was inspired to look up more information about unusual 
cross-species interaction, finding a few other similar true stories. 
One was about a maternal relationship that developed between 
“Pixie”, a darling standard poodle, and three abandoned wild 
squirrels who, by forces beyond their control, showed up on her 
property in March 2010. The tree where the squirrel family had 
nested from year to year was felled by chainsaws, so the adult 
squirrels were left with no choice but to abandon the nest and 
their three babies. The three infant squirrels were too tiny to run 
along with their parents when the tree came down, so they were 
left lying in the grassy yard where Pixie romped and played daily. 
In an epic stroke of “fate” Pixie opted to befriend the tiny ‘squirlets’ 
rather than attack and kill them, which is what one would typically 
expect of a domestic dog. Not only was Pixie friendly with the baby 
squirrels, she even allowed them to exploit the remaining lactated 
milk that she had left over from a recently birthed litter of puppies. 
If it hadn’t been for Pixie’s willingness to show random kindness to 
those baby squirrels rather than attack and kill them, they would 
most likely have perished one way or another. As it turned out, all 
three of those squirrels survived and grew strong enough to be 
released back into the wild.

 Another remarkable account of a sensational symbiosis between 
members of two very different species happened at the Elephant 
Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee, just southwest of Nashville. 
In this case, a young female elephant affectionately named “Bella” 
bonded like “BFF’s” (that’s an acronym for “best friends forever“, 
for those of you who are like me and don’t keep up with the latest 
lingo of today’s youth!) with a yellow lab named “Tara“. All of 
the other elephants at the sanctuary chose a friend of their own 
species to connect with and spend their time with, but apparently 
Bella ended up being a “5th wheel” in the deal, so finding herself 
without another elephant to partner with, she focused her need for 
friendship on a cute, cuddly canine companion! There are several 
rescued elephants and dogs at the Sanctuary in Hohenwald who 
share the same open space, but the two species typically avoid 
contact with each other. However, the two unlikely lovebirds 
named Bella and Tara are absolutely inseparable. They eat together, 
wander together and even sleep together!

 To be honest, I am not sure why I felt the need to write an article 
about unusual cross-species relationships, other than the fact that 
I observe and learn so much from unusual and unexpected animal 
behavior. We humans have a lot in common, but we all have our 
own approach to life and to learning, so I do not mean to sound 
like I own the corner on the market of understanding nature or life, 
but I do hope to inspire others in the way that I have been inspired. 
If animals, both domestic and wild can be willing to forego typical 
instinctual expectations in order to love and be loved by a being of 
a very different species, why can’t we humans get along regardless 
of our petty differences? I don’t know about you, but I am certainly 
willing to cross over the bridge of unfamiliarity to share sincere 
friendship and nurturing with other beings on this earth!


TEDDY: #A4525585

Meet the very debonair Teddy (A4525585)! Teddy is a 
well-socialized five year old brown male Silky Terrier 
mix who was found in El Monte on December 20th 
and brought to the Baldwin Park Animal Care Center. 
Weighing ten pounds, Teddy is a well-behaved boy 
who walks very well on the leash and is undoubtedly 
housebroken. Good with other dogs, we think he 
will also be good with children and cats. Teddy is a 
playful, affectionate boy who will be the ideal indoor 
pet for anyone in any living situation at all. To watch 
a video of Teddy please visit:

To meet Teddy in person, please see him at the Baldwin 
Park Shelter, located at 4275 N. Elton St., Baldwin 
Park, CA 91706 (Phone: 626-430-2378 or 626-962-
3577). He is currently available now. For any inquiries 
about Teddy, please reference his animal ID number: 
A4525585. The shelter is open seven days a week, 12 
pm-7 pm Monday-Thursday and 10am-5pm Friday-
Sunday. This is a high-intake shelter with a great need 
for adoptions. For more information about Teddy or 
the adoption process, please contact United Hope for 
Animals Volunteer Adoption Coordinator Samantha at 

To learn more about United Hope for Animals’ 
partnership with the Baldwin Park Shelter through its 
Shelter Support Program, as well as the many dogs of 
all breeds, ages, and sizes available for adoption in local 
shelters, visit