Thursday, March 20, 2014

Providing Good Dental Care for your Dog’s Teeth

By: GDB Registered Veterinary Technician Laura Chandler

Bad breath is not normal, if your dog has bad breath there is most likely some disease in the mouth; 80% of dogs over the age of three have periodontal disease. There is no such thing as “doggy breath” – bad breath is the first indicator of periodontal disease or other oral disease pathology. Just like human dentistry, not just one modality will address all the needs of oral health – we brush, we floss, and use mouthwash.

GDB Vet Tech Laura brushes a Black Lab's teeth with a toothbrush.
GDB Vet Tech Laura brushes a Black Lab's teeth with a toothbrush

For my dental patients I suggest at minimum a two front approach; usually consisting first and foremost with brushing every other day, since it takes about 48 hours for plaque (bacterial colonies) to mineralize into calculus which cannot be removed by teeth brushing alone. Brushing with a tooth brush or gauze/paper towel wrapped around the finger is a good technique, making sure to rub the crown and along the gum line. When I recommend tools for veterinary dental care I suggest items approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC), an organization that independently evaluates the effectiveness of veterinary dental products (this council endorses veterinary dental products that are proven to work). Together we can keep our canines’ teeth healthy and happy!
GDB Vet Tech Laura brushes a Black Lab's teeth with a piece of gauze.
GDB Vet Tech Laura brushes a Black Lab's teeth with a piece of gauze

Laura is also certified by The Veterinary Dental Technician and with The American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.

*Please note this is a modified version of the original blog post and has been approved as appropriate for all GDB dogs.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"Guide Dog Day" Proclaimed in Durango

The Durango City Council in Colorado proclaimed March 3, 2014 as Guide Dog Day! They also honored the GDB puppy club Southwest Bright Eyes with a proclamation at the City Council Meeting. The Council noted all that guide dogs do for their partners, as well as acknowledging that this small club has been raising puppies for over twenty years! They also took note of the fact that Chiffon, who was raised in Durango, is partnered with Tracy Boyd in Portland, OR. Tracy and her Alumni Chapter members from the group “Mommies with Guides” were recently featured in Real Simple magazine –

Puppy raisers from the club Southwest Bright Eyes holding up the proclamation certificate, along with their puppies in training.

Pictured are puppy raisers from the club Southwest Bright Eyes holding up the proclamation certificate, along with their puppies in training. In attendance were Jim and Sue Mooney, Nancy and Byard Peake, Sue and Wayne Caplan, as was their longtime leader Darla Welty. Other members of the club who puppy sit were also there (Patricia and Patrick McIvor and Bobbi and Dave Rakita). A special thank you to Southwest Bright Eyes puppy club and to all of our amazing puppy raisers for all you do!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Alumni Speaker Series: Canine First Aid

What would you do if…

• You discovered that your dog ate a bag of chocolate chips?
• Had a seizure?
• Fell down the stairs and started limping?
• Seemed to be overheating on a hot summer day?

As we learned in the January Alumni Speaker Series call*, whether we are confronted by a natural disaster like a hurricane or an unexpected catastrophe such as a house fire, it’s critical to be prepared to take care of ourselves and our guide dogs. An emergency plan will help us remain calm and think clearly, and now that we have the plan in place, we have an opportunity to learn how to provide basic first aid if our guide dogs suffer from poisoning, seizures, broken bones, bleeding, burns, shock, heatstroke, choking or other urgent medical problems. To avoid the feelings of panic that may accompany these situations, plan to attend the next Alumni Speaker Series call and learn from certified American Red Cross Dog and Cat First Aid and CPR Instructor Peggy Rew how you can be prepared for a canine medical emergency.

Peggy Rew is based in Sparks, Nevada and is a lifelong animal lover. She is Nevada’s only American Red Cross Dog & Cat Basic First Aid & CPR Instructor and has been a professional Pet Nanny for over 25 years, as well as a pet rescue liaison. She recently produced an Educational Dog Bite Prevention Coloring Book for anyone who interacts with dogs. Rew travels nationwide to any group interested in hands-on certification classes including Alumni and Puppy Raising meetings.

Save the date - anyone is welcome to join!
Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 7 P.M. (EST) and 4 P.M. (PST)
Instructions: toll-free number (US/Canada) 1-877-668-4490; Attendee access code 202 900 74

In order to have your questions answered during Peggy’s presentation, please send your questions to Maile George either during or prior to the presentation:

If you have ideas for future Alumni Speaker Series calls, please send your suggestions to either Theresa Stern or to Becky Andrews: and

*If you missed the January Alumni Speaker Series call or would like to listen to it again, you can access the recording at: