The veterinarians and staff at the Beach Veterinary Clinic are pleased to provide you with an online newsletter. This fun and fact-filled newsletter is updated on a regular basis.

Included in the newsletter are articles pertaining to pet care, information on our animal hospital, as well as news on the latest trends and discoveries in veterinary medicine.

Please enjoy the newsletter!

Current Newsletter Topics

INFOGRAPHIC: Pet Holiday Hazards

The holidays can mean exciting smells, sights, and tastes for your curious pet -- and more ways he or she can get into trouble. Please take a look at the infographic below outlining the most serious dangers. Take the necessary precautions to keep the holidays happy and healthy for everyone in your home!

Click on the graphic below and print it out. Keep it handy during the holiday and give copies to your friends and family.

Holiday Hazards

VIDEO: Golden Retrievers May Hold the Answers in Canine Cancer

How do genetics, diet and environment influence the incidence of cancer and other diseases in our pets? To answer that question, Morris Animal Foundation created the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, the most groundbreaking observational study ever undertaken to improve canine health. Learn more in the video below!

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Dogs Targeted with Breed-Specific Legislation

Across the country, more towns, cities and even states are targeting pit bulls, Rottweilers and other dog breeds under increasingly restrictive "dangerous dog" laws. In Minnesota, state lawmakers are hearing a number of proposals that would ban certain breeds in the state, including one bill that would make it illegal for residents to own a Rottweiler, Pit Bull, Chow Chow, Akita or wolf hybrid. Meanwhile, members of the Forsyth County Commission in North Carolina are studying possible regulations for "aggressive" breeds such as German shepherds, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinchers and pit bulls. Similar legislation has been proposed at the state level in Tennessee and Mississippi, and at the local and county level in Oregon, Alabama, Arkansas and other states, according to the American Dog Owners Association.

BSL targets Pitbulls and other so-called 'dangerous dogs'

Breed-specific legislation (also known as BSL) proposals are becoming a common presence in statehouses and city halls across America. Such legislation usually follows on the heels of a much publicized dog attack, and lawmakers claim that targeting specific dog-breeds will help remove dangerous animals from the community. But the effectiveness of BSL in curbing attacks by dangerous dogs is unclear, and the policies that determine what happens to pet owners who share their homes with a "dangerous" breed" vary in each community.

According to an article by Linda S. Weiss with the Animal Legal and Historical Center, BSL "is not an effective approach for regulating dogs' behavior in communities." Weiss goes on to write that bans on specific breeds are little more than comfort legislation and "do not act to effectively regulate the behavior of any breed or of dogs and their owners collectively." Additionally, breed-specific bans routinely face constitutional challenges, with decisions varying from state to state. A 1989 decision by the Kansas Supreme Court upheld a ordinance regulating ownership of pit bulls within a municipality, while a Massachusetts court in 1989 found that a law targeting pit bull ownership was unconstitutionally vague, according to Weiss.

What happens to happens to pet owners who care for pit bulls and other targeted breeds once legislation is passed also varies. Most breed-specific ordinances and legislation have some sort of grandfather clause, allowing owners to keep their dogs, but preventing the purchase or breeding of other dogs in the targeted breed. However, enforcing these laws is difficult, costly and time consuming: according to Weiss, a breed-specific ordinance in Cincinnati, Ohio was overturned after the city began enforcing the ordinance, which lead to "gridlock in the animal control and court systems."

BSL targets Dobermans and other so-called 'dangerous dogs'

Meanwhile, organizations like the American Kennel Club and the American Dog Owners Association are vocally opposed to BSL. According to the AKC's position paper on BSL, "We support laws that establish a fair process by which specific dogs are identified as ‘dangerous' based on stated, measurable actions—The American Kennel Club strongly opposes any legislation that determines a dog to be 'dangerous' based on specific breeds or phenotypic classes of dogs." The AKC and the ADOA also maintain "legislation watch" web sites, where dog owners can track pet-related legislation. Click here to view the ACK legislative alert page. Click here to view the ADOA legislative update page.

Conversely, many states are proposing legislation that would prohibit insurance companies from denying home owners insurance coverage or unfairly increasing rates based on the breeds of dogs living at the home. In New Jersey, state Assemblyman Niel Cohen is sponsoring legislation that would prohibit insurers from basing policy coverage and costs on the basis of the breed of dog kept on the property.

"In most cases involving a 'dangerous breed,' the owner is the one responsible for teaching the dog its aggressive or dangerous behavior," Cohen said in a statement regarding the legislation.

VIDEO: Advances in Pet Dentistry

Without proper oral care, more than 80% of dogs and cats will show signs of gingivitis or even periodontal disease by the time they are three years old. Watch this video to see the new advances in pet dentistry and what you can do to keep your pet’s mouth healthy!

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Dogs in Court: What Do You Think?

Many of us experience those stressful moments in the day when all we want is to be surrounded by the unconditional love of our dog. We don’t even have to say anything – they just know. They sense our tension or fear, and come to our side. This is exactly what Rosie does, except it’s not at your doorstep or in the yard. It’s in court.

Rosie, Court Dog

Rosie is the first judicially approved courtroom dog in New York, and specializes in providing comfort to witnesses under stress. Rosie recently provided comfort to a 15-year-old girl testifying to a jury about being raped by her father. When Rosie sensed especially bad moments, she would lean in to comfort the teenager. According to a psychologist who worked with the teen, she “kept hugging Rosie” throughout the trial. The trial ended in June with a conviction, and the defense now plans to appeal the case – with the golden retriever at the center of the legal debate.

This new practice raises legal questions as to fairness and validity. The public defender’s office raised a number of objections to the use of Rosie in court, who they believe “infected the trial with unfairness,” and thereby led to a violation of their client’s constitution rights. As cute as Rosie was, the defense argued that the dog may lead the jury to draw certain conclusions, including that the therapy dog helps the victims expose the truth while under distress. The Prosecutor in the case argued that dogs do not affect the case, and merely help to ease the witness’s trauma on the stand.

With many new cases popping up around the country, the high courts of New York are likely to examine the case in great detail.

What do you think? Should Rosie be allowed in Court?

Celebrity Pets: Chances Are They’re Wealthier Than You

Feel like Grumpy Cat is everywhere these days? It’s not just you.The famously dour feline has had a big few years since her owner posted her on Reddit in 2012. With multiple books, licensed product lines, pet food endorsement deals, and even a starring role in a made-for-TV-movie where she was voiced by Aubrey Plaza, Grumpy Cat has transformed from the star of a popular YouTube video to a full-fledged brand. Grumpy Cat’s owner won’t say how much the cat has made, but one tabloid pegged the figure at $100 million (a figure the owner denies). And yet, it’s still not enough to make Grumpy Cat smile.

Visit Grumpy Cat's Official Facebook Page

Grumpy Cat isn’t the only living meme raking in dough. Boo, the Pomeranian dog, has signed off on licensing deals with companies like Crocs, published three books, and secured a spokesdog gig with Virgin America Airlines. Of course, fame has a dark side: like many celebrities before him, he was the subject of a death hoax. Not to worry – Boo is alive and well.

Other rich pets include Chris P. Bacon, a pig who was born without the use of his hind legs who has learned to get around on wheel legs built out of toys by his owner; Lil’ Bub, a cat whose underdeveloped jaw gives him a permanent slack-jawed expression; and Tuna, a Chihuahua with an overbite that gives the pup a permanent expression somewhere between a grin and grimace. All three have millions of social media followers, book deals, product lines, and endorsement deals that keep them raking in cash hand over paw.

Think your pet has what it takes to be the next A-list meme? Only one way to find out – break out the camera and get something cute on YouTube, because it doesn’t look like the Internet’s love of animals is going away any time soon.

Christmas Season Pet Hazards

Holiday season adornments are attractive to all creatures. The ornaments, foods, gifts, wrappings, ribbons, lights and plants are all curiosities for pets. Pets investigate new items by sniffing, tossing, chasing, and finally by tasting. A few precautions are necessary to avoid the holiday crowds at the veterinary hospital.

Holiday Tree

The most common problems this time of year are stomach or intestinal disturbances caused by pets eating the holiday feast or other novelties. Scraps from the table can cause gastrointestinal upset and even predispose pets to life-threatening pancreatitis. Bones can get stuck in the mouth or perforate the intestines and should be avoided. Chocolate is poisonous to cats, dogs, and birds. Plastic wrap and aluminum foil (coated with good-tasting juices) are enticing but can cause intestinal damage (and even blockage) if eaten by the pet.

Other sweet treats, like gum and hard candies, can also make your pet ill. Sugar-free candies and gum are made with xylitol, a sugar substitute that can cause a drop in blood sugar, depression, loss of coordination and seizures in your pet. Xylitol is also linked to liver failure in dogs. Be sure to keep all candies, chocolate and other sweets out of your pet's reach. If you believe your pet may have ingested chocolate or candy, call your veterinarian immediately.

Chocolate and other sweets can make pets sick

Chocolate with Wrappers

Be sure to properly dispose of leftovers and wrappers. Feed pets their usual diet. Treats formulated similarly to the pet's regular diet are generally healthy and safe. Also keep in mind (while cooking) that pets may not know about hot stoves or to stay out from underfoot. Keep pets away from the stove so they don't get burned or get hot foods spilled on them.

Several decorative plants are poisonous. Mistletoe and holly can cause stomach upset with vomiting and diarrhea. The berries of these plants are attractive, easily swallowed, and potentially fatal if consumed. Poinsettias, like the leaves of most any plant, can also cause stomach upset. Use artificial mistletoe and holly; keep other plants out of your pet's reach.

Mistletoe Holly

Mistletoe and Holly

Make sure Christmas trees are secured so that pets cannot pull them over. Omit preservatives from the tree-stand water and cover the water so pets don't drink it. Don't spray snow on the tree unless it is labeled for pet consumption. Angel hair is spun glass and is irritating to both the inside and outside of your pet. Even glass ornaments and ornament hooks have been chewed and swallowed. These objects can cause problems from stomach upset to damaged intestines. Low-hanging ornaments are a real temptation, as are tinsel and electric lights. Decorative lights and electrical wiring can cause shock or burns when chewed, soremember to unplug holiday lights when pets are unattended.

Holidays have lots of activity going on. Be sure doors are not left open as guests come and go. Indoor pets inadvertently left outside could be injured by frostbite, cars, or other animals. Ice-melting chemicals and salt on sidewalks and roads can severely burn foot pads and should be washed off right away. Also, watch that guests don't leave interesting objects, such as chocolate, ribbons, stocking stuffers, or other illicit treats, within your pet's reach.

Holidays can also be as stressful for your pet as they are for you. Large gatherings of unfamiliar people may cause your dog or cat unnecessary stress and worry. If your pet does not interact well with strangers, keeping him or her in a separate room during the festivities may help keep your pet relaxed and worry-free.

Don't leave food items under the tree with an unsupervised pet; the wrapping, ribbon and enclosed gift are probably not compatible with your pet's digestive system. Ask Santa to put gifts out of your pet's reach so your pet won't beat you to them on Christmas morning.

When choosing a gift for your pet, consider the pet as an individual. Cats enjoy lightweight toys they can bat around, catnip toys, scratching posts, and kitty perches. Dogs like balls, chew toys, and things they can carry around. However, beware of toys with parts, such as bells, buttons, string, yarn, or squeaky parts, that can be detached and swallowed. Watch how your pet handles a new toy until you are sure it is safe. Some dogs treat a stuffed toy like a friend and carry it around and sleep with it. Others will tear them up and eat the stuffing and get into trouble. Also, if there is more than one pet in the household, consider all the pets before buying for any one of them. A one-inch diameter toy for a cat is fine, but a puppy in the household may swallow it and possibly require surgery to remove it.


If your pet does get sick, consult your veterinarian before giving any medications. Many of the over-the-counter drugs, such as acetaminophen - Tylenol(r) and Excedrin(r) and ibuprofin - Advil(r), Motrin(r), are toxic for animals even though they are safe for us. Don't wait to see if your pet gets better. If your pet is acting sick, consult your veterinarian.

Only Five Northern White Rhinos Remain In The Entire World

The northern white rhinoceros is closer than ever to extinction now that Angalifu, a 44 year old male white rhino at the San Diego Zoo, has passed away from old age. After Angalifu, there are only five northern white rhinos remaining, including Nola, a female also living at the San Diego Zoo, with whom Angalifu was unable to breed.

The other remaining northern white rhinos include Najin and Fatu, two females in Kenya; Sudan, a male also living in Kenya and the last remaining male of the species; and an elderly female in the Czech Republic.

“Angalifu’s death is a tremendous loss to all of us,” said park curator Randy Rieches, “not only because he was well beloved here at the park but also because his death brings this wonderful species one step closer to extinction.”

The San Diego Zoo preserved some of Angalifu’s testicular tissue and sperm in hopes that the species may survive through artificial breeding methods.