Pet Dental Health

February is pet dental health month.  Just like people dogs and cats can develop plaque and tartar on their teeth that can lead to gum disease, loose teeth and in some cases heart disease.  OK, that’s enough to make me take notice and learn more about taking care of my pets’ teeth.

I’ve read several very informative articles, one at WebMD, and another at www.peteducation.com .  These articles explain how the plaque turns to tartar and the build up of tartar causes gum irritation that can lead to serious health problems. While inspecting your pet’s mouth, some signs that there maybe be problems are bad breath, more than the usual dog breath, discolored or loose teeth and bleeding or swollen gums.  Lose of appetite may also be caused by problems with the teeth or gums.

I thought I was doing enough to prevent dental problems for my dogs.  They always have crunchy kibbles for their meals.  I give them chew toys and they get treats, such as DentaStiks and Greenies, products that help remove plaque.  At their yearly check up, our veterinarian looks at their teeth and gums to be sure they are healthy.  One of my dogs has had a dental cleaning.  The animals are put under anesthesia and the tartar is scraped from their teeth in the same manner as the dentist does to human teeth.  After the teeth are tartar free they get a nice polish, for a sparkly white smile.

I have decided I’m going to learn how to brush the dogs teeth and make it part of our daily routine.  Patience and short, positive sessions seem to be the best advice.  I took the first step Today, I pulled their lips back and touched their canine teeth, great success and no wrestling required.  I need to get some doggie tooth paste, as human tooth paste is irritating to canine stomachs.  I’ll also need a dog tooth brush or finger tooth brush or I could try a piece of gauze wrapped around my finger.  I’m leaning toward the tooth brush, it seems much less messy to me.  I’ll try to get some action photos, I’m sure our first few sessions will be very entertaining!

As far as the cats’ teeth go, I’m leaving that to the professionals, there is no way I’m even going to try sticking my fingers in their mouths!

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Chowder Fest 2013

On Saturday, February 2nd, my daughter and I attend our first Chowder Fest, it was so much fun.  The City of Saratoga Springs has been hosting Chowder Fest for the past fifteen years.  Even with the cold temperatures and snow in the air, downtown Saratoga was teeming with people, all waiting to sample some chowder.

The local restaurants and pubs spend months perfecting their special chowders and make gallons to server to their many fans.  Of course, there is competition among the chefs and ballots are provided for the taste testers to vote on their favorite chowder. While many of the chowders were seafood based, some of the chefs made special vegetarian and vegan chowders.

Our favorite “chowders” were the desserts, we had a sundae with a chocolate theme and mini chocolate cupcakes with coconut chum frosting.  I really enjoy and admire the creativity of the local chefs.

We saw many dogs all dressed in their winter coats and sweaters walking up and down Broadway.  Some of the business had a special chowder for the dogs.  I was surprised to see how well behaved the dogs were  with so many people and other dogs present.  I guess they were all be bribed with the promise of chowder if they behaved! One little black lab puppy was barking up a storm, we thought he was cold and tired and wanted to go home!

Chowder Fest was a great outing.  I think everyone was happy to be out in the fresh air, enjoying some awesome food, listening to the music provided by several places and chatting with people.  I’m sure will be making plans to attend again next February!

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Cattle Tags on the Ski Slope

We were so excited to learn that our plastic cattle ear tags are being used to mark the gate positions on the slalom ski course at an area resort.

The ski team requires a reusable tag that is able to withstand cold, snowy weather as well as being durable enough to survive being run over by speeding skies.  Our 402 cattle ear tags have been working perfectly.  The tags are nailed into the snow for each training session to mark the position of the poles.  Often the poles are knocked down and need to be replaced in the same pattern.

After 10 years on the ski slope some of the tags are beginning to break down and need to be replaced.   We think the harsh environment of the ski slope is a great testament for the durability and longevity of our plastic tags.  We also like to hear about the unusual places our tags are employed!

402 Cattle Ear Tags are molded from urethane, measuring 2-3/8″ x 2-7/8″ ,and are available in green, red, blue, yellow, violet, black, orange, white and neon colors; pink, green and orange.  Our plastic ear tags can be ordered in numbered sets, the large numbers are hot stamped into the plastic, creating a permanent, highly visible number.

Our line of plastic ear tags are available in several sizes, one that’s sure to meet your tagging requirements, whether you’re tagging livestock ears or ski slopes!  Please check out our full line of products on our website www.ketchummfg.com.

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Preventing Hypothermia and Frostbite in Dogs

As the temperatures continue to drop into the lowest temperatures of the season, we’ve all started to pull out the warmest of sweaters, socks and any other accessory that will shield us from the cold. Unfortunately for our pets, there’s not much they can do to protect themselves from the freezing temperatures like we can. Hypothermia and frostbite are two of the most common winter problems that your dog can suffer from, which is why it’s important for you to know the facts and how to prevent these problems from happening to your beloved pet!

What causes frostbite?

DogFrostbite is the name given to tissue damage that’s caused by exposure to extremely cold conditions. In order for dogs to conserve their heat, they reduce the amount of blood flow to the peripheral parts of his body, such as his ears, paws and tail. Without blood in these areas, they lack warmth and oxygen and as a consequence, ice crystals may form in the tissue which can then cause that tissue to die.

Symptoms of frostbite

The difficulty with frostbite in dogs is that because dogs are covered in hair, it’s challenging to find areas that might be impacted by it. The signs to really look out for are very pale skin, usually found on the belly area, which will be very cold to the touch.

You’ll also notice that once the skin starts to warm up, it will become red and swell, which will also prove to be very painful for your pet. After just a few days, the skin will then become dry and will appear to be scaly.

How to treat frostbite

Trapper in the SnowIf you notice an area on your dog that you think might be frostbite, bring your pet to a warm area and put heat on the area immediately. Most importantly for frostbite, make sure that you resist the urge to rub or massage the affected area since rather than helping, you’d really be hurting your pet, releasing toxins that can further cause damage to the tissue.

Call your vet and describe the severity of the frostbitten area. The vet can then determine whether it’s better for you to bring your dog into the office or if it’s better for you to stay home and monitor him for the next few days. If you do see your vet, they will likely prescribe your pet pain killers and antibiotics to help ease your dog’s pain and look at removing any dead tissue.

What causes hypothermia?

Sally in the snowHypothermia occurs when your dog’s temperature falls and stays below its normal range of 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. When a dog is suffering from hypothermia, this means that he is losing body heat faster than he can replace it. This can happen when you’re walking your dog outside or even when he’s playing around outside in the backyard during the winter.

Symptoms of hypothermia

  • shivering;
  • lethargy;
  • muscle stiffness;
  • lack of coordination;
  • low heart and breathing rates;
  • fixed and dilated pupils;
  • collapse;
  • coma.

How to treat hypothermia

Wee Westie Under Wraps

In order to treat your dog for hypothermia, you must focus on warming them up so that their core temperature returns to normal. If you’re walking with your dog and notice he is suffering from the cold temperatures, you need to immediately prevent him from losing any further body heat by picking up your dog and running him into the house (if he’s small enough!) or walk quickly back to the house to warm up.

Once you’re in a warm environment, make sure you’re in a heated room where the floor is well insulated and find a blanket to wrap your dog in. It would be ideal to keep him in this position until his internal temperature returns to normal. If you don’t have a thermometer, don’t fret, as long as you pay close attention to him and get him to the point where he’s no longer shivering and appears to be acting normal again, it’s a pretty good indication that your dog’s temperature is back up.

The next time you’re getting bundled up to take a long walk with your pup, remember that while you might be able to go the distance in the cold weather, they might not be able to go quite as far. By reading the information above and preparing your pet for the cold, you now have the knowledge necessary to keep your furry friend safe from hypothermia and frostbite!

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The Incredible Edible Egg

The Essence of EggIt’s January, and in honor of National Egg Month, we’ve decided to talk about the health benefits of the incredible, edible egg. Over the years, eggs have taken a lot of criticism for being high in cholesterol. Turns out, there is actually no link between eggs and either heart attack or stroke. Now that the myth has been laid to rest, read about why eggs rock!

Reduces Your Risk For Cancer

Whole eggs are high in the nutrient choline, which is found mostly in the yolk. According to a recent study, women with a high intake of choline were 24 percent less likely to develop breast cancer. Ladies, feel free to ditch those egg-white omelets and opt for some scrambled eggs instead.

Great For The Eyes

Jumpstarting MondayEggs are great for your peepers. People who eat eggs every day have a lower risk of developing cataracts. Eggs also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are two antioxidants that have been shown to prevent muscular degeneration. A diet rich in eggs will help increase muscle strength and eye health.

Natural Metabolism Booster

Eggs are high in protein and all nine essential amino acids. Research has show that obese people who ate eggs for breakfast at least five times a week in substitute of carbohydrates lost 65 percent more weight than those who did not. This is because eggs are a more satisfying than carbs, keeping you fuller longer. Start eating eggs for breakfast and watch your waistline shrink.

Which Eggs Are Best?

101_1222All eggs contain the same basic good stuff. However, depending on your own eating habits, you might want to invest in some specialty eggs. For example, chickens that are not fed byproducts, antibiotics or certain additives lay organic eggs. Organic eggs are by far healthier for the body than non-organic. Pasteurized eggs refer to eggs that have been placed in warm water to kill bacteria. And if you’re not into seafood, purchase eggs that are enhanced with Omega-3. This will ensure that you get your heart-healthy fatty acids. Whatever you do, be sure to skip labels that say cage free, free range and pasture raised—they don’t guarantee happy chickens!

As you can see, eggs are packed with a number of essential vitamins and minerals, high-quality protein, unsaturated fats and antioxidants. They are great for weight management, muscle strength, eye health and a number of other health-related benefits. Want to learn more about eggs? Visit incredibleegg.org for recipes, fun facts and much more!

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Are Ewe My Maa-Maa?

The new lambs and kids will be arriving soon!  Of course, the ewes knew which little bundle of cuteness belongs to them, but do you?

As children, one of our favorite Dr. Seuss books was “Are You My Mother?”  A baby bird hatches while the mother bird is away from the nest and spends the rest of the book running around asking various animals, “are you my mother?”  Our Mom always used different voices for each of the characters, probably why we liked ths story so much!  Today I’m picturing a flock of lambs all baa-ing for their Mama! 

At Ketchum, we manufacture several  small metal ear tags that are perfect for little ears. The #314 Tambra https://www.ketchummfg.com/c32/c117/Tambra-Ear-Wing-Tags-Brass-Numbered-p437.html, is a small brass tag, measuring 3/4″ long by 3/16″ wide with a tamper proof locking button. The tags are sequentially numbered on one side and can be personalize with up to six characters on the other side.  These same tags are also available in aluminum.

Our #312 Kemco https://www.ketchummfg.com/c32/Kemco-Aluminum-Ear-Tags-c116.html , is slightly larger, made from aluminum and measures 1-1/4″ long by 1/4″ wide.  The Kemco can be personalized with up to nine characters in one or two lines.

You may prefer or require a tags that is visible from a distance, Ketchum carries plastic ear tags.  We recommend the #404 and #405 plastic tags for sheep and goat ears https://www.ketchummfg.com/Plastic-Ear-Tags-c87.html

If you prefer to tattoo the ears as a means of identification we carry a full line of tattoo equipment https://www.ketchummfg.com/Tattoo-Equipment-Animal-c120.html, including pliers, digits, inks and pastes.

Order your ear tags Today at https://www.ketchummfg.com/ so you’ll be ready to identify which lamb belongs to which ewe as soon as they’re born.

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New Year’s Resolutions

Now that we’ve all made our New Year’s Resolutions, how are we going to keep them?  Let’s get our pets involved!  I saw a little clip on television that suggested ways to get your pets to help you keep your resolutions.

Like most people, I want to become more physically fit by exercising more and eating healthy.  Also the doctor seems to think my cholesterol number is too high, I suggested it was from Thanksgiving Dinner, he’s not buying it.

My dogs love to go for walks.  All I need to say in front of the dogs is the word “walk” and I have their full attention. They go crazy, tails wagging, running back and forth to the door with some howling thrown in the mix!  Their energy and excitement makes going for a walk enjoyable.  We all get the benefit of exercise and fresh air.

The dogs may also be helpful when it comes to eating healthy. They like to hang around the kitchen while I’m cooking.  After I’ve finished cutting up carrots or apples I always give them a couple of pieces.  Of course they can’t have chocolate and I don’t like to give them baked goods, I don’t want them to get overweight, it’s not good for them.  Hey, it’s not good for me either!  If I won’t give it to the dogs, I shouldn’t be eating it myself. 

Getting organized is another one of my usual resolutions.  I’m not sure enlisting the pets to help with this one will work out as well.  One of our cats tries to keep the counter and table clutter free.  I’m not fond of his methods as he throws everything on the floor.  New Years Day he sent a bottle of black glitter nail polish crashing on to the tile floor.  Yes, of course it broke and traveled across the tile.  I was able to get the black polish off the floor, however, we still have some glitter in the grout.  My daughter says not to worry about that, after all princesses live here!

I’m hoping my pets will help me stay on track.  What tips do you have for keeping our New Year’s Resolutions?

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Blessings

The following is written by Nancy, one of our wonderful employees!  Thank you, Nancy, we feel the same about you.  What a way to start the New Year – all teary eyed.

When I am asked where I work, I usually have to explain what Ketchum Mfg. is.  I always describe it as a family owned business that makes animal identification tags and then qualify that statement as not my family owned business.  The reality of that statement though is Ketchum is family to the employees that work here. I have been fortunate to have worked with two generations of the Powers family and many of the employees have worked with three generations.  Perhaps it’s because of the longevity of the employees of Ketchum that we feel like family or more likely it because of Lisa and Gary, like generations before them, go above and beyond to treat you like they would their family.  My fondest memory of their Dad, Jay, is when I had to bring my car to the garage unexpectedly for repairs and as he was leaving for the day he asked if I had the money to pay for my car.  I have been fortunate to have some great bosses over time, but that was the first time an employer offered to float me a loan and I’m sure if I had needed the money Jay would have been happy with me paying it off $5 a week if need be.  Many of us have had family emergencies and no matter how busy they are, how short handed they are the first words out of Lisa and Gary’s mouths are, “go, take whatever time you need”  Ketchum employees are not the only ones to be treated like family, many people in the community are afforded the same generosity.  Tools in the shop, Gary’s expertise, the shipping department, fax machine etc. have been shared willingly, although you may jokingly be called a user, they are always happy to help out whatever the need.  I am truly grateful to be able to work at a job where I am treated like family and in times of need, Lisa and Gary were right there offering help and support.

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Structure Fire

“The building collapsed with four firefighters inside!”  Our customer, Travis, called to tell us how well his fire company’s accountability system worked.

There were 27 volunteer fire companies at the working structure fire.  I’m sure you can imagine how easily a fire scene can become confusing.  The trucks are loud, there are fire fighters from different companies and the adrenaline is running high.    Four fire fighters, including Travis, were inside the building and the building collapsed, thankfully, all four men were able to escape unharmed.  A firefighter from one of the other companies was shouting that there was still a man inside.  The safety officer assured him that everyone was out.  He was correct and all of the firefighters were out of the building. 

The fire company in charge of the fire scene has established an accountability system.  Travis is our contact and he orders the 421-FF accountability tags from us. They use a two tag system, one tag stays on the fire fighter’s gear and the second tag is given to the safety officer when the fire fighter enters the building and is retrieved when he exits the building.

We are very proud to have our tags involved in programs to keep our firefighters safe.  The design, implementation and consistent use of the accountability system is very important.  The team needs to understand the routine and to use it every time at every scene.

Travis has had three of the volunteer companies that were at the structure fire contact him to help with the design of their accountability programs.  He assures us they will be ordering their accountability tags from Ketchum! 

Thank you, Travis, and all your fellow firefighters, for the dedication and time you spend training so that when we call, you are able to come to our rescue.

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Color Coding Chickens

These free range hens are easy to tell apart and possibly all have names.  On a larger farm identification bands are helpful in keeping track of the flock.  Our poultry leg bands are available in a variety of colors to help track hatch dates and breeding pedigrees.

We also have customers that use these bands as tamper evident container seals and law enforcement agencies are using them as evidence tags.

Our 3 hole adjustable poultry leg band, catalog number 346, is available in plain aluminum, colored aluminum and brass.  The overall band is 3-1/4″ long, the three holes provide three sizes in one band.

The leg band material arrives is thin coils.  The colored aluminum is painted on both sides, we get a different color on each side, increasing the color choices available.  When we get an order, the requested metal coil is placed on a large turntable and the material is threaded into the press.

Our customers can have up to three lines of custom information stamped onto the leg bands.  The press operator selects the required pieces of metal type, which are very small, and sets them into the type holder.  The type holder is then securely bolted into the top of the press bed.  The automated number head is also mounted into the top of the press bed, the requested start number is selected.

The safety gate closes and the press is started.  The material goes through several station in the press, transforming coils of aluminum or brass into customized poultry identification bands.

  • The personalized information is stamped into the metal
  • The required serial number is embossed
  • The sealing button is drawn up
  • The holes are punched out
  • The band is trimmed to length

Our leg bands do require the use of our sealing plier, catalog number 347, to get a proper seal.

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