Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pet Health Tip #29- Hypothyroidism

Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Miniature Schnauzers are the breeds most commonly found to develop hypothyroidism.  The thyroid gland is found in the throat.  Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormone.  Symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs are similar to those seen in people.  The dog will have excessive weight gain.  The skin will be dry and flaky.  The hair becomes brittle and falls out easily.  There may be areas of hair loss (alopecia), especially on chest, neck, and body.  Often times the dog will also have a very low energy level.

Diagnosis is through a blood test that measures the level of thyroid hormone and function of the thyroid gland.

Treatment includes hormone replacement therapy.  Dogs do very well on thyroid medication.  The dose of medication needed varies, and your dog will need to have his thyroid levels checked regularly to ensure he is on the right dose of medication.  Once started on the medication, dogs will do very well and can lead long and happy lives.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Now Available!!! "Dogs Aren't Men" Audiobook

"Dogs Aren't Men" is now available on,, and iTunes. 


Rebecca Miller is a gifted veterinarian with an extraordinary understanding of animal behavior. She is leading a fulfilling life as the owner and operator of the Animal Friends Veterinary Clinic. Ever since her 30th birthday, her mother has made it her mission to help Rebecca find a man, get married, and give her grandchildren. But Rebecca doesn't see the need for a man in her life. She has her dog, Captain, and that's all the companionship she needs. However, her world changes the day she literally runs into Derrick Peterson, a gorgeously handsome ER doctor.

Derrick's experiences with women have taught him that they are vain, silly, and untrustworthy. He keeps his relationships with them brief and superficial. However, he finds himself being irresistibly drawn to Rebecca. She's smart, witty, compassionate, and very different from the women he usually encounters. Will Rebecca be the one to break down the wall he's spent a lifetime building around his heart?

Dogs Aren't Men | [Billi Tiner]
click image to buy now! $19.95

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pet Health Tip #28- Congestive Heart Failure

Blood flows into the right side of the heart.  The right ventricle then pumps the blood into the lungs where it picks up oxygen.  The blood then flows into the left side of the heart where it is pumped back out into the body.  As the blood flows into the different chambers of the heart, valves close behind it to ensure the blood continues to flow in the correct direction.  The sound that is heard when listening to the heart is the sound of the valves slamming shut.

If the valves do not operate properly, some of the blood will be pushed backwards.  If the valve fails that closes behind the blood flowing into the right side of the heart, then blood will back up into the liver and abdomen and cause “ascites”.  If the valve fails that closes behind the blood flowing into the left side of the heart, then blood will back up into the lungs.

Congenital heart disease can occur in any size dog.  Typically, the heart valves do not form properly, leading to failure to function properly.  The valves don’t seal the openings; and therefore, you can hear the blood leaking through the valve making a ‘whooshing’ sound.  This sound is referred to as a murmur.  Diagnoses of a heart murmur is made by using a stethoscope to listen to the heart.  Many dogs can live for years with a murmur without developing CHF.

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a very common disease in dogs.  CHF can occur in both large and small breed dogs although the underlying causes vary significantly.  In small breed dogs, the most common cause is chronic dental disease.  The bacteria in the mouth set up residence on the heart valves.  Eventually, the valve begins to thicken and function improperly, leading to CHF.  In large breed dogs, the most common underlying cause is due to the heart being over worked.  This leads to a thickening of the heart wall and the failure of the heart to properly pump the blood.  Additionally, severe heartworm infestations can lead to CHF in any size dog.

Symptoms of CHF depend on which side of the heart is affected.  Right sided CHF will lead to ascites.  If the blood is being backed up into the abdomen, then the belly will start to fill with fluid and become distended.  If the blood is being backed up into the liver, then you can start to see signs of liver failure (jaundice, vomiting, loss of appetite, etc.).

Left sided CHF will lead to blood being backed up into the lungs.  The dog will usually wheeze or cough.  The cough is often productive, meaning that they cough up fluid.

With both types of CHF, the dog will have a decrease in energy and possibly a loss of appetite.

Treatment of CHF also depends on the underlying cause.  It can include: medication to increase heart muscle contractions, diuretics to draw the extra fluid out of the lungs, liver, or abdomen, and a special diet.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Publisher Weekly's Review of Dogs Aren't Men

Rebecca Miller is a veterinarian who is happy with her life and her animals. Her mother, however, would like to see her married sooner rather than later. Rebecca doesn't think this is likely until she meets Derrick Peterson. While she and Derrick-who likes to keep his relationships casual- dance around their feelings for each other, Rebecca is threatened by Dalton, her secretary's abusive boyfriend. Dalton is eventually arrested, but just when they think they're safe, tragedy strikes, and Derrick almost loses Rebecca, forcing him to confront his feelings and admit his love. Tiner- whose experience with veterinary medicine is clear- has written a quality entry in the romance genre. While her male characters are basic romantic archetypes, readers will appreciate the book's steady pace, well-constructed story, and genial style.- Publisher's Weekly

Friday, October 11, 2013

Pet Health Tip #27- Anti-freeze Poisoning

Ethylene glycol (anti-freeze) is highly toxic to pets.  Cats have an especially low tolerance.  It has a sweet taste that pets love, so if it is available, they will drink it.  Pets usually gain access to ethylene glycol through spills, leaks, or improperly sealed containers.

Early symptoms of toxicity (usually within 30 minutes to a few hours) include: vomiting, diarrhea, depression, a wobbly gait, head tremors, rapid eye movement, increased urination, and thirst.
Advanced symptoms include: severe depression, dehydration, coma, seizures, oral ulcers, and death.

Symptoms are dependent on amount of ethylene glycol consumed.  The toxicity is caused by the metabolites that are released as the body tries to break down the ethylene glycol.  These metabolites are toxic to the liver, nervous system, and kidneys.  The sooner the animal is started on treatment the more likely the ethylene glycol can be filtered out of the body before causing damage.  If you have any suspicion that your pet has consumed ethylene glycol, don’t wait!  Get them to your veterinarian immediately.  Once organ damage has occurred, treatment is much more intense and the chances of recovery are severely diminished.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


This boxed set includes all three books in the Bounty Hunter series. Get all three books for only $5.99!!


2013 Readers' Favorite Award Finalist 

After his father's tragic death, sixteen-year old Ben Sharp is living a life of solitude in a one room cabin in the woods. He is lonely and restless but cannot see a way to change his situation. His life takes an unexpected turn the day two horse thieves ride up leading a stolen stallion. When the two outlaws attempt to rob him, Ben is able to turn the tables. His successful capture of the men opens up his world to the life of the bounty hunter. Ben sets out on a journey that will transform him from a boy into a man. This coming of age tale is full of action, adventure, humor, and romance. 


Ben Sharp hunts outlaws for a living. He’s smart, tough, and only seventeen years old. In this action-packed sequel to Bounty Hunter: The Beginning, Ben goes after a gang of murderous thieves. As Ben tracks down and captures some of the meanest men in the west, his reputation for being fast with a gun grows. Ben’s grit and determination will be tested at every turn by ruthless men and the deadly forces of nature in this old west adventure. 


Ben Sharp thinks he has put his days as a bounty hunter behind him. He is living a peaceful life on his horse ranch and is eagerly awaiting the day Mary Anne Sumter returns from Boston. When rustlers attack a cattle drive and kill some of Ben’s friends, he is called back into action. Will he be able to return to his life of peace or has he been forced to leave that life for good? Read this action-packed conclusion to the Bounty Hunter series to find out. 


The Animal Friends Collection contains three middle-grade animal books. These books share several characters. Get all three books for only $5.99!!! 

Friends for Life 

Bo and Rico are two puppies who meet at a pet store. The puppies are dognapped from the pet store by two goons. Realizing they are in danger, Bo and Rico must work together to escape the dognappers. After their escape, Bo and Rico find themselves scared and alone on the mean city streets. They are rescued by a streetwise stray named Tank. Tank takes the puppies under his wing and teaches them how to survive on the streets. Bo and Rico embark on several adventures including avoiding the local Animal Control officer, Jimmy; several run-ins with a pack of dogs led by a stray named Mongrel; and rescuing a beautiful lost Poodle named Pearl. Through it all, Bo and Rico form an incredible friendship that will last a lifetime. 

Welcome Home 

For as long as Jake can remember, he has been having the same dream. In his dream, he lives with a wonderful man in a beautiful home. He has never seen the face of the man in the dream, but he knows his voice and is certain that they are meant to be together. When the day comes for Jake to be given away to his new home, he believes that he will finally get to meet the man from his dreams. However, when he is chosen, it is definitely not by the man from his dream! He is taken to a home where he is terribly mistreated. After suffering years of abuse, Jake finally escapes and is able to begin the search for the man he has been dreaming of his entire life. Along the way, Jake meets some interesting characters, survives amazing adventures, and forms lifelong friendships. Join Jake on his incredible journey home. 

The Rescue Team 

Ellie is shocked and confused when her owners leave her at the animal shelter. Feeling abandoned and unloved, Ellie spends her days staring vacantly through the gate of her pen. Ellie’s life changes when she is finally adopted by a compassionate woman named Anne. Ellie and Anne form an unbreakable bond of love and friendship. A thunderstorm drives Toby, a young frightened kitten, to Anne’s porch. Anne and Ellie immediately welcome him into their family. One night, they hear an emergency broadcast announcement that a little girl is missing in the woods near their home. Anne, Ellie, and Toby join in the search to find her, and an incredible rescue team is formed. The team will be called upon again when a tornado tears through their town. Will they find any survivors? 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

NOW AVAILABLE!!! Bounty Hunter: The Legend

I am happy to announce that the third book of the young adult western Bounty Hunter series is available!


Ben Sharp thinks he has put his days as a bounty hunter behind him. He is living a peaceful life on his horse ranch and is eagerly awaiting the day Mary Anne Sumter returns from Boston. When rustlers attack a cattle drive and kill some of Ben’s friends, he is called back into action. Will he be able to return to his life of peace or has he been forced to leave that life for good? Read this action-packed conclusion to the Bounty Hunter series to find out.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Pet Health Tip #26- Rat Bait Poison

As the weather cools in the fall and winter, mice decide to set up residence in our homes, garages, barns, etc.  When deciding the best course of action to get rid of these pests, it is important to remember your pets.  Most rat poisons contain anticoagulants.  These poisons are not picky about who ingests them, meaning they will cause the same effect whether it is a rat, a dog, or a cat who eats it.  The rat poison smells good, and with your pet’s keen sense of smell, it doesn’t take them long to find it, no matter how well you think you have hidden it.

Many times, it is several days after the pet ingests the poison before they start showing symptoms.  Early symptoms include: Vomit or diarrhea that contains blood, bloody nasal discharge, and pale gums.  As the poison takes more affect, the symptoms will progress to severe anemia, weakness, lethargy, loss of appetite, internal bleeding into the chest or abdomen, and eventually death.

Outdoor pets are at greatest risk for rat poison ingestion.  They can come in contact with it in a barn, neighbor’s trash, or by ingesting a rat who has been poisoned.  If you catch your pet in the act of eating rat poison, you'll need to induce vomiting.  Use a needleless syringe or even a turkey baster to squirt 3% hydrogen peroxide solution into the back of your pet's mouth.  Give between one and two teaspoons of solution for every ten pounds of body weight.  Give the hydrogen peroxide, then wait five or ten minutes to see if your pet vomits.  If not, administer another dose.  Remember- inducing vomiting is ONLY for immediate treatment.  If several hours have already passed since your pet ingested the rat poison, then inducing vomiting will not help.

You will also need to take your pet to the veterinarian to begin treatment.  For acute ingestion without any symptoms, the typical treatment includes giving Vitamin K.  However, if you are seeing the symptoms listed above, then it is important to start emergency treatment.  This may include whole blood or plasma transfusions to restore the blood volume.

Not all rat poisons are toxic to pets.  If you can bring the package with you on your visit, it will help your veterinarian to determine the best treatment options.