April Sneak Peek

New to Beagles: An Article About Kennel Design

By Clark Hammaker

This article is intended to assist a novice dog owner on kennel designs and is a source for materials. I am not associated with any of the suppliers I mention in the article. I include the prices I paid at the writing of this article. You will need to verify pricing and availability.

My father had beagles until my brothers and I left home. He no longer had anyone to hunt with so he sold them and quit rabbit hunting. We continued to hunt turkey and deer, as a family, but slowly drifted apart due to family responsibilities.

I tried to get my son and daughter interested in hunting but the slow nature of deer and turkey hunting did not appeal to their generations’ need for immediate results. At 53, I found myself hunting alone and losing interest in hunting and finally understood why my father sold his dogs.
One day while I was searching a local Internet site I came across a four year old female tricolor beagle for sale. My father was in town so we went and watched her run. She ran a rabbit two full circles before we called her off the rabbit, this dog handled like a dream. I dug the money out of my wallet and loaded her into the car.

So here I was, on my way home with my first beagle wondering what my wife will think and without a kennel. My father offered his wisdom, “You have a degree in Engineering from Penn State so building a kennel is a piece of cake, right? With respect to your wife, you are on your own!” Thanks dad.

I wanted an elevated kennel attached to my garage with the box and an area to feed her in the garage. To elevate the kennel I would need some type of flooring. But what flooring and where to buy it? I would also need a box but what is the best design? How big should it be for a beagle? How big is the opening? Searching the Internet did not produce any designs. There were several designs for sale but nothing seemed tailored to beagles.

I had to build something for my new dog so off to the local home improvement store for supplies. Some pressure treated lumber, plywood, wire and four hours later I had a kennel. It was elevated and had a box inside my garage. I could feed my dog without being in the weather. My father was not impressed.

Six months later I had the opportunity to buy a puppy. I knew if I could get the puppy home my wife would not argue. Well this little female turned out to be an escape artist. Two weeks later, my puppy was running around my garage and my wife reminded me that I have an engineering degree.

I made it through the first year and after joining a local beagle club, I had the itch for another dog. My kennel could not hold three dogs therefore I was back at the design stage.

You can view the remainder of this article along with some pictures on page 26 of our April issue.

Southeastern Indiana Cancelation

Because of the weather, Southeastern Indiana is canceling their MAB trial that was scheduled for Feb 28th. Please pass the message on to anyone you know who may have been planning to attend.. They still have 4-6” of snow on the ground, and it is going to be at 1° both Thursday and Friday night. Sorry for canceling but it would be very hard on all, dogs, judges, handlers.

March Sneak Peek

Boondoggle or Bona Fide? A Question on the Appalachian Cottontail

By John Gibble

Those of us born in the 1960s and 70s were the children that were going to save the planet. In school, we were versed in conservation of resources, promoting clean water, preserving forests, and reducing air pollution. We remember the pesticide, DDT and the effects it had on eagles and ospreys. Forty years later we are now celebrating the de-listing of the bald eagle from the Endangered Species list. We have a Clean Water Act, a Clean Air Act, recycling, and numerous environmental programs that promote conservation of the land, water, and air. Some of these programs have been unqualified successes; other programs might cause a thinking person some questions.

The Endangered Species Act is one of those programs that is often questioned, as well as state programs that mirror the Act on a smaller scale. Here in the eastern U.S., from New York’s Hudson Valley, south through the Appalachians into Alabama, state wildlife agencies, prompted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and several international watch groups are asking questions and making assumptions about the range and abundance of the Appalachian cottontail, Sylvilagus obscurus. Unlike the plentiful Eastern cottontail, Sylvilagus floridanus, the Appalachian cottontail is limited to high elevations with coniferous and heath (laurel, rhododendron, blueberry) habitats. It is found in forest openings and clear-cuts and old growth forest with sufficient ground cover.

Pennsylvania’s State Wildlife Action Plan assigns the Appalachian cottontail a priority status, “high level of concern”. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources lists it as “near threatened”. Most states within the range of the Appalachian cottontail are now investigating the populations and requirements for the species within their boundaries and developing action plans to save the species. Major threats to the Appalachian cottontail are reported to be habitat fragmentation and maturation of forests, proliferation of invasive plant species, and encroachment by the larger Eastern cottontail. A Species Survival Commission stated one threat could be indiscriminate hunting resulting from lack of knowledge by sportsmen. The South Carolina Wildlife Conservation Service suggested that “Hunting is not known to adversely affect the species in South Carolina; however pregnant and lactating rabbits have been captured in February before the end of hunting season.” Several sources added that the release of Eastern cottontails into the habitat of Appalachian cottontails remains a threat of undetermined proportion. It is likely in coming years we will see states list the Appalachian cottontail as threatened or endangered. Depending on the results of current population surveys, we may even see the species listed as threatened or endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The remainder of this article can be read starting on page 24 of our March issue.

February Sneak Peek

Canine Anaplasmosis – A Tale of Two Bacteria

By Luke Peterson, DVM

Recently, one of our club members Keith Turnquist had a beagle treated for an acute Anaplasmosis infection. Anaplasmosis is a tick-borne disease, but is not as well-known to as many as Lyme disease. There are four predominant tick-borne bacterial infections in dogs: Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Central and Northern Wisconsin have been endemic areas for Lyme and Anaplasma for as long as either of these diseases have been identified (early ‘80s for Lyme, Mid ‘90s for Anaplasma). Ehrlichiosis is present in the southernmost part of the state and appears to be making its way north, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is rarely seen. By the numbers, from 2007-2012, one diagnostic company had 41,000 Lyme positive results, 22,000 Anaplasma positives, and 1200 Ehrlichia positives with the number of Anaplasma cases continuing to increase with each year.

Anaplasma has been a catch all for tick-borne disease caused by either Anaplasma phagocytophilum or Anaplasma platys. These bacteria are transmitted by different tick species and cause different clinical illness with A. phagocytophilum being the more common of the two. A phagocytophilum is transmitted by deer-ticks (the same as Lyme) whereas A. platys is transmitted by wood ticks. Not surprisingly, the geographical distribution of Lyme and A. phagocytophilum in the United States are nearly the same, predominately Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Upper Northeast. Also, it’s not uncommon to see dogs co-infected with A. phagocytophilum and Lyme disease.

A. phagocytophilum infected dogs vary in their severity of disease with the average onset of disease occurring 1-2 weeks following transmission from the tick. Many infected dogs will never show any signs and clear the infection on their own. Mild signs may be very subtle to identify and are seen as decreased stamina or performance and a mild decrease in appetite. The most common clinical signs are lameness, joint pain, fever, complete inappetence, and lethargy. Less commonly, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, and labored breathing may be seen, and most rarely, some dogs will also have seizures.

A. platys infected dogs experience cyclic changes in their platelets. This bacterium invades platelets which are then destroyed by the dog’s immune system in an attempt to clear the infection, ultimately resulting in low platelets. With low platelets, dogs will spontaneously ooze blood from blood vessels. The most common clinical signs seen are bruising and bleeding. Bruising is most often seen on the skin near the groin or abdomen where less hair is present. Bleeding may occur from the nose, mouth, gastrointestinal tract, or from the urinary tract. Dogs with gastrointestinal bleeding may vomit dark liquid which is digested blood, have black-tarry diarrhea (digested blood), or have red blood in their stool of bleeding from the colon.

Be sure to finish this article on page 8 of our February issue!