Dogs, people disagree on what smells ‘good’

September 22, 2009 at 12:35 pm Leave a comment

A scent that a person would find disgusting, a dog finds divine. From Dr. Marty Becker in this week’s Pet Connection feature:

Early one morning, I glanced out the kitchen window and noticed Sirloin gnawing on something black and furry. At first I thought it was just one of his toys, but then I walked out to investigate. As I approached, Sirloin abandoned his snack and raced over to greet me, wiggling with delight. He jumped up and gave me a wet kiss like a hormonally supercharged teenager. While this type of greeting was routine, this time his breath was — shall we say? — revolting. I knew the smell: skunk.

Sirloin retrieved his newest chew toy. It was a rotten skunk carcass teeming with maggots. Let me tell you, it was enough to turn even the cast-iron stomach of this veteran veterinarian.

As I retreated in disgust, Sirloin followed me, with a thought bubble above his head that seemed to read: “Aren’t ya proud of me, Dad? Isn’t this just the neatest thing I’ve ever brought home?” Sirloin, of course, didn’t think the dead skunk stunk; to him it was just another sample of Ken-nelle No. 5.

In “The Buzz,” Dr. Becker and Mikkel Becker Shannon reveal what might turn out to be the secret behind canine tail chasing:

Dogs may be able to blame their tail-chasing habit on high cholesterol levels, according to a study published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice and reported in Veterinary Economics. Turkish researchers found that dogs who didn’t chase their tails had lower levels of cholesterol than the tail-chasers did. Dogs may chase their tails because the high cholesterol levels have blocked the flow of brain hormones controlling mood and behavior. The study suggests that an increase in exercise could help lower the tail-chasing.

Want more? Read the entire Pet Connection for this week!…

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