Rebel Blog — hot topics

Lyme Disease Awareness Month


This month we are bringing awareness to not only pet cancer but Lyme disease as well. If you have not been affected, either personally or by association, by Lyme disease you might not even know what it is. But for those who have seen its affects, know the life changing havoc Lyme leaves in its wake.

We’ll be sharing info, facts, our personal story, others experiences, and support all month long to help advocate for Lyme awareness. We've also crafted a very special Lyme collar, matching bracelet, and 4 new Ruff Tags charms all about Lyme!! 

Lyme disease is essentially an infection caused by something called a spirochete (a big fancy word for a flexible spirally twisted bacterium) that humans and dogs can contract from the bite of an infected deer tick. This terrible disease can affect and attack any organ in the body including the brain, nervous system, muscles and joints, and even the heart. Lyme is initially confusing and scary for several reasons:

-It is not readily diagnosed.
-The symptoms are similar to those of many other diseases.
-The Infectious Diseases Society of America states that there is no such thing as “chronic Lyme disease”, but anyone with this mysterious and debilitating disease will tell you other wise.

What are the symptoms of Lyme? Lyme disease has been called “The Great Imitator” because the symptoms are easily mistake for those of ALS, MS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Autism to name a few.

Symptoms include: Fatigue, weakness, headache, pack pain, joint and muscle pain, stiff/ sore neck, nausea, diarrhea, sore throat, swollen glands, rash, dizziness, confusion, buzzing sensation in nerves, paralysis, trouble with speaking, thinking, talking, walking, and concentration, trouble breathing, mood swings, and crying spells. Lyme is no joke!

How do you get Lyme disease? People and dogs get Lyme disease from the bite of an infected tick. The longer a tick is attached to the body the longer they feed, which increases the risk of them passing the Lyme bacteria into your bloodstream.

What else carries Lyme disease? Ticks, mosquitoes, flies, fleas, and wild animals such as rodents, rabbits, birds, and deer can all carry the spirochete bacteria of Lyme.

Where do ticks live? Ticks live in warm, damp places usually near water grass or brush. This is why it is so important to protect yourself and your pets when hiking, playing, and exploring.

So what do you do? It’s very important to use tick repellent on yourself and your dogs when hiking in tick heavy places. Check yourself and your pets carefully after being out in tick territory. Be sure to check in the nooks and crannys, along the waistband of your pants, and all over on pets paying special attention to their ears, arm pits, and paw pads.

Check here for the correct way to remove a tick.

Now help pass it on and fight the bite! Lyme bites, but it doesn’t have to stop there. Education is key.

Finding Rover App Helps Lost Pets Get Home

A couple of months ago we attended the Finding Rover San Diego Launch Party for the Finding Rover app and were blown away at how advanced (and awesome) technology has become for useful things like getting lost pets home. San Diego County Animal Services became the first shelter in the nation to begin using Finding Rover’s revolutionary facial recognition app to help reunite lost dogs with their families.

So what is Finding Rover?

The Finding Rover app uses facial recognition technology, a data base of pictures, and a powerful network of social media to locate lost pets and return them to their owners.

  1. Easily register your dogs online or on their app with a picture of your dog. Using revolutionary technology, they scan the unique features of your dog's face and keep it on file in case he or she ever gets lost. The app even comes with a handy bark button to help you snap an accurate picture of your dog.
  2. Should your dog get lost, you can easily search the database of found dogs online or via the app.
  3. If you find a stray dog, simply scan their picture and if the dog is registered with Finding Rover, the app will match your picture to the database of pictures and pull up their owners contact information.

The Finding Rover facial recognition technology is 98% accurate in matching lost and found dog posters and has already helped owners find their missing dogs in no time at all.

How awesome is that?! So what are you waiting for, get your pets protected… sign up here.

Learn What All Dog Owners Need To Know About Bloat

Bloat is the second leading cause of death for dogs. 50% of dogs who get bloat will die from it.

Often times we don’t think to prepare for deadly situations until after the tragedy has occurred. Bloat is one of those things that most dog owners don’t necessarily plan for but is deadly if not immediately addressed.

What is Bloat?

Bloat is a serious condition that affects dogs and can kill them if quick action is not taken. The medical term for bloat is gastric-dilatation-volvulus, meaning the stomach has filled with gas and fluid, and then twisted. As the stomach swells and rotates, it causes a decrease in the amount of blood going to the stomach and back to the heart, which can lead to shock, possible abnormal heart beats, and decreased oxygen to the stomach as well as other organs, which is why it is fatal if not treated immediately.

What are the Symptoms of Bloat in Dogs?

  • Swollen abdomen
  • Unsuccessful attempts to burp or throw-up
  • Gagging or heaving without anything coming up
  • Weakness
  • Excessive salivation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold body temperature
  • Pale gums
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Pacing
  • Restlessness
  • Collapse

A dog may exhibit one to a few of these symptoms so it’s important to know them all but not necessarily expect your dog to show them all at once.

Is My Dog at Risk?

Any dog can get bloat but it is more common in deep chested breeds including: Boxers, Dobermans, Great Danes, Grand Pyranees’, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Irish Setters, Labrador Retrievers, Newfoundlands, Afghans, Akitas, Alaskan Malamutes, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Bloodhounds, Rottweilers, Standard Poodles, St. Bernards and Weimaraners.

What Should I do If I Think My Dog Has Bloat?

If you think your dog has bloat the only thing to do is to get to your vet, or any vet, as quickly as possible. Bloat requires emergency action and usually surgery to untwist the stomach.

Know where the nearest 24-hour Emergency Vet is and what their contact number is at all times. This can be the difference between life and death for your dog.

How to prevent bloat:

  • If you feed kibble, feed smaller meals more frequently throughout the day rather than one or two large meals.
  • Do not feed from a raised bowl as this causes the dog to gulp in excess air.
  • Avoid the consumption of large volumes of water at once, especially right before or after exercise and exertion. Wait at least an hour after exercise to feed your dogs, and likewise let your dogs rest at least an hour after eating before exercise or strenuous play. After exercise limit the dogs intake of water, do not let them drink an entire bowl of water all at once.


Sources: 1, 2

Hot Asphalt Awareness

With the changing of seasons there are new dangers for dogs and pets, that we need to remember to take in to consideration. While you may love the heat, a dogs cooling mechanisms are very different from ours so the heat affects them in more drastic ways. One thing that seems common knowledge but often gets overlooked is how hot the ground can become when the sun is out. We have shoes, dogs don't so their paw pads will burn before we even realize how hot it is for them.

A simple rule to remember is if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for them. If you wouldn’t walk barefoot on the asphalt, sidewalk, and even the sand or dirt, your dogs shouldn’t either. Instead of slipping off your shoes, a good way to test the temperature is to press the back of your hand to the ground: if it’s too hot to hold your hand against, it’s definitely too hot for your dog’s paws.

Hot surfaces to be aware of:

Asphalt, cement, sand, dirt, boat docks, anything metal, the bed of a truck, and even leather seats in your car. 

Ways to beat the heat

Walk your dogs early in the morning before the sun has had the chance to heat the ground all day. 

A small wading pool filled with just several inches of water provides hours of summer fun for canine friends. 

Bring a towel for them to stand on when grass is not available. 

 Keep those pups cool and walk safely!



Everyday Heros


Last week Southern California experienced over three dozen wildfires. Fueled by a heatwave and crazy winds the fires spread quickly, tearing through San Diego and displacing over one hundred thousand people and their pets in mandatory evacuations. While there are people doing good every day, it is in times of great natural disaster that you truly see the humanity of strangers coming together to help one another and last week was no exception. 

There are so many to thank for their selfless actions during the San Diego fires, first and foremost the fearless firefighters who risked their lives to save others. Anxious families waited home while their loved ones went off to fight the blaze, and we want to extend a special thank you to these brave men and women, our firefighters! The winds made these blazing fires even more dangerous yet they fought day after day to put them out.

The San Diego Humane Society is always working to protect animals and during last weeks events they worked even harder to ensure all pets were cared for whether with their families or not. By providing animal evacuation and support efforts the SDHS not only housed displaced animals while their families were evacuated, but they went back into evacuated areas to search for animals in danger who may have been left behind and kept the community informed via social media throughout the entire ordeal. For those who were not able to evacuate their animals themselves, the Animal Rescue Reserve provided the assistance needed to get all animals to safety. They also offered supplies, beds, and food for those who had been evacuated.

And finally a heartfelt thank you to the first responders, volunteers, helpers, and supporters who selflessly contributed during the fires. The community really stepped up  to take care of each other and because of that thousands of animals are safe and happy today.

 Humane Law Enforcement team: Officer Beeson & Officer Seuferer check evacuated homes for animals in San Marcos. 

Officer Austin Seuferer calls in a horse trailer for response. A horse, goat, & sheep needed emergency evacuation.

Pet owners had the option of sleeping alongside their pets so they aren't separated while at evacuation centers.