Halloween for Pets

pet1When it comes to pet health there are two concerns during the month of October, Thanksgiving and Halloween. Each holiday comes with its own set of dangers for our furry companions.

Thanksgiving’s Achilles heel is the turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Not only do people tend to over indulge in all the food, given the chance our pets will too. Ingestion of a fatty meal can cause inflammation of the pancreas called pancreatitis. Not only does the pancreas produce insulin, it is also responsible for digestive enzymes that become activated in the small intestine to help digest food. When the pancreas becomes inflamed the digestive enzymes are activated prematurely causing digestion of the pancreas which is extremely painful. Clinical signs may not show up for a few days such as lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea
and sore abdomen. To confirm a diagnosis of pancreatitis, tests such as blood work and abdominal imaging arepet2 needed. Pancreatitis can cause severe illness and even death if not treated. If you manage to make it through turkey dinner without any hitches your pets are not in the clear just yet. Leftover food can make the garbage an appealing buffet for pets if left unattended or not securely put away. The turkey carcass can be even more dangerous to your pet as bones can splinter or get lodged in the gastrointestinal track. If you are travelling over the Thanksgiving holiday, remember to pack any necessary medications for your pet and be sure to have proper identification on their collar should they become separated from you.

Halloween already has a bad reputation because of the amount of accessible chocolate, causing toxicology calls to increase by 12% making it the busiest time of year for the Pet Poison call center. Chocolate even in small amounts can lead to seizures and death. The darker the chocolate the greater the danger to the pet as they cannot metabolize it they way humans can. A common artificial sweetener called Xylitol can
lead to liver failure in dogs if ingested (Xylitol can be found in most chewing gums). The packaging can be just as harmful to your pet as its contents. Foil and cellophane wrappers can cause bowel obstructions.

Dressing up in costumes is not just for the kids either, it is becoming more common to see pets dressed up in Halloween attire as well. When it comes to costumes keep it simple and never leave your pet unattended while dressed up as costumes can shift, impairing vision, movement or even breathing. Festive bandanas (attached with Velcro) work great for keeping your pet festive and comfortable. Not only is Halloween a busy time of year for toxicologists but it is also the second most common holiday for pets to become lost. With lots of people coming and going (as well as spooky noises!) pet anxiety can rise and cause them to try and get away from all the commotion which sometimes means they bolt out the door unexpectedly when opened for a guest. Having pets on a leash or confined to a safe area of the house can help make Halloween stress free for both you and your pets.

Health and Wellness

manIt’s hard to believe that another summer has come and gone and September has come to an end too.
Before I delve into October’s topic I want to remind everyone that Flu shots will be available soon. Obtaining your shot at the pharmacy is a simple and convenient option for Ontarians 5 years of age and older. The Universal Influenza Program is a government funded program allowing you to get a flu shot at your local pharmacy with no cost to yourself. Our pharmacy will be offering several clinics during the month of November and you are encouraged to sign up for a time convenient for you. We also take walk-ins any day but there may be a slightly longer wait time.
Throughout my day in the pharmacy I answer many questions. Often these questions are about specific medications, both prescription and non-prescription or OTC (Over the counter). I also field queries about pharmacy procedures, drug plans, diseases and medication administration. Sometimes potential problems are revealed in discussion with patients or their caregivers. Over the next several months I will be discussing some of these.
“My mom is having trouble swallowing.”
This simple statement prompts me to ask about “mom’s” medication. When swallowing is an issue it is important to ask your pharmacist whether it is ok to crush, chew or break up your medication. It is not always appropriate to tamper with medications when swallowing is a problem. For example, controlled release, extended release, sustained release and timed-release products are formulated so that the medication is released slowly over time. When you crush these medications all of the medication is released quickly which can be dangerous. Enteric-coated medications are made so that they don’t dissolve in the acid environment of the stomach but wait to dissolve until they reach the intestines. This is often used to protect the stomach from the medication. Crushing enteric coated tablets will negate this protective effect.
Sometimes there are alternative dosage forms available such as liquids or chewable or quick-dissolve tablets which could be used instead of tampering with tablets.
Sometimes there are capsules available that can be opened and sprinkled on foods such as applesauce or pudding.
Some extended release medications are scored and can be broken in half.
Sometimes there are alternative dosage forms such as patches or suppositories that could be prescribed.
Sometimes a compounding pharmacy can prepare an alternative dosage form for you.
Sometimes it is necessary to find an alternative drug that does the same job but can be crushed.
Whether you have a temporary problem such as a severe sore throat or chronic swallowing issue, it is important to ask before you crush, chew or otherwise alter a dosage form.

Nancy Wiechenthal is a pharmacist and co-owner of North Hastings Family Pharmacy in Bancroft, Ontario. Her opinions expressed in the Apsley Backroads are published for educational and informational purposes only, and are not intended as a diagnosis, treatment or as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Living Well

By Karen Kleinwort

Happy Thanksgiving!
This is the season of gratitude – finding a reason to be grateful is as close as feeling your heart beat.
The attitude of gratitude is not something we simply focus on during the holiday season; it is an attitude for us to carry throughout the year. Shifting our focus to become grateful for the simple things in life can allow us to find gratitude during our darkest days.
In the past months we’ve touched on how to raise our emotions, living in the present, and getting ourselves out of negative thinking patterns. One of the themes in any Living Healthy approach is recognizing what is right in front of us, acknowledging it and moving forward. The energy of gratitude is what underlies everything we think, feel and do. If we are able to start with gratitude, then the decisions and actions are much easier to make and take.
An example is walking out your front door on the way to work and seeing your car has a flat tire. In the present moment you may not feel very grateful as anger, frustration and annoyance are very present in your thinking. Your first goal is to feel those emotions, allow them to be acknowledged. Once you do this, then you have the freedom to feel grateful.
Feeling grateful for what you might ask? Well, grateful you actually noticed the flat in the first place. What do you think would have happened had you not noticed it? You wouldn’t be still at home where you could quickly change into clean clothes; or possibly have the help of one of your family members; or have access to the right tools to complete the tire change quicker than if you were on the side of the road. When you are able to feel your initial emotion first and quickly recognize one small element you can be grateful for; then your experience will be something completely different than had you stayed in your feelings of anger or annoyance. Trust that no matter the situation, there will always something for you to be grateful for. Your job is to be open to seeing and feeling it.
This month as we celebrate Thanksgiving, give yourself the opportunity to establish a new habit. I challenge you to do the following: before putting your feet on the floor in the morning – place your hand over your heart, feel it beating, smile (yes, really put a smile on your face) and allow the feeling of gratitude to flow through you.
You’ll be amazed at how your life will change with this powerful new habit and we’d love to hear about those changes; please share them with us on our FaceBook page (www.FaceBook.com/LivingHealthyLivingFit).
Till next time, be sure to be Living Healthy, living presently and loving without limits.

Best For Bees

Ahhh, here comes Fall with its brilliant flaming colours, brisk nights, and the pressing need for us to remove dead leaves and branches before the harsh, cold winter sets upon us.

However, as you stomp through your yard like King Kong completing some of your simple Fall tasks, you are unwittingly destroying baby bees and their homes.

But really, what does it matter if we kill a few insects? How could that possibly hurt us??

Did you know that BEES ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR AT LEAST 1 IN 3 BITES WE EAT! Killing them is harming ourselves. Taking it easy in the yard this Fall may actually mean more food next summer.

While honeybees live in hives of 40,000-60,000 bees and overwinter in a hollow cavity (eating their yummy honey), most bees are solitary and lay their eggs underground or in the hollows of branches. Even the lovable bumblebee queen will burrow into the ground in the Fall and emerge next spring to start an entirely new colony.

Those bees will fly far (some up to 5 km away) to pollinate flowers and food, ensuring the survival of our species.

Here are a few tips you can use to help the bees:

1. WAIT TO TRIM UNTIL SPRING: Hollow stems, such as raspberry canes, are homes to solitary baby bees. Leaving those stems in place until the weather warms up next Spring will allow them to grow into adult bees. If you need to remove the stems, piling them is an alternative. Most bees will have emerged by mid May.

2. RAKE GENTLY OR NOT AT ALL: The queen bumblebee will dig a tunnel to hibernate through winter, anywhere from 2-15 cm deep in the ground. When raking, it is easy to disturb these tunnels or the queen herself. Leaving a layer of leaves above provides some insulation and will provide great nutrients for your soil. However, if you feel the need to rake, please do so gently as to not disturb the hibernating queen bumblebees.

3. ROTOTILLING-NO THANKS: Many solitary bees dig tunnels in the earth and put their babies there to overwinter. They will never see their babies as the adults die each year, but they have ensured their survival by putting them into little “rooms” in the earth with enough food to hold them over until Spring. Rototilling or shoveling the dirt will destroy these babies and their homes. Again, wait for warmer temperatures before doing this chore.

4. MAKE BEE HOMES: You can create bee houses or buy them. Different types of bees, such as leaf cutters and mason bees will appreciate their new home and you’ll be able to enjoy watching the bees!

Take this Fall to go for beautiful hikes, enjoy yourself by the fire and sip on a hot drink engaging with family and friends. Relax, it’s good for you…..and the bees!


Be Safe on Halloween

trick2October is one of my favourite months! The colours start to change, the turkey dinners get prepared, and the young and young at heart get dressed up and explore their community trick or treating. The excitement of Halloween truly adds to the energy of this season, and comes with its own safety concerns. I know that much of this is common knowledge but I have found that a reminder is the best remedy for complacency.
The time to start thinking about a safe Halloween is now. In preparation for the night consider how well your child will be seen in the dark and in the throng of children darting house to house. As cool as that full Frankenstein mask is consider how much it restricts the vision of the user, many masks are difficult to see through. The other side of this equation is the responsibility of drivers to exercise increased caution and diligence on Halloween night.
The old adage that there is safety in numbers is particularly true during Halloween. Large groups trick or treating together increases the ability of its members to keep an eye on each other, and the group’s surroundings. I always found that a larger group added to the fun of the night and allowed me to relax a little.
The homemade treats of my childhood seem to be getting less frequent, which is a totally other topic all on its own. This does not mean that the packaged snacks in your treat bag are all safe. Please take a moment to inspect the fruits of your night prior to eating them, and discard anything which is suspicious.
With an ounce of prevention I am certain we can make this Halloween safe and enjoyable for everyone.

The Naked Truth of Energy Saving

Most, if not all of us are interested in saving energy and the environment . Some have the means and are willing to spend great amounts of money. Others try their best and buy one, two or more energy savings light bulb for the house. The naked truth of energy savings is that being conscious of energy and how you are using will save you more money , energy and environment then that light bulb or that big system. Yes, be conscious of how many times you have opened your fridge door, how long the coffee percolator and that light in basement been on. Here is a few tricks of the trade . After a meal keep things beside the fridge until you are ready to go in and then do one full major door opening . For that coffee percolator, go out and buy a ten dollar thermos bottle . After the coffee is percolated put in the thermos, not only will you save money but will have great tasting coffee until the last drop if not until next day!

The dreaded light bulb…what is the naked truth on energy savings on this one? There are now three styles of light bulbs one can buy. The old fashion incandescent, the fluorescent and new the LED lights (light emitting diode). Here is my opinion and only my opinion but based on some sort of knowledge that I have due to my field in the trades. Yes, I will admit that a fluorescent light saves energy but at what cost in the long run. If you analyse the naked truth you will find that it take twice if not more energy to produce a fluorescent light as well as an LED light then an incandescent .light
Then there is the question, what is the cost of disposing them in environmentally friendly way? Have you ever opened a fluorescent light bulb, I did and the amount of electronics behind the bulb could almost send a man to the moon. The incandescent two filaments and a bit of argon gas. Trade secret; so what if that incandescent light bulb takes sixty watts more then a fluorescent, it all comes down to common sense.
If that light bulb is in the house and extra wattage is being produced and heat then it is helping you heat your home . My father use to use one hundred watt bulbs lights to keep our doggy house warm when we first came to Canada. It was safe and one hundred percent efficient. I would have preferred my doggy friend inside. By contrast an oil furnace is only eighty percent efficient, and a propane furnace is ninety six percent . Common sense prevails, I am not going to use incandescent lights outdoors unless I want to keep flies warm. I will be buying the fluorescent or LED ones.
Oh yes, what about summer you ask? Is it not a waste, who needs more heat.
Well my answer is you can put dimmers in incandescent lights and not on fluorescent. As the evening approaches, light a candle or two or three or more . Turn every evening into a romantic one. I laugh at this because back home my grandfather had no electricity and had thirteen kids, I wonder how and why.
Go out, take the opportunity to buy incandescent lights at bargain prices before the government outlaws them. You will be saving money , energy and the environment more then some one who wants to install a thousand dollar system so he can save pennies . This is my opinion and I will stick to it.

By Tom Foster – 1952

From high up on a rangers tower
I can see so far and wide,
Hills and dales and valleys
Spread out over the country side.

I see the hill and the farmland,
The forest, bright and green
The lakes I see in the distance
Have a silvery glitering sheen.

Today the wind is blowing
The clouds drift along inthe blue
Casting their shadows so gently
On the tree tops far below.

Or maybe it is calm and quiet
The clouds hang still in the sky
I see swallows soaring away
Up there in the sky.

Then comes the day of a thunderstorm
The clouds so dark and blue
The wind sure is howling
The tower rocked to and fro.

I saw a tree hit with lightening
The slivers flew far and wide
The thunder nearly deafened me
I was scared out of my hide.

The lightening white and blinding
The rain comes pouring down
Its then that I don’t like being up here
I’d rather be on the ground.

Next day it is bright and sunny
The ducks paddle around in the bay
I see the deer on the lake shore
Where they come to drink everyday.

They say up here I am useful
I guess maybe that is so
We are the eyes of the ranger boys
We tell them where to go.

But I’ll tell you folks it is lonely
Up here all by myself
I feel just like a story book
Tucked away in a library shelf.

I climb up here in the mornings
Report to Apsley by phone
Then sit around alday looking for fires
Until it’s time to go home.

Submitted by Noreen Woods.  She mentioned that her dad used to sing this but she can’t remember the tune he sang it to.

Kawartha Night Skies-

A Visit to an Asteroid

You may have heard in September about the NASA OSIRIS-REx mission to an asteroid called Bennu.

Asteroids are rocky, metallic objects in orbit around the Sun in the area between Mars and Jupiter called the asteroid belt. Some asteroids are quite large: Ceres, the largest, is about 1,000 km in diameter; others are the size of pebbles. Asteroid Bennu is under 500 m in diameter. For comparison purposes, Toronto’s CN Tower is about 550 m tall.

The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on its way to Bennu will arrive in 2018. The spacecraft will map the surface, take a sample, and return the sample to Earth in 2023. One of the instruments onboard is a Canadian laser, which will help map the asteroid’s surface and determine the height of the spacecraft above the asteroid as it slowly descends to grab a few grams of material to return to Earth.

asteroilScientists are very interested in learning about asteroids because they are remnants of the formation of the solar system. Learning about Bennu may provide some key information about what space was like 4.5 billion years ago. A more recent theory suggests that asteroid collisions with Earth may have been responsible for the abundance of water on our planet, so the sample may shed some light on that.

There are tens of thousand of asteroids in the asteroid belt. Scientists think that they are just a bunch of debris caught there in orbit around the Sun. Some scientists used to think they were the remnants of a larger body destroyed by Jupiter’s gravity or debris prevented from forming into a larger body.

Randy Attwood and Betty Robinson own a cottage in the Kawarthas and have been looking at the night sky all their lives.


by Martin Parker

The sunsets are arriving earlier each evening. The leaves of the maples, birches, and oaks are starting to change into their fall colours and the activity on the lakes and backroads of the Apsley area is decreasing weekly. With the end of the summer season, cottages are being winterized and the human summer residents are returning to their southern urban areas to wait out the winter months in anticipation of another summer at the lake.

Cottagers are not the only animals to depart the Apsley area in the fall. The migrating birds, which arrived in the April to early June period are also departing to their wintering areas. With the end of the nesting season the dawn chorus of bird songs has slowly declined until it is non existent. The woods have become quiet and even the loons are not as vocal.

Some of the first birds to depart the region are the warblers, with some such as the Mourning Warbler departed by the end of August. The Mourning Warbler is a woodland nester, heard much more than seen as it calls from the shade. Its wintering area is from southern Nicaragua to northern South America. Another deep woods caller, the Ovenbird, with its distinctive ‘teacher=teacher=teacher’ call departed during the month of September for the southern states, West Indies and northern South America.

The swallows of the summer, the Barn, Rough-winged and Bank started departing the region in late August and by early September are mostly gone. They are heading to wintering areas in the tropics where there is an abundance of insects to feed upon. The Tree Swallow departs later with most of the individuals departed by the end of September. Recently migration studies of Tree Swallows has revealed that Tree Swallows from Nova Scotia, Ontario and Saskatchewan gather over the rice fields in Louisiana in early December before dispersing to the Bahamas, Florida and the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.

While most of the species of birds are departing from the region, some species which breed further north are arriving for a short stay in the region. The White-throated Sparrow is a common summer resident of the Apsley area but in October small flocks can be encountered as the birds which have breed in the northern boreal forest are passing through. They are much more abundant and easier to find. For those with feeders they will actively feed on the scattered seed. If one is lucky one may stay for the winter.

The Common Redpoll, a species which breeds in the tundra regions of the country will start arriving in late October, depending on the status of the birch catkins. The Common Redpolls feed on the seeds of the birch contained in the catkins. Their magnitude and extent of their fall southern migration is very dependent on the availability of seeds. They are also feeder visitors. As the fall progresses other winter finches will start to show up if there is an abundance of winter foods.

The Blue Jay is a bird normally considered a year round resident of the Apsley area yet its numbers can vary greatly from one winter to another. The abundance or absence of acorns is a major factor. The southern migration is much less in years when there is an abundance of acorns. They gather and store the acorns for use in the winter months by the hoarding jay and other life.

With the end of summer the cycle of life continues with the departure of the summer residents and wildlife preparing for the upcoming winter months. In another seven months the reverse happens and the summer residents start returning to the Backroad of Apsley.

Tour Local Studios

For anyone fortunate enough to go on a holiday, whether it is to a distant land or a day outing away from home, the experience is refreshing. To be able to see a different geography, perhaps some nature and culture or even a little history is not only stimulating, it also gives us a nice break from the everyday. It’s wonderful to bring something back from your travels too. Later on when we see the item we brought back, it will invoke a good memory and it becomes special. That something will have significance and a story that you will cherish. It will be ‘one of a kind’. That’s what I love about studio tours, they have a story and you can bring back a piece of the story.

tour2There are many studio tours all over Canada and what will make each one unique are its artists, what they create and the region. In the Apsley area we are privileged to have an exceptionally diverse tour. The topography of the land is astounding. Through the scenic drive you will see rocky terrain, beautiful crisp, blue waters, magnificent autumn foliage and experience the tranquillity of country life. Along the way you are welcomed into varied studios, homes and workshops. Each one is distinctive to the artist that lives and works there. Some of the artists have guest artists displaying their works as well, adding to the interest. It is a nice break to get out of your vehicle, wander about and view the wide-ranging talents of the people on the tour. Whether you quietly observe or ask lots of questions, everyone is welcome. There is so much to see on this tour! There are paintings ranging from realistic to surreal to abstract; jewellery in all forms of gracefulness; metal work, wood carvings and stone sculpture to adorn your special spot; artisan wool to wear and create with; glass art that is both beautiful and functional; striking and usable pottery; stained glass in stunning colours; fabric art to beautify your home; and wearable nuno felting to adorn yourself. The array of art is incredible!

The Apsley Autumn Studio Tour is held this year on the weekend of Sept. 17 & 18. You may begin and end the tour anywhere you wish along the route, taking in a selection of scenic drives along the way. Each studio on the tour will be open between 10am and 5pm both days, welcoming all who come. Take a little holiday from the everyday and indulge yourself in the scenery, the culture and essence of this wonderful outing. It will not only be inspiring, but you may also bring something back from your travels that you will cherish for years to come; a one of a kind piece that will summon delightful memories or tell a special story.

For more information on the Apsley Autumn Studio Tour and the participating artists please visit: http://www.apsleystudiotour.com
On Sep 17 & 18, watch for the black and white Studio Tour signs that will guide you to a warm welcome at our studios.