Sabal Chase Animal Clinic

Sabal Chase Animal Clinic
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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fact or Fiction? Only criminals own pit bulls.

October is Pit Bull Awareness Month!

Here is our last attempt to separate fact from fiction.
Fact or Fiction? Only criminals, drug dealers, gun nuts, and thugs own pit bulls. (Yes, I actually had a client tell me this!)

We thought we would let our readers decide for themselves.  Check out the list of nefarious characters below for a list of pit bill owners, both past and present.

Helen Keller, Thomas Edison, General George Patton, The Little Rascals Gang (Petey was a pit bull!), Jessica Biel, Alicia Silverstone, Fiona Apple, Pink, Linda Blair, Dr. Phil, Ken Howard (his pit bull saved his life), Teddy Roosevelt, NPR radio personality Ira Glass, Rachel Ray, Jamie Foxx, Jon Stewart, Cesar Milan, Woodrow Wilson, John Steinbeck, Fred Astaire, Humphrey Bogart, Mel Brooks, Mary Tyler Moore, Madonna, Michael J. Fox, Brad Pitt, Bernadette Peters, Usher, Eliza Dushku, Anthony Robbins, Ashley Olsen, Orlando Bloom, Serena Williams, Giselle Bunschen, James Gandolfini, James Caan, Vin Deisel, Jack Dempsey, Barbara Eden,Frankie Muniz, Judd Nelson, Rosie Perez, Sinbad, Sir Walter Scott, David Spade, Rick Springfield, Edward Norton, Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory) Wil Wheaton (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games), Steve Irwin the Croc Hunter, Shaquille O' Neal, Jimmy Carter, Tom Brady, Jennifer Aniston....

Did you find any criminals in that list?  Neither did we....

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fact or Fiction? Pit Bull bites are reported more than those by other breeds.

October is Pit Bull Awareness Month!
Let's continue to get to know these dogs by separating fact from fiction!
Fact or fiction? Pit Bull bites and attacks are reported more than those carried out by other breeds of dogs.

Fact. Pit bull attacks receive 85% more coverage than attacks by any other breed of dog. A 2008 report by the National Canine Research Council  compared the types of media coverage given for dog attacks that occurred during a four day period in 2007.  The results are as follows:

Day 1: A Labrador Retriever attacked an elderly man, sending him to the hospital.  One article appeared in the local paper.

Day 2: A mixed breed dog attacked and killed a child.  The local newspaper ran two stories.

Day 3: A mixed breed dog attacked a child, sending the child to the hospital.  One article ran in the local paper.

Day 4: Two tethered pit bulls broke from their chains and attacked a woman trying to protect her small dog.  The woman was hospitalized. Her dog was uninjured.  The attack was reported in more than 230 articles in national and international newspapers, as well as on all of the major cable news networks.

For reasons unknown, our media machine feels pit bull attacks are great stories.  In a survey of people who described themselves as having negative opinions of pit bulls, 60% of the respondents cited media coverage as their sole source of information about the breed.  This type of sensationalist reporting frightens the public, and influences the call for policies and laws that take the lives of thousands of innocent dogs.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Ask the Veterinarian!

Ask the Veterinarian! 

Check out Dr. Kupkee's new weekly segment at Local 10
 as he answers your questions on pet health. 

See this week's article on Senior Pets at

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fact or Fiction? Pit Bulls are inherently dangerous?

October is Pit Bull Awareness Month!

Fact or Fiction? Pit bulls are inherently dangerous and have naturally aggressive temperaments.

Fiction.  Aggression in dogs is caused by many factors, including, but not limited to, inbreeding, lack of socialization, poor health, poor diet and nutrition, and abusive handling. A recent study of fatal dog attacks on humans found that 90% of the dogs that attacked were intact males, 36% of attacks occurred near a litter of puppies, and 19% of dogs that attacked were tethered or chained.

The American Temperament Test Society, as of February 2012 found American Pit Bull Terriers had a passing score of 86.8%.  This is a VERY challenging test, and 839 pit bulls were tested.  By comparison, they scored higher than Collies (80.1%), Golden Retrievers (85.2%), Malteses (81.3%), and Schnauzers (78.9%).  They scored exactly the same as Standard Poodles.

When Michael Vick's 51 pit bulls were seized from his illegal dogfighting operation, only one dog was euthanized after being deemed to dangerous to be re-introduced into society.  A cream colored pit bull named Hector currently works as a service dog. These dogs were all subjected to unthinkable cruelty, in addition to the factors mentioned above.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fact or Fiction? Pit Bulls Have Locking Jaws?

October is Pit Bull Awareness Month!
Fact or Fiction? Pit bulls have locking jaws, so once they bite down, they don't let go.

Fiction.  A study out of Presbyterian College by Jesse M. Bridgers III titled "Mechanical Advantage in the Pit Bull Jaw" examined 49 skulls of varying breeds of domestic dogs, three of which were from pit bulls.  Conclusion: "After graphing and analyzing the derived ratios, I have found no evidence of mechanical advantage in the pit bull compared to other domestic breeds of dogs".  A 2003 study by T.E. Houston titled "Bite Force and Bite Pressure Comparisons of Humans and Dogs found " There is nothing out of the ordinary in the jaw structure or anatomy of the bull breeds".  Dr. I.Lehr Brisbin of the University of Georgia has stated under oath "There is absolutely no evidence for the existence of any kind of 'locking mechanism' unique to the structure of the jaw and/or teeth of the American Pit Bull Terrier".  The Houston study also disproved the myth that pit bulls have 1600 pounds per square inch of bite pressure.  Both Rottweilers and German Shepherds were shown to bite with greater force that pit bulls.

Nearly all dogs of all breeds are capable of biting and holding on with surprising tenacity.  For a free demonstration, stop by the clinic and try to extract a Greenie from Grendel's mouth.  You will tire long before our geriatric dachshund does!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pit Bull Awareness Month

October is Pit Bull Awareness Month!

We've all heard the news reports and urban legends that surround this misunderstood breed. So what exactly IS a pit bull anyway?

Used correctly, the term "pit bull" refers to the American Pit Bull Terrier, however the term is also used to describe Staffordshire Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers. Additionally, many other breeds that are not pit bulls are often referred to as "pit bull type dogs"! If you're thinking this sounds like a recipe for confusion, you're right.  In a recent study by the Matrix Canine Research Council, 600 people, 100 of whom were canine professionals, were asked to identify pit bulls.  Thirty percent of the participants misidentified boxers, 45% mis-identified mastiffs, and 44% misidentified Presa Canarios.  Only 2% of the survey's  participants correctly identified pit bulls without first mistaking them for another breed!

Another peer reviewed study published this year by the American Journal of Sociological Research asked veterinarians, shelter workers, and other animal professionals to identify dog breeds based on video images.  Our scores were similarly appalling.  If animal care professionals find pit bull identification this difficult, what hope is there for the reporters, journalists, and eyewitnesses who provide the general public with information about this breed?

This month, our blog will discuss facts vs. fiction as we get to know the pit bull.  But before you get to know them, first try to FIND them!  Take this test to see if you can correctly identify a pit bull.  If you tell us YOUR score, we'll tell you ours. :-)