Your Pets Count

pet information that caters to your special friend


January 2018
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Ten Things To Consider Before Adopting a Macaw

Monday, January 22, 2018
posted by Jim Murphy

My partner works in a hotel where there is a Macaw in the lobby. Over the past two years the bird has gotten very attached to him and he has also gotten attached to “Peanut “the bird. We were talking about someday adopting our own Macaw and it’s still on the table, sort of.

First I want to thank for providing the following very helpful information on the Macaw. Thank you again for this helpful information!

There are things that we have t consider before bringing a Macaw or any Parrot into your life.

  1. Size – Macaws are large birds and they need a lot of space. They range in height from 28 to 36-plus inches, with wingspans up to 48 inches. The minimum cage size for a larger macaw is 30 inches deep by 48 inches wide by 60- to 72-inches high. Larger is always  betters. Apartments are not good places for Macaws. It’s good to have a separate bedroom just for your bird.
  2. Noise – Since they are from the rain forest and need to communicate, they are quite noisy and can screech very loudly especially of they feel they are being ignored or alarmed. Just like people, the need to “talk” varies from bird to bird.
  3. Diet – Macaws are fed a diet of fruits, nuts and vegetables. It takes time each day to prepare their meals and chop up all of these foods. Birds are much more sensitive to pesticides than humans. It’s a good idea to by organic pesticide products.
  4. Veterinary Care -Not all vets are familiar with birds. It’s important that you find an avian veterinarian but they could be many miles away.
  5. Expense – The cost of owning a Macaw is expensive. Your must also consider the cost of the cage and food. Especially if it’s organic. Macaws also need toys to keep them occupied. Their big beaks could keep you replacing their toys frequently.
  6. Longevity –  This is one of the things my partner and I struggle with. I am in my 60’s and my partner is in his late 50’s. Macaw’s live between 50 and 70 years so they will outlive us. A new caretaker should be agreed upon and documented in the will. A few owners I know have set up trust funds or bought life insurance policies with the bird as the beneficiary, to help the new caretakers with costs.
  7. Social considerations –  Macaws are social creatures. In your home, they will want to be with the family all the time.
  8. Intelligent – Macaws are very intelligent, they are smart, learn fast and learn to mimic. Being that they are social, they like to interact with other people. If they get lonely, they can get destructive or pluck their feathers which could be very dangerous. You need to interact with them frequently. They should not be left alone for many hours at a time.
  9. Household Hazards – On the simplest level, Macaws are lungs with feathers. Air quality is a big consideration when bringing them into the home. Many common things cannot be used in a house with macaws: candles; most cleaning and disinfecting products due to their odors; anything treated with PTFE (e.g. Teflon coated pans); stain resistant carpet; cigarettes; and air fresheners. This list is not even complete. Check with your vet for a complete list.
  10. Allergies – Bird dander and dust mites may be bothersome to some members of your household.

So before making a decision to adopt a Macaw, consider all of these things. Macaw’s are wonderful birds to own but you should be aware of these facts before making your final decision.

Remember, your pets count!

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Torn Cat Claws

Sunday, January 21, 2018
posted by Jim Murphy

It really isn’t that uncommon for a cat to tear a claw.  Sometimes their nails get caught especially if they are allowed to grow too long. Both of my cats have gotten claws stuck in something and when I hear a distressful “meow,” I get up and go rescue her. I carefully remove there  stuck claw and they are “happy” again.  If they tear the claw, a painful injury can result. If you notice your cat limping or bleeding, check her, she may have torn a claw.  If the claw is torn down close to the pad or your cat is bleeding, it’s probably a good idea to call your veterinarian. Even if your cat does not seem to be suffering, your veterinarian may suggest coming in for an office visit.  You don’t want to risk the toenail getting infected.  At an appointment, you veterinarian will likely examine the paw, remove the torn nail, bandage the cats foot and then prescribe a pet medication such as an anti-biotic.

Remember, your pets count!

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What to Do For Cat Hip and Joint Problems

Saturday, January 20, 2018
posted by Jim Murphy

As cats age, their joints and hips get stiff just as ours do. If your cat was once able to jump up on your couch but is no longer able to, this may be the cause. At 18 1/2, my cat Molly has a host of medical problems, the medicine in my cabinet just keeps growing. Molly is stiff and sometimes has difficulty with her hind legs. Because of her kidney disease, she has lost muscle mass affecting her front and back legs. I have decided to add Glucosamine and Chondroitin to her medication list. I give .50ml per day and mix it in with her food.

My cat Molly has lost a lot of weight and is  down to about 61/2 pounds so I give her half the dosage. If your cat is 10 or more pounds, 1 ml per day of liquid Glucosamine and Chondroitin  added to her diet may help.

We do whatever is necessary to help our little friends!

Remember, your pets count!

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Eye Issues with Our Best Friends

Thursday, January 18, 2018
posted by Jim Murphy

Do you suspect that your dog may be suffering from an eye problem? Here are some symptoms to look for.

  • Is he tending to avoid light?
  • Are his eyes bulging?
  • Are his eyes closed or filled with pus?
  • Are they cloudy?
  • Are they red?
  • Is your dog trying to rub them?
  • Is his putting his face to the ground and trying to rub?

If you notice any of these symptoms, take your dog to the vet for an examination. It could be anything from an allergy to an infection. If it is an infection, pet medication will be prescribed which will help cure the problem. If your dog is suffering from a variety of other problems, your vet can advise you of some over the counter products to consider. Always consult with your vet before giving your dog any medication.

Remember, your pets count!

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Liver Diseases is a Common Ailment

Wednesday, January 17, 2018
posted by Jim Murphy

A healthy liver is essential for a healthy pet. Your pet’s liver is vital to maintain his metabolism and to get rid of toxins. Veterinarians find one of the most common pet ailments is liver disease and the symptoms can be vague or hard to spot.  Most often, liver problems make a pet lethargic and sluggish. Some people say that their cat or dog just isn’t acting like himself.  Pets with liver disease will also eat less than usual and his eyes and mouth may develop a yellowish tint.  If your pet has any of these symptoms, take him to a veterinarian.  Liver disease can occur at any age but there are good treatments and pet medication available. The sooner it’s diagnosed, the better.

Remember, your pets count!

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My 18 1/2 year old cat suddenly decided that she no longer wants to use the litter box to pee. She decided that she would rather pee on the rug in the bathroom. This was unacceptable and resulted in bad smells and washing the rugs everyday. I didn’t know what to do. One day I was in supermarket and saw puppy wee wee pads on the shelf. I decided that what can I lose if I tried using them with Molly? I took up the bathroom rug and replaced it with a wee wee pad. Voila! Molly peed on the pad almost immediately!  Since Molly has kidney disease and pees quite often, I replace the pads about three or four times a day. No mess, no smell.

Not the best situation but it’s certainly better that Molly peeing on the rug and smelling up the bathroom! If your cat decides that she doesn’t want to use the litter box, don’t scold her or punish her. Simply place a wee wee pad in the spot that she is peeing.

Remember, your pets count!

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Can You Train A Small Dog To Use A Litter Box?

Monday, January 15, 2018
posted by Jim Murphy

It is actually possible to train a small dog to use a litter box. The advantages of this is that it could eliminate bathroom accidents. It’s great for people living in apartments. Your dog would be able to go at any time during the day. It also reduces the number of trips outside. This really helps in bad weather when lots of dogs don’t like going outside. Small dogs have small bladders and having a litter box will make it easier to have them go more frequently.

First of all, you’ll need a litter box especially made for dogs. There are some companies like Purina who make them. They’re also available through most pet retailers. You can use a large cat litter box. Put the box on a surface that’s easy to clean like a tiled floor.

To train your dog, you can shift your puppy from using newspaper to the litter box. Instead of taking your dog from the crate to the yard, take him from the crate to the litter box. Always reward him with a dog treat when appropriate. Correct him if he goes somewhere else and praise him when he is successful.

Remember, your pets count!

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Update on Molly

Saturday, January 13, 2018
posted by Jim Murphy

Molly continues to battle advanced kidney, thyroid and intestinal disease. Over the past couple of weeks her morning vomiting has increased. I’ve added Pepcid to her medicine regime. I give her a quarter to a half pill per day but so far, it doesn’t seem to be helping her much.

She is drinking lots of water which is keeping her hydrated but getting her to eat and taking the medicine that I mix in her food is becoming more and more difficult. Food that she likes on day, she turns her nose to the next. I am spending a lot of time selecting food that I think she’ll eat including some table food like turkey or chicken.

Molly is still social and lies on my lap for hours. She likes her quiet times but still spends time with us in the living room. Clearly the disease is slowly getting worse and my stress levels are slowly rising. We are still taking one day at a time but I’m dreading the day that there is no more time left.

Remember, your pets count!

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A Commuter Dog!

Friday, January 12, 2018
posted by Jim Murphy

Our pets are truly amazing. This is a story recently published in USA Today. You may have read it already but if not, enjoy! As I always say “Ya gotta do whatcha gotta do.”

SEATTLE (AP) — A black Labrador named Eclipse just wants to get to the dog park.

So if her owner takes too long finishing his cigarette, and their bus arrives, she climbs aboard solo and rides to her stop — to the delight of fellow Seattle bus passengers.

KOMO-TV reports that local radio host Miles Montgomery was amazed to see the pooch get off the bus, without an owner, at a dog park last week.

The dog and her owner, Jeff Young, live right near a bus stop.

In Young’s words, “She’s a bus-riding, sidewalk-walking dog.” Young says his dog sometimes gets on the bus without him, and he catches up with her at the dog park three or four stops away.

Bus riders report she hops onto seats next to strangers, and watches out the window for her stop. Says commuter Tiona Rainwater, “All the bus drivers know her … she makes everybody happy.”

A Metro Transit spokesman said the agency loves that a dog appreciates public transit.

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Steps for Walking Your Dog in Winter Weather

Thursday, January 11, 2018
posted by Jim Murphy

Our furry friends love to be taken out in the snow and cold weather. They love to run, roll and frolic in the white stuff. The cold and snow can have various affects on canines. Here are some basic steps to take to make sure that your dog stays safe in winter weather.

  1. First of all make sure that you have the proper clothes and shoes on. Wear gloves, scarfs and boots that will help you with traction in the snow.
  2. Put an insulated jacket on your dog. This is especially necessary for puppies, small dogs and senior dogs.
  3. Protect your dogs paws with dog booties or pet safe gels like Mushers Secret.
  4. Walk your dog with a solid leash. Do not use a retractable leash. Consider using a joggers leash which stays hooked if you fall or lose your grip.
  5. Use a secure, front clip harness to prevent pulling.
  6. Make sure that your dog’s clothing stays dry.
  7. Avoid hazards like frozen ponds. A dog can slip through and suffer hypothermia or even drown.
  8. When you return, wash your dogs paws to remove toxins from the pavement.

If you notice your dog, shaking, cowering or pulling you home, it may be too cold for him. Take him home and find ways to exercise him indoors like a game of tug of war. Be careful watch for signs from your dog that he may not be having such a good time out in the snow.

Remember, your pets count!

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