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Archive for August, 2009

lucy-the-lion-catDo you have a long haired cat? It does seem as if long haired cats shed more than cats that have short hair but that’s because their hair is so long that it seems like there’s more of it.  It may seem like you’re always vacuuming up hair and are constantly cleaning out the cat bed.  Exotic cats that have long hair require continual brushing and grooming. This not only helps with cat allergies by reducing the dander but it can also help reduce cat hairballs. There is one solution to this problem. You can get your cat groomed and have his hair cut short like you would a dog. This won’t prevent cat allergies because allergies originate from cat dander not cat hair. Dander will still be an issue but you may be able to reduce the amount time you spend vacuuming up your cats hair. There are many groomers that will make your cat look really “cool.”  Check them out!

dog-messIf your dog is hyper when he his left alone, this can spell trouble for you and even your neighbors.  Victoria Voight, an animal behaviorist at Western University explains why some dogs bark, chew and damage things while their owners are out.  She says that most of the time that the dogs are destructive while their owners are away is because they have separation anxiety.  The destructive behavior is a way that the dog could get attention and access to the owner. To prevent this kind of behavior, Voight suggests to slowly acclimate your dog to being alone.  Make sure that you exercise your dog regularly and provide enough toys make him get through the day. If this does not work, I would suggest that you call an animal behaviorist or ask your vet about medication. This would be a last resort.  Before going this route, try working with your dog. Leave him alone for very short periods and give him a treat when you get home. See what happens but don’t lock him is his dog carrier or crate as punishment. That is about the worst thing that you could do!

canine-candy-stripersDid you know that pets are quickly becoming an important part of modern patient care? Many hospitals are realizing that friendly dogs can help people heal significantly faster.  Dogs that are carefully chosen and well trained can act as physical therapists for the ailing patient.  Dogs encourage the patients to exercise their arms and legs by playing a game of fetch or grooming. These dogs are particularly helpful to patients that need physical therapy after a brain or spinal cord injury. Patients also benefit from the dogs unconditional love and acceptance. Pet therapy has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression.  We could all benefit from a little of this therapy. So at the end of a hard day at work, give your candystriper dog a nice comfortable place to sleep. A big rawhide bone would do well before he turns in!

Feline Hay Fever will pet medication help?

Friday, August 28, 2009
posted by Jim Murphy

cute-catDoes your cat lick until her fur falls out? If this is so, she may suffer from an inhalant allergy. Did you know that feline skin allergies are very common?  Food is not the only cause. Sometimes cats are allergic to pollen, mold, mildew or other things in the air. The same things that trigger hay fever in humans can make cats itch like mad.  Sometimes the itchiness can be so uncomfortable for a cat that they will lick themselves until their skin is raw.  This problem can be seasonal or year round.  If your cat has these symptoms, take her to your vet for an accurate diagnosis. An allergy test can help determine the cause.  Pet medication such as an antihistamine, allergy shot or steroid treatment is all that is needed to help solve the problem.

cat-in-animal-shelterMost people go to an animal shelter and see the cute little kittens that are up for adoption. The kittens always go first. One of the saddest things you’ll see in an animal shelter is the older cats waiting for adoption.  Most of these poor cats came from a loving home where someone fed and cared for them. Maybe the owner passed away or for some other reason they had to be put up for adoption. This is heartbreaking. Many people who adopt kittens, adopt them because they are cute and cuddly. Kittens lose their playfulness as they get older and with it sometimes the love of their owners!  Here are some things to remember if you do adopt a kitten. Do you have small children in the house? A child that is 2 or 3 may inadvertently kill a small kitten. Do you have any other pets? Make sure that you acclimate your new kitten to the others pets in the house. Is your house safe? If you’re not home during the day, make sure that your kitten is in a safe place.  Has the kitten been vaccinated?  It is imperative to have your kitten vaccinated right away.

One final note. They say a true cat lover is one that will adopt a full grown cat. Are you a true cat lover? Before you go out and get the new cat bed, cat toys etc. decide if your are going to adopt a kitten or full grown cat. Keep in mind that the older cat once was loved and now is stuck in a cage all alone. Maybe you can make him feel loved again!

labI read an article in todays newspaper that really interests me. It was about a Labrador Retreiver that was trained  to help an autistic boy deal with his disabilities.  According to the Bergen Record, the boy has difficulty transitioning from home to school and has outbursts which are common in autistic children. His mother says that the dog’s calming presence helps. The dog is kept on his dog leash and causes no problem at school. The school objects to this and says that they already provide him with adequate service for his autism. Although they may provide adequate service, does this prevent the boy from his outbursts? If the dog helps calm the boy and causes no harm, this author believes that he should be allowed to stay in school.  A county judge allowed the dog to accompany the boy to school until the case goes to trial in November. What do you think? Dogs are smart creatures that have the ability to help the handicapped. Why not let them in schools to help with autism?  Students allergies of course must be considered before a dog is allowed in the classroom.

cats-playing-with-toysIf your cat is like mine, it is necessary that you make time everyday  for play time. My cat likes to play in the early evening. I receive hints that it’s time when she comes around and sits on top of the sofa or starts to go places that she shouldn’t like behind the  TV or behind my audio equipment. I know that I have to stop what I’m doing to play with her for about 15 minutes. Playing provides valuable exercise for your cat.  If you have a kitten, keep dangerous items like plastic bags, string or small ingestibles away. This is the time to teach your kitten that your hands are not toys. your kitten should not try to “attack” your hands every time you reach out to stroke him.  Playing with your cat is a great way to help him maintain a healthy weight, it ‘s also a positive way for your cat to release negative energy and it strengthens the bond between the both of you. Keep a wide range of cat toys available. My cat loves wand and stick toys. She even takes out the one that she wants to play with. Mice with catnip in them are also good as well as items that make some kind of noise. Whatever toy you choose, your cat will certainly appreciate the play time!

dental20toysDogs can get gum disease just as humans can.  The best way that you can prevent it is by brushing your dog’s teeth. Cats and dogs both get plac which causes gum disease. The good news is that the disease tends to develop on the outside of their teeth. Dr Tom Kline is a veternarian who practices pet dentistry near Columbus Ohio. He says to put the brush inside the lips on the outside of the teeth. Make sure that you use a toothpaste made especially for pets. Your dog or cat will enjoy the taste as they come in various flavors such as beef or chicken. Brush gently back and forth. This will be enough to remove the plac and prevent it from coming back. Your dogs tongue may try to snatch some of the meat flavored tooth paste.  Use these preventitive measures and you will elimate having to treat gum disease with pet medication or other means.

dog-runningWhat can you do if every time you open the door, your dog bolts out and runs away. What stress this can cause fearing that she’ll get hit by a car, injure herself or get lost. Dr. Tom Kline, the past president of the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association says that obediance training and spaying will help. He also says that an electronic fence also works very well. Some people think that these fences are cruel but Dr. Kline says that really are not because the dog hears the tone first. They don’t get the electrical zap.  Another way to stop the problem is to make sure that your dog gets plenty of exercise.  When the door opens, she is so hyperactive that the first thing she does is run. If you keep her on a regular exercise program, she may not have the urge to bolt on you. Keeping her crated or in her dog carrier is not the answer.

yorkshire-terrierFirst of all, let me start by saying that by nature, dogs are social animals. Leaving a dog alone for more than eight hours is cruel. Here’s a very upsetting story about a little dog left in a hot apartment while the owner went away with friends for several days. I had lunch with a very good friend who informed me that she would be walking another friends dog for a few days. We discussed the issues about leaving a dog alone and continued enjoying our lunch. The next day, I received a call from my friend telling me that when she went to the apartment to walk the dog, it was unbearably hot and humid. My friend told be that she was dripping with sweat after just a few minutes! There was that little dog, all alone in the hot apartment. I was enraged!!  First of all from a medical standpoint, dogs are very susceptible to the heat. Dog cannot cool their bodies down by sweating. They can quickly fall prey to heat stroke and death!  Dogs also needs lots of water and unlike cats, they tend to drink very quickly and that dog water bowl will quickly become empty. Finally that poor little dog was all alone with no one to care for his needs! The bottom line here is that your dog is part of your family. If you cannot find someone to take the dog or to stay at your apartment while you’re away — DON’T GO! This is cruel and selfish!   People who put themselves before the welfare of their pets have no right to have any animals!