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Archive for June, 2010

Unfair treatment of dogs

Wednesday, June 30, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

rottweilersI heard a very disturbing story on yesterday’s news. The town of Rockville Center, New York on Long Island has  passed a new law to ban all Rottweilers and Pit Bulls. These dogs are being confiscated and put to death even if the dog is with it’s owner and has been trained, kept on his dog leash and has never attacked anyone. This is a cruel, heartless law passed by a very disturbed group of people. This ridiculous law is putting dogs that are properly trained, have never harmed anyone and are part of a family in danger. There have been demonstrations in town by pet lovers and other dog owners. The law may be repealed but never the less, the fact that such a law is allowed to be passed really makes me think about how our values have disintegrated.

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Cats and high rise syndrome

Tuesday, June 29, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

high-rise1Many cat owners open their windows and don’t realize that they are putting their cat at risk. If you live in a high rise, don’t think that your cat won’t jump out of the open window.  Cats are curious by nature and the open window in just asking for trouble.

Check all windows and screens and make sure that they are sturdy and secure. Cats can easily tear through loose screens. I would recommend installing claw proof screens. They are available in most home improvement stores. If you have adjustable screens, make sure that they are tightly wedged into the window frame so your cat cannot push it through.  Childhood window guards are not secure for cats.  Cats can easily slip through them. Make sure that your window shades pull strings are not a loop. Cut the string to make two strings so your cat cannot get caught in the loop. Keep your cat safe, give him plenty of treats and cat toys, play with him frequently and he’ll be your best friend for many years!

Pet Emergencies

Monday, June 28, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-and-vetWe never want to think about an emergency situations with our pets. Sometimes it does happen and we need to think clearly. Here are some tips that may help in the event of an emergency.

Excessive bleeding – for external cuts, the owner can apply pressure or a tourniquet to the wound to control bleeding. If the bleeding is the result of a fight with another dog or cat, get the animal’s rabies vaccine history from its owner. Puncture wounds to the chest cavity or abdomen will need to be X-rayed for possible internal injuries. Bleeding from the mouth or anus could be a sign of internal trauma and requires prompt emergency care.

Poisoning – call your vet and or animal poison control at 888-426-4435 and do your best to describe the toxin that your pet ingested. Do not induce vomiting without speaking to the vet first, since caustic materials can cause even more damage coming up. In the ER, animals will be given something to coat their GI tract before vomiting is induced.

Broken limbs
– Move the animal as little as possible. Don’t try to stabilize the animal as you may get bitten. Lay a towel over the animal and try to keep is as calm as possible. Take your dog or cat to your vet for x-rays and treatment. Do not administer any pain or pet  medication without consulting your vet first.

Choking
– If you can see the object in your dog’s throat, you can try sweeping it out with your figures. If the object is lodged deeper down, rush the animal to a care facility.

Allergic reactions – These can be treated by simply giving the pet a dose of regular Benadryl(only as directed by your vet). The reaction can also be extreme, causing your animal to swell up or break out in hives, in which case a vet will likely administer pet medication such as an anti-inflammatory treatment, (steroids).
Trouble breathing or loss of consciousness – Unless you are trained in animal emergency care, it is best not to try to administer CPR to your dog or cat. Instead, get your pet as quickly as possible to the nearest care facility.

Always consult your vet in a pet emergency regarding the proper pet medication to administer.

Low maintenance dogs

Sunday, June 27, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

cute-beagleIf you have a busy schedule and you are thinking about getting a dog, you may want to choose a breed that likes to lie around, like a couch potato. You may also want to choose a dog that’s low maintenance when it comes to grooming.  For example, a small, short haired dog such as a Chihuahua will not need as much grooming as a long haired Golden Retriever.  Boxers and Beagles are also easier to groom. Their short hair is not prone to mats and you could easily remove ticks if you need to.  Always remember, no matter what breed you choose, your dog will still need lots of attention.  He may not shed as much as a Sheep dog or run as much as a Collie, but he will still need regular walks, exercise and grooming sessions. So when thinking about a dog, don’t forget about that dog leash and frisbee just yet. If your schedule requires that you work long hours or have to travel frequently, consider a cat instead. It’s just not fair for the dog.

Eye stain in dogs.

Saturday, June 26, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

teary-dogMany light colored dogs, especially small breeds like the Maltese develop a brown or pink stain around the corners of their eyes.  Sometimes it actually looks like the dog has been crying muddy tears. The color of the tears themselves is not what’s causing the stain.  When there is extensive wetness around your dogs eyes, the area tends to breed yeast and bacteria which reacts with clear tears to cause discoloration. To prevent staining, keep the area around your pets eyes clean and dry and try to get at the reason for your dogs excessive tearing.  It could be irritation, blocked tear ducts or even genetics.  Have your veterinarian examine your pet. There are pet medication like prescription eye drops that can help.

Preventing puppy chewing

Friday, June 25, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-chewingPuppies seem to want to put everything in their mouths.  If this is not taken care of early, this chewing could destroy a lot of your belongings.  Your shoes, belts and bags could fall victim to your puppy’s very active little jaws.  The problem doesn’t end there. Your puppy could end up swallowing something he shouldn’t and endangering his own health.  To avoid inappropriate chewing, direct your puppy’s attention to something that he can play with.  Give him plenty of dog chew toys both in and out of his crate. Make sure to keep your own belongings off of the floor. The tendency to chew could also be motivated by stress or boredom. Make sure that your puppy is getting plenty of exercise.  If chewing is still a problem, talk to your veterinarian.

Purchasing the right kind of dog house

Thursday, June 24, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

dog-houseWhen purchasing a dog house, your will need to consider your dog’s breed.  Think about the thickness of his coat, then consider the climate in which you live and find a selection of dog houses that will adequately protect him from the elements.  Next, think about your dog’s size. He’ll need enough space to move around, sit and stand but not so much space that he isn’t cozy and warm.  Remember, if the dog is still a puppy, you’ll want the house to work for him even after he’s full grown and you can always add extra blankets in the meantime.  Finally, make sure the house you choose is well constructed and has plenty of ventilation.  Add some chew toys and your dog will have a happy home.

How common is a polydactal cat?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

polydactal-catsPolydactal is a fancy word for extra fingers and toes. Polydactal cats are known for having paws that look like big mittens. Because Ernest Hemingway’s cats are famous for their extra toes,  polydactals are sometimes referred to as “Hemingway” cats. Normal cats have four toes on each paw. As well as a “do” claw on each front leg.  The polydactal cats can have up to seven toes per paw.The extra digits are usually in the front but sometimes all four paws are affected. The defect is an inherited genetic abnormality. It’s generally not a problem for the cat. However, owners of polydactal cats do have their work cut out for them when it’s time for a toe nail trimming.  Keep plenty of cat toys on hand to occupy your cats attention while trimming all of these toes.

Dealing with the aggressive dog.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

aggressive-dogDogs do not suddenly become prone to aggression.  There are some early warning signs to look for in your puppy. If your dog doesn’t want anything to do with people or growls at anyone who goes near his toys or food, this may be a sign toward aggression especially as the dog gets older. There are different types of aggression.

  • Territorial aggression
  • Dominant aggression
  • Fear aggression
  • Prey aggression

Territorial aggression – This is the type of aggression shown toward the mailman or someone entering the house or yard that does not belong there. Your dog thinks that the house and property are his. This type of aggression must be controlled at the very start. You have to be the “pack leader” not the dog. Some people think that leaving the dog in the back yard during the day is good for the dog. The fact is that most dogs will lie down and sleep all day waiting for the owner to come home. He’s a pack animal and he will wait for members of his pack to return. The dog could just as easily sleep in the house, dog kennel or a dog crate.

Dominant Aggression – Some people think it’s cute when a puppy snaps at your fingers if you go near his food or toy. What he is really showing is a form of dominance. This type of behavior must be controlled early on. There is a possibility that the pup could develop aggression toward family and friends. If it’s a small dog, it will be more of an annoyance than a problem but if the dog grows into a 120 pound Rottweiler, then you’re looking for trouble.

Fear Aggression –These are dogs that want nothing to do with strange people. They will bite, the minute the stranger turns his back. These dogs almost always have weak temperaments and bad nerves. They are also a product of bad breeding. Most of these dogs ended up in a pound or shelter not because they were abused but because of their aggression to begin with.

Sometimes obedience training will help. One thing you can do is have a friend meet you when you walk your dog. Then give the dog a treat when he sees your friend.

Prey Aggression – Some breeds of dogs are more prone to prey aggression than others. Your herding breeds have a great deal of prey drive. They will  chase anything  that moves. This can be disastrous if it’s an untrained dog that decides its prey is a running child. I once came across one of these dogs in a park. I was walking my dog and the owner had his dog off the leash. As soon as his dog saw me with my dog, he charged across the park and knocked both me and my dog over.

Always try to notice any signs of aggression at an early age. The problem could be corrected if it’s caught early enough.

dog-and-skunkDogs can be curious and can get close enough to a skunk, to get sprayed. This is true if your dog is outside at night. So what do you do to get that awful smell off? Standard pet odor remover products probably won’t work.  The smell of a skunk can linger for a long time. I once had a skunk underneath my mobile home in Delaware and after the skunk was removed, the smell lingered for over a year!! So what could you do?  Here are some tips that may help.

  • The first thing is put on some old clothes before handling your dog. Skunk spray is an oil that is very hard to remove from clothes.
  • Try to figure out where the skunk spray hit your dog.  Depending on your dog’s hair type, you may be able to cut away some of the affected hair.
  • Use paper towels to soak up some of the skunk oil from your dog’s hair and skin before you begin bathing him.If you use a regular towel, be prepared to throw it out after you’re done.
  • Wash only the affected area at first. You may have to do this several times before bathing your dog.
  • Bath with a shampoo before the skunk oil dries on you dog’s hair and skin.

After bathing, you could use one of the following products.

  1. Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor remover
  2. Earth Friendly Skunk Odor remover

Another older method may be to douse your dog with tomato juice then bath him with a canine shampoo. Tomato juice may leave your dog’s coat red.

I hope that this does not happen to your dog. Take the proper precautions, keep your dog inside at night and when walking him at night, keep him close to you.