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Archive for August, 2011

Dog bald spots

Thursday, August 18, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

Hair loss constantly happens in a dogs life. When should you be concerned that your dog is losing too much hair?  If you see areas of bare skin exposed, there is something definitely wrong.  If this is the case, check your dog for other bald spots. Do this by wearing a rubber glove and gently check all other areas while talking gently to your dog.

  • Is the hair loss confined to only one area or is it generalized? If it’s all over, sometimes this is due to an under active thyroid gland. Patchy areas of hair loss could be due to an infection or parasite infestation. If it’s a single area, it could be due to an injury. Keep monitoring the spot to make sure that there’s no bleeding or brusing.
  • Does your dog have a rash?  A rash or other irritation could directly affect the hair folicles and cause hair loss.
Always wear disposable gloves when checking your dog. It could be Ringworm which is highly contagious even to humans.
Do not administer any pet medication yourself. Take your dog to the vet for proper diagnosis and treatment. He may need antibiotics. Remember, your pets count!

 

Why do cats like to sit on newspaper?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

It never fails, as soon as I pick up the newspaper, my older cat, Mollie, jumps up and sits on it, usually right on the story that I’m reading. What’s the logical reason for this? Actually, the only reason that I could think of is that the newspaper is taking my attention away from her. She also will sit on my computer keyboard because she doesn’t like me to work. Another reason could be that maybe she’s bored. Cats require attention just as dogs do, even though they may not make it so obvious. Mollie will continue to sit until I gently move her off and promise her that her playtime is coming as soon as I finish reading about all of the awful news that’s going on in the world. Actually, the hell with the news! I’d rather get out Molly’s cat toys and play with her instead. Remember, your pets count!

Protecting pups during play

Monday, August 15, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

Pups love to run and play, but it’s important that your pup doesn’t injure himself while having fun.  When you play fetch with your dog, try to prevent his body from twisting in the air or landing hard on the ground. You can try rolling a ball instead of throwing a toy in the air. This has less impact on his joints.  When you’re taking your dog for long walks or runs, consider his fitness level. Build up his endurance over time. Take it slow at first and wall or run short distances gradually increasing the speed and distance as your dog gets used to this activity.  Consider where you take your dog. Avoid gravel or asphalt. Always take along plenty of water and look for signs of fatigue.  Remember, your pets count!

Routine changes that upset your cat

Sunday, August 14, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

Cats don’t like change. Last week, I was at my place in Delaware with my cats.  I always take my younger cat, Millie’s cat bed down. On my way home,  I realized that I left her bed at the house in Delaware. When I got home, I went to Target and got her another bed that was more comfortable than the one that I left down in Delaware. She wouldn’t go near it. She gave it lots of sniffs but wouldn’t get in it. It took about two days for her to finally accept this minor change in her little life.

Cats don’t like to vary their routine. They prefer the status quo .  Changes to their routine such as moving to a new place, welcoming holiday visitors, or adopting a new pet could really get your cat bend out of shape and leave her feeling stressed and anxious.  Boredom could also cause anxiety. Signs of stress include not using the litter box properly, non stop grooming, hiding under the bed for hours on end or becoming aggressive.

To limit the stress to your cat, make any changes as gradual as possible. Give her as much time as possible to adjust to new situations.  If your cat shows ongoing signs of stress, consult your veterinarian.  Remember, your pets count!

On a sizzling hot summer day like the ones we’ve been having this summer, your cat can easily become overheated. Sometimes we don’t realize that our feline friends can become overheated easily just like dogs. Cats are very vulnerable to heatstroke. Signs that you should look for are panting, fast heart beat, dark, red gums and weakness.  If your cat’s temperature gets too high, never give him pet medication yourself. Get him to a vet right away.  Your vet may advise you to cool the cat before coming in. You can do this by pouring luke warm water over your pets chest, shoulders and feet. Don’t use cold water because it can be dangerous. When his temperature has dropped to 103 degrees, dry him off, wrap him up and head out to your vet. Your vet will use fluids to bring his temperature down. He’ll also check for damage to his internal organs. If the heat stroke was light to moderate, your cat will recover quickly.

Remember, your pets count!

Dogs that like to go for a joy ride

Thursday, August 11, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

Some dogs and yours could be one of them enjoy nothing more than a ride in the car. Their head’s out the window, their ears are blowing in the wind and their nose is sniffing the million smells that are going by. What could be wrong with this? Veterinarians see lots of eye injuries. You can think of all of the things that splatter on your windshield. This is why eye injuries happen to the joy riding dog. Here’s what you can do to protect your dog’s eyes.

Roll down the window just enough for your dog to stick his nose out.  All of those smells that he loves will still be there. The only thing that’s missing is the risk to his vision.  Don’t forget to buckle up, if your dog is out of his carrier, get a harness to hold him in place in case of a sudden stop.

Remember, your pets count!

Changing your cats diet safely

Wednesday, August 10, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

Cats usually don’t like change. If you have to change your cat’s diet for any reason such as a medical condition, you may be in for a tricky situation. When you give her the new food, she may look up at you like she’s saying “are you kidding? Do you think I’ll really eat this?” Whatever food you feed your cat, it must be well balanced.  When changing your cat’s diet, you must do it slowly.  A sudden change could upset digestion and it could even make your cat sick.  If this happens, she will never eat the “new” food.  When changing her diet, mix a small amount of the new food in with the old food.  Feed the mixture for about two or three days.  After this period, start increasing the new food and decreasing the old food.  Do this for about 3 weeks until she’s eating all of the new food normally. Now, if she decides not to eat the new food, go back to the mixture again. Cats like their food at room temperature or warmer. Try warming the food a little to stimulate her smell.

Remember give her a new toy or treat to make life a little easier for her. Your pets count!

Pet friendly hotels and motels

Tuesday, August 9, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

Our pets are part of our family and more and more people are taking them on vacation. Your pets can now travel with you. Many of your favorite establishments will grant your pets the same respect as they grant you. Remember that not all hotels will accept pets. Do your research before making a reservation. Even though lots of hotels bill themselves as “pet friendly,” find out if they really are. Also find out the cost of bringing your pet along.  Most pet friendly hotels will offer some amenities to your pets like dog treats or cat toys.  Some hotels go all out for our pets like offering dog play areas, dog and cat beds, blankets and even pet sitters to stay with your pet while you’re out site seeing!  If you are planning a vacation with your pets find lodging that is suitable, know the price and ask about the “extra’s” so your pet can have a good time along with you. Remember, your pets count!

Puppy’s first walk

Sunday, August 7, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

The time has come when you have to put the dog leash you have hanging in the closet on your little pup.  Your puppy should have gotten used to wearing his collar at this point.  Before attempting to take your pup for a walk, he should be familiar with his leash. The leash should be lightweight. Clip the leash to his collar and let him walk around the house with it.  After your puppy is comfortable dragging the leash around the house, it’s time to pick it up.  Make these training periods are fast and fun for your pup. He must learn that pulling the leash gets him nowhere. If he wants to continue walking, then he must be on your side and on a loose leash. If your puppy sits down while your are walking, don’t yank him forward toward you, gently call him over and reward him when he gets to you. A dog treat would be fine. Start walking again with the puppy at your side. You can train a very young pup to walk on a leash. There should be no pulling by you or the pup. The leash should always be loose and your pup should always be at your side not in the back or front of you.  I think you’re ready to take the little guy for his first walk. Good luck and remember, your pets count!

Cats get into everything!

Saturday, August 6, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

Cats will go to great lengths to find that “perfect” place to sleep. If you leave your closet door open, she’ll be in there before you know it. She’ll sneak under your feet before you shut the door. My younger cat Millie will try to get under the dashboard of my car if she gets out of her cat carrier. She has also jumped in my neighbor’s dryer when she accidentally wandered on to their terrace. If there are cats in your neighborhood, you should make a loud noise before starting your car in the winter. There’s nothing like a warm car engine to help them cope with a cold winter’s night. Cats will go under beds, in sinks or snuggle up on your most comfortable chair.

I run a small radio station which is on the internet and has a very small signal in my apartment complex. I once accidentally left the microphone “on.” When I got in my car and turned the radio on, I  not only heard the music playing but heard my older cat, Mollie “meowing” over the air! I guess she was trying to remind me to pick up per favorite cat treats or maybe she wanted to be the “DJ.”

Before you leave in the morning, always check on your cats. I’ve come home several times and found one of my cats sleeping in one of the closets with the door shut and without a care in the world! Remember, your pets count.