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Archive for December, 2011

Dry skin in pets

Saturday, December 31, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

We’re not the only ones who suffers from dry skin in the winter. When the heat comes on more frequently in the house, your pet may become itchy. Unless your dog or cat is continually scratching himself, dry skin is usually not a serious health issue but you can’t just wash the problem away. Bathing your pet can make the problem worse.  If you do need to shampoo your pet, make sure that you apply a moisturizer after. A moisturizer is affective in treating the symptoms of dry, itchy skin but the underlying source of the problem is probably dry air. A humidifier at home can help keep your pet more comfortable, and you may even benefit from it as well.

 

Remember, your pets count!

Missing heart worm medication

Wednesday, December 28, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

Heart Worm is a disease that is spread by mosquitoes. Your dog could be at risk if you live in an infested area. If your veterinarian recommends a monthly preventative Heart Worm medication, make sure that you administer it regularly until your vet tells you that it’s safe to stop for the winter.  In some areas, dogs may need this medication year round. If you forget to give your dog his Heart Worm medication one month, call your vet.  He’ll likely recommend that you give your dog his pill as soon as you realized that you missed it and then continue as normal next month. Don’t make this decision yourself, always consult your vet. Usually missing one dose is not a problem, but if you forget for two consecutive months, your dog may be susceptible to Heart Worm so ask your veterinarian to check him out.

Remember,  your pets count!

Nutrition for nursing cats

Tuesday, December 27, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

Your  mother cat has just given birth to her kittens. Should you change how you feed her? It would have been best to gradually begin mixing her food withe increasing amounts of premium canned kitten food in the last few weeks of pregnancy.  Once she begins nursing, she should be eating only kitten food.  Feed her at least three times a day or keep food freely available along with plenty of water.  Remember that she is feeding an entire litter. Don’t be surprised if your mother cat starts to eat twice the amount that she ate before. A nursing cat passes on essential nutrients, antibodies, vitamins and electrolytes to kittens on the first day that they are born. High quality food for the mother, makes for healthy kittens.

Remember, your pets count!

Cats with sensitive stomachs

Sunday, December 25, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

It’s called inflammatory bowel disease, or irritable bowel syndrome but it’s just plain stomach trouble.  This is not a happy time for a cat with a sensitive stomach or for the people who care for the cat. Chronic vomiting and diarrhea  can have a lot of different causes.  If any of these symptoms are occurring, get your cat to the vet for a diagnosis. Your vet might recommend a change of diet. If your cat is overly sensitive to any kind of protein, many pet companies are aware of this and offer specially formulated diets that contain easy to digest rice and egg protein. Sensitive stomach is not at all uncommon with cats, and fortunately, it’s almost always manageable.

Remember, your pets count!

Seasonal shedding

Saturday, December 24, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

When the weather gets cold, you could quickly put on a warm coat. Your dog or cat needs a head start to grow that extra fur. To make room for the new, your pet will have to start shedding it’s summer coat long before it gets cold. Factors that influence when to start shedding include breed, age and temperature but the most important change is the seasonal change in the amount of daylight.  For dogs and cats, the shorter days are an indication that it’s time to get out their winter coat.  Longer days are a sign that the coats now must come off.  The reason why many cats shed continuously is that their bodies are not tuned in the to changing seasons.

Remember, your pets count!

A sweet hazard

Friday, December 23, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

Anti-freeze makes your car run better in the summer time and keeps the engine from freezing in the winter time but it’s dangerous to your pet. Ethylene Glycol, the anti-freeze that is commonly used in car radiators is extremely toxic to your pets. As little as one table spoon can kill a cat and a couple of ounces can kill a dog.  Unfortunately, animals will readily ingest it because it tastes and smells so sweet. So it you have pets, make sure you clean up any leaking anti-freeze. If you’re worried that your pet may have ingested some, call your vet or the National Animal Poison Control hotline right away. They are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at (888) 426-4435.

Your veterinarian my suggest that you administer hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting.

Remember, your pets count!

Make sure that your cat gets enough protein

Thursday, December 22, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

Cats are very special creatures.  A cat needs twice as much protein to keep it’s muscles strong and healthy just like a dog. Cats also require about 20 different kinds of amino acids to make their own body proteins. Those amino acids come from protein and food.  What’s the best source of protein for your cat? The truth is any and all of the protein sources are fine for your cat. Commercial pets foods generally contain at least 30% protein, often from a variety of sources to more than meet your cat’s needs. So if your cat’s are like mine, gormet eaters, you can give beef one day, chicken the next,  and fish the next. Keep that protein comin! Remember, your pets count!

Dodger, the cat who rides the bus

Wednesday, December 21, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

Dodger getting off at his stop

A pet cat named Dodger is living up to his name – by catching free bus trips from his home town.  The 15 year old cat leaves his house where he’s picked up by the bus every day and sits on bemused passengers’ laps as the bus makes up to 10 mile round trips from Bridport to Charmouth in Dorset. Dodger is such a regular customer that some of the drivers take tins of cat food to work with them to give to him. They even know what stop to let him off at. His owner says that there home backs into the bus station so it’s real convenient for Dodger to “hop the bus.”The owner said the once “I hadn’t seen him all morning until my daughter Emily told me one of her friends had just seen him on the bus at Charmouth.” I guess that he was on his way home!  Does your cat take the bus?
Remember, your pets count!

Never give your dog or cat Tylenol

Sunday, December 18, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

Tylenol is extremely toxic to cats and can kill them quickly even if it’s given in small doses. You should never give your pets any medication without the advice of your vet. Acetaminophen  is the active ingredient in Tylenol. It’s an over the counter fever reducer and pain reliever. Cats lack an enzyme in their body that a metabolizes acetaminophen. Therefore this leads to severe damage to your cats red blood cells, liver and kidneys. Dogs also do not metabolize this drug as well as people and only your vet can recommend the dosage to give a dog. Never do it yourself!  Dogs can die of an overdose as well. The side effects of Tylenol in a cat can range from vomiting and diarrhea to severe anemia and liver failure.  A muddy brown color to your cat or dogs gums can indicate the effect of Tylenol. Poor oxygen-carrying capacity of the red blood cells can cause this. Liver damage can result in jaundice and a yellowish tinge to the mucus membranes of the skin.

Never leave Tylenol in a pets reach. A little precaution is worth a lot.

Remember, your pets count!

Stress free holidays for cats

Saturday, December 17, 2011
posted by Jim Murphy

Is your cat normally a little high strung?  Will all of the activity with visitors, noise and cooking push him over the edge?  This won’t happen if you follow three simple rules for a stress free feline holiday.

  1. Don’t introduce a new pet during this time. Another puppy and or kitten would send your poor cat over the edge.
  2. Unfamiliar guests could pose additional stress to their system. Remember cats are not usually party animals. Find a safe, quiet retreat for your cat as far from all of the festivities as possible. A bedroom that is not near all of the noise would work well. Keep him there until the last guests are gone.
  3. Remember to give your cat love and attention. Petting a cat reduces blood pressure and anxiety. This works both ways for you and for your cat.

Remember, your pets count!