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Archive for February, 2012

Do cats need vitamins?

Thursday, February 16, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Cats do need vitamins to stay healthy.  They need the essential vitamins which include A,B,C ,D,E and K. Complete, high quality cat food will contain all of these vitamins.  Vitamin supplements may be needed for strays, especially kittens that may be malnourished. Cats that are pregnant, nursing or are unable to absorb certain nutrients may also benefit from vitamin supplements.  If a cat is vitamin deficient, they may exhibit lethargy, anemia, poor skin, a dull coat and weak bones and teeth. If your cat as a vitamin deficiency, follow your veterinarians recommendation. Large doses of some vitamins can cause illness.  In these cases, more is not necessarily better.

Remember, your pets count!

How nutritious is your dog’s food?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

When purchasing dog food, always check the bag. If it’s labeled “complete and balanced,” it meets the standards of the American Feed Control officials, or AFCO.  These dog foods either have an adequate nutrient profile based on laboratory testing or they passed a half year feeding trial. AFCO members includes both government agency and pet food company employees.  Dog foods that don’t meet AFCO standards could still be legally sold. They can’t display terms like “complete” or “balanced.”  Most veterinarians recommend AFCO approved premium brands. Feeding your dog a high quality diet is one of the most important decisions you can make for his well being.

Remember, your pets count!

 

Is your cats fur flying everywhere?

Saturday, February 11, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

I’m sure that you want to to keep your home free of cat fur and your cat free from hair balls. In order to accomplish this, regular brushing is essential.  Look for a brush that’s durable, effective at removing hair, comfortable to use, easily cleaned and enjoyable or at least tolerable for your cat. I use a brush that has fine wire bristles that are bent at an angle to trap hair. These are useful on both short and longer haired cats.  My older cat, Mollie loves it and comes into the bathroom every morning for her daily brushing. You could then continue with a soft bristle brush. This will make your cat’s coat gleam! Plastic tip brushes are gentler than wire for the sensitive skin of an older cat. Some cats really hate being brushed. A small rubber brush concealed in your palm can help you groom a cat who doesn’t like to be brushed. He’ll think that your petting him.

Remember, your pets count!

Diet for a diabetic dog

Friday, February 10, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

If your dog has diabetes, how you feed him could be critical to managing the disease.  For dogs taking insulin, food must be given in the same amount and at the same time everyday to keep blood sugar levels constant. The key to maintaining good heath is balancing food and insulin with exercise. Your veterinarian may prescribe a specially formulated dog food, usually with higher fiber and lower fat than regular dog rations. Treats between meals should not be given. Homemade diets are not good  for a diabetic dog because they are too variable. Diabetic dogs do best when they are at their ideal weight.  Your veterinarian will recommend a diet to keep a dog that is heavy or too thin at his ideal weight.

Remember, your pets count!

Can Dogs get hepatitis?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver but its causes may differ.  Dogs do get hepatitis but the cause and effect may be different than human hepatitis. There is what is called Infectious Canine Hepatitis. This disease is caused by a virus, and may prove to be a fatal disease in some dogs.  Dogs usually will acquire hepatitis through contact with urine, eye secretions and nasal secretions of infected dogs.  This type of virus dogs not affect humans or other animals, it only affects dogs. The virus attacks the liver, eye, kidney and blood vessels at the time in enters the dog’s system.  Fortunately, not all of these infections are fatal. Here are the symptoms:

  • cough
  • lethargy
  • loss of appetite
  • low grade fever

In some cases, dogs won’t  any symptoms.  Some will develop blue eye. This is a bluish discoloration of the cornea of the eye.

Puppies become very ill from the disease and must be treated immediately. They will develop internal bleeding, liver disease, tonsillitis, and general inflammation of the eyes and mouth. If left untreated, the pup will quickly deteriorate to shock and death. Veterinarians can treat the disease by good supportive therapy, intravenous fluids, good diet, rest, medicines to lighten the liver’s workload, and good care all aimed to strengthen the dog’s ability to recuperate. They will also give antibiotics to treat secondary infections. There is a vaccine for this disease and the cases of canine hepatitis in the United States are low. Therefore, the best way to keep your dogs free from this disease is to keep him updated on his vaccinations and schedule periodic visits with your vet.

Remember, your pets count!

Cat’s whiskers

Tuesday, February 7, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

You may think that your cat’s whiskers are not important. Think again, they help him feel his way around and are very very sensitive.  They are so sensitive that they could detect the slightest change in direction of a breeze. At night, they help a cat get from place to place without bumping into anything.  How can they do this? It has to do with the air currents. Air currents in the room change depending on where pieces of furniture in the room are located. As your cat walks through the living room and approaches the couch, he’ll know which direction to turn based on the change in air current around the couch.

A cat’s whiskers are also a good indicator of his mood. When a cat is angry or defensive, his whiskers will be pulled back. When a cat is happy, his whiskers will be off the the side in a normal position.  Whiskers are about three times as thick as cat hair. They should never be trimmed. Whiskers are also rooted very deep, next to nerves and blood vessels. So those whiskers serve a very important purpose.

Remember, your pets count!

Why cats rub up against us

Sunday, February 5, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

My two cats are always rubbing up against my legs. Sometimes they will even trip me. One time, I was getting ready for work and my older cat kept rubbing against my legs and as I was rushing to get out the door. I tripped and fell flat on the floor. Why do our little friends do this? It’s because cats have scent glands along their tail and on the side of their heads.  They even have them on each side of their head, on their lips, base of their tail, chin, near their sex organs, and between their front paws. The reason why they’re rubbing up against you is to mark their territory. They are claiming you as “theirs.” They’re marking you with their scent and picking up your scent as well.  Cats rub up against furniture, doorways and other objects for the same reason. You could say that it’s sort of an act of affection so don’t take offense when she rubs on you. Just make sure that you brush off her hair from those pants that you just had dry cleaned.

Remember, your pets count!

 

Cats and carbs

Saturday, February 4, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Meals that are eaten by a wild cat contain very few carbohydrates, less than 5% of the total calories consumed. That carbohydrate combination works because the cat is able to convert protein into fuel for energy.  However, a  house cat can use utilize carbs as a fuel source as well, especially if they break down easily and are easy to digest. Cereal grains such as rice, corn and wheat are some of the most highly digestible carbohydrates which is why they are one of the main ingredients in commercial cat food.  They are relatively cheap, especially when compared to higher cost proteins.  It’s thanks to the carbs in your cats diet that she get sufficient energy and you can keep her well fed without spending a fortune. Always look for the amount of protein and carbs in any new cat food that you may try.

Remember, your pets count!

When to groom a short haired dog

Friday, February 3, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Long haired dogs can be very high maintenance when it comes to grooming. If you have a short haired dog, it will need much less time and attention but to keep his skin and hair in good condition, you should groom him at least once a week. Start with a rubber brush to get dead skin , loosened hair and dirt off.  Then brush against the hair to look for fleas and ticks.  Follow up with a natural bristle brush to distribute his natural oils throughout his coat.  Then use a shammy cloth to shine him up. Now you’re done!  Now you may want to take a minute to check his ears, look inside his mouth, rub his paws and look for anything that seems unusual. When you check him out, he’ll feel like he’s getting a mini massage.

Remember, your pets count!

Breeding guiding eye dogs

Thursday, February 2, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Would you want to live with a guiding eye stud or brood dog and be part of an important part of guide dog development? You may have the right stuff to be a foster volunteer.  First, you should live fairly close to Paterson, New York so you can take your dog to the Guiding Eyes for the Blind Development Center for breeding and health care related visits. You’ll also be asked to walk your breed dog three miles a day. Make sure that you keep it on a leash at all times when outdoors. Give it a loving home and agree to be trained in dog handling, care and obedience. The upside of all of your efforts is that when the dog is retired from all of its brood or stud duties, you can adopt it and give this wonderful animal a great home.

Remember, your pets count!