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Archive for April, 2013

Changing Your Cats Food

Tuesday, April 16, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

Any changes to your cat’s diet should be made very gradually. If you are introducing new food, take about seven days to make the transition. Mix in a very small amount of the new food with the old food. Slowly increase the amount of new food each day. You can mix the new food until you have about 50% new and 50% old then stop or  can continue until your cat is eating 100% new food. If you introduce the new food too fast, there’s a good chance that your cat will develop an upset stomach or refuse to eat at all. Cats have a very sensitive digestive system and any change in diet must be introduced gradually. It’s a good idea to consult with your vet before introducing new food to your cat.

Remember, your pets count!

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Raisins, and Grapes can be toxic to dogs

Sunday, April 14, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

Raisins and Grapes can be toxic to dogs but the reasons are not clear as to why. Scientists do not understand as to why this toxicity exists. Some dogs show no signs of illness after ingesting many raisins or grapes while others become very sick after eating just one.  The symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, anorexia and acute renal fatal. Renal failure can be fatal.  If you suspect that your dog has ingested raisins or grapes, get him to a vet right away even if it’s just to be on the safe side.  It is not known which dogs will become sick, it’s best to start treatment as soon as possible  to err on the side of caution. Digestion of grapes and raisins is slow so try to induce vomiting up to several hours to get out as many of the grapes or raisins from their system. This can reduce the risk of toxicity but the dog must still be taken to the vet right away. There is no known antidote for grape and raisin toxicity so a quick response could save your dog’s life.

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Diarrhea in dogs

Saturday, April 13, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

Diarrhea in dogs can take several forms. Stools can range from abnormally soft to watery. Other signs to look for is straining while defecating, gas, abnormal odor or blood or mucus in the stool.  Some cases of diarrhea go away by themselves but others require a veterinarian and treatment.  Bloody diarrhea with straining may be an emergency, especially with small dogs. Diarrhea with vomiting can be a sign of an intestinal obstruction. In some cases, this may require surgery.  Here are some causes of diarrhea.

  • Parvovirus Infection. Usually vomiting and diarrhea accompanied by a fever typically in young dogs. An antigen test is usually used to diagnose this infection.
  • Bacteria in Dogs. Such as Clostridium perfringens, E. coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Spirochetes. This can be challenging as pets may carry these bacteria without having them cause clinical disease.
  • Inappropriate Ingestion. Let’s face it, dogs eat anything from other animals’ feces to grass trimmings and garbage. This is one of the most common causes of diarrhea in dogs.

It’s important to see a veterinarian if the diarrhea lasts more than 24 hours. Some cases could indicate a serious condition which must be treated immediately.

 

Thanks to Ceasar’s Way for providing much of this information.

Remember, your pets count!

 

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Carrying your pets Style? or Comfort?

Thursday, April 11, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

With Hollywood starlets always carrying their pets around with them, it’s becoming increasingly trendy to have a teacup poodle safely stored away in your handbag. And if you’re the proud owner of a small dog, this might be a desirable option. It’s also great if you take your pet with you when you travel. But you aren’t necessarily out of luck if you have a slightly larger dog. For these pets, there is a wide selection of larger pet carriers. While you can’t carry around a German Shepherd or Great Dane, a midrange pet carrier does make it possible to carry dogs over five pounds.

A pet carrier also has some distinct advantages over your standard handbag. For one, handbags are not specifically designed for pet transport. As such, a pet could be uncomfortable or even slightly injured on something like a sharp or jagged zipper. But don’t worry. You don’t have to abandon the fashion expert in you. These pet carriers can offer both attractive styling and total pet comfort.

 

 

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Don’t Keep Your Dog on a Chain

Wednesday, April 10, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

Spring is here and dogs love to go outdoors. A chain or dog trolley isn’t the best solution for keeping a dog out side. Dogs love to run around. They need exercise and it’s cruel to chain them up especially in the hot weather. Consider building a secure fence around your yard and give you dog the ability to run around at his leisure. After all, would you want to be chained up all day?  If you have no other choice, a trolley is a better option than a chain.. Your dog will be attached by a leash to a line like a clothes line.  The leash is attached to the line by a rolling trolley. The dog can run back and forth for the length of the line.  Dog trolleys are sold at the major pet stores and all have installation instructions.

Make sure that you take your dog for long walks, give him plenty of exercise and spend quality time with him. They get lonely and putting him in the yard alone will add to his loneliness.

Remember, your pets count!

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Some Facts About Rabies

Tuesday, April 9, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

Rabies is a very serious disease that is caused by a virus. Rabies is spread by infected animals and humans can contact rabies if they are scratched or bitten by an infected animal.  The rabies virus affects the central nervous system and is usually fatal. Some symptoms of rabies are:

  • fever
  • headache
  • weakness

As the disease progresses, other symptoms like anxiety, hallucinations, increase in saliva, partial paralysis and fear of water usually occur. When these symptoms begin, death is usually only a few days away.  Bats are the most common source of rabies infection in the United States. Skunks, raccoons, dogs, cats, coyotes, foxes, and other mammals can also transmit the disease.

Human Rabies is rare in the U.S. but tens of thousands are vaccinated each year after animal bites. Rabies is far more common in other parts of the world, with about 40,000 – 70,000 rabies-related deaths worldwide each year. Bites from unvaccinated dogs cause most of these cases.

A Rabies vaccine can prevent Rabies. It’s very important to get your pets vaccinated, especially if they are outside. There are state laws requiring it. Last week, while in Delaware,  I took my cat Mollie to the vet, they asked me if she’s had the rabies vaccine. I said that she did when she was very young but that she stays indoors. They said that it didn’t matter and that she has to be vaccination once again because Delaware requires regular Rabies vaccinations for all pets.

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I’ve been writing about my cat Molly’s upset stomach which resulted in a visit to the Veterinarian. There are several issues which can cause an upset stomach in a cat. Hairballs is one of the main causes. You can see the hairball when your cat cough’s it up. This can be controlled by hair ball medicine sold over the counter in most pet stores. Make sure you groom your cat regularly to reduce the amount of loose hair. My cat had gastroenteritis. It caused her to vomit and diarrhea.

To ease stomach discomfort, stop all food and water for 24 hours. Then feed your cat a bland diet of boiled chicken and cooked rice.  I would take her to the vet as soon as possible to get to the bottom of the problem. Many conditions can cause vomiting and diarrhea in cats such as liver, kidney or pancreatic disease. Only your vet will be able to rue out these causes.

Remember, your pets count!

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Giving a cat a Pill/Molly’s Condition

Saturday, April 6, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

Cats love taking pills as much as they love taking a bath! It is a very difficult task to drop a small pill into a cat’s mouth. The key is to keep your kitty calm then gently place your thumb and middle finger at the hinge of his jaws, gently pry open his mouth. Without yanking or holding too tightly, tilt the head back slightly, so you can see the back of your cat’s mouth, where the tongue begins. Drop the pill in the center of your cat’s mouth, quickly close his mouth and rub is neck to make him swallow it.  Once he closes his mouth, give him a small amount of water from a dropper.  This is still a difficult task!

My older cat Molly began vomiting a few days ago and yesterday I took her to the vet. She got a series of tests including blood work. Outside of being anemic, she was diagnosed with gastroenteritis. I have to give her an antibiotic twice a day for about a week. Believe me, trying to get her to take her pill was impossible. After swatting and hissing at me every time I attempted to drop the pill in her mouth, I decided to give up. I got a supply of “pill pockets” by Greenies from my vet. You place the pill inside of a tasty snack and hopefully she’ll eat it. AAAH! It worked! Hopefully I can continue this method until she is done with her medication.

Molly is doing much better, the vomiting has stopped. Hopefully her stools will also return to normal.

Remember, your pets count!

 

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Cat Scare

Thursday, April 4, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

I’m spending a nice relaxing week at my home in Delaware and always take my two cats with me. Late yesterday, after enjoying a pleasant evening having dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, I came home and found my older cat Mollie vomiting on the rug in the hall. At first I thought that it was a hair ball but when I went to clean it up, I realized that it was her dinner. I then saw her in her litter box and realized that she also had a diarrhea. The vomiting continued throughout most of the night. I tried to comfort her as best as I could and was prepared to take her to the animal clinic here in Rehoboth Beach first thing in the morning. Early in the morning, she went to her water bowl and began drinking. She must have been a bit dehydrated because she drank a lot. To my surprise, she looked a bit better and went to her food bowl. I was reluctant to give her anything but I couldn’t resist. I filled her bowl and she began eating and eating and eating. Right now I am keeping a close watch on her. So far no more vomiting and she seems comfortable. Hopefully it was something that she ate. I gave her Meow Mix, the little containers where you peel the lid off. She loves that but it could have been bad. I went back to giving her a can of fancy feast. I was never comfortable with a “peel off” top.

I will keep you posted on Molly’s condition but so far, so good!

Remember, your pets count!

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Five Advantages of Adopting an Older Dog

Wednesday, April 3, 2013
posted by Jim Murphy

Five million dogs and cats are killed yearly in US shelters and it’s the older generation who goes first. If your thinking about adopting a dog maybe you should think about going a little older and saving a dogs life! Here are five reasons to help you make this decision.

  1. Older dogs are calmer and wiser and are more likely to adjust to your environment quickly. They will not cause mischief like a younger dog. An older dog knows how to sit still where as a puppy simply chooses to do what it wants, when it wants.
  2. Older dogs seem to appreciate the love and care of their new owner. It’s like they feel as if they’ve been given a second chance. Older pets in a shelter may suffer from depression. This is your chance to give them love and happiness.
  3. Although older dogs may have health problems, they do not generally require as much care and attention from you. They are secure in their life. Taking a shorter walk in the park rather then jogging for two hours is more preferred by an older dog.
  4. Older dogs are often trained to follow commands and are often toilet trained.
  5. It’s easier to make an assessment on an older dogs behavior and temperament.

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