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December 2012

Archive for December, 2012

Cataracts in Dogs

Sunday, December 16, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Almost every diabetic dog will develop cataracts due to the elevated blood sugar even if the diabetes is under control. Cataracts can be surgically removed the same way a cataract is removed from a human eye. The procedure is called phacoemulsification. An ultrasound energy is used to remove the cataract from the eye. The surgery for a dog requires a general anesthesia. Your vet will make the determination whether or not your dog is healthy enough and the diabetes is controlled well enough to warrant surgery. As with any surgery, there are some risks which depend on your pets overall health, how well the diabetes is regulated and eye health. Rapid onset of a cataract can lead to severe eye inflammation. This could be controlled by topical eye drops. Your dogs age should not make a difference in cataract removal. Your vet will speak to you about your pets overall health and whether or not the surgery can be done successfully.

Remember, your pets count!

Your Pets Immune System

Saturday, December 15, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Your pets immune system is on guard 24/7 to ward off viruses, bacteria and other foreign invaders that can make him sick.  If any of these disease causing agents penetrate it’s outer line of defense, a cellular  fighting force is deployed to destroy them.  Your pets need a strong immune response to survive. What they eat plays an important role in maintaining a healthy immune system. that’s why your pets diets needs to be balanced in terms of major nutrients such as proteins and fats as well as key vitamins and minerals such as zinc, celenium and vitamin E. Too much of one element can be just as detrimental to the immune system as too little.  Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation and make sure you read the labels of pet food.

Remember, your pets count!

A Barbaric World

Saturday, December 15, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

I usually write about the care of dogs and cats but tonight, I can’t find words to describe how I feel about the horrific events that took place in Newtown Connecticut. Twenty six innocent lives lost, twenty of them innocent children just starting out in life. What is happening in this country?  This horrible act is being committed time and time again. The truth is that there are no gun control laws in the country. How could a 20 year old demented kid get a hold of not one but two automatic weapons? There is no choice, guns must be illegal in this country. That’s it.  Guns only mame and kill innocent animals and people. The bottom line is that it must be illegal to own a gun in the country.  Anyone caught owning one should be thrown in jail. Anyone caught selling a gun should be prosecuted. It sounds harsh but we’re at this point now. We are no longer safe anywhere!  It seems that more and more young people are severely disturbed which also says a lot about mental health care in this country.

I pray for the families of the victims, I can’t imagine what it would be like to send your child off to school and have them never return.

A few days ago hunters in New Jersey killed 285 bears for no reason! They were actually proud of the amount that they killed. This disgusts me.

Our pets have a calming affect on us. I’m glad that I have my two cats with me tonight, this situation has really stressed me out and their unconditional love is comforting.

Keeping your dog’s heart healthy

Tuesday, December 11, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy




We need good habits to stay healthy. This also is true for our pets.  Here are some tips that can keep your dog healthy and in shape.

  • Exercise – Dogs need regular exercise regardless of their size or age. Even older dogs need daily exercise to stay healthy, even if it’s just a few brisk walks per day. Exercise routines differ between size, breeds and age. Talk to your vet to find out what kind of exercise is best for your dog.
  • Diet –  A healthy diet is good for your dog’s heart as well as our own hearts.  Your dogs diet needs to be well balance  with high quality ingredients. Again, I recommend that you talk to your vet about which brand would be best for your dog and the amount to feed him.
  • Routine Checkups – Take your dog to the vet at least once a year for an annual checkup. Ask plenty of questions while you’re  there.

Seven tips for protecting your dogs heart.

  1. Keep an eye on your dog as they age. Check his energy levels and get any cough checked out.
  2. Make sure your dog maintains the proper body weight.
  3. Exercise your dog regularly.
  4. Watch for signs of heart disease.
  5. Some breeds may be more prone to heart disease. Know whether or not your breed is prone to heart disease.
  6. If your veterinarian hears a murmur, ask about heart disease.
  7. As mentioned above, take your dog for regular checkups.

Remember, your pets count!

The holidays are here, there will be lots of family  parties and dinners. Your dog will want to partake in all the the festivities.  Giving your dog table food that he’s not used to is not a good idea.  It could upset his stomach and he could swallow bones from the scraps. Instead stick with treats and bones from the pet store. A new toy to play with will always be welcome.

Never give an animal alcohol. According to ASPCA.ORG , alcohol can be extremely dangerous and even deadly to an animal. After a party, make sure all empty bottles and glasses have been cleaned up before letting your pet roam the house freely.

Make sure that your dog does not eat any chocolate. This can make him very sick and could be deadly if large quantities are consumed.

Don’t let your dog roam the room during a party. Guests could slip him treats that are not good for him, he could eat food left out that could make him sick or he could slip outside if someone leaves the door open.

Before the party, burn off you pets energy by taking him for a long walk. If possible, give him a chance to run around. This will tire him out and he may even prefer a nice quiet place to sleep during your holiday party.

Remember, your pets count!

Cats in the Cold Snow

Saturday, December 8, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Your cat may have a thick coat of fur but that doesn’t mean that she is fully protected from winter weather. Snow and cold temperatures can be dangerous to your cat especially when the snow is higher than your cat’s shoulders. If your cat is used to being inside, a sudden cold snap could lead to hypothermia. Frostbite can also occur. It’s safest to keep your pet indoors. If you do decide to let your cat out to play during winter, slowly acclimate him to the cold. Make sure he has a warm, safe shelter as well as plenty of food and water. If you do suspect that your cat has frostbite,  soak his extremities in warm water and then take him to your veterinarian.

Remember, your pets count!

Cats do strange things!

Friday, December 7, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Is your cat an audiophile? Cats get into everything! My cat Mollie was actually on the radio once, well not a big station. I ran a small station for my apartment complex that was based out of my own apartment. One day, I didn’t realize that I left the microphone on. I got in my car and turned on my station. The first thing I heard was loud meowing. It was Mollie sitting on top of the audio console meowing into the microphone! Her meows sounded better than the song that was playing at the time.

Cats are also very curious.  I saw a video on You Tube today where a cat acted like a DJ and began cueing up a record on a turntable. She then proceeded to jump up on top of the turntable and spin around with the record. If you own a cat, have your camera ready, you’ll be sure the capture some unforgettable moments!

By the way my cats like my internet radio stations. Feel to listen to them anytime!

Remember, your pets count!


When to be alarmed when your outdoor cat disappears

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

I have a friend who feeds an outdoor cat. The cat comes around everyday, is very friendly and even sleeps on the patio outside his apartment. The cat has not come home for several days. Should he be worried?  Cats are wanderers and explorers. Especially if they haven’t been spayed or neutered, they will most definitely roam. But even if they have been fixed, some still like to disappear on you for a few days or more.I heard about an outdoor cat who disappeared for 17 days or so them he  came  home looking just fine.  You really don’t know when you keep your cat outdoors. It is even possible that an outdoor cat can find a vacation spot in someone else’s home. I knew of a cat who travelled back and forth between houses. Both parties thought that the cat was theirs and even named him different names!

Outdoor cats are at much higher risks of being hit by a car, injured by another animal or even getting themselves trapped somewhere. By now, you know my opinion of keeping a cat outdoors. If you’re serious about having a cat as a pet, for gosh sake, get him neutered and keep him indoors!

Remember, your pets count!

Dogs and cats around Christmas trees

Tuesday, December 4, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

Millie under the tree

Having a dog or cat can wreak havoc with the family Christmas tree. If your dog is still a puppy chances are, he will enjoy playing with the ornaments and pulling on the garland or tinsel. You must make sure that your dog is trained properly before leaving him alone with the tree. Cats on the other hand may not be as destructive but a shimmering ornament may be a temptation for your cat. Here are a few tips. Keep non breakable ornaments at the bottom of the tree. Make sure that the tree is anchored properly and most of all don’t use tinsel on the tree!  I almost lost a cat one time because he ate the tinsel which got logged in his stomach. He developed a life threatening infection but after lots of care, fully recovered.  I use garland on my tree instead of tinsel.  Even though I haven’t noticed my cats touching the garland at all, it still a concern.                                                                      Make sure that you keep you pets safe during the holidays                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Remember, your pets count!

How does an indoor cat get infested with fleas?

Sunday, December 2, 2012
posted by Jim Murphy

It’s not uncommon for indoor cats to become infested with fleas. How does this happen? Flea pupae or cocoons  are able to do something called “over-wintering.” This means that the can go dormant and survive  in the cracks in your floor or in your carpet for long periods of  time. When the conditions are right, they’ll come out.  They are stimulated by heat and vibration. You can actually carry the fleas into your home. You can pick up fleas where other animals have been such as your yard sidewalk or in the park.  Stray cats that roam through your  yard can carry fleas. Adult fleas like to stick to clothing and travel into your home with you. Other pets brought into your home by family or friends could also be another way for fleas to get into your home.

When treating  a house for fleas, it’s recommended that you wash all the bedding, vacuum all carpets and consider throwing away cat bedding that may be infested. You can treat areas that are infested with a spray available from your vet or you can call a professionallExterminator. Make sure that you follow the Exterminators recommendations about where to keep your cat during the extermination period.

Remember, your pets count!