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Dog Walking in Very Cold Weather

Tuesday, January 11, 2022
posted by Jim Murphy

The temperature has been on a roller coaster ride lately.But now it’s downright cold. It’s that time of year when we have to start  checking the weather outside before taking our dog for a walk. When walking your dog in the cold winter months, it’s important to keep in mind that dogs are vulnerable to harsh weather conditions just like humans. Dogs have a natural coat of fur that shields them from the elements, but among all dogs, only a few breeds like St. Bernards and Huskies were bred to endure the cold. If your dog is not one of the few cold weather breeds, it’s best to put a sweater or fleece lined dog jacket on him during the winter. This will add an additional layer to help keep him warm and prevent frostbite and hypothermia.

It’s also a good idea to avoid walking your dog for too long outdoors, especially if he’s just walking and not running; a dog’s feet can become cold and his vulnerability to frostbite increases.

Remember, pets are family!

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Benefits of Omega 3 for Cats With Kidney Issues

Monday, January 10, 2022
posted by Jim Murphy

Supplementing With Omega 3 Fatty Acids For Cats With Kidney Issues

The following article was written by healthykidneyinc.com. It outlines how Omega 3 can help with many issues that you may have with your cat including kidney disease. Read about the benefits and see if Omega 3 would help your cat.

Among popular pet dietary supplements, perhaps none are quite so widely-consumed as Omega 3 Fatty Acids For Cats With Kidney Issues. Pet parents have been purchasing this health-boosting substance for years and its widespread usage and popularity on the pet market is only growing with time. One of the things we find with any popular supplement that ends up flooding the market, is an unfortunate fluctuation in quality between the different brands. It’s important to do your research and make sure you’re only buying a reputable brand that is comprised of quality ingredients.

 

What are Omega 3 Fatty Acids For Cats With Kidney Issues?

Fish oil’s two main ingredients are eicosapentoaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) fatty acids. These are both long chains of bonded carbon and hydrogen atoms with a carboxyl group on its end. In nature, EPA and DHA are bonded to a three- carbon backbone structure called glycerol. Together this molecule is called a triglyceride. Fish oil is a triglyceride.

 

What Are Omega 3 Fatty Acids For Cats With Kidney Issues Good For?

  • Heart Protection
    Fish oil minimizes the heart’s vulnerability to developing an irregular heart rhythm, called atrial fibrillation. Additionally, it can act as an anti-coagulant and prevent blood clots from forming in cats and dogs with heart issues. 
  • Skin Health
    Provides support for dry, flaky skin in pets prone to allergies. Giving fish oil to pets with allergies may reduce their itching by decreasing their body’s production or release of inflammatory-stimulants, called cytokines. 
  • Kidney Health
    Helps slow down the progression of kidney disease in cats and dogs. In failing kidneys, fish oil may help regulate blood pressure, prevent undesired protein loss and minimize production of the inflammatory agents responsible for aggravating the kidneys. A study which followed nearly 150 cats with kidney issues found that omega 3 fatty acid supplements helped cats live approximately 10 months longer than those who were not taking them. 
  • Eases Arthritic Pain.
    Fish oil decreases prostaglandin production. Prostaglandins are the substances that can cause joint inflammation. Fish oil can help pets feel more comfortable, exhibit more flexibility and agility than those not taking fish oil. 
  • Safeguards Brain Health & Cognition.
    Cognitive function is improved in pets who are supplemented with fish oil with numerous studies showing decreased pattern-pacing with a simultaneous increase in recognition of family members. Older pets especially benefit from adding a fish oil supplement. 
  • Decrease In Blood Triglyceride Levels.
    High triglyceride levels in the blood can be harmful, worsening chronic conditions such as IBD, pancreatitis and heart issues. Fish oil has been known to have a lowering effect on these levels. 

Where to Purchase Your Omega 3 Fatty Acids For Cats With Kidney Issues

  • Be very careful about the company you’re ordering from. That goes for all supplements, but is especially relevant to pet supplements like fish oil because pet supplements are not regulated and nutritional supplements, in general, aren’t very well regulated. 
  • Make sure they offer the highest quantity EPA and DHA. Our own Kidney Shield for Cats & Dogs boasts a whopping 498.4mg of EPA and 472 mg of DHA per serving! 
  • Steer clear of cod liver oil as it is not recommended, despite being a decent source of vitamins A & D, it falls short when it comes to EPA/DHA levels and simply isn’t as good for pets. 
  • Similarly, steer clear of flaxseed oil and any other flax sources of fatty acids. They contain high amounts of ALA or alpha linolenic acid which can’t be converted to DHA/EPA by cats at all. 
  • If it’s in the liquid form, don’t forget to keep it refrigerated and always be mindful of expiration date to achieve maximum benefits. 

Omega 3 Fatty Acids For Cats With Kidney Issues are a polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) which are an absolutely vital component of growth, especially because the body can’t create a sufficient supply of ALA/DHA/EPA on its own. This means dietary sources become twice as important. When a dog or cat has developed chronic kidney issues, inflammation becomes the body’s worst enemy and can contribute to the majority of ills faced by your furry friend. Diet alone, unfortunately may not cut it, this is when supplementation becomes key.

 

Sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids For Cats With Kidney Issues

Fish and other marine life such as calamari, green lipped mussels, krill and algae are obviously some of the richest sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids For Cats With Kidney Issues. Many people, however, assume it is the fish themselves who create the oil, but contrary to popular belief, they do not actually generate the oils directly. Fish actually accrue the omega-3s from the prey they consume (i.e., the algae, krill, etc. we mentioned). It’s the active omega-3s in those sources which contain  eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA).

Although there are a few seeds and nuts which also contain omega-3s, they are not comprised of sufficient amounts of EPA/DHA, being higher in ALA which, as stated earlier, isn’t able to convert to EPA/DHA in cats. Our own Kidney Shield formulation draws its rich EPA/DHA content from a variety of coldwater fish such as: mackerel, salmon, sardines, anchovy and herring

 

How Does It Work Exactly?

Upon being digested, Omega 3 Fatty Acids For Cats With Kidney Issues are absorbed into the cell membranes of the body’s organs, transforming the building blocks ready for metabolism. The resulting changed molecules are far less likely to act as inflammatory agents, leading to less inflammation throughout the body and better-lubricated joints.

 

Why Fish Oil Is So Important!

The thing about fish oil that really makes it such a superstar supplement for cats is that it helps reduce protein loss through the urine. This also helps lessen hypertension and further helps to keep inflammation to a minimum throughout the body. It’s no coincidence that numerous kidney diets will include high amounts of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

 

How effective is Fish Oil?

More than other dietary supplements, fish oil has been studied extensively in cats and has been shown to provide benefit for allergies, skin issues, even some kinds of cancers. It is a very safe supplement and one which can go a long way toward helping your little one.

 

What’s The Ideal Method Of Administering Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

Omega-3s are typically given as either a liquid or capsule. Pilling cats is never easy, as anyone who’s tried knows. Luckily, formulations like our own Kidney Shield for Cats & Dogs comes in an easy-to-dispense pump bottle, where the oil can be applied directly onto their food and blended in. It can take several weeks before the full effects become apparent, but a gradual improvement is typically noticed within the first few days.

 

Do Omega 3 Fatty Acids For Cats With Kidney Issues Have Any Side Effects?

Omega-3 fatty acids are typically very safe for cats. The side effects that have been observed have been in cases of very high doses. These have ranged from vomiting and diarrhea to oily coat or skin flaking. In severe circumstances, cats can experience changes in blood clotting and inflammation of the pancreas or upset stomach. In these situations, discontinuing the supplement usually resolves any such problems.

 

Which Cats Should Avoid Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

As stated above, fish oil is generally very well-tolerated. That being said, any cats that have exhibited sensitivity to it should not be forced to take it. Also, this harkens back to the point we made about only obtaining reputable sources of fish oil, as less scrupulous companies will source from areas rich in toxic heavy metals and you don’t want that to be unwittingly consumed by your cats as a result.

If your cat is taking anticoagulants or has any kind of blood clotting issues, fish oil can increase anti-clotting effects and shouldn’t be used.  In cats that are pregnant/nursing, diabetic, experiencing diarrhea or who have a history of pancreatitis, it should be used cautiously.

In addition to anticoagulants, drugs like doxorubicin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may have interactions with Omega-3 Fatty Acids and in these cases, it’s best to defer to your veterinarian’s best judgement. With any supplement, vitamin or herbal therapy, it’s similarly vital to always consult your veterinarian before adding them to your cat’s healthcare regimen.

Remember, pets are family!

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When Your Cat loses their Balance

Sunday, January 9, 2022
posted by Jim Murphy

A few years ago, my  cat Mollie ( who has since walked over the rainbow bridge) and I were out on the porch. I was at my computer and Mollie was lying comfortably on a rug. Mollie began to get up and seemed not to be able to get her balance. She flopped over to one side and had trouble standing. Of course, I panicked (it’s something I do best !) . I jumped up and picked her up and brought her inside. She still was a bit unstable but quickly recovered and walked over to her bowl to get something to eat. I’m watching her closely. Cats can be prone to vestibular syndrome which I think may have been the case with Mollie. The root of the problem can be caused by changes involving the peripheral vestibular system which is lies deep within the inner ear. Fluid in the inner ear can cause the ear canal to become inflamed creating balance problems. So far nobody has been able to confirm a single common caused for this problem. According to cat heath.com, some cats may cry out, roll around, have a head that tilts way off to one side, eyeballs that oscillate back and forth, may lean against walls or furniture, fall down, and seem “out of it”. Sometimes if both ears are affected, the head may not be tilted much and kitty may not want to move at all. The affected cats most certainly are as puzzled as we are.

If this happens to your cat, watch her closely and if she doesn’t recover fully right away, take her to an animal clinic or your vet. I would also call your vet anyway to be on the safe side. When these things happen to our pets, we become very concerned because they can’t tell you how they are feeling after the incident.

Remember, pets are family!

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A Guide to Cleaning Your Dogs Ears

Saturday, January 8, 2022
posted by Jim Murphy

Dogs need to have their ears cleaned just like humans do. Usually a groomer will do this. However, you could do this yourself. Here are some easy instructions. First of all you’ll need:

  • Cotton swabs
  • Pet ear cleaners

1. Use an ear wash that is formulated for cleaning. Here’s something very important to remember. Never use undiluted peroxide on your dogs ears as it will cause burning.

2. Soak a cotton ball thoroughly in the ear wash and squeeze out excess liquid.

3. Place the cotton ball in your dogs ear and gently rub up and down.

4. Allow your dog to shake off excess moisture. This is important in preventing ear infections.

5. Soak the tip of the cotton swab in the ear wash solution and run it along the nooks and crannies of your dog’s ears.

6. Avoid putting the cotton swab down your dog’s ear canal. Leave this for your veterinarian.

7. Never put any other pet medication in your dog’s ears.

Remember, pets are family!

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Snow and ice can bother a dog’s feet but most medium or large breeds could still go on a winter run or walk. A rule of thumb for the average Lab is that if you could exercise without a face mask, he should do fine but wash his feet off when he comes inside. Dogs who lick road salt off their paws could develop a skin irritation between their toes. Many large dogs could even stay in the yard on a winter day if they have a dry shelter. Short, small breeds like Chihuahua’s may never be comfortable in the cold. You may even consider putting booties on them to prevent frostbite and protect their paws from sharp ice. No matter what precautions that you take, if your dog shivers or becomes listless, get her inside right away!

Remember, pets are family.

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A Canine’s Urinary Incontenence

Thursday, January 6, 2022
posted by Jim Murphy

Urinary incontinence or urinary leaking is a common canine condition with causes ranging from infection to diabetes to abnormal development. Tests will help determine the seriousness of your dogs problem. There are certain conditions like irritation or inflammation that can cause incontinence. These conditions are easily treatable. Another common cause especially in spayed females dogs and geriatric dogs is a weak bladder sphincter. This condition generally responds well to pet medication so most incontinent pets do not need to suffer. If your dog is diagnosed with a more serious problem, surgical reconstruction of the lower urinary system will help protect your pet and those expensive carpets! So be patient when slipping on that dog leash and have the paper towels handy.

Check out our pet store for a wide variety of pet products. Your one stop shop!

Remember, pets are family!

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Start the New Year by Adopting an Older Pet

Wednesday, January 5, 2022
posted by Jim Murphy

Local animal shelters are filled with cats and dogs abandoned due to various reasons. It really bothers me how many people got rid of their pets for financial reasons yet maintain an unlimited cellphone plan and mindlessly text all day! The fact is that many people will not adopt an older cat or dog for fear that it only has a few years to live. Remember cats can live as long as 20 years, so if you adopt a twelve year old cat and if it’s in good health, you can have eight good years with it. Giving a second chance to an abandoned older cat or dog is a very rewarding experience. Perhaps, as the holiday season comes to an end, we can bring in 2022 by  really helping the animal shelters and adopting a needy animal. If you cannot adopt a pet due to allergies or financial reasons, animal shelters could use old blankets, food or anything else that you can donate. Spend your money on cat toys or a pet carrier instead of paying for minutes to mindlessly texting and playing with social media  all day. Now that’s really making a difference!

Remember, pets are family!

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Things to Know When Choosing a Vet

Tuesday, January 4, 2022
posted by Jim Murphy

Changing Vets or finding a vet may not be an easy task. After a bad experience with a vet here in southern Delaware, I needed to find a new vet for my cat Millie. After calling several vets and hearing that they were full and not taking any more patients, we finally find one of the vets that was on our list. This was a difficult task and we had to wait several weeks for our cat Millie to be seen. She was suffering from an abscess.

The following article published by pets.webmd.com may help out with this difficult task.

Choosing a veterinarian is one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your cat or dog. Your veterinarian will be an important partner for you in making sure your pet lives a long, healthy life. Think about the issues that are important to you, like the clinic’s hours and location. Knowing your preferences ahead of time will help you narrow down your choices.

When Should I Find a Vet?

The best time to find a vet is before you need one. Ideally, you’ll choose a vet before you bring home your pet, and some offices can even help you find the best pet for your family.

If you’re moving, you should look for a vet as soon as possible. Don’t wait until your dog or cat needs a vet before you start looking for one. You don’t want to have to deal with the stress of having to find a vet if your pet is sick or injured.

How Do I Find a Vet?

Word of mouth is often the best way to find a vet. Ask your friends and family for recommendations. Online reviews can be helpful, but suggestions from people you trust are even better. Different pets and families have different needs, though, so consider meeting with a few vets before making your choice.

You can also check with your state’s veterinary medical association for a list of qualified veterinarians, or search the American Animal Hospital Association to locate accredited veterinary practices. If you’re moving, your current vet may be able to make recommendations.

If your dog or cat is purebred, you can check in with local breed clubs. The club members often know which vets have experience with your pet’s specific breed.

How Do I Know if a Vet Is Right for My Pet?

Here are some things to consider when you’re choosing a vet:

  • Arrange a visit to the vet without your pet so you can tour the office. This is a great time to notice if the office is clean and well-organized. You can talk to the staff and see if they seem friendly and helpful.
  • Ask about the services they offer. If your pet needs an X-ray or other test, can they do it at the office, or will you have to go somewhere else?
  • Find out the office hours and how emergencies are covered. If it’s a practice with more than one vet, you may want to ask if you can see a specific vet.
  • Find out if their philosophy matches yours. Veterinarians are simply people whose personalities can vary. Some are warm while others are very businesslike. Look for a vet whose attitude feels like a match.

Remember, pets are family.

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Does Your Small Dog Rule the Roost?

Monday, January 3, 2022
posted by Jim Murphy

Does your small dog “rule the roost?”  Does she jump up on you when you come home from work, bite at your sleeves, snap at you when you try to trim her nails?  Does she bark and growl at strangers? Your pet thinks she’s in charge. Your cute little dog thinks that she’s the boss. Dog owners often let small dogs get away with things that they would never tolerate in a large dog. They let them sleep in their beds, beg for treats, jump into their laps and more. You should refuse to tolerate her bad behavior.  Be calm, but insist on good manners, be patient and consistent and watch that small dog syndrome disappear.

Remember, pets are family!

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The following information regarding your dogs Achilles Tendon prepared by the Top Dog Library website. I was visiting friends yesterday and their dog is recovering from Achilles Tendon surgery. They have to be very careful that he does not injure it once again and they must exercise the dog leg everyday. Here’s some important information regarding the Achilles Tendon and the dogs that are prone to Achilles Tendon injury.

Who gets Achilles Tendon Rupture?

Dogs that are affected by an Achilles tendon rupture are primarily from the large sporting and working
breeds, and are usually 5 years of age and older. The Doberman pinscher and Labrador retrievers seem
to be overrepresented in this condition, but it can occur in any dog or cat, no matter what age or breed.

What are the Signs of Achilles Tendon Rupture?

With a partial rupture, the gastrocnemius tendon is torn, but the superficial digital flexor tendon is still
intact. Animals with a partial rupture will have a dropped hock, be lame in the affected leg, and will
stand with curled toes.

Dogs that have a complete rupture and all five tendons of the Achilles tendon are torn will have a
completely dropped hock, so that he is walking flat-footed rather than on his “tippy toes” like normal,
and will show signs of lameness. (show pictures of affected animals with dropped hock)

Pain and edema (swelling) will follow the injury. Eventually the gastrocnemius muscle will contract, and
the area between the bone and the tendon fills with fibrous tissue.

Thanks to Topdog for providing us with this valuable information!

Remember, Pets are family.

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