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Fun and Unusual Pets

How To Protect Your Cat Against Hairballs

Posted by on Jan 15, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Hairballs are gross — especially if you wake up to find one that’s been left on your floor — but they’re a typical part of your cat’s grooming process. As your cat cleans himself he swallows hair which collects in his stomach. This hair is usually expelled in clumps back through your cat’s mouth or mixed in with your cat’s feces. While most cats get hairballs, they can cause many serious health issues for your cat, but you can help him out by maintaining a healthy diet, making sure he is well hydrated and brushing him regularly. Hairballs typically come out by themselves and only require cleanup on your part, but if they don’t come out properly, your cat can have a variety of internal issues. If there is too much hair inside your cat’s stomach, it may not be able to fit through his digestive tract. If this happens, your cat’s intestines can become blocked, and he will need surgery. If cats eat hair other than their own, such as human hair, it may not bunch up with the rest of his hair and can come out separately in a long strand. Proper Diet Your cat’s diet is important not just to keep him healthy, but to make sure that he can pass hairballs properly. Every cat’s needs are different, so before buying whatever cat food looks best, consult with your vet about what type of food your cat should be eating based on his breed, weight, age and similar factors. If your cat has a hairball problem, your vet can help you find hairball control foods that are high in fiber; again, don’t try this yourself. Drastically changing your cat’s diet on a whim can cause digestion problems. Regular Brushing Brushing helps lessen the amount of hair your cat swallows when he cleans himself, and it usually feels pretty good too. The tricky part is if your cat doesn’t like brushing, but you might be able to slowly train him to accept it. Start by using a grooming glove, then work your way up to normal brushes in very short sessions so your cat can acclimate. Hydration Make sure your cat always has a source of fresh, clean water. There are a few reasons this is important: your cat can get a drink whenever he needs and stay properly hydrated, and you can also monitor his drinking habits to check on his health; sudden increases or decreases in water consumption usually mean something is wrong. Water also helps hairballs pass easier so they won’t get stuck in your cat’s throat or intestines. If you have trouble getting your cat to drink, move his food bowl away from his water bowl; many cats don’t like it when their food is too close to their water. You can also try purchasing a pet fountain, as the running water is often more appealing to cats and can interest them in drinking more. To learn more, contact a company like Animal Clinic of Buena with any questions you...

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Caring For Your First Pet Lizard: 4 Necessary Supplies And Accessories

Posted by on Jan 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Purchasing a pet lizard is, on one hand, not unlike getting a more traditional pet, such as a cat or dog. Many pet supply stores will have several different types of lizards for sale in a variety of sizes and colors. Some stores even specialize in reptiles and reptile supplies. But lizards have much different needs than other pets, and many first-time lizard owners are unfamiliar with the supplies and accessories best suited to lizards. Take a look below at four examples of supplies that will keep your lizard happy. Habitats and Decor A lizard will be miserable if left in a makeshift cardboard or plastic container picked up from around the house. For that reason, a terrarium should be at the top of your list when considering what supplies and accessories to purchase. Most terrariums are made of glass (for easy cleaning), are two to three feet in length, and feature a top ventilation screen that is easily removable. Most terrariums will set you back no more than $100, and additional decor such as plant replicas, plastic refuge pieces, and bags of substrate material, are very affordable. Heating Because lizards are cold-blooded, they require constant sources of heat. The best way to ensure that your pet lizard is warm enough at all times is to install a special heat lamp or basking bulb inside the terrarium. Some heat lamps are even designed as rocks on which the lizard can lie for hours at a time. Most lamps and bulbs can be had for around $20. Waste Removal Just as with any other kind of pet, removing your lizard’s waste is an unpleasant but necessary task. It can seem especially difficult if your lizard prefers to bury itself in the various substrates of the terrarium environment. Luckily, specialized waste removal tools exist that help to sift through heavier substrate material and remove odors. Pick one up at your local pet supply store for around $5.  Food and Water Many lizards will eat various kinds of vegetables, but prefer more substantial food such as live crickets. Crickets can be picked up by the hundreds on the cheap in sealed plastic bags at your local reptile supply store. Basic water pumps that attach to the side of any terrarium are also preferable to a small bowl of water, as the water stays fresh for a longer period of time, and does not evaporate as...

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Your Puppy, Vaccinations, And The Law

Posted by on Dec 16, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you are just beginning your journey of owning a dog for the first time, you likely are full of questions. While you’re likely already knowledgeable about how to feed and bathe your canine and complete other general necessary tasks, many individuals are uncertain about vaccinations. Are vaccinations actually vital to the health of your dog, or is that overplayed by veterinarians looking to make an extra dollar? Are vaccinations voluntary, or are there any vaccines that are legally required by law? Are there any risks involved with giving a dog a vaccination, and if so, what are they? If you have asked yourself some of these questions, you are not alone. Continue reading to learn more about nature’s form of vaccination, how the law comes into play, and just how important certain vaccines can be: The Natural Vaccine of “Passive Immunity” When dogs are in the early stages of their lives as puppies, they receive necessary sustenance to survive from the milk of their mother. A puppy will normally continue this way (and will not eat any other form of solid food) until at least four weeks of age, but nature has instilled this need in a puppy for a more important reason than simple digestion issues. Contained within the milk of puppy’s mother is a natural vaccine—an overabundance of antibodies and white blood cells that greatly enhance the dog’s health. Since young puppies do not have completely developed immune systems at birth, this passive immunity (the important antibodies passed on through the milk) is vital to the developing health of your dog. Medical Vaccines and the Law Although some vaccines are voluntary, the rabies vaccine is required by law. Since rabies is a dangerous disease that can spread between animals and even affect humans, American states have placed great importance on vaccinating your dog against the virus. Each state has different laws that govern how often the rabies vaccine must be administered, so be sure to become familiar with your state’s regulations to be as prepared as possible. The Importance of Vaccines While many pet owners worry about the potential side effects that a vaccine may have on their pet, the majority of side effects a pet receives (if any) are very mild. In addition to slight discomfort near the skin where the shot was administered, your dog may experience a low fever or decreased appetite for up to two days. If you suspect that your dog may be having an allergic reaction to an administered vaccine (signified by symptoms like swelling, coughing, or ongoing vomiting), contact your veterinarian, such as at Basking Ridge Animal Hospital, for...

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Safe And Unsafe Human Human Medications For Dogs

Posted by on Dec 5, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

It can be agonizing to watch your dog suffer. If used properly, some medicines used by humans can help ease symptoms in dogs. If you’re a pet owner, here are some of the most common safe and unsafe types of medications for dogs. Common Safe Drugs Antihistamines—These medications are commonly used for treating problems, such as vaccine reactions, skin allergies, motion sickness and insect bites and stings. Anti-nausea drugs—Use these medications for vomiting or upset stomachs. Although many of them are suitable for dogs, they shouldn’t be given to cats. Motion sickness drugs—Used to prevent motion sickness, these medications work best when administered 30 to 60 minutes before your pet travels. However, they should not be used on pregnant dogs. Antibiotic gels—These medications  can be used for minor cuts, but for no longer than two days. Before applying them, thoroughly cleanse your dog’s skin and only use a thin coat. Avoid gels with strong scents as dogs tend to lick their wounds. Unsafe Medications It’s critical that you avoid some medications that can be dangerous or cause death. Some of the most common unsafe drugs for dogs include Beta-blockers—Theses medications are used to correct high blood pressure in humans. They can cause severe problems in dogs, such as skyrocketing heart rate and low blood pressure. In some cases, beta-blockers can even cause death.  NSAIDs—Giving your dog NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflamatories) can result in severe problems, including kidney failure, besides kidney or stomach ulcers.  Antidepressants—Although occasionally vets use antidepressants in dogs, an overdose can lead to several problems, including tremors, seizures and other issues. Muscle relaxants—Common symptoms of poisoning from muscle relaxants can start as quickly as 30 minutes after they’ve been ingested. These signs include fatigue, shaking, slow heart rate, coma, and seizures. Considerations and Warnings Always consult an animal clinic before buying any type of antihistamine product. This is because some antihistamines contain ingredients, such as pseudoephedrine or acetaminophen, that are unsafe for dogs. Also, some medications have alcohol, artificial flavorings and sweeteners that are dangerous.  Have separate locations for storing your human and pet medications. You don’t want to mistakenly snatch the wrong bottle.  Birth control pills are typically packaged in wrappings that are attractive to dogs, so keep them out or reach. Consuming large amounts of estrogen and estradiol can result in suppressing bone marrow.  Sometimes antihistamines include decongestants that can be fatal to dogs. Again, you should always first check with your veterinarian, one like Georgetown Veterinary Hospital Inc, before administering any medication. Besides ensuring a drug is safe, you also want to be sure you’re giving your pet the correct dosage....

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6 Essential Elements Of A Reputable Dog Boarder

Posted by on Dec 3, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

For most dog owners, their dog is more than just a pet. It’s part of the family. Unfortunately, there are times when you will need to go out of town and cannot take your dog with you. That’s why it is so important to make sure you think of all of these things when choosing a boarder. Vaccinations Just about every boarder will require proof that your pet is up to date on his or her vaccinations. This ensures that harmful illnesses are not passed between animals while boarding. While each boarding facility may differ, most require your pet to be vaccinated against rabies, bordella, and distemper. Many also require your dog to be on flea treatments to prevent an infestation at the kennel. Medicine If your dog requires medication, make sure your boarder is skilled in administering it. Some boarders are more of a doggie daycare, and may not have experience in administering medications such as injections. Familiar items The American Kennel Club suggests you bring your dog’s favorite toy or blanket. The familiar item will smell like home and help keep your dog calm and comforted while you are away. Outdoor Play time Your dog will no doubt get bored if he is stuck in a small cage for most of the day. Outdoor playtime not only helps combat boredom and frustration, but helps keep your dog healthy. Look for facilities with large areas for the dogs to run and play. The outdoor runs should be clean and well kept. Individual attention Many boarders offer the option of scheduled cuddle time with your pet. This can be especially important if you are going to be gone for an extended amount of time. Even dogs that are not normally very affectionate will benefit from individual play or attention while you are gone. This helps reduce anxiety and loneliness. Bathing and grooming Happy, active dogs get dirty. Make sure that your boarder will also bathe and groom your dog when necessary. Some facilities offer to groom your dog before pick-up, but dogs still need frequent brushing and regular bathing. Many full service boarders offer this as part of your dog’s stay, while others as an add-on service. While it is possible to learn much of this information by calling the boarder or from their website, nothing beats seeing a facility like Animal House Veterinary Hospital in person. The best way to get an accurate idea of how your dog will be treated is to visit the facility unannounced. A reputable boarder shouldn’t have any problem with giving you a quick tour of the facilities so you can get a good feel for the place. By viewing the other pets and facilities, you will be able to get a good idea of how your dog will be treated while you are...

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Three Ways To Help Your Pet Ease Into Its Senior Years

Posted by on Nov 29, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Is your pet getting older? If so, then you’ll probably start seeing signs of this in the next few years or so. Growing old can be rather painful for some pets, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a few things that you can do to make your pet stay happy and healthy as it enters the geriatric period of its life, three of which are covered in-depth below: Schedule Routine Vet Visits As your pet gets older, it will need more and more visits to the doctor, just like people do. You should plan on scheduling a routine visit with your veterinarian like one from Millerstown Veterinary Associates PC once every few months so that he or she can monitor the animal’s progress and ensure that things are going as they should. This will also allow your vet more of an opportunity to detect problems that would normally go undetected for quite some time: things like hip dysplasia, hyperthyroidism, and more. If the vet does detect these things early on, then there are ways that you can treat your senior pet without causing them pain. If any sicknesses already produce pain, the vet can put the animal on a pain management system to help your pet feel better as it gets older. Get Softer Foods While your pet may be accustomed to eating a particular kind of food, it may be time for you to get them a softer type. Crunchy foods are hard on the teeth as your pet gets older, and the last thing that you want is for your senior pet to break a tooth. If your pet will eat canned food without a problem, there are a few things you can do to make mealtime easier for them in their old age. You can choose to get some wet food and mix it up with their current dry food to moisten it and make it easier to chew, or you can feed the pet straight wet food. Either way, your furry friend will still get all the nutrients it needs, but its teeth won’t be as susceptible to breakage. Pamper Your Pet Pets can get depression, just like people can. If you want to keep your pet happy, then you should pamper them as much as possible. For instance, you can pet your cat more than you normally do, or have it lay on your lap. Your dog may want to play fetch more, and you should encourage this behavior, as your animals still need exercise when they are old. Regular brushing and grooming of your pet will keep them in high spirits as well, because it will show them that you care and will in turn cause them to care about looking their best. Do you want to help your pet enter its senior years gracefully? If so, then follow the tips outlined above. Doing so will ensure that your pet will stay happy and healthy and will feel loved until the very end of its...

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The Importance Of Knowing If The Animal Medical Center Is A Clinic Or A Hospital

Posted by on Nov 21, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

You do not want to be faced with an emergency situation before knowing if the animal medical center you normally go to is a full service hospital or a clinic. While many clinics are associated with a hospital, the time it takes to be seen at the clinic and referred to the hospital could prove to be the difference between life and death for your pet. When you take your pet in for a wellness check or immunizations, ask the veterinarian if the clinic is a full-service hospital and if not, which one he or she uses when different services or equipment is needed. Services Offered at a Veterinary Clinic A veterinary clinic is the place you take your pet for annual checkups and immunizations. If your pet is acting ill, you would make an appointment at the clinic. Some clinics may have an X-ray machine, but not all of them do. Minor or common surgeries, such as neutering or spaying, can be done at a clinic. Blood can be drawn for any needed lab work, but will need to be sent out to be analyzed. A veterinary clinic may also have an area set aside as a kennel where you can take your pet if you are going away on vacation and will be boarding the animal. Due to the possibility of germs and bacteria being transferred back and forth, it is seldom sick or injured pets are kept at a clinic during recovery. Services Offered at a Veterinary Hospital While you can take your pet to an animal hospital for regular visits, keep in mind that the increase in overhead for additional staff, space and equipment usually means an increase in the fees you will pay for the visit. However, if the situation warrants diagnostic testing, to include X-rays, ultrasound, immediate lab results, or major surgery, your only option is to go to a hospital. A full-service veterinary hospital should be used any time there is a life or death situation. If you are not sure of how serious the condition is, call your regular veterinarian and ask if you should go to the clinic or if he or she will meet you at the hospital. It is important to note that the doctors at both clinics, such as Animal Medical Center, and hospitals are capable of caring for your pet in any way necessary, it is only the equipment and space that is...

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Your Cat’s Invisible Parasite That Can Control Your Mind

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

It sounds crazy, or perhaps something straight out of a science fiction movie: According to the Center for Disease Control, over 60 million people in the United States may be infected with a dangerous parasite called toxoplasma gondii that can change their personality, increase recklessness, and even cause a higher risk of suicide. While this parasite can originate from many different places, cat owners may be at a heightened risk of contracting the infection. Continue reading to learn more about to avoid toxoplasma gondii, the invisible parasite that can control your mind: Fatal Attraction Leads to Infection As researchers continue to discover more about the parasite and the side effects those infected can suffer, they have uncovered a weird side effect for infected mice: they no longer show fear of cats. While most mice will run the other direction when sensing their feline predator, the parasite can control the mind of the mouse, causing them to do the exact opposite of what they would normally do. In fact, the mouse not only ignores its normal sense of danger but is attracted to the cat– leading, of course, to the mouse’s demise. As the mouse is devoured, the parasite goes with the cat’s meal– finding a new host in the process. Now you own an infected cat, and you’re likely to be none the wiser. If you’re not careful, you could end up contracting the parasite yourself and suffering the symptoms. The Human Symptoms of Toxoplasma Gondii While you cannot contract the parasite simply by petting your cat or sitting where it has sat, it can be easily contracted through your cat’s feces. If you’re not careful after cleaning the litter box, for example, you could be at risk. An infected human could be at as much risk as the infected rat, and the consequences could be just as deadly. Researcher Jaroslav Flegr was one of the first biologists to discover the parasite’s presence after being infected himself– and he found that the infection could cause jarring differences to an otherwise happy person, such as schizophrenia, depression (at times severe leading to suicide), and recklessness. Time Heals Everything The positive side to this otherwise horrifying parasite is that the Center for Disease Control claims that the infection (and therefore the symptoms) will disappear on their own within a few weeks. The problem is navigating that space in between, the time when you are suffering the ill effects of the infection. Since severe depression is a side effect, be sure to talk to your physician immediately if you suspect that you may have contracted the parasite. To guard yourself against any future infection as a cat owner, simply be sure to wash your hands with warm water any time you clean the litter box. Do the same when you’re working outside in the garden, as outdoor cats may have dug into the soil– causing the parasite to be present there as well. If you suspect that your cat may have contracted the parasite, be sure to take your pet to a clinic like Montgomery Animal...

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Have A Happy Holiday With Your Cats By Keeping These Harmful Foods Away From Them

Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Many people enjoy the holidays because of the variety of foods they get to enjoy. In a house with cats, where begging for food is the norm, it’s tempting to give your cats a little taste of whatever it is that you’re cooking. A number of foods that you enjoy are harmful to your cats. Learn which foods to never give your cats. But keep the number of your animal hospital handy in the case of an accidental food theft off of your kitchen counter. Raw Bread Dough You left a tray of homemade rolls on the counter to rise and notice that one is missing from the tray. Look at your cat to see if they are having trouble breathing or are staggering across the floor as they walk. Bread dough is dangerous for your cat for two reasons: The yeasty dough will continue to rise in the warm, moist environment of the cat’s stomach. As it rises, it puts pressure on the stomach walls, which then push against the lungs. The cat will struggle to breath as they gulp for air. The yeast in the dough changes the sugar into alcohol. The cat’s stomach absorbs the alcohol and they become intoxicated. Signs of drunkenness from your cat may prove that they were the roll thief. A trip to the animal hospital is called for in this case. They may decompress the stomach so the cat can breath easier and monitor them as they sober up. Garlic and Onions Some of your favorite dishes to prepare for entertaining during the holidays may contain these two seasonings. While exposure to raw onions and garlic will do little to your cat, concentrated forms, such as dehydrated onions and garlic powder, can be dangerous. These foods contain a toxin that, in high amounts, damage the red blood cells of your cat. The toxin is not destroyed during cooking. The damage to your cat is that the red blood cells will not develop correctly. They lose their ability to carry oxygen to the cat’s body. Anemia is the result and your cat may begin to seem weak and inactive. Their gums may become pale and their urine could become colored orange or dark red. The symptoms don’t appear until a few days after the cat eats the food with onion or garlic. If you spot these symptoms, take your cat to the vet immediately. Your cat may need a blood transfusion if the damage to the red blood cells is extensive. Chocolate A favorite item in candy and baked goods found during the holidays, chocolate can be deadly to your cat. The harmful toxins to your cat in chocolate are caffeine and theobromine. Dark chocolate has more of these chemicals than light, and white chocolate has very little. These substances affect the cat’s heart and nervous system. Symptoms may appear in a few hours and can include irregular heart rhythm, vomiting, restlessness, muscle tremors, increased temperature, seizures and even death. If you suspect that your cat has eaten chocolate, contact your veterinarian immediately. Depending on the age and weight of your cat, they may have you bring them in for observation. Your vet may try to get your cat to evacuate its stomach, give your cat activated charcoal to prevent the cat...

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How To Deal With The Pet Peeves Of Owning A Dog

Posted by on Nov 17, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Owning a dog is exciting and can certainly lead to many rewarding moments, but for many pet owners, there is a risk of getting stressed (and angry) when problems arise that they’re unsure of how to deal with. While medical issues may be easy to take away with a simple pill prescribed from the veterinarian, other behavioral problems or training issues may not be as easily resolved. Additionally, keeping your dog safe from potential risks both inside and outside of your home is a high priority, but can be a huge task if your canine has tendencies to dart into the road or chew electrical wires when you’re not looking. Continue reading to learn more about how to deal with the pet peeves of owning a dog: Avoiding the Shocking Results of Chewing Power Cords Unfortunately, it seems that many puppies and young dogs gravitate towards electrical power cords, their chomping jaws eager for an object to chew on while not realizing they are putting themselves in peril in the process. Since the dog won’t realize what’s wrong with chewing the cord until it’s too late and you end up with emergency veterinarian services, it’s important to solve this issue before it even begins. Some manufacturers have offered a solution to the problem by creating sprays with a bitter taste that can be applied directly to the cords. When your dog opens his mouth to start chewing, he’ll immediately taste the bitterness of the spray you’ve left there– and he’ll move on to better (and less shocking) things to fill his time. Running into the Danger of a Busy Road When taking your dog outside, one of the biggest risks to the health of your dog may lie not on your property, but on the nearby road. If your dog likes to chase cars, you may find yourself with an immediate safety problem as soon as you set foot outside. Since chasing after cars on a busy road can easily become a bad (and deadly) habit for a dog, train your dog as soon as possible to avoid the danger of the road. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals suggests several ways to redirect your dog’s attention to keep them away from traffic: Redirect your dog toward something more interesting than what is happening on the road. You know your dog better than anyone else, so if your dog’s first inclination is to dart right for the road, this probably isn’t the best option. While you might want to allow your dog to run free throughout your property, the risk isn’t worth the chance for a dog who has already developed a habit of chasing cars. Keep your dog on a leash (a running leash that still allows navigation of the yard works great) until he is able to prove he can be safe outdoors. If the problem persists, consider talking to a pet behavioral specialist. If your dog gets injured and requires medical attention, contact Armory Dog & Cat Hospital or a similar...

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