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Treating Your Pet Like A Family Member

4 Tips To Make Clipping Your Cat’s Nails Easier

Posted by on Sep 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Tips To Make Clipping Your Cat’s Nails Easier

Clipping your cat’s nails can help save your furniture and rugs from destruction, but it’s not always the easiest thing to do. To make nail trimming easier on you and your pet, follow these four tips: Use human nail clippers. Pet nail clippers are often necessary for dogs because their nails are so thick. However, your cat’s nails are thin enough that you can clip them with human nail clippers, which tend to be smaller and thus easier to handle. To reduce splintering of the nail, make sure you cut with the nail clippers positioned vertically – the slit should be facing up and down. Don’t clip all of the nails at once. Keeping a cat calm while all 18 nails are trimmed is tough and may result in an angry cat and some scratched up arms. Make the task easier on everyone by only clipping a few nails at a time. Clip two or three nails (or a whole paw’s worth if your cat is well behaved), and then let your cat roam. Later on, when your cat has had a chance to calm down again, clip a few more nails. Give your cat a treat after nail clipping. This will go a long way towards making your cat more accepting of the nail clipping process. Your cat will come to associate nail clipping with treat time, and will sit more patiently. Make sure the treats you’re giving your cat are safe. Store-bought cat treats from a reputable brand are a good choice, as is plain chicken. Don’t give fatty meat scraps or milk, as these may cause diarrhea and upset stomach in some cats. Ask your vet to demonstrate. If you’re having trouble clipping your cat’s nails, ask your vet to show you how to do this most effectively the next time you visit for vaccines or a checkup. Your vet or vet tech is likely an expert at trimming cat’s nails and will be able to show you some techniques for holding your cat and quickly trimming the nails that are hard to describe in words . Plus, if your vet trims your cat’s nails while you’re in the office, that’s one less trimming session you have to handle yourself. For many pet owners, keeping furniture intact is a struggle. Trimming your cat’s nails is a good way to achieve this goal without resorting to surgical declawing. This process can be safe and effective, as long as you follow the tips above. Visit an animal hospital like Edinburgh Animal Hospital for more...

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4 Things Guinea Pig Owners Need to Know about Yersinia Infection

Posted by on Sep 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Things Guinea Pig Owners Need to Know about Yersinia Infection

There are many serious illnesses that affect guinea pigs, so owners always need to be alert for the signs of sickness in their pets. Here are four things you need to know about one of these serious illnesses, yersinia infection, or yersiniosis. What are the symptoms of yersiniosis? Yersiniosis can cause a wide variety of symptoms in guinea pigs. Some infected guinea pigs will look perfectly healthy, but they’ll still be able to spread the bacteria to other pigs. Other pigs may get diarrhea and lose weight before eventually succumbing to the illness. In other cases, the bacteria will spread to the guinea pig’s blood stream and kill them suddenly, without them ever showing signs of illness. The other possible scenario is that your pig will have swollen lymph nodes around its neck area, but will otherwise seem fine. Since the symptoms vary so widely, vets need to do laboratory tests to diagnose yersiniosis. Can it be treated? The main treatment for a yersinia infection is antibiotics. These can be given either orally or intravenously. Your vet may also give your pig supportive treatments to ease their symptoms, such as intravenous fluids or painkillers. The outcome for this treatment is poor, but your pig will have the best chance of survival if you get it to a vet immediately. Will your other guinea pigs get sick? Yersiniosis is very contagious, so you need to take steps to protect your other pigs. Keep your recovering guinea pig in quarantine to avoid infecting the others. You also need to thoroughly clean the cage to keep your healthy pigs from getting sick. You’ll need to disinfect anything that your sick pig came in contact with, like food bowls, water bowls, pigloos, and toys. Can you get sick from your pig? It’s possible for the bacteria that causes yersinia infection, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis, to infect humans, so you need to be very careful when you’re looking after your guinea pig. Make sure to wash your hands after looking after your sick pig. Immunocompromised people may want to wear gloves and a mask, or better yet, have a non-immunocompromised family member look after the sick pig. If you do get sick from your pig, the symptoms usually mimic foodborne illnesses, but can be more serious. If you get sick, make sure to tell your doctor that you recently cared for a pig with yersiniosis. If you think your guinea pig has yersinia infection, take it to an emergency animal clinic right...

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Injuries Happen: 4 Simple Ways To Treat Your Pet’s Abscess

Posted by on Sep 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Injuries Happen: 4 Simple Ways To Treat Your Pet’s Abscess

If your pets spend any time outside, chances are they’re going to come in contact with something that’s going to injure them. You can’t always find the injuries before they become infected – which means they may develop an abscess. If you’ve discovered an abscess on your pet, you’re going to need to treat it as soon as possible. Here’s a step-by-step guide that will help you treat the abscess. Restrain Your Pet If you’ve ever had an abscess, you know how painful they can be. Your pet is not going to want you to poke around on the injury. Before you start any type of treatment, you’ll need to properly restrain your pet. It’s a good idea to have a second person help you restrain your pet. The easiest way to restrain a dog is to wrap a towel or sheet around their body and hold it tightly while holding their head in your lap. Because the process can be painful, you’ll need to restrain your dog each time you provide treatment for the abscess. Bring the Infection to the Surface Abscesses go through a process before they’re ready to drain. During this time, they may swell considerably. You can help draw the infection to the surface by applying heat directly to the abscess. The best way to do that is with hot compresses. Soak a towel in hot water and carefully wring it out. Place the towel directly over the abscess and leave it in place for about 5 minutes. Remove the towel and leave it off for 5 minutes. Repeat the process until the towel cools down. Do this several times a day. You should notice the abscess becoming softer, which means it’s getting ready to drain. Clip the Fur Away From the Abscess The abscess is filled with pus and bacteria. Once it begins to drain, you’ll notice a foul-smelling gooey substance. That gooey substance can get stuck in your dog’s fur. When that happens, the bacteria and infection remain near the abscess, which prevents it from healing properly. To speed up the healing process, clip the fur away from the abscess before it begins to ooze. Using a pair of scissors, bring the fur between your fingers and lay your hand flat on your dog. Clip the fur to where it’s even with your fingers – or about ½” to ¾” in length. Keep the fur clipped until the abscess heals. Clean the Affected Area The abscess will continue to drain as it heals, so you’ll need to keep the area clean. You can use ordinary tap water to clean the wound. Simply pour lukewarm water over the affected area, several times a day. This will keep the wound clean and prevent the pus from drying on your dog. You can’t prevent your pet from getting injured. However, you can prevent infections by inspecting your pet for injuries once a day. The instructions provided above will help you care for any abscesses your pet may develop. If your pet develops severe pain with the abscess or refuses to eat, you’ll need to contact a pet hospital for additional...

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What You Should Know About Dehydration In Your Cat

Posted by on Sep 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What You Should Know About Dehydration In Your Cat

You may not realize it, but your cat can suffer from dehydration. This may be a result of an illness that causes vomiting or loss of appetite. It could also be due to your cat refusing to drink very much water because of the taste or dislike of the water bowl. Here are a few things you should know about this potentially dangerous health condition.   When To Suspect Dehydration If your cat doesn’t look up to par, you should check for signs of dehydration. Do this by running your finger along your cat’s gums. They should be slick and wet. If they are dry and sticky, it’s a sign of dehydration. Another thing you can do is pull up the skin between your cat’s shoulder blades. It should quickly spring back into place when you let go. If there’s a delay, it could be a sign of loss of skin elasticity due to dehydration. If the level of water in your cat’s bowl hasn’t been dropping, or if your cat has been sick, then you should keep an eye out for signs of dehydration. Another time to check is when your cat has been outdoors or missing for a couple of days and possibly been without water.  Have A Vet Examination Your cat should be seen by a vet when you suspect dehydration, or when your cat is sick so you can prevent dehydration. A vet can help you determine the cause. It could be due to an illness such as diabetes or cancer. On the other hand, it could be due to your cat disliking the water if you’ve recently changed its source. Prompt treatment for dehydration is necessary because permanent organ damage can result if your cat loses enough bodily fluids. Treatment For Dehydration The treatment will depend on your cat’s condition. If there is no underlying illness and the vet thinks it is a behavioral problem, the vet may recommend you place out several bowls of different types of water so you can find a combination your cat likes. Your cat may prefer tap water or water that’s filtered to remove the taste. Also, you can add flavoring such as tuna juice or other meat broth to the water to encourage your cat to drink it. You may also want to supplement dry cat food with wet food that has more moisture in it. These tricks won’t work if your cat is too ill or weak to drink. If that’s the case, your vet may recommend placing your cat in the pet hospital for a couple of days for IV hydration. Your vet will place an IV in your cat that delivers fluid and replenishes electrolytes. This is the most effective way to overcome the side effects of dehydration and get fluids in your cat. During this time the vet can also run medical tests, diagnose, and treat the medical condition that’s making your cat sick. Although it may be stressful for you and your cat to be separated, being in a hospital is often the best choice when treating dehydration since it would be very difficult for you to manage an IV at home. As long as the condition is caught fairly early, your cat has a good chance of recovering. That’s why you...

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Common Cat Care Myths: What To Avoid

Posted by on Sep 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Common Cat Care Myths: What To Avoid

When you adopt your first cat of your very own, you may think you have everything figured out. However, there are a lot of myths regarding cat ownership and cat care that many people take as fact. So, before you make the same mistakes that so many first-time and even seasoned cat owners may make when it comes to taking proper care of their cat, get to know some of these myths and learn how to avoid falling into their traps. Then, you will be sure that you take the best possible care of your new cat beginning with when you first bring them home. Myth #1: Declawing Your Cat Is The Only Way To Save Your Furniture Cat declawing is nothing if not controversial. Many people rely on declawing their cat to stop them from scratching furniture and other household items. However, few realize the actual effect of declawing on their cat. Declawing is not a simple procedure that is similar to cutting or removing the cat’s nails. It actually involves removing a bone from each of your cat’s toes. This is essentially an amputation procedure. The effects on your cat are numerous including pain, bone spurs, infection, increased bad behavior like not using the litter box and biting, and the like. Your cat’s first line of defense is their claws. It is also a way that they can safely navigate their world and sense the environment around them. Declawing is not necessary to stop your cat from scratching up your furniture. If you provide your cat with acceptable scratching posts and toys, this will help to redirect their behavior. To get them to leave your furniture alone, you can place special tape on the corners. This deters scratching as the stickiness is unpleasant. In addition to these steps, taking him or her for regular cat grooming to have their nails trimmed will help to stop unwanted scratching. Myth #2: Cats Do Not Need Baths or Grooming Cats have a reputation for being very clean animals. After all, they groom and clean themselves regularly. However, many people take this knowledge a bit too far when they assume that a cat’s general cleanliness means that they never need baths or grooming. The truth is, just like any other creature, cats can get into mischief and sometimes mischief means dirtiness. They can get messy from playing in the kitchen and getting food on them, or can have litter box issues that leave them with feces stuck in their fur. Or they can just get matted fur from tangles. It is important to groom your cat regularly. A cat with long hair will benefit from more frequent grooming to prevent mats and issues with unwanted substances being stuck in their fur. Brushing once a day or once every other day is best for cats with longer hair. Shorthair cats can go about a week between brushings. And any time your cat gets into something messy or needs their nails trimmed, you can send them to the pet groomer for bathing and nail clipping. Now that you know a few of the myths regarding cat care and ownership, you can be sure that you do not make the same pet ownership mistakes that so many others do. Be sure to keep these...

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3 Issues That Could Make It a Difficult Birthing for Your Puppy

Posted by on Sep 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Issues That Could Make It a Difficult Birthing for Your Puppy

If this is the first time your dog has gotten pregnant, you may not be prepared for the birth process. While most deliveries go off without a hitch, some don’t go quite the way they should. When that happens, you should be prepared to intervene, if necessary. Here are three scenarios you’ll need to be prepared for. Mother Doesn’t Remove the Membrane As soon as a puppy is born, the mother should begin licking at the membrane . The licking does two things. It stimulates the breathing process and it removes the membrane from around the pup. If the mother does not start licking after several seconds, you should begin removing the membrane.  Start by breaking the membrane open from around the pup’s head and gently pull it away from its face. Don’t try to remove the membrane completely or you may pull on the cord, which can cause excessive bleeding. Once the membrane is freed from the puppies face, it will slip down towards the umbilical cord. Mother Doesn’t Cut the Umbilical Cord In most cases, the umbilical cord will be cut by the mother. She’ll do this by biting on the cord until it comes loose. If she’s a first-time mother or she has a large litter, she may either refuse to cut the cords or she’ll get busy and forget a few. If that happens, you’ll need to step in and cut the cords. When mother dogs bite through the cords, the biting causes the blood vessels to get pinched together, which stops the bleeding. If you have to cut the cords, you’ll need to be prepared for bleeding. You’ll need sterile gloves, a clean pair of scissors, iodine, and thread. Directions Use your scissors to cut a 6″ piece of thread. Tie the thread tightly around the umbilical cord about ½” away from the puppy’s belly. Use your clean scissors to cut the cord about ¼” away from the knot that you’ve tied. Be sure to cut the cord on the side of the knot that’s farthest away from the puppy’s body. Dip the end of the cord in iodine to prevent bacteria from entering the puppy. Leave the thread in place until the cord dries up and falls off. Puppy Isn’t Breathing at Birth Mothers usually stimulate breathing by licking their newborns. However, sometimes the puppy still refuses to breathe. When that happens, you’ll need to be prepared for emergency intervention. Place the puppy in a clean towel and begin rubbing it vigorously, all over the body. Be sure to rub on both sides of the puppy’s chest. This should get the puppy to breathe. In most cases, puppies are born without any complications. Once in a while, though, you’ll need to step in and help. These simple tips will help you take care of the puppies should an emergency arise. If your puppies continue to experience difficulty following birth, be sure to take them to an animal hospital for monitoring by a veterinarian, as soon as...

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4 Things Guinea Pig Owners Need To Know About Corneal Ulcers

Posted by on Sep 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Things Guinea Pig Owners Need To Know About Corneal Ulcers

Guinea pigs can suffer from a wide variety of eye problems, including corneal ulcers. Here are four things you need to know about corneal ulcers in guinea pigs. What are the signs of corneal ulcers? Changes in your pig’s behavior will be the first clue that they’re not feeling well. Sick pigs tend to lose interest in their food, so if your pig isn’t eating, you should be concerned. They may also become shy and withdrawn instead of getting excited when you come into the room. If you notice changes like these, you should take a closer look at your pet because something is wrong. If your pig has a corneal ulcer, you may notice that one of their eyes is squinted or swollen. You may also see crust or pus around the eye. The eye may also look white or blue instead of a more normal red or black. Eye problems always need to be looked at by a vet, so if you notice any of these signs, get help right away. What causes corneal ulcers? Corneal ulcers occur when your pig injures their eye and then bacteria gets into the wound, leading to infection. The infection leads to the formation of an ulcer, an open sore. Guinea pigs can injure their eyes in many ways. You’ve probably noticed that your guinea pig almost always has their eyes open; they keep their eyes open as much as possible to look for predators. This habit helps to keep them safe in the wild, but it also makes it easy for them to injure their eyes. For example, when they stick their head into their hay rack, they don’t close their eyes, and can easily get a piece of hay stuck in their eye. They can also injure their eyes while fighting their cage mate for a tasty pepper or carrot. Can corneal ulcers cause blindness? Corneal ulcers can lead to corneal scarring. The cornea focuses the light that enters the eye, so for it to work properly, it needs to be clear and unscarred. Once the cornea gets scarred, light can’t pass through as well, and your guinea pig will lose some or all of their vision. Fortunately, guinea pigs don’t have good vision to start with, so they can handle blindness better than people can. Can vets treat this injury? Your vet can give you antibiotic eye drops to give your pig. The antibiotics will kill the bacteria in the eye and get rid of the infection. Giving eye drops to a guinea pig can be very challenging, so you may want to get a second person to help you. Wrapping your pig in a blanket can help keep them from squirming while they’re getting their eye drops. If you think your pig has a corneal ulcer, take them to a vet immediately. For professional veterinary care, contact an office such as East Valley Animal...

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What to Expect after Your Dog Gives Birth

Posted by on Sep 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What to Expect after Your Dog Gives Birth

So, the day has finally arrived. Your dog is giving birth to a litter of puppies and your entire family is excited for her and the new additions to your family. While you do everything you can to ensure the comfort and safety of your dog during the birthing process, you might be surprised to know that you’ll need to keep an eye on some things after she gives birth as well. This guide explains what you can expect from the mother dog in the days and weeks after giving birth. Eating Habits The new mom may not be interested in eating food immediately, but a few hours after giving birth her appetite should come back. The biggest challenge of feeding the new mom is that her instinct will keep her completely bound to the puppies. She will not leave them even for a moment. To keep her well fed, you need to bring food and water to her, as she will not go get it for herself. Switch the mom to a dog food with higher calories toward the final stages of pregnancy. The increased intake of calories prepares her for the rigorous demands of nursing. Continue this diet as she progresses her puppies through the nursing stage. If the mom is not eating food or drinking water within the first 24 hours of giving birth, contact your veterinarian. Hair Loss The extreme stress of labor, birth, and nursing can affect your dog’s regular hormones and functioning. Dogs lose and grow hair at a regular rate, which is what keeps their coat looking healthy. However, the stress of birth can disrupt the growth and can result in very visible hair loss. In some cases, new moms may even suffer temporary bald patches in their coat. The hair should begin growing again once the stresses of birth and nursing wear off within a couple weeks Vaginal Discharge Vaginal discharge is very normal and should be expected after your dog gives birth. The mom’s uterus needs to heal and return to its normal size, which will result in discharge. For the first 24–48 hours the discharge will be black or green, but eventually it should turn red and always be odorless. Discharge can continue for a few weeks and should lessen as time progresses. If the discharge isn’t slowing down, or if it has an odor or inappropriate color, contact your veterinarian. In time, you’ll notice that your dog returns to her normal self without any complications. Ask your vet about other things you should be on the lookout for when your dog gives birth to her new puppies. For further concerns, speak with a representative from a clinic like Canine...

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3 Tips To Prevent Your Cat From Becoming Dehydrated

Posted by on Sep 1, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips To Prevent Your Cat From Becoming Dehydrated

You probably already know that you can become dehydrated if you don’t drink enough fluids, but you might have never thought of the possibility of your feline friend becoming dehydrated. However, dehydration is a common problem for cats that can cause serious health issues and even death. Therefore, it’s important to be proactive to prevent your cat from becoming dehydrated in the first place. These are a few things that you can do to keep your cat well-hydrated and healthy. 1. Learn How Your Cat Likes to Drink As you might have noticed, cats can be rather finicky. You might think that a cat will drink what it needs to drink if there is fresh water available, but this isn’t necessarily the case. If your cat does not like its water bowl or its water bowl placement, for example, it might not be getting the water that it needs. Place a few different water bowls of different shapes, sizes and styles throughout the home.Then, you can notice which water bowls your cat seems to prefer and can use this as a guide. If you still don’t notice your cat drinking water very often, you should try one of the water bowls that features a waterfall or another form of running water. Some cats prefer for their water to be moving when they are drinking it. Luckily, you can purchase these cat-friendly types of bowls from any pet store. 2. Work Quickly After Illness If your cat gets sick and has diarrhea or suffers from vomiting for any reason, you should work quickly to ensure that your cat gets rehydrated quickly. You can offer it an ice cube to lick at, or you can freeze chicken broth in an ice cube tray if your cat doesn’t seem to like the ice cube. Adding a little bit of warm water to your cat’s food and mashing it gently can be a tasty treat for your cat and can provide it with a little more water. 3. Take Your Cat to the Vet Regularly Your cat needs a nose to tail exam at least once a year, although it is better to take your feline friend to the vet every six months if at all possible. Taking your cat to the vet will allow your vet to catch any potential medical problems that can cause dehydration, such as diabetes. Dehydration can cause serious health issues for your cat, so it’s important to combat it if you can. Luckily, following these three tips should help you keep your furry feline friend as healthy and well-hydrated as possible. However, if you need more information, visit sites...

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