Turning Pet Waste into Compost and Other Creative Ideas

3 Signs Of Stress You Should Look For When Visiting A Prospective Cattery

Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Signs Of Stress You Should Look For When Visiting A Prospective Cattery

Most catteries provide excellent care and a home from home for the cats entrusted to them. However, just like with any business, there are catteries that fall short of the high standards you expect when paying for a service. It’s not always easy to know what warning signs to look out for when visiting prospective catteries, but stressed cats are a good indicator that something’s not working as well as it should. So, when you’re visiting a cat boarding facility in addition to checking out the cattery bays, exercise runs, feeding and handwashing stations and cleaning logs, be sure to observe the behaviour of the cats already boarding there. It’s normal for new cats to show some signs of stress while they are adjusting and settling in, but if several cats appear stressed, it’s best to strike that cattery off your list. Here are three signs of stress to be on the lookout for: Obsessive-Compulsive Grooming Yes, cats like to keep themselves clean, but when grooming takes on obsessive-compulsive traits, it’s a sign of stress and anxiety. If you notice cats repeatedly engaged in grooming one area of their body, you’re witnessing obsessive-compulsive grooming. They will clean a single area, often their abdomen or paw, until it’s bald and the skin is raw. Hiding Cats can be private creatures, but if you notice many of the cats at the cattery are hiding, ask the staff to explain why this is the case. Seeing how staff respond to concerns you raise is a good way of determining if your concerns are valid. Happy cats will be relaxing, napping in the sun and playing with their toys, while stressed cats will be hiding at the back of their bay or behind bedding. Displaying Aggression Cats can remove themselves from situations they feel uncomfortable in when they are at home. However, it’s not possible to simply go into the garden or another room when boarding at a cattery. If a cat feels frightened or stressed when they are in a cattery bay, they can display aggression in lieu of being able to remove themselves from the threatening environment. Signs of aggression to look out for include hissing, clawing, back arching and circling as you get close to their bay. Catteries offering a high standard of care will have procedures in place for helping new cats to settle in, such as giving new cats more one-on-one time with cattery staff. Check what procedures are in place at the cattery you’re interested in. Badly run catteries are the exception rather than the rule, so you can feel confident your cat will be happy and looked after if you take a little time to ensure your chosen facility puts the well-being of their boarders...

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Me-ow: 6 Signs Your Cat Needs to Visit the Vet

Posted by on May 17, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Me-ow: 6 Signs Your Cat Needs to Visit the Vet

Everyone wants a healthy and happy cat. Sometimes it is obvious when your cat needs to visit a vet, such as when they are visibly injured, have fleas or are vomiting. However, there are other subtle signs that something might be wrong with kitty. Below we look at 6 signs that you need to take your cat to see the veterinarian. Discoloured Gums The colour of your cat’s gums are a great indicator of their health. Your cats gums should be pink. If the gums appear blue or grey, this is a symptom of poor circulation or respiratory problems. Yellow gums can be a sign of liver disease. Abnormal Movements If your cat begins to move abnormally or avoids putting their weight on a limb, they might be suffering from a fracture, an infection, arthritis or another injury.  Increased Water Intake A cat’s need for water can be affected when they are not well. If you notice that your cat is drinking increased amounts of water when the weather isn’t hot, this can be a sign of kidney disease or diabetes. Change in Litter Box Habits If your kitty is making more frequent trips to the litter box or shows signs of distress, such as crying or straining, they could be suffering from a urinary tract infection. If your cat is house trained but begins to urinate outside of the litter box, this could be a sign of kidney stones or interstitial cystitis. You should check your cat’s little box on a regular basis for other signs they are unwell, such as blood in their stool and diarrhoea. Persistent Cough While all cats cough now and again to clear fur balls, a persistent cough could be a sign of something more serious, such as allergies, asthma, or heart and lung disease. Fur loss While it is normal for cats to lose hair, especially as they age, if the hair loss is so significant that it results in them having bald patches, this can be a sign of a thyroid problem or Cushing’s disease, which is caused by a tumour of the pituitary or adrenal glands. If you notice any of these signs and symptoms or have any other concerns about the health of your cat, you should book an appointment with a fully qualified vet for a check up and treatment. Help get your kitty feeling better with the right...

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Cataracts In Dogs – How An Ophthalmic Animal Surgeon Could Help Your Pet

Posted by on Dec 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Cataracts In Dogs – How An Ophthalmic Animal Surgeon Could Help Your Pet

If you notice that your dog’s eyes are becoming cloudy, this could be a sign that it is developing cataracts.  But what causes cataracts, what effect do they have on your pet’s vision, and what could an ophthalmic animal surgeon do to help?  Read on to find out more. Cataracts in Dogs – Cause and Effect Cataracts are usually attributed to old age, to trauma to the dog’s eye, to inherited conditions, or to health problems, such as diabetes. If the condition is left untreated, the cataract could become detached from the tissue that anchors it within the eye, allowing it to float freely around the eye.  This can lead to problems with blockages in the mechanisms of the eye that allow natural fluid drainage, causing its tear ducts to become blocked and possibly infected.  Cataracts may also dissolve within the eye, leading to inflammation and pain. Ultimately, cataracts can totally obscure the dog’s lens, causing blindness. Symptoms of Cataracts It’s quite natural, and to be expected, that your dog’s eyes will begin to appear cloudy or bluish-grey as it ages.  This is due to a condition called, nuclear sclerosis.  Nuclear sclerosis does not generally impair the dog’s vision, and treatment is not usually required. However, cloudiness may also be an early sign that a cataract is developing.  You should be particularly vigilant if your dog suffers from diabetes.  In addition to cloudiness of the eyes, watch out for signs that your dog might be losing its sight, for example not seeing things like toys, or appearing unaware that you have entered the room.  If you notice any disturbance of your dog’s vision or cloudiness in one or both of its eyes, always have your dog examined by a vet or animal specialist for a definitive diagnosis. How are cataracts treated? If your dog is diagnosed with cataracts and your vet considers that treatment is recommended, you may be referred to an ophthalmic animal surgeon in your area. Your dog will undergo surgery under a general anaesthetic during which the cataract is removed and replaced with an acrylic or plastic lens.  Such surgery has a good success rate, and there’s every chance that your dog’s vision will return to normal following recovery. Following surgery, you will have to give your dog eye drops every day as its eye heals, it will need to wear a protective ‘lampshade’ collar to stop it from rubbing his eye, and you’ll need to keep its environment calm and quiet. In Conclusion If you notice that your dog’s eyes are becoming cloudy, if you think that it appears to be experiencing difficulty seeing clearly, always consult your animal surgeon in the area...

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How to Manage Gastric Ulcers in Horses with These 4 Feed Options

Posted by on Nov 25, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Manage Gastric Ulcers in Horses with These 4 Feed Options

Equine gastric ulcer syndrome can be a painful, debilitating and even dangerous condition for any horse to suffer through. So if your horse is suffering from gastric ulcers it’s important to do whatever you can to help them recover quickly and fully. Modifying a suffering horse’s diet is one of the easiest and most effective ways to promote healing, so you should consider implementing at least some of the following modifications into your horse’s feeding regimen for the duration of their illness. Free feeding In the wild, horses graze slowly, providing a slow but near-constant influx of food into the stomach. As such, the horse’s stomach has evolved to secrete small but constant amounts of digestive acids to effective digest food taken in this way. Prolonged periods without food, such as time during close stabling or transport, can provoke or exacerbate gastric ulcers, as the lack of food matter to absorb and neutralise the constantly secreted digestive acids can cause large concentrations of acid to attack the stomach lining itself. To counteract this, you should make sure that a mixture of foods are available to your horse at all times, preferable a mixture of fresh grass and hay. If possible, you should keep your horse on the paddock for the duration of their illness, to allow grazing whenever necessary.  Feed before exercise During exercise the blood flow to a horses stomach is markedly decreased, weakening the stomach lining’s natural defences against the acids it secretes, and reducing the flow of harmful chemicals and by-products carried away from the digestive tract through the bloodstream. Gastric ulcer syndrome can be a prolonged illness, so eliminating all exercise until the horse is well again is usually impractical. Instead, you should make sure that your horse never exercises on an empty stomach. Moist feed Another way you can speed healing of ulcers is by introducing moist feed into your horse’s diet. The digestive acids of horses are strong and highly concentrated, and during a bout of gastric ulcer syndrome you should attempt to increase your horse’s water intake to dilute these acids and allow the ulcers to heal more quickly. However, horses do not drink while they eat, and since they graze for prolong periods of time, a horse’s stomach may go a long time without significant water intake, even if more water is offered. Moist feeds, such as wet mashes designed for horses undergoing dental treatment, are an effective solution to this problem, allowing your horse to hydrate itself and dilute the stomach acids while it feeds. Nutritional supplements There are also a number of ways you can increase the levels of beneficial nutrients into your horse’s diet: Pectin—When pectin comes into contact with stomach acid, it transforms into a mucus-like substance that, in sufficient quantities, coats the ulcerated stomach lining in a protective, acid-resistant layer. Consider supplementing your horse’s diet with feed containing foods high in pectin, such as beets or soy bean hulls. Surfactants—Surfactants are essentially naturally occurring soaps, and when consumed alongside pectin then can drastically enhance the pectin’s protective effects. Oats and alfalfa are good sources of surfactants, and can be easily included in a sick horse’s diet. Micronised feed—A diet high in complex starches can exacerbate gastric ulcers in horses, as the bacteria which cause ulcers will...

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A Mite Annoying: Removing Pet Ear Mites From Your Soft Furnishings After An Infection

Posted by on Oct 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Mite Annoying: Removing Pet Ear Mites From Your Soft Furnishings After An Infection

Ear mite infestations are a nightmare for any cat or dog owner to deal with, without even mentioning the distress the poor afflicted animal goes through. However, in our rush to have the pet’s ears treated and disinfected, we often overlook the potential for reinfection from ear mites that have been shaken off into your home’s carpets or furniture. Ear mites can only live for a relatively short period when not attached to a living host, but they can reinfect a recently-treated pet alarmingly quickly. They can also be spread very rapidly to any previously unaffected cats or dogs you may have – needless to say, it’s important to remove these fugitive ear mites, wherever they may reside. Disinfecting your carpets Because ear mites and their eggs are microscopic, a simple vacuuming will not have much luck dislodging mites from their tiny hiding places. As such, it’s best to apply more rigorous cleaning techniques. These can include the following: Shampoo: A simple carpet shampooing is generally effective enough to scrub away the remaining active mites in a carpet, but for added safety you should ditch the cheap at-home kits and rent a carpet shampooing machine. Alternatively, you can call in professional carpet cleaners from a pest control company that uses powerful anti-septic shampoos to thoroughly cleanse your carpets. Diatomaceous earth: Diatomaceous is an incredibly fine powder, consisting mainly of the fossils of ancient algae, that has a wide range of applications. When used against mites living in your carpets, a light, even coating of the powder will quickly sink into the fibres of your carpet. Once there, the microscopic grains of earth kill passing mites by lacerating their exoskeletons with their minuscule, jagged edges. Diatomaceous earth is available for home use or can be applied by pest management professionals but needs to be thoroughly cleaned away once the mite infestation has been eliminated. Make sure that the earth used is always food-grade, as less refined grades can cause serious lung damage to humans and animals. Removing mites from pet beds, couches, cushions and other soft furniture Any mites lucky enough to find themselves in the shelter of an armchair or bed can survive longer than those shed onto the carpets, so it’s important to take thorough measures to eliminate them quickly. Naturally, this is even more important when it comes to disinfecting your pet’s own bed, where the largest concentrations of surviving mites are likely to be hiding.  Selamectin-based treatments: Selamectin is a safe and effective chemical used in pesticidal treatments, and most reputable anti-mite treatments contain selamectin or selamectin derivatives. These treatments can be applied topically for small areas, but larger pieces of furniture or fabric will need to be washed in pesticidal solution, or professionally cleaned. Suffocation: Some larger pieces of soft furniture, such as couches and mattresses, are obviously impractical to clean. Having them professionally cleaned and disinfected is one option, but you can also kill off sheltering ear mites yourself by covering the piece of furniture in an airtight material, such as a latex mattress cover, or even ordinary trash bags. Once the oxygen supplies within the enclosure are depleted, the mites will rapidly die off – make sure to leave the furniture covered for at least three or four days, and clean it thoroughly to remove dead or...

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Why Do You Need A Pet Taxi Service?

Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Do You Need A Pet Taxi Service?

Do you need to take your favourite pet for an appointment with a veterinarian or groomer? Or perhaps, you want to enjoy some quality playtime in the local park with your bubbly puppy, and you need it dropped off and picked up. Regardless of your pet transportation needs, many specialised providers of pet taxi services can ensure that your pets are taken wherever they have to be and provide the following essential benefits to you. Allows you time needed to concentrate in other important engagements As a pet owner, you can’t always take time off from work or school so that you can be available whenever your pet needs to go for an appointment at the veterinary clinic, grooming parlor, etc. It is under these type of circumstances that you’ll need pet taxi service! Professional pet taxi service companies will not only deliver your pet in good time for a scheduled appointment but can even represent you during the appointment, if necessary. However, you should be ready to pay extra for the waiting time since it usually isn’t included in the base price. Safe transportation for your pets As regards to ensuring the safety of your family, you’re not ready to take any chances, and your pets are most probably part of the family by now.  By seeking expert pet taxi services, you can rest easy knowing that your beloved pets will be transported to and from the grooming parlor, veterinarian’s office or boarding facilities in the safest way possible. When transporting a pet dog by car, for example, pet taxi companies will ensure that it is locked up in a spacious crate so that it can stay comfortable throughout the trip. More so, seatbelts may be used to fasten and secure the crate to the car. The crates will help to prevent your dog from wandering around the car and thus reduce the likelihood of distracting the driver when they’re being transported. Your own car stays clean Many pet owners usually find themselves at cross-roads when it comes to the transportation of their pets. On one hand, they adore their pets and want them transported safely and comfortably. On the other hand, these pet owners cherish to keep their cars clean and devoid of mud, fur, hair, and many other things that pets can leave behind in the car. Regular taxi drivers too can be very hesitant to transport pets in their vehicles. Professional pet taxi companies will transport your pet using a well-maintained and properly air-conditioned vehicle so that you don’t have to worry about getting your own car dirty. They will use pet transportation accessories such as dog seat covers to prevent pet dirt and hair from collecting in their...

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Yes, Your Dog Can Suffer From Hay Fever Too

Posted by on Oct 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Yes, Your Dog Can Suffer From Hay Fever Too

If you suffer from hay fever, you can attest to how difficult the spring and summer months with a high pollen count can be. This is a very common allergic condition, and when you have contact with pollen (which is hard to escape because the pollen atoms float through the air) you can develop sore eyes, a dripping nose, and excessive sneezing. This allergic condition doesn’t only affect humans; it can also affect your pet dogs, causing them discomfort throughout the summer. If you are worried that your pet might be suffering from hay fever, here are the symptoms that you should be looking out for: A rash. Noticing a rash on a dog can be a little difficult because of the amount of hair that some dogs have, but be sure to check the face and the feet because this is where a red rash is most likely to occur. If you can’t actually see a rash, thinned out hair in these areas (as a result of excessive scratching or gnawing) could also be an indication of skin irritation. Other common hay fever symptoms. Your dog can experience all of the same hay fever problems that you experience, namely watery eyes, a runny nose, and even sneezing. While these symptoms are actually more common in humans, they can also affect dogs, but it’s likely to be a rash and itchiness that will cause the most discomfort for your pet dog. Is there anything you can do to help your dog? Of course, hay fever is a seasonal condition so you can at least derive some comfort from knowing that these symptoms should die down as the summer ends. Until then, these are some ways you can help your dog. Visit your vet. There is no cure for hay fever, not for humans nor for dogs, but there are certain veterinary services that can relieve the symptoms. Your vet should be able to prescribe oral medications such as antihistamines, which work by blocking histamines, chemicals that the body releases after pollen exposure. If you don’t know of a vet clinic near you, consider one like Belmont Avenue Veterinary Hospital. Keeping your home pollen free. On days with high pollen counts, it’s in your dog’s interest to keep him inside the home and to keep the air conditioning on so that exposure to pollen is limited. Oatmeal baths. You can help out with your dog’s itchy skin by giving him regular oatmeal baths. Simply grind up oatmeal to a powder, fill a bath with warm water, add the oatmeal, and let your dog wallow in the bath for ten minutes while you spoon the relaxing oatmeal and water mixture on to the areas of dry and irritable skin....

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