Monthly Archives: May 2012

Parvo Virus

Parvo virus is a virus that affects the cells that line the digestive tract, killing them.  It is a virus that can kill.  We can prevent it if we are diligent pet parents.

Parvo usually affects puppies moreso than dogs.  That does not mean that dogs are safe from getting it.  Adult dogs can carry the virus with them and it is highly contagious. We must be careful not to allow the virus to come in contact with our dogs or puppies.  It can be tracked in on your hands, clothes, shoes, toys, anything that can be left outside.

If your dog or puppy displays any of the following symptoms, it is important to call your vet and get your dog treatment immediately.  Time is of the essence when treating this virus in order for your dog to survive:

  • Depression
  • Severe Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Change in waste odor
  • Lethargy
  • Severe dehydration

Your dog will get 24 hour treatment, beginning with re-hydration treatment.  Antibiotics will also be administered.

Our best defense from this horrible virus is vaccination.  Get your dog vaccinated annually and it will save your dog and yourself a lot of heartache.

For more information on the Parvo Virus, here is an article that is more in depth on this matter.

 

 

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Finding Your Lost Dog

Sometimes dogs get away from us, whether it is from a long walk off their leash and something catches their attention, or they get free from you after running in the yard, dogs will sometimes dart away, and if they are not fully up on recall training (ensuring your dog will come back to you when you call them, regardless of what is going on around them), they will get loose.

At this point, some people will panic, but the first few moments are crucial.  Take deep breaths and try to not let the fact that your dog darted from you, anger you, or worry you.  I know this is not easy, but it is something that is important.

Start to think of all the places your dog could run to and where they may hide.  Do they have a neighborhood dog that they like to play with?  So they like to run somewhere that has lots of people or kids? (If they like kids or people).

Go inside and grab a picture of your dog, and some of their favorite treats.  Make sure that you have a good full body and face picture so that people get a good sense of what your dog looks like.

Ask everyone you see, and make sure to ask people to keep a look out for your dog.

Take a flashlight if it gets darker to look in all the corners, sewer drains, etc., to ensure your dog is not there.

Have someone stay at your house in case your dog returns there and will be able to be let in the house immediately.

If time passes, make up lost dog signs and post them around your neighborhood or at grocery store bulletin boards, store boards, online, at shelters and anywhere else you can think of.

Call local shelters and let them know your dog is missing and if you can, e-mail them a picture and a message about your dog so that they can put out the information with their contacts.

Also, Facebook and other social sites can help in finding your dog, just search for lost dog pages or your local shelter page and post your info and a picture of the dog on their page.

For more in depth information on how to find your dog if it goes missing, here is an article that tells you what you need to know.

Dogs Learning “Place”

This is a process where you teach your dog where to sit, stay and lay down, thus making this the dog’s own “place.”

This will take patience and time as it can be difficult for a dog to learn and master this skill.  Good treats will come in handy.

A dog bed or dog mat works best, but if you just have a blanket or a towel, those can work in a pinch.

The command word will be “place”.

Showing your dog the new bed/mat/blanket or towel and saying the word place can help in the beginning.

Your dog must be good on a leash and must have mastered the commands “down” and “stay”.   If these are just newly learned by your dog, stick with those for a while, you don’t want to confuse your dog with teaching them something else like “place”.  It may make what you did train them to do, something that they unlearn and you don’t want that.

If you want to learn more about how to teach your dog “place”, here is the article that will help you.

 

 

Weekly Trick – Multitude of Cat Tricks

There are many tricks you can teach your cat if you have good treats and lots of patience.  Try to teach tricks around meal times and give your cat treats, this might be the incentive they need to learn how to shake hands, or wave or sit, just like our furry dog friends.

Using a clicker for training purposes can work with a cat as well.  Taking the time to learn how to use it with your cat can help in the long run and make learning tricks easier.

Here is a page with tricks for your cat to learn.

 

There are several videos showing tricks that cats have learned and how well they perform them.  Know that these cats probably took a long time to learn these with a lot of patience and work from their pet parents.

Kizzy the Bengal cat.  I love this video, it shows just what cats are capable of.  Such a smart kitty!

Kaiser another Bengal cat.  The tricks are amazing, such smart kitties and it’s fun to watch how proud they look after doing tricks.

Athena the Main Coon doing tricks.  Such a sweet looking cat.

If you watch the videos, you will see the way that the pet parents have taught their cats the tricks.  Just use them as a guide to teach your own tricks.  It’s never the same way to teach them and use whatever will work for your cat!

 

Recipe Friday – Cat Picky Eater’s Meal Treat

If your cat is a picky eater and it’s hard to get them to eat, here is a once a week treat you can give them to help keep weight on them.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Chicken, boiled or microwaved
  • 1/4 cup fresh broccoli, steamed
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots, steamed
  • Chicken broth

 

Directions:

1. Mix ingredients with enough chicken broth to hold together.  (It all depends on what meat you use and if you use rice or not, that will determine how much broth you need.)

2. This same recipe can be used with fish (broil or microwave until it flakes.) Or you can use pork or beef.

3. You can also vary the recipe by adding rice or other vegetables. (If you use rice, just 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup at most, preferably brown rice, but if you just have white, that is fine).

 

 

Pets Passing Diseases to Humans

Yes you read the title correctly.  All of us who have pets, can get diseases from our furbabies.  One way to protect ourselves is to wash our hands after handling litter box issues, or vomit.  Also, keep your pets vaccinated.

If your cat scratches you, you are at risk of getting Cat Scratch Fever.  Make sure as soon as you can, you clean and disinfect the cut.

Do not worry too much about getting most diseases, as long as your pet is vaccinated against diseases like rabies, they usually get vaccinated for diseases that are common to your area.  Although the incidence of rabies is not that high, we must still be diligent and ensure our pets are on a regular vaccination schedule.  There are people who do not believe in vaccinations and that is fine, but if you are a vaccinating pet parent, please keep on schedule with them.

There is a wealth of information in this article about diseases that can be transmitted from pet to human.  Hopefully it will help in determining the best cause of action in keeping your family (pets and humans) safe from diseases and grow to be healthy and happy senior pets.

 

Cats and Intelligence

Cats are one of the most intelligent of our domesticated animals, but did you know that they are unable to process things with human cognition?  Cats do not do things out of spite for example, they do things when they are stressed which humans will read as cats doing things out of spite.

Cats alone in a room they have never been in before will scope it out like no other animal.  They will search every nook and cranny and learn the spacial area of the room.  This helps them to determine what to do in the room and to find their “safe spots” in the room in case of a fight or a stressor that might come in the room with them.

Cat also learn more in “learning sets”, meaning they can be taught something and retain that information and use it for problem solving and to forage for food.  This is an amazing feat that many animals are unable to perform.

To learn more about just how intelligent cats are and what their capabilities are, this article explains experiments and how cats learn and retain information.

Cats Just For Fun

After all the dog food recall posts, I thought it would be nice to have something lighter to read for this post.

How much do you know about certain cat breeds?  Interested in taking quizzes to test your knowledge about Persians, Siamese or the Sphinx?  Are you looking to find out about the more in depth history of cats, war time cats, and how they became domesticated?

I found this website with all the information, quizzes, facts and even t-shirts to buy for the cat lovers out there.  Yes the website is labeled as a “kids corner” website, but I learned quite a bit about cats that I never knew about.

The great thing about the website is that if you have kids, they can check out the information and try their luck at the quizzes as it is a family friendly site.

Your cat(s) will be thankful that you’re learning how to care for them and what makes them tick.  After all, they are the “masters” of the house! 😉

 

 

Dog Food Recall – Diamond Recalls Yet Another Product

Okay, this is getting ridiculous.  I am beyond frustrated and am making sure that everyone knows about these recalls.  The shelter in the area used to generally feed this food.  Now they are heartsick that they may have made some of the dogs and themselves ill.  Here is the e-mail I received:

May 18, 2012 — Diamond Pet Foods has announced yet another voluntary dog food recall involving one more of its products due to possible contamination with Salmonella bacteria.

The event was reported by the company in a news release dated May 18, 2012.

The recall includes Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Dog Lamb and Rice Formula samples, 6 pound and 18 pound bags manufactured on Aug. 26, 2011.

Salmonella infections can affect both humans and non-human animals and are the result of ingesting contaminated food.

What Products Are Being Recalled?

The recall includes Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Dog Lamb and Rice Formula with the following bag codes and “Best Before” dates:

  • Bag Code DSL0801 26-Aug-2012
  • Bag Code DSL0801 26-Aug-2012
  • Bag Code DSL0801 27-Sept-2012
  • Bag Code DSL0801 18-Oct- 2012
  • Bag Code DSL0801 Samples

Where Were the Recalled Products Sold?

The recall affects products distributed in the following U.S. states:

  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin

What to Do?

Salmonella is serious business — for both you and your pet. So, if you can confirm your dog’s food is one of the products being recalled, stop feeding or handling it immediately.

If you’ve discarded the packaging (something we recommend you never do) – or you’re in any way in doubt – do not take chances. Be safe. Stop feeding the product anyway.

As far as what to do with your recalled product, the company suggests:

Pet owners who are unsure if the product they purchased is included in the recall, or who would like replacement product or a refund, may contact Diamond Pet Foods via a toll free call at 866-918-8756, Monday through Sunday, 8 AM to 6 PM EST

You can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

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Recipe Friday – Carrot Honey Doggie Treats

These treats are sure to please your lovely doggies!  Remember to feed in moderation, and you can always freeze these if you don’t use them within a week.  Refrigerate after baking.

Ingredients

  • 1 Chicken breast, cooked and chopped
  • 2 Carrots, grated
  • 2 tablespoons Honey
  • 1 teaspoon dried Parsley
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour (if your dog has allergies, 3/4 cup of rice flour should work nicely)
  • 1/4 cup Water

 

Directions


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silicone baking mat.

3. In a large bowl mix all ingredients one at a time, kneading well after each addition.

4. Once dough is well mixed roll dough into 1/2 inch balls and place dough balls 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheet. Press down on the tops with a fork to flatten. (You can make these even smaller, sometimes I make 1/4 inch balls).

4. Bake for 15 minutes (if you make them smaller, about 12 minutes should be good), or until browned at the edges. Cool and refrigerate.

Makes about 3-5 dozen, depending on the size you make the balls initially.