Your Pets Count

pet information that caters to your special friend

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February 2015
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LABThe Labrador Retriever was the most popular dog in 2014. The survey was done by the American Kennel Club. Small dogs still topped the list but the Lab is “king of the hill” once again. The Labrador Retriever is an intelligent, family friendly breed. It’s held the number one position for 24 consecutive years.

The German Shepherd was number 2  followed by the golden retriever. The Kennel Club said the bulldog came in at number 4 and that his was the best showing in the breed’s history.

Remember, your pets count!

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Signs That The End May Be Near For Your Older Cat

Thursday, February 26, 2015
posted by Jim Murphy

oldercatCats can live healthy lives into their late teens even early twenties. But there comes a time that your pet will begin to decline. You should be aware of the signs and be ready to make the right decision. Understanding your pet’s changing health will help you make her more comfortable toward the end and will give you an idea of what to expect as her final stage of life approaches. You should take an aging cat for regular check ups.

When cats are dying, they tend to seek out hiding places, sleep a great deal and even isolate themselves to some degree. It’s no reflection of your cat’s love for you, it’s just a natural tendency as she nears the end. Make sure that she is in a warm, comfortable place. Keep her water and food close at hand. You may even want to relocate her little box so she can reach it easily.

You may notice weight loss or that your cat is having trouble grooming herself. Brush her very gently. Stop if you notice that she’s in pain. Depending on her prognosis, it may be necessary to make a decision whether to euthanize her. This is a most difficult decision. If your cat is suffering and there is no hope, maybe it’s a good choice. Always consult your vet. My advice is that if there is absolutely nothing that can be done and your cat is suffering and only has days to live, it’s better to put her at peace sooner rather than later.

Remember, your pets count!

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Treating A Dog With A Broken Leg

Wednesday, February 25, 2015
posted by Jim Murphy

DOGBROEKNLEGJust like humans, dogs are prone to broken bones. Leg fractures are the most common. One thing that you should remember is that dogs have a high pain tolerance. You may notice their leg dangling but see that they aren’t really in pain. Look to see if the leg is swollen. Also look for signs of shock such as pale or white gums, rapid breathing or a rapid heartbeat. If you notice any of these signs, get the dog to the vet right away.

Here are some tips in caring for a dogs broken leg:

If necessary, restrain the dog.
Be soft spoken and approach the dog slowly.
If it does not have a leash, place a leash around its neck and attach the leash to a secure object.
Pull the dog against the object and try to tie the dog so that it can’t move it’s head.
Look closely at the break. See if there is an open wound, or a bone protruding or if it’s closed meaning that there is no break in the skin.
If the limb is grossly misshapen, or the dog is in great pain, hold a towel underneath him and transport him to the animal hospital.
If the wound is open, flush with warm water, put a towel under the dog and get him to the hospital. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO PUT A SPLINT ON HIM.
If the wound is not open and the leg is not out of shape and the dog does not appear to be in too much pain, use any splint material such as newspapers, cardboard, magazines to immobilize the limb, NOT RESET IT.
Attach the splints to the dogs leg and wrap gauze or torn strips of cloth around it.
Tape or tie the strips firmly but not too tight as to inhibit circulation.
Transport the dog to the vet.
Reassure the dog on the way to the vet and maybe give him a dog treat or two to calm him down.

Remember, your pets count!

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Preventive Care For Geriatric Pets

Sunday, February 22, 2015
posted by Jim Murphy

geriatric petsAs our pets get older, they will require more medical care just like we do. Pay attention to your pet as he gets older.  You should take him for a basic physical exam every six months. Check any changes to your pets appetite, thrust, urination and defecation habits. Does your pet vomit or have diarrhea? Is he sleeping more than usual? Is he coughing or does he show sign of exercise intolerance?  Normally, as pets age, they may sleep more but it can also be due to a variety of other things like arthritis, heart disease or even cancer. These conditions can be treated if diagnosed early. This is why it’s important to take your aging pet for regular checkups. As a general rule, take pets that are over the age of eight for a physical exam every six months and blood work once a year. If you notice a symptom such as weakness or vomiting, get your pet in for a checkup right away.

Remember, your pets count!

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Anti Freeze Can Be Deadly To Your Pets

Saturday, February 21, 2015
posted by Jim Murphy

DOGCATCUTEAnti freeze, the fluid that makes your car run better in both summer and winter is very dangerous to your pet. Ethylene Glycol is the anti freeze that is commonly used in car radiators and this is extremely toxic to pets. As little as one tablespoon can kill a cat and a couple of ounces can kill a dog.  Animals will  ingest it because it smells and tastes so sweet.  If you have pets, it is vital that you clean up any leaking anti freeze. Never leave open cans in places that your pet can get into. Anti freeze should be stored in a place that is not accessible to your pets. If you’re worried that you pet may have ingested some, don’t waste any time. Call your veterinarian or the National Animal Poison Control hot line right away!  Your veterinarian may suggest that you administer hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting. Don’t administer any pet medication on your own. This situation is out of your control just get your pet to a vet as soon as you can!!

Remember, your pets count!

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A Happy Ending To A Very Disturbing Story

Friday, February 20, 2015
posted by Jim Murphy

Dogs rescuedSometimes whatever we try to do, we can’t ensure the safety of our pets. This story is about the stolen van that contained seven precious pets  from a doggie daycare center in Chicago. The temperatures in Chicago were sub zero at the time  the van was taken and these animals were put in a very serious, life threatening situation. First, we didn’t know what the “sick” individuals that stole the van were going to do with the dogs. Authorities couldn’t locate the van and with the temperatures so low, the six dogs could have frozen to death in a very short period of time.

Fortunately, this story has a happy ending.

The silver van had been parked across the street from Daisy Bowers’ hair salon in the South Loop for more than a hour when someone in the shop noticed a dog sitting alone in the front seat.

“A dog was looking out the window to say, ‘Help me’ or ‘Come get me,’ ” Bowers said. “So I called 911, and within 10 or 15 minutes they were here and rescued the dogs.”

Seven dogs in all, stolen along with the van at gunpoint as a driver was taking them from Urban Out Sitters, a pet daycare center, to their owners around 3:50 p.m. Wednesday, police said. (Excerpt was taken from the Thursday edition of the Chicago Tribune)

Even if we do everything possible to keep our pets safe, there are still no guarantees. You must always remain vigilant and report any suspicious behavior that you notice.

Remember, your pets count!

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Watch Those Ankles

Wednesday, February 18, 2015
posted by Jim Murphy

ANKLE ATTACKSIf your cat is pouncing on your ankles as you pass by,  he’s probably trying to act on his instinct to hunt prey.  Try to anticipate this and redirect his frenzy to a cat toy on a stick or even a rolling toy. When your cat goes for your ankles, clap your hands or stomp your foot to cut it short.  Indoor cats need lots of active and interactive play. If you offer him some indoor exercise and play on a daily basis this problem may be cured.  The assault on your ankles usually takes place when your cat is a kitten and stops as soon as he gets older. If your cat launches a serious attack that breaks your skin, take him to the veterinarian. The aggression might be caused by pain, a hormonal change or a nervous system problem.

Remember, your pets count!

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Don’t Leave Your Pets Exposed in The Cold

Tuesday, February 17, 2015
posted by Jim Murphy

DOG ICY COLDAs this bitter cold winter rages on, we must make sure that our furry friends are safe and sound. All pets should be kept indoors during this bitter cold weather. Pets get hypothermia quickly just as humans do. If you have a dog, bundle him up and take him for very quick walks. Remember, when you’re cold, he’s cold and should be taken inside immediately. If you notice any pet out in the could by themselves, contact the authorities immediately. Every minute counts. Do not attempt to touch or go near a stray dog. Act quickly and let the authorities handle it.

Make sure that you and your pets are safe during this cold winter!

Remember, your pets count!

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Medicate Your Pet With A Tasty Treat

Monday, February 16, 2015
posted by Jim Murphy

DOGCATCUTEWe are only as valuable as our health is good – a statement that’s true for both people and pets. And just like people, pets need certain medicines too to stay healthy. Heart worm pills and flee collars are just the beginning when it comes to keeping your pet safe form infection and disease. And to keep your pet out of the vet’s office, where the bills are usually high and the tails are tucked, you’ll have to make sure your loved one is receiving the proper care – and that means meds.

One of the oldest known tricks to get your animal to take their pet medication is to hide the pill in a glob of peanut butter. Your cat or dog is certain to lick every bit right up as they down what they believe to be a tasty treat. They also make soft, hollow treats where you can insert the pill. Your pet will take the treat and their medication at the same time! Or if you have the time and the proper tools – the back of a spoon works great – you can also crush the pill into a powder and mix it in with some yummy applesauce. Whichever method you choose, your pet will lead a happy and healthy life!

Remember, your pets count!

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Cats Smelling Unusual

Sunday, February 15, 2015
posted by Jim Murphy

CUTEKITTIESCats are always grooming themselves so they rarely develop a nasty odor. You should pay attention if you notice a smell from your cat. Usually this is a sign that something is wrong. One of the most common odors is a fishy, musty smell that is produced from the cats anal gland. The oily contents of these glands are often released when a cat is excited or frightened.  Sometimes the glands become clogged and need to be cleared out by a veterinarian. The foul smell may stay on the cats coat for a few days.  If the problem persists, ask your vet to give your cat a thorough exam. Infections ,abscesses or impactions can result from chronic anal gland problems. So before you bring on the pet odor removal products have the problem checked out.

Remember, your pets count!

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