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May 2019

End-of-life care for pets

 by ben on 29 May 2019 |
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It’s never easy losing a pet, but dog and cat owners can feel some relief knowing they can ease their pets’ transitions. Coping with the loss of a pet is one of the most difficult experiences any dog or cat owner can face. Whether he’s a senior pet in his golden years or a has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, your companion will benefit from the best end-of-life care you can provide. By easing his pain, discomfort or distress, you can provide your pet with a better quality of life during this difficult stage. One of the first and most important things you can do when your dog or cat’s health is declining is to manage his pain. While people show outward signs of distresssuch astears, our pets are much subtler in their expressions of discomfort. Watch for symptoms such as panting or shortness of breath, social withdrawal, reluctance to move and loss of appetite as signs that your pet is feeling under the weather. Once you recognize he’s in pain, you should take your companion to the vet to diagnose and manage any health problems. This is especially important as an untreated illness can lead to unnecessary or rapid declines in your dog or cat’s health. After seeking your veterinarian’s guidance, you can work to minimize any discomfort or emotional stress your pet is experiencing. Surround him with comfort objects, such as his favorite toys and a warm blanket. Because ailing pets often experience limited mobility, provide your dog or cat with plenty of soft bedding. If he is struggling to move, assist your pet with getting to the bathroom regularly and clean up any messes as soon as you notice them. Pets experiencing specific symptoms can be helped in other ways, too, such as providing animals experiencing respiratory problems with a humidifier. In some cases, your companion may experience unnecessary and prolonged suffering at the end of life. In these cases, you should work with your veterinarian to determine when euthanasia is the best option. While this is never an easy decision, putting your pet to sleep with your vet’s help can provide a painless and gentle end for animals that would otherwise experience unnecessary suffering. With your help recounting your pet’s daily activities, your veterinarian can provide advice on when your pet’s distress and pain is outweighing his ability to enjoy life. Though it’s never easy losing a pet, you can provide invaluable comfort to your companion through end-of-life care. From treating illnesses following advice and medications given by your veterinarian to surrounding him with his favorite people and things, you can improve your pet’s quality of life during this difficult stage, which should provide some comfort to you, too.

Is Bravecto for cats safe?

 by ben on 22 May 2019 |
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Bravecto is the long-lasting topical treatment that provides 12 weeks of protection from fleas and ticks. Its active ingredient has been tested and FDA approved, so you know you’re getting safe and effective protection for your cat. The easy-to-apply, non-greasy topical formula gives your pet longer lasting protection than most leading brands, reducing the chances you miss a dose and create gaps in your pet’s protection. Its active ingredient Fluralaner has been FDA approved, so you know you’re getting safe and effective treatment for your cat. Field trials found that one dose of Bravecto killed 100 percent of fleas within 8 hours and continued fighting more than 98 percent of fleas for 12 weeks. Bravecto kills and controls four species of ticks, too, arming your cat against harmful diseases such as Lyme and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Its fast-acting, powerful formula is thanks to its active ingredient, Fluralaner, an insecticide and acaricide that attacks the nervous systems of fleas and ticks. Within hours of applying Bravecto topical treatment, the medication reaches the tissue fluids just under your cat’s skin, where it attacks parasites as they bite. But, because Fluralaner works differently on invertebrates than mammals, Bravecto’s powerful formula is safe for use on cats. Fluralaner works by disrupting two major systems in invertebrates’ bodies. The first, known as GABA-gated (gamma-aminobutyric acid) channels, play a role in calming nerve transmissions and create an overall relaxation effect in the body. Fluralaner upsets this process, causing waves of nerve signals that increase seizure activity and produce fatal effects in fleas and ticks. At the same time, Fluralanerdisruptsglutamate-gated channels, which help nerves send signals to other cells. Fluralaner opens these channels to increase transmissions, intensifying seizure activity and Bravecto’s effectiveness in the fight against fleas and ticks. Clinical trials found Bravecto caused no serious adverse reactions in cats. The most common side effects included vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss, decreased appetite, lethargy, and scabs—all symptoms unrelated from your feline’s nervous system. However, if your cat has a history of neurological abnormalities or has ever been diagnosed with a seizure disorder, you should talk to your veterinarian before using Bravecto. Bravecto has not been tested on breeding, pregnant, or nursing cats. Its long-lasting topical formula provides proven relief from fleas and ticks for up to 12 weeks, so discuss switching to Bravecto for cats with your veterinarian to kill fleas and ticks fast and providing long-lasting relief from biting pests.

How to handle your high-energy dog

 by ben on 13 May 2019 |
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Having a high-energy dog can detract from the time spent with your pet, but more often than not, our companions’ excess energy is due to a lack of stimulation. While some dogs are happy lazing on the couch all day, many breeds were designed as working animals. It’s no wonder, then, that so many pet owners experience problems with high-energy dogs. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to ensure Fido gets the mental, physical and social stimulation he needs to stay cool and collected. Here are a few tips for handling your high-energy pet: 1. Engage in play: This may seem like a no-brainer, but many owners don’t consider their dogs’ exercise requirements compared to the amount of physical activity their pets get day to day. If your dog can’t sit still, it’s likely he needs to spend more time burning energy running and playing. Engage in games like fetch or tug-of-war to help keep your dog calm back at home while actively bonding with your pet over some of his favorite activities. 2. Exercise his brain: Many dogs were bred as working animals, so giving your pet a task to complete not only exercises his body and brain but also boosts his sense of confidence. Nosework teaches dogs to sniff out a particular smell, giving them a task to complete that keeps them both mentally and physically active, but even practicing simple tricks can engage your pet and lead to a calmer companion. For more intense mind-body workouts, try competitive sports such as dock diving, herding, field trials, and agility training. All of these will help strengthen your bond with your pet, too. 3. Teach good manners: Energetic dogs tend to jump up on their owners and bark excessively, detracting from the time spent with your pet. Teaching your dog good manners is another form of training that will engage his mind while teaching him to impulse control. Next time you put on his leash for a walk, fill the food bowl, or throw his favorite toy, ask your dog to sit first. Once he’s sitting calmly, reward him immediately with the desired object. Soon, your pet will learn that good manners and calm behavior are the best ways to get what he wants. 4. Go for a walk: One of the simplest ways to wear out an energetic pet is to ensure he’s getting plenty of daily exercises. Breeds that are high-energy may try to chase other animals, so keep Fido on a leash and, when possible, walk in quiet areas. Dogs make for fast runners, so always keep your companion on a leash to prevent accidents or losing your pet. With a few lifestyle modifications, you can help ensure your spirited companion is getting the stimulation he needs to be happy, healthy and calm. If you’ve tried these techniques or if your dog undergoes a rapid change in behavior, however, his excessive energy may be due to an underlying medical condition and you should seek your veterinarian’s advice.

Why does my cat get the “zoomies” after pooping?

 by ben on 03 May 2019 |
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Cats are well-known for their strange behaviors and for some, this includes a case of the “zoomies” after using the litter box. Cats are famous for their bizarre behavior and in some cases, this extends to Kitty’s peculiar bathroom habits. While animals are known to run around energetically when they get excited—a phenomenon affectionately known as “zoomies”—some cats also do this after a trip to the litter box. This has led animal behaviorists to investigate what, exactly, causes some cats to make a mad dash after they poop. In the wild, predators often rely on their sense of smell to track prey, leading some researchers to theorize that sprinting after using the litter box is part of your pet’s survival instinct. This makes sense, as Kitty’s stink could alert nearby hunters that prey is near. In running from the litter box, then, your pet may be trying to distance himself from his waste and the accompanying danger it may put him in. This theory might also explain why many cats bury their waste—but it’s not the only possible explanation for Kitty’s litter box conduct. Some theorists look to developmental explanations for the mad dash cats make from the litter box. As kittens, our pets are accustomed to being cleaned by their mothers, which includes their rear ends. As cats mature into self-sufficient felines, however, they no longer need their mothers’ care. This has caused some behaviorists to theorize that cats run from the litterbox to express their independence and that they no longer need their mothers to clean and care for them. Still, others believe there is a physiological explanation for cats’ uncanny litter box conduct. Like humans, they have a vagus nerve that runs from their brains to their abdomen. According to this theory, stimulating the vagus nerve can lead to a sense of exhilaration called “poo-phoria” and zoomies are just your pet’s way of reacting to this rush of energy. Like any rapid behavioral change, zoomies can also signal that something’s wrong with your pet. Some veterinarians believe that running from his waste can be a sign your cat is experiencing intestinal distress and attempting to escape from the source of the problem as fast as possible. If you notice your pet struggling to go use the bathroom, take him to the vet for a check-up to get to the source of the problem. If your cat has always engaged in a post-litter box lap, however, this is likely nothing to worry about, regardless of what causes Kitty’s zoomies.
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