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Why Does My Cat Scratch on Things?

Cat-ScratchThere’s nothing worse than coming home to the surprise redecorating of your kitchen table’s legs or living room upholstery, courtesy of your cat’s scratching instinct.  That doesn’t necessarily mean your cat has some inexplicable scratch problem that most other cat owners don’t experience as well.  There are many reasons why a cat will scratch anything sturdy enough to take a beating.  Let’s examine this further. [Read more…]

Liver Disease in dogs

DDD_liver_gallbladder_pancreas-150x150The liver is one of the most important organs in the body of your dog. It performs various functions like aiding blot clot, digestion, detoxification of waste products, and manufacturing of the body’s building blocks. If the liver fails to work properly, your pet can fall sick causing hepatitis which can progress into serious liver disease.

The liver is prone to being affected by a variety of diseases, including bacterial and viral infections, toxicities and neoplastic and degenerative diseases. According to canidae.com, “Canine liver disease is the fifth leading cause of death for dogs, and it’s estimated that three percent of all diseases veterinarians see are connected to the liver”. However, liver diseases can be treated and your pet can make a full recovery. [Read more…]

Pneumonia in Dogs

sick-dogThere is nothing more distressing then when someone you love is ill. It is even more difficult when the one who is sick cannot tell you what is wrong. It’s no different when your dog is not feeling well! When your dog is sick you just want to make him feel better! We understand. The best thing you can do for your dog is be diligent in your efforts to stay informed and educated! [Read more…]

What are bladder stones?

bladder stonesIs your dog having trouble urinating? It’s quite possible he has bladder stones. What are bladder stones? Bladder stones form as a result of mineral deposits in a dog’s urinary tract. As time goes on, these crystals gather together to form stones.  Bladder stones are primarily found in the bladder however they can be found in the urinary tract, kidneys, urethra and/or ureters.  The development of bladder stones in dogs is a painful and serious condition.  In fact, if the entire urethra is blocked by a bladder stone and thereby prevents your dog from urinating, death can result as toxins and waste will build up in your dog’s body. [Read more…]

What is 1 Good Reason to Exercise Your Dog?

Pet Exercise

Walkies!

Summer boredom impacts not only your two-legged kids but your four-legged kids as well. Bored kids and dogs spell “t-r-o-u-b-l-e”! One way to address summer boredom is by keeping your dogs exercised and plumb wore out! All kidding aside, did you know that exercising your dog is important ALL year long – not just during the summer?  It’s true.  Exercise promotes good health and reduces problem behaviors in your dog.

We all want our dog to be healthy, right?  Well, a good daily dose of exercise will definitely promote good health. Exercise builds strong bones and muscles in dogs just like it does in you! Strong bones and muscles are essential building blocks for good health.  They keep your dog protected against illness and injury.  Those long lean muscles will keep your dog flexible and mobile so he can continue to run, jump and play.  Exercise also prevents diseases that can plague aging dogs.  Cardiovascular disease, liver disease, cancer and obesity are three such diseases that can result from poor exercise habits.  Starting good habits now will last your dog a lifetime, literally. Exercise your dog today! First start with a trip to the vet for an exam to make sure your pup is healthy enough to increase physical activity. Then you can adjust the intensity and duration according to your dog’s level of fitness.

What happens when your kids get bored?  If they’re like most kids, they’ll either nag you or get into mischief! A dog will do the same if he is bored!  Destructive and problematic behaviors are often times a direct result of a bored, unexercised dog.  A dog is an inquisitive creature, by nature.  He is always up for some type of challenge whether it is physical or mental – and believe me, if you don’t provide the challenge, he’ll create his own.  Your dog’s predatory instincts demand that he explore the world in which he lives.  A nice long walk or romp at the dog park will fulfill those demands. Say good bye to problem behaviors such as jumping on people, chewing your favorite shoes and even aggressive behavior.  Again, poor behaviors are often masking a deeper issue and we can often point to boredom and lack of exercise. Exercising is imperative to keep your dog healthy and quite frankly, out of trouble. When exercising in the heat always take precautions and look for these signs of your pet overheating.

Remember to be safe, healthy and have a happy Summer!

Next Article: Invisible Fencing Can Keep Your Pets Safe

Can pets detect diseases in humans?

You have probably heard about dogs detecting skin cancer, diabetes, seizures and other human diseases. There are even a few cases of cats alerting their owners that something is wrong. Why is this? It’s believed that since pets’ senses are more heightened than ours, smells from changes in body chemistry are easily detected by a dog but are odorless or barely detectible to humans. Animals communicate biochemically, through body language and vocalizations, which is much more efficient than the visual or auditory clues humans tend to focus on. (In fact, people generally don’t even pay attention to obvious body language signals.) Dogs may have misunderstandings due to miscommunication but not nearly as often as we do. We have a complex system of biochemical signals too, we just don’t notice them.

If we compare our domesticated canines to their wilder cousins, acute awareness of diseases or injuries based on visual and chemical clues is a key factor for survival. Wounded prey are more easily caught, diseased prey may not be safe to eat, and decline due to age shifts the position of the oldster in the community. Younger, healthier members take over and carry on with the duties necessary for species survival.

The upshot of all this biochemistry is that dogs can seemingly “smell” disease. There’s much more to the process of pets detecting diseases than we may ever understand so there’s definitely a need for more proof to truly determine if the phenomenon does exist. Cancer specialist Dr. Leonard Lichtenfeld, who wrote about the phenomenon for the American Cancer Society’s blog in 2010, admitted to laughing when he first read about a study in which dogs supposedly sniffed out cancer. Then more studies came in and Dr. Lichtenfeld decided to take a closer look:

“Six dogs were trained to detect urine samples that belonged to patients known to have bladder cancer. While their 41 percent success rate wasn’t amazing, it was higher than the 14 percent “coincidence rate” determined by the researchers. Since then, dogs have been trained to discern other forms of cancer, including skin, prostate, lung, breast and colorectal cancers, with increasing rates of success.”

In another study:

“Two years after the bladder cancer study, researchers at the Pine Street Foundation in California trained dogs to sniff out both breast and lung cancer. Rather than sniffing urine samples, however, the dogs smelled breath samples from the patients. The results were startling — they had an 88 percent success rate with breast cancer and a 97 percent accuracy rate with lung cancer. The most impressive study took place early in 2011, in which dogs in Japan detected colorectal cancer with 98 percent accuracy by sniffing breath samples. This is more accurate that the traditional diagnostic tests for the disease.”

Our furry friends never cease to amaze, how fortunate we are to have such wonderful companions.Sandy early 00s