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Archive for July 2014

Indoor Pee Pads for Dogs

cvhThe first time I saw one I wondered about their effectiveness, but then I figured there must be something to it or there wouldn’t be a market for this product. In my research I have learned a few things, some products are superior and come highly recommended, but these pads aren’t for all dogs.

Nothing beats the great outdoors, that goes for dogs and people! These pads shouldn’t become a a solution to not going on walks, your dog needs their exercise, so if you can’t provide that for your pooch, you should pay someone to walk the dog for you or place your dog into doggy daycare.

Here are the advised uses for these pads, only use with small breed pets, elderly pets that can’t make it outside, or in winter when going outside is difficult or too cold. Having said that there are a few disclaimers about using these products. It might take a few days and accidents before the dog understands what the pee pad is for. With larger breeds, you must recognize that some dogs traditionally lift their legs to pee are probably not going to aim for the pad, meaning you will find pee possibly on your walls and around the sides of the pad.

Some dogs are messy with their business kicking up grass after they have finished peeing outside, so your dog might kick pee off the pad and onto furniture or other surfaces. Not to mention that these pads can cause confusion when training a puppy,causing the puppy to pee on carpeted areas. Our advice is just don’t lean too heavily on the pad for training purposes.

Now that number one is out of the way, have you considered what’s going to happen with number two? Unlike cats, dogs don’t tidily do their business in the same place they pee, some dogs just go where they please, and with this pee pad, they might just start pooping where ever they please in the house because you have introduced peeing in the house.

The above are just considerations to take before running out and trying a pee pad. If you still think you should buy one, do your homework, don’t just buy a generic brand form the pet store, find one that comes highly recommended. This pee pad from Doctors Foster and Smith is highly recommended amongst its users. It has an 88% approval rating. But you should find something that’s right for your dog, Amazon has an array of peed pads and fake grass to choose from, just be sure to read the reviews before making your final selection.

Pet Mice

CVHMice make great entertaining pets, they are curious, energetic and adventurous. Is a pet mouse right for everyone? No, mice need a lot of attention and care to ensure that their short lives are healthy and well lived. Some one who is afraid of mice, or who has small children will not make great owners.

Mice are delicate animals that require a clean environment, lots of stimulation and an abundance of available food and water. You can purchase mice form a pet store, but these mice have most likely been bred in a rodent mill, resulting in sickly or disease prone animals. You should research a mouse breeder in your area. Mice have been bred for hundreds of years. There are many different colors and sizes, but the white mouse is probably the most common.

If you have decided on a pet mouse, there are a number of things you should consider. Are you going to own a female or a male? Females do better when they have company, so it’s suggested that you purchase three females at the same time to keep together in the same enclosure. Males on the other hand must be kept separate because they will fight, often to the death. There have been successful cases of males co-habitating, but they were introduced at a very early age, around 4 weeks. It’s also unadvised that you keep a male and a female together. Mice breed extremely rapidly, so you don’t want to keep them together, birth is really hard on the females, and they can become pregnant as early as 4 weeks. Mice litters also tend to be numerous, so unless you know what you are doing, do not place a male and a female in the same cage.

Before you bring your mouse home you should prepare the cage at home for an easy transition. Moving from home to home can be stressful, by having the mouse’s new home ready for him helps in making their new life smoother. The size of cage depends on how many mice you intend to keep and how big the mice are. A mouse can squeeze through an opening as big as 1/2 inches. The rule of thumb is if a mouse can fit their head through an opening, they can fit their whole body through. So is you choose a wire cage, the bars should be spaced 1/4inches apart to safely and securely hold you pet. You may also choose to keep them in an aquarium, but this comes with its own disadvantages.

In order to keep your mouse healthy you must spot clean your cage twice a week and clean the entire cage once a week. If you have an aquarium, you might be cleaning the enclosure more often because the glass will make the ammonia more potent and harmful because the odors are trapped, where a wire cage allows air through, not to mention climbing possibilities for the mouse.

On the side of the cage you should attach a large water bottle, or two small ones for your mouse to drink from. Mice might be tiny, but they need frequent hydration and food. You can buy mouse food from the pet store, but you can also give you mouse some treats form around the house. Mice enjoy dog treats, carrots, apples, bananas, and more fruits and vegetables. You can research what domesticated mice like to eat and find what your pet likes best.

You should change the water bottles and food dishes once a week, giving everything a proper cleaning. Use soap to clean the dishes and cage, but be sure to rinse well with water. You can even clean the cage with vinegar and water solution. This helps to kill odors and keep the enclosure fresh. Males tend to have a muskier odor than females, which means you may need to clean a male’s cage more often.

You can buy wood chip bedding for the enclosure, but you can use shredded paper as well, not news print though, the ink is harmful to mice. If you purchase wooden bedding make sure the chips are not made from pine or cedar. These types of wood can cause breathing problems for your mice.

You should also place toys and hidey holes for your mouse inside the cage. These can be household products, or store bought. Mice love climbing through flower pots or tubes from paper towel or toilet paper. You can also give them kleenex or cotton pods for them to shred and use for a nest. you can tie a string in a wire cage and enjoy watching your mouse hang from it. You can give them chew toys to help them grind their teeth down as well. You can find great wooden toys from your local pet shop, or give untreated wood pieces from an art store.

If you suspect that your mouse is sick, take it to the vet right away. Illnesses that affect mice include, lice, breathing difficulty, and colds. If your mouse is kept in an area too hot, it can suffer from heat stroke and die, to keep you mouse cool you can place ice cubes in the cage to help them fight the heat. Alternately, you should not keep you mouse close to an air conditioning vent, your mouse could catch hypothermia.

To find the right vet for you mouse, make sure that the vet specializes in treating small exotic animals. Now that you’re well informed about mice, we hope you find the perfect one to keep as your pet!

What Are the Spots On Your Cat’s Iris?

CVHIf you’re like me and you have an older cat, you know that your little ball of fur will possibly start to show signs of his age through illnesses, or just lack of energy. What you may not know, is that older cat’s with yellow eyes are more likely than other types to contract Melanocytoma, the spotting of the iris. The iris is the colored portion of the cat’s eye.

These spots can be brown or black and be of any size and not cause immediate harm to your pet. However, if these spots begin to change shape, grow or multiply in number, you will have to bring your cat in to see a vet immediately.

Melanocytoma is the growth of abnormal tissue in or around your act’s eye, resulting in brown or black spots. Melanosis usually affects cats 12-14 years or older, but in rare cases can affect cats as young as 6 years. Cats can live comfortably for years with this condition without ever developing more serious symptoms or complications, but you should still keep an eye on the spots and take your cat in for regular check ups with the vet. As long as these spots stay flat on the iris they are benign.

Luckily, most cases of iris melanosis do not undergo malignant change to melanoma. In fact, a cat with progressive iris melanosis is more likely to develop glaucoma from infiltration and obstruction of the drainage angle (the area in the eye where the intraocular fluid drains) than he is to develop distant metastasis.

In the event that the spots increase in number or size, or change from their flat position and begin to appear bumpy, the disease has progressed to the next stage and have most likely become malignant. That means that they have become Melanoma and are cancerous and in need of immediate treatment. If left untreated, the cancer cells from the eye can detach and become lodged elsewhere in the body, spreading the cancer to another organ.

When Melanoma is caught early the treatment can successfully remove the cancerous cells. This is accomplished through the use of a laser by a veterinary surgeon. However, in some cases complete extraction of the eye may be necessary to stop the disease form progressing (removal of the eye).

Melanosis can also be caused by corneal ulcers or trauma. It is also possible for erosion to cause dark spots in the clear portion of cat’s eyes, according to Animal Eye Care. If your cat has been engaging in play or combat with another cat, it is possible for a scratch to the eye to become infected resulting in the dark spots. It is also possible for something to become lodged underneath the eyelid slicing the cornea and resulting in this sort of infection as well.

Should you notice something under your cat’s eyelid, do not try to remove it yourself, bring your cat to a vet immediately for treatment. You can further damage your cat’s eye trying to remove particles from under their eyelids.

Infections such as conjunctivitus can also cause spots in your cat’s eye. These are defined by squinting, discharge, and local inflammation. Treatment for these viruses depend on the type of infection or bacteria, most likely though your vet will prescribe eye drops or ointment to clear up any virus your cat may have caught. Remember when administering the medicine to give the complete dosage for the entire time, even if the eye heals. You need to keep giving your kitty the medicine until it is all gone.

Beating the Summer Heat

ID-10076706Recently we’ve been asked about the safety of putting ice cubes in a pet’s water dish. This is perfectly fine, there is no danger to your pet if you put ice cubes in their water dish. Because of the misinformation we believe that more information needs to get out for our pet’s health and safety.

Hot days are hard on people and animals alike. Becoming overheated can be dangerous for pets because they are covered in fur and don’t ventilate the same way that humans do. This makes them susceptible to heat stroke and hyperthermia.

Living in a tropical climate like we do in Florida means that you need to take precautions for your pet all year round. The following are tips for keeping pets cool on those especially hot days.

1. Do not lock your pet in your vehicle. If you have to take your pet with you in the car, whatever you do, do not leave them in the car. The vehicle’s inside temperature will double in the heat of the sun. So if it’s 80° outside, then the inside temperature of the car will be 160°.

Every year pet’s die in their owner’s vehicles because they were left inside the car while their owner was out running errands. This is 100% avoidable, so if you have to take your pet with you, that means they need to get out of the car and brought along the entire time your out.

It’s better to clean up any potential mess you might find at home versus bringing your pet along and locking them in your vehicle only to suffer in the heat.

2. Reduce exercise during extreme heat. From 10am-2pm is the hottest part of the day, during a heat wave this time can be even longer. During these intensely hot days you should limit outdoor exposure, or just wait for another day to walk your dog or let your pet out.

Dog’s paws are sensitive to heat, which is another reason you may want to hold off on those walks. The hot pavement can hurt your dog’s paws, so if you need to go for a walk try to stay off side walks and roads.

If you have to go for a walk with your pet make sure to take frequent breaks in the shade, and bring plenty of water for yourself and your pet. You might even consider going for a shorter walk than normal.

There are a variety of accessories you can buy to help keep your dog cool, such as hats, bandanas, and special sun screen to stop sun burns on dog’s with shorter hair.

3. Give your pet plenty of water. During those hot days make sure your pet is well hydrated. You can even give them water with ice cubes in it. There is no danger of bloat as you may have heard. Bloat only occurs when an animal drinks too much water, with or without ice.

In the extreme heat your pet needs to be well hydrated, so they will need more water than usual, and if you can keep their water cool, even better! You might even want to freeze some treats to help them beat the heat. Cats enjoy chasing and eating ice cubes on hot days.

You can even cool your pet down by wrapping them in towels or light blankets that have been soaked in cold water. If your pet doesn’t find a bath stressful, you should give them a cool bath. You can even mist your pet with cool water to help keep the heat at bay.

4. Have your pet groomed. Having their excess hair brushed away, or having their hair cut will help keep your pet cool. You can even take a cloth soaked in cold water and rubbing alcohol and rub it over their ears to help cool their body down.

5. Provide a cool place for your pet inside and outside. If you have central air in you home then that’s the best place for your pet to be. If you don’t have central air then make sure your pet has a cool dark place to relax.

You pet needs a break from the heat, whether it’s in the shade outside, or in the house. Make your pet a comfortable place to relax where it’s cool. You can even dig a hole for your dog to lay in and keep cool.

During the heat do what you can to keep your pet cool. These suggestions are your best ways to keep your pet refreshed. Don’t rely on a fan to keep your pet cool, because a fan might work for you, but it won’t for your pet. Always keep an eye on your pet in the heat to make sure that they have plenty of water, are resting and relaxing, and generally staying cool.