How Can Stress Affect Your Pet’s Health

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Dogs could suffer stress due to changes in their environment. The list of causes includes benign ones like owners moving to a new home. Canines could suffer from stress even if the change is a positive one. In most positive cases, the stress response of the dog’s body will fade away and it will revert back to its normal status. Other causes of stress include boarding or loud noises. The occasional travel could also bring stress. Dogs try to understand whether the new environment is hostile or not. Once they find out, the canines then figure out how to adjust to the new scheme of things.

Weak immunity

A stressed dog release cortisol, a hormone playing a part on whether the dog will fight or run away from a certain scenario. The cortisol hormone assists the body to respond when any stressful event occurs. The problem starts when stress becomes a chronic affair. The result is a weaker immune system. The dog will not be able to counter disease and infections. It is vital to minimize the stress levels of your dog. Not doing this action will make this mild problem a major, costly complication.

Appetite loss

In case your dog remains stressed for an extended period of time, then there will be noticeable changes in its behavior. A few could result in a serious problem in the future. All problems must be solved as quickly as possible. The de-stress procedure must also be done in a proper manner. Most stressed dogs suffer an appetite loss. The result is decreased weight after some time. For healthy dogs, the loss of weight may not matter much. However, it can be fatal if the dog is already underweight or not keeping well for some time. One sure indicator of stress that the dog will begin to chew and try to eat non-food substances. The dog will chew window-sills and toys. Some dogs lick themselves so much that they injure themselves.

Diarrhea

Stressful conditions push the dogs into releasing adrenaline. This again determines whether the pet will fight or run away. Similar to cortisol, the adrenaline helps the dog to prevail against an immediate threat. The temporary effects of adrenaline are a rise in blood pressure and heart rate. These are accompanied by complications like blood flow decrease to the stomach and intestines. The result is diarrhea suffered by that particular canine. No other symptoms, like vomiting and fever, are seen.

Stress can increase the intensity and pain of an already present illness. If the dog was sick, to begin with, then it could take time to heal. This is the reason veterinarians do not want to use any corticosteroid in the body as they slow the healing process.

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All you need to know about dog eye discharge

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The eye of a dog is similar to that of a human. Dogs can suffer identical eye problems as humans, including glaucoma, cataracts, and conjunctivitis. Ocular discharge or dog eye discharge is a common problem. Multiple causes exist for this phenomenon. If you see your dog suffer ocular discharge, it is safest to take your four-legged family friend as soon as possible to the veterinarian.

Causes of dog eye discharge

Your dog could suffer from dog eye discharge due to a number of reasons. The principal two reasons are canine conjunctivitis and seasonal discharge. Since the eye of the dog is similar to humans, the animal’s eyes could get red and itchy. The primary cause of such a symptom is wind, dust, dirt, and pollen allergies. Mold spores and mites are also responsible. A few dogs could develop a number of benign tumors on eyelids which rub the eye surface. The resultant is discomfort accompanied by discharge for the dog. A few canines could also be born with collapsed or incomplete tear ducts. These leads tears to regularly spill over and consequently stain fur located underneath the eyes.

A few dogs could be born with droopy eyelids. They roll in, causing dryness or chronic irritation, leading to eye goobers. Dog eye discharge could also be a result of a traumatized cornea. Keratitis conjunctivitis or dry eye may cause the accumulation of slimy green mucus on the eye of the dog. Canines could suffer from excessive tearing as a consequence of abnormal lashes, glaucoma or conjunctivitis infections.

Prevention and treatment

You can take a few corrective measures to stop dog eye discharge. The most obvious-and the cheapest- action to take is to take your dog to a veterinarian at least twice every year. Problems, if any could be detected early. The veterinarian will take the necessary steps to make sure that the eye of the dog will not cause any problems down the road. In case your pet is susceptible to seasonal allergies, begin the pretreatment with the compound diphenhydramine. Discuss with the veterinarian concerning other anti-histamines. In case your dog has wispy and long hair which sticks to the dog’s eyeballs, trim its hair away from the eyes. Surgical treatments are a must if the dog has deep nasal folds rubbing the eye or rolled eyelids. Surgery is also needed for collapsed tear ducts and eyelid margin tumors.

The best technique to treat dog eye discharge is gentle eye irrigation with sterile saline. This should be done to remove any irritating substance from the eye, including pollen and dirt. The procedure should be done at least once a day, and even two times per day.

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Is your dog throwing up bile? These could be the possible reasons

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Dogs vomit frequently and it is not a welcome incident. Majority of dogs love to eat and if you do not keep an eye on it, your four-legged friend could end up eating something nasty. This will come up as vomit after some period of time. An occasional vomit is perfectly okay, but not all the time when seen from a health perspective.

Bilious vomiting syndrome

Bile, however, should not be present. The yellow-green colored substance can be extremely unpleasant not only to see but also to clean up. If your dog’s vomit has bile in them, then take it to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Dogs throw up their bile for a number of reasons. The Bilious Vomiting Syndrome is the most common one among them.

Bile is generated in the liver and gets stored in a liquid form inside the gallbladder. After ingestion of food, the bile gets into the small intestine. It assists to break down the food so that the body could digest it. The body then utilizes the product to meet its nutritional needs. Bilious vomiting syndrome happens when the bile gets leaked into the stomach from the small intestine. The event generally occurs if the dog has not eaten for an extended period of time. It could also happen if the dog ate a larger quantity of fatty foods or huge quantities of grass. This could happen if it drank water in large volumes.

Smaller meals

This is the reason you should consider giving more frequent and smaller meals to your dogs. This is a must if the bilious vomiting happens after it wakes up or after it passes a long time without food consumption. The bilious vomiting could be a sign of multiple conditions which affect the digestive system, including ulcers, inflammatory disease, and parasite infections. Certain cancers could also be the cause. A veterinarian may diagnose the underlying condition and treat it so that the vomiting is eliminated.

This is important as the bile is acidic and could damage the esophagus. Ulcerations could happen as a result if it remains untreated. Retrievers and bulldog breeds have sensitive stomachs more susceptible to such problems.

Another cause of bile is pancreatitis. This is an endocrine disease and happens after any dog eats super oily or super fatty foods. The result is pancreas inflammation and then bilious vomiting. This is accompanied by diarrhea and intense stomach pain. The occurrence of pancreatitis comes three days to five days post consumption of fatty foods. This may happen 24 hours later as well. The bilious vomiting as a result of pancreatitis may begin anytime between 24 hours and 48 hours post fatty food consumption.

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How feeding multiple dogs at once has become easier

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An increasing number of homes now own multiple dogs. Only a lucky owner finds all dogs eating peacefully during meal time. Most dogs fight over research guarding issues. You must take the following action to prevent such an occurrence. Do try to keep a few dogs in diet mode. These will stop them from filching and fighting over other dogs’ food. The easiest way to do this is to give each dog its individual bowl. Doing this will prevent infighting among the canines.

Food in equal quantities

In case of fighting, the winner will become fatter and the loser canine will become progressively thinner over time. It is thus important that all dogs get an equal amount of food. Measure the same quantity of food into each bowl. You can put in yogurt or canned food as a filler. In case one dog is a slow eater, pick up its bowl and place it on the counter beyond the dog’s reach. If one dog does not want to eat, it is acceptable to put in yogurt into the bowl.

Many multiple dog owners have found an easy way out. They use crates to feed their canines. Such a method prevents infighting among dogs. Bullying behavior like one dog staring at the other until the second canine moves away is also eliminated. Owners will also know if a dog has eaten its full meal or not. This is vital as dog obesity has risen in recent years and many owners will keep the dogs confined until every dog has finished its meal.

Non-accessible food

If you own a dog and a cat, store the cat food away from the dog. Remember canines love cat food and they will try tricks to eat it. To prevent this, place the cat food in a high place, like the dryer top. It is vital the cat should eat in peace. Your dog should not disturb it while it eats. Give food to the cat behind a cat-sized door which the dog cannot get access. In case you have multiple cats, find ways to feed each of them separately. Use big crates and baby gates that release food only to pets wearing special collars should be purchased. You must investigate all potential solutions to such a problem.

Whatever you do, do not free feed your pets. It means your pets can access food at all times. Pets who eat in such a way have the tendency to put on weight. In the case of a multi-pet household, it will be impossible for you to know which pet has eaten food in how much quantities. You will also not know any change in the diet of any pet among multiple pets.

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Why some kids prefer pet rats over dogs and cats?

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There is a misconception that every child wants a kitten or a puppy. Many children actually want rats as their pet. According to a pet ownership survey conducted by RightPet, a majority of 15-year-old wants a rat as their first preference. Cats and dogs come second and third respectively. Horses and snakes follow in that order. The survey was made on a pool of 64,000 respondents going through 32 kinds of livestock and pets. Pet owners were paid for their feedback to avoid false claims. It was discovered that the rat was a favorite among 5,150 owners who have own or had owned a pet at the time they were 17 years old. The data is inclusive of information extracted from a total of 222 rat owners.

Rats make excellent pets

As per the RightPet review, kids who had owned pets or currently own one, aged between 10 years and 17 years, are more satisfied from rats compared to owners of dogs and cats and any other pets. The attraction towards rats progressively decreased when the kids got older.

There are a number of reasons why rats make good pets for children. According to Dr. Jennisfer Graham of Tufts University, small pets are excellent for children as they teach responsibility. Rats are ideal as they are low maintenance animals. They are calm and laid back. Rats are not nippy like pets of other species. They can also be easily handled. It helps these animals are cheap to purchase as well. A number of childhood pranks gel extremely well with rats. The only problem is that some families can get queasy with rats inside their homes. If your family is like this, consider other species like chinchillas and hedgehogs.

Total survey findings

The survey results found that women preferred cats more over dogs. When it came to men, dogs are preferred a little more than cats. Most respondents liked bigger dogs. The dog lover is also more curious than the cat-loving one. Another finding is that men who show anxiety and moodier than others do not like cats much. This finding is applicable for men who suffer considerable negative emotions. They were found to be less satisfied in the company of cats compared to men who can safely be classified as the emotionally stable kind. The latter are those men who suffer much less negative emotions. Conversely, women who are prone to anxiety enjoy cats similar to their more emotionally strong peers. When it came to pet ownership, the survey took into account 32 kinds of livestock and pet species prior to delivering the final result. The least favorite pets among all the pets were found to be scorpions and geese.

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Here’s All You Need To Know About Getting Insurance For Your Pet This Year

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It is fun to add a pet to your family. Along with the fun, however, comes the worry. There will be a niggling thought in your mind on what to do if your pet falls sick. Such questions can keep you awake at night. This is natural as unforeseen medical expenses can make or break your finances. One protection against such an occurrence is subscribing to pet health insurance. The latter’s existence will free you to make any decision on whether to save your pet or conserve your finances. It is important to go for an option which will make both you and your pet extremely happy.

Best plans

The marketplace for pet insurance is similar to human health insurance with numerable different plans and providers to select from. You have to enroll and select the most appropriate plan for your pet. It must also be within your budget. After you finalize the plan, you can be reimbursed for a certain percentage of the covered veterinary expenses-post deductibles. A majority of insurance plans will allow you to choose the veterinarian you want, as long as they have the required licenses. Compared to human health insurance, the payment process for pet healthcare is more involved. Most pet owners pay the veterinarian and the invoice is then submitted to the pet insurance company. The pet parent selects the reimbursement package at the time of enrollment.

Pet insurance prices vary depending on the breed of the dog, pre-existing conditions, and age. Such factors will affect the probability of you making a claim and the amount the insurer must pay out if you make an application. Another important factor is age. Like humans, your pet will need increased medical care as it grows older. The breed is important as certain breeds have more pre-existing conditions. To give an example, pugs are pricier to insure as they are prone to genetic conditions. They are much more probable to need trips to veterinarian compared to a number of other dog breeds. Insurance for cats, however, will carry identical costs across multiple breeds and brands. The sole factor which affects cats’ premiums is the policy’s comprehensiveness and age. The pre-existing conditions are ignored.

Caveats

It is important to know the restrictions. Policies are generally capped at a specific age. For example, the puppy must be a minimum of eight weeks old to enjoy an insurance cover. If it crosses eight weeks, you may find it hard to get the puppy insured. Claims cannot be made under a few defined circumstances. To give an instance, if your pet suffers from an illness which was preventable by a vaccine, the policy may not cover it.

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The Science Of Purring

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Often assumed to be a sign of contentment in our feline friends, purring has been among mysterious cat behaviors for the longest time. Ranging from inaudible vibrations to loud motor sounds across hallways, every cat’s purr sounds unique. But why do our feline companions purr? How do they learn this behavior? And how do they even manage to purr? Over years, science has slowly uncovered the secrets of this typical kitty habit that even cheetahs and pumas display.

The first purr
Cats learn to purr when they are just a couple of days old. Since kittens are born blind and deaf, the mother uses vibrations of purrs to help her babies locate her. The little ones, in turn, purr to let her know where they are or if they need her. Purring in kittens is often accompanied with kneading, which helps them bond, and get the most of feeding on their mother’s milk. Often, these habits are retained by cats even once they reach adulthood.

A mind game
The question about how cats purr remained debatable for quite some time. Initially mused to have been produced from blood surging through the inferior vena-cava, the truth was rather astounding. A cat’s brain contains a unique structure, called the neural oscillator, which helps cats send a signal to their laryngeal and diaphragmatic muscles to vibrate between the frequencies of 25 and 150Hertz.

Science/magic?
But if cats have mutated at a cephalic level to acquire this ability, it surely was purposed for something more than a what’s-up between the mother and her kittens. Most commonly, purrs are displayed in adult felines as a sign of happiness and safety. However, there is a flipside to this. Cats also tend to purr when anxious, aggravated or in pain; particularly when in pain. The frequency at which cats purr has long been linked to improved health (and healing) of muscles and bones, lending this tiny predator incredible durability. This ability is probably the source of the “nine lives” myth. It might also be the reason that the newer cat species bred by humans do not display many muscle or bone abnormalities found in the canine counterpart. Cats may also utilize purring as a low energy mechanism to stimulate their muscles and bones, as energy conservation is a top priority, with 60% of their schedule involving naps.

Science is looking to apply cat purrs to help astronauts, who experience low bone density and muscle atrophy upon spending extended periods in zero gravity environments. Humans with feline companions also experience faster healing when injured, and feel relaxed after spending some cuddle time with their furry friends.

So, the next time somebody calls you a crazy cat-lady, remember, old-age may bring you 99 problems, but osteoporosis won’t be one of them.

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How Can You Prevent Your Cat From Getting Diabetes?

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The statistic is surprising but real: an increasing number of cats now suffer from diabetes. One out of 400 cats now suffers from diabetes. In most cases, the fault is the same: the cats became diabetic as their owners fed them food rich in carbohydrates but have low amounts of protein. Admittedly, a few feline breeds are more susceptible to this disease. To give an example, the Burmese cat is about 3.7 times more prone to suffer from diabetes compared to other breeds.

Early signs of diabetes include frequent urination and excessive diet. Your cat will become obese and lethargic. The feline will eat more as its diabetic condition becomes acuter. This is as the body is not capable as before of processing food as it acquires from the diet into fuel. If you believe your cat suffers from diabetes, then it is crucial to treat it. If you do not, then it will lead to a wide range of mortal health conditions. Yes, it is possible to prevent diabetes.

Watch your cat’s weight

Similar to humans, obesity is a risk factor in Type 2 diabetes in felines too. About 58 percent of house cats are classified as obese or overweight. That’s a lot of ticking time bombs. You may like fat cats, but it may not be enjoyable for the cat. Feed it food as the instructions of your veterinarian. If you give it high-calorie treats, do not feed him dinner or give it less food that day.

Appropriate diet

Your cat is an obligate carnivore. The body is evolved to consume a low carbohydrate and high protein diet. Grains are not part of the cat’s diet plan. Canned food for cats is formulated in such a way that the best balance is maintained. If you give it cooked food, make sure it is richer in proteins. Consult your veterinarian.

Exercise is vital

An active cat will keep down its weight. It will also reduce the stress levels of the feline. Do play with your cat every day. Other than reducing the chance of obesity, this activity will also strengthen the bond between you and your cat. The feline will be de-stressed and will be much happier.

Regular checkups are a must

This is a hard thing to do as your cat will be unwilling to visit the veterinarian. This, however, must be done a minimum of twice every year. You will know whether the cat has gained weight or lost weight. These are important signs of any potential problem. The money you spent on regular checkups will help you to save large quantities of money later on. Cat illnesses can be expensive to treat.

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The Best Way To Groom Your Brussels Griffon

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Brussels Griffon comes in two types: the smooth and the Rough. The breed is available in a total of three colors: red, black and a mix of tan and black. As an owner, you will find grooming the Smooth coat variety much easier. You only require natural bristle brushes to brush. Employ curved scissors to remove hair present between toes. You must remove the curl which invariably forms at the tail end. It is necessary to use an extremely fine comb when the Smooth dog molts. This ratchets up the hair removal speed. The tail could also be trimmed around and underneath the anus area. This keeps the dog tidy. Detailed stripping is needed for Rough coat variety of Brussels Griffon dogs.

Required equipment

Grooming the Rough coated Brussels Griffon needs a medium-toothed comb, bristle brush, thinning scissors, tweezers. Small slicker, and a fine-toothed comb. The aim is to get a natural look and not a trimmed appearance. A few Griffons have no undercoat. They may appear somewhat bare for a couple of weeks after they get stripped.

Take the bristle brush and work through the Griffon’s coat. Use any medium toothed comb to comb through the fur. Use your finger to lift a few hairs between the finger and the thumb. Pull them in a gentle manner. The coat is okay to strip if the hair comes out without much effort. Start to strip the top coat at the neck base or at withers between shoulder blades. Continue to strip down back and also the side of the tail. When you strip, the hair growth must be towards you.

What to see

The long hairs from the Griffon’s thighs must be removed. Care must be taken to retain any balanced outline. The thick hair which grows on the hind legs’ back must be removed. Same goes for longest hairs from the front of the feet and the legs. Do not overstep. If you do so, the feet will appear long and not the catlike look that is the hallmark of this breed. The area from the shoulders to the chest should be stripped, and the long hairs snipped away from the leg.

You can use the number 10 clippers or scissors to snip around the genital area and below the stomach. Before you proceed any further, stand back and look carefully at the overall appearance of your canine. Remove all stray hair which detracts from the balanced and smart look. When it comes to the head, begin from behind the eyes. Be careful to strip a few hair strands at a single time. Go back to one ear at a time and over top of the head. The longer hairs over eyes can be left to form the eyebrows.

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Why Do Dogs Act Lame Sometimes?

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Dogs limp due to a number of reasons. If your dog has difficulty walking, consult your veterinarian immediately. As a dog owner, you should have a basic knowledge of why dogs limp.

Cause and immediate veterinary visit

Lameness in dogs is fairly common. The range of causes could include a wide swathe of causes, beginning from chronic conditions and ending in trauma. Limps can be classified into two kinds: sudden onset limp and gradual onset limp. The latter happens slowly over a course of time. The sudden onset limp happens swiftly, like after a trauma caused by injury. You should inform the veterinarian about whether your dog has started to limp all of a sudden or it was a gradual process. This knowledge will help the veterinarian reach the correct decision when it comes to treatment. The specialist can also figure out whether it is a kind of veterinary emergency.

Do understand that immediate care is a must for dislocated joints or broken bones. Damage in the nerves could conceal a spinal injury or a serious neurological condition. You must get your canine to the veterinary emergency room in-case the dog betrays signs like unnatural angle break, swelling, dislocation or dangling limb or hot limb.

Underlying chronic conditions result in gradual onset limps. These can be dysplasia or osteoarthritis. Do not delay the veterinarian’s appointment since your dog suffers from a gradual limp. The causes of this pain could be hip dysplasia or bone cancer. It is better to treat these diseases sooner than later.

Injuries and joint disease

Injuries to the paw are the most common cause of lameness. This may happen if any sharp object gets lodged in the foot. The list of detrimental objects includes foreign bodies like plant matter, glass, nails, and thorns. These not only make your dog’s walking an uncomfortable exercise, but also cause infection. Animal bites or insect stings could result in limping and tenderness. If your dog is hurt by a foreign object, then it will constantly lick the affected area. Trauma could cause lameness in canines. This may stem from causes like ligament tears, sprains, and dislocations. Things could be so bad the dog will be unable to put any weight on the affected limb.

A few causes like joint disease result in the gradual tear on the musculoskeletal and joints system. Limping is the result. The list of limping related causes includes elbow dysplasia, osteoarthritis, and hip dysplasia. Other underlying diseases include osteochondritis dissecans, patellar luxation, invertebral disk disease and ligament disease. Joint pain could also be caused by Lyme disease. The causal list may include bone diseases too. Younger animals, especially the bigger ones like large breed puppies could develop conditions like panosteitis, which make walking a torture for your pet.

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