Pet Care Articles

October 12th, 2015
Courtesy of the Baltimore Sun...

Americans spend something like $7 billion on Halloween costumes, candy and decorations annually - including more than $300 million on pet costumes. While humans of all ages have lots of spooky fun on Halloween, it may be less fun for pets. In fact, Halloween can be downright dangerous. Here are some sensible precautions.

Candy

Pets can smell wrapped candy, even sealed in plastic bags. If they can smell it, they’ll try to eat it, wrappers and all. No candy is good for them. Chocolate, especially dark or baking chocolate, can be highly toxic to dogs and cats. Same goes for candy made with the artificial sweetener xylitol. So keep candy where it’s out of their reach.

If you think your pet has eaten something toxic, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 right away. Fast action could save your pet’s life.

Decorations
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September 18th, 2015
Courtesy of VCAHospitals.com...

When we think of cats who are different—cats with disabilities—we generally first think of cats with obvious, visible differences. For instance, we may get a mental image of a cat

with three legs, or missing an eye, or perhaps a cat who is paralyzed. We may simply overlook the invisible disabilities a cat may be living with. Deafness is one of these hidden issues.

Deaf cats are just like hearing cats in all other ways. When we discover that a cat is deaf, or if we are considering adopting a deaf cat, it is important to sort through the misinformation to learn how to best live with a deaf feline companion.

How do cats become deaf?

Cats can lose their hearing as they age, just as many humans do. Generally, this is a gradual process, so it may be difficult to notice. The eardrums become less flexible, and sounds are not transmitted as effectively. Typically, these cats ...   Read more...
August 12th, 2015
Courtesy of KCBS in San Francisco By Jeff Bell

If you’re like me, you may be fascinated by the fact that some pets’ eyes can change colors. With puppies it’s normal, according to Dr. Jennifer Scarlett with the SF SPCA.

“They’re born with yellow or amber eyes and those will change to a dark brown by about eight weeks of age,” she said.

Scarlett said cats’ eye color changes with age and it’s something called iris atrophy. “Literally you’ll see this kind of cobwebby appearance to the iris.”

Other changes to eye color could indicate some sort of abnormality. There are types of diseases that can cause a change in eye color. Cataracts are a common cause, mainly in dogs and can cause changes either because of congenital reasons or because of diabetes.

“Other changes of eye color can be due to conditions of the cornea or infections of the iris,” she said. “In old dogs, if you catch them in the right light you’ll see that their eyes ...   Read more...

July 19th, 2015
Courtesy of DNJ.com...

With the rise in popularity of e-cigarettes, Pet Poison Helpline has encountered a sharp uptick in calls concerning cases of nicotine poisoning in pets that ingested e-cigarettes or liquid nicotine refill solution.

Nicotine poses a serious threat of poisoning to dogs and cats and e-cigarettes back a powerful punch. The problem is that many pet owners don’t realize it.

Over the past six months, Pet Poison Helpline cases have more than doubled, indicating that along with their increased popularity, the nicotine-delivering devices are becoming a more significant threat to pets.

While dogs account for the majority of cases, nicotine in e-cigarettes and liquid refill solution is toxic to cats as well.

Nicotine poisoning in pets has a rapid onset of symptoms – generally within 15 to 60 minutes following ingestion. Symptoms for dogs and cats include vomiting, diarrhea, agitation, elevations in heart rate and respiration rate, ...   Read more...

July 4th, 2015
It's hard to believe it, but we've been blogging online for more than FOUR years now and we recently celebrated our four-year anniversary of pet sitting, back in May. The entire Paw Minders Plus family would like to wish everyone a SAFE and Happy 4th of July! Remember, most animals don't like fireworks. The lights and loud sounds can scare them. BE CAREFUL with them around your animals. Our two little ones will be staying at home when we take in the fireworks shows around Henderson this 4th. We love the shows, but know they don't. Anyway, enjoy the fun that comes with the 4th and we'll return later this month with more tips and articles on animal care! In the meantime, click the link below to check out the fireworks show at EPCOT in Walt Disney World, FL. Taped in 2014.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5K6rzYn9Bs   Read more...

June 10th, 2015
By Dr. Patty Khuly at vetstreet.com

Think you know your pet‘s every unspoken wish? Think again. Your pet is unlikely to be capable of communicating her wants and needs in ways you might assume she would. Even those of you most in touch with your pets‘ feelings are likely missing a few cues here and there.

What Pets Keep Mum About

1. I hurt. Pain is probably the No. 1 thing your pet won’t communicate directly. Sure, she may limp, chew funny or shake her head, but whining, crying and carrying on (like we humans would) isn’t her MO. Slowing down, taking the stairs more tentatively, being reluctant to jump and struggling to rise are more than likely signs of true pain — not just “old age.”

2. I‘m scared. When pets get aggressive, owners often assume their pets are acting out because they’re being dominant, angry or just plain bratty. But the truth is often much simpler: They may be just plain scared. And fear must be dealt with differently — far ...   Read more...

May 10th, 2015
Courtesy of the News Journal
Story by Deborah Lucas

If your cat or dog has really bad breath that doesn't go away, it's a red flag that gum disease, and/or something more serious, could have set in.

That funky smell is caused by bacteria in your pet's mouth, lungs, gastrointestinal tract or internal organs. A trip to your veterinarian to find the cause will likely start with an examination of your pet's teeth and gums.

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is the most common disease in pet dogs and cats, according to the Veterinary Oral Health Council.

Pets that don't receive good oral care from their owners usually start showing signs of gum disease around age 5. Soft dental plaque forms on the hard dental tartar on the surface of the teeth, just as it does in humans. Bacteria thrive in the plaque, irritating the gums.

Before you know it, your pet can have an infection that can spread far beyond its mouth.

"Bacteria can get into the ...   Read more...

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