This blog is for informational purposes only. Please consult with a veterinarian if your pet is ill.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fur Balls

Cats come with one issue that never goes away - fur balls. Cats spend hours each day grooming themselves. That is good for their coats but the fur sticks to their course tongues and they swallow it. Some hair gets passed through their system but some forms a gooey wad in their stomach. When the fur accumulates, they vomit it up - usually on your best furniture. Long haired dogs also have this problem too. What to do to prevent this mess?

I give my cats butter - it lubricates their insides and things just go right through. Another option that my vet suggests is to feed them an oily fish like salmon or mackerel once a week. If you prefer to use a hair ball product - I recommend ones by Vetbasis, made without any petroleum products.

Give them extra fiber in the form of canned pumpkin. Give small pets between one half and one teaspoon with every meal. Medium and large dogs can have between a teaspoon and two tablespoons with meals. Another fiber source is psyllium and flax seeds. I give my cat Minnie who has irritable bowel symptom a product made by Flora for humans with oat bran, ground flax seeds and psyllium. It softens her stools and her fur balls pass right through. Small pets take about one quarter teaspoon. Larger dogs take up to a tablespoon.

If they seem to be constipated, I give them the homeopathic remedy Nux Vomica 30c once and they will cough it up or pass it through. Sometimes the fur balls get so large they cannot move in either direction. These large masses are called bezoars, can form life threatening blockages. If you pet's stomach swells, he's vomiting and can't pass stools, see a vet right away. This is an emergency.

The most effective way to prevent fur balls is for you to brush them every day. This will remove loose fur before it causes a problem and also be quality time spent with your cat or dog.


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