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

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Electrolyte Solution Recipe

Sometimes when our pets are ill and vomit or have diarrhea, they lose fluid - severely dehydrated animals can lose up to 10 percent of their body weight in fluids. One way to tell if they are dehydrated is to gently pinch a bunch of skin on their neck or shoulders and if it falls back quickly, they are fine, if not they need fluids.

Electrolyte solution replenishes this fluid. Make your own rather than pay for expensive brands at grocery stores which also have preservatives and chemical in them that your pet may not be able to handle.

1 quart clean water (no chlorine or fluoride)

1tablespoon sugar or honey

1 teaspoon common table salt

Mix well and refrigerate unused portions in a clean container. Warm only amount to be used to room temperature before use. electrolyte solution hat is left out will turn moldy. For extended use, make a fresh batch every day.

The following amounts should be given over the course of a day until the pet is drinking on its own from the water bowl. For less acute dehydration simply offer as much electrolyte solution as the animal will drink on its own from a bowl. I like to use a plastic syringe and give a dose of the intake periodically.

Kittens and puppies - three tablespoons

Pets weighing five pounds - four to five tablespoons

Pets weighing ten pounds - three quarters of a cup

Pets weighing fifteen or more pounds - one quarter of a cup for each five pounds of body weight.

This information from Kaetheryn Walker's Homeopathic First Aid for Animals.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Al's Silent World

For more Wordless Wednesday posts visit here.

Read this to learn more about living with deaf pets

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lost Pets

Even with our best intentions, sometimes our cat or dog will escape and get lost.

A new way to find lost pets has come to my attention. Another cat blogger has lost her two cats and she posted them on Find Toto. This is similar to the Amber Alert for lost children.

Besides using this web site - make sure you contact all the vets in your area, the local shelters, and animal control. Post fliers with the pet's name, a photo, your phone number and reward if you can afford it. Put these in every place you can.
You want to get the word out to as many people in your area who may see your lost pet.

For more info on the web site check out Find Toto.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Feline Wellness Magazine

Animal Wellness Magazine has come out with a cats only version called Feline Wellness. I really enjoyed reading it and found the articles well written as usual and very appropriate for me because I live with a group of rescued cats.

The magazine has 10- 12 feature articles ranging from flea control to explaining homeopathy, health issues and more. The regular columns consist of book reviews, health questions and answers and Cat Chat- trends and news about cats and ending with the Tail End - an amusing reader submitted article as the last one in the magazine.

I found the ads to be helpful - listing companies providing food, litter, toys and health products. I would highly recommend Feline Wellness magazine if you only have cats. The Animal Wellness focuses mostly on dogs now or on articles relating to both cats and dogs. A great pair of magazines and resources for healthy natural American made products for your pet.

Check Feline Wellness out online

Friday, July 3, 2009

Little Lotus Hearts

I found a wonderful web site for animals and their humans at - set up from a Buddhist perspective about caring for all being on this planet. Find out what you can do to help animals, create a tribute to your animal companion or just learn more about Buddhist views. Check it out.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Urgent - Nutro Cat Foods Recall!

Some Nutro pet foods have been voluntarily recalled due to contamination. The brands recalled are Nutro Natural Choice Complete Care and Nutro Max - both dry foods for cats. None of the dry or canned dog food are affected nor the canned cat food. This Press release was issued by Nutro:

Today, Nutro Products announced a voluntary recall of select varieties of NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® COMPLETE CARE® Dry Cat Foods and NUTRO® MAX® Cat Dry Foods with “Best If Used By Dates” between May 12, 2010 and August 22, 2010. The cat food is being voluntarily recalled in the United States and ten additional countries. This recall is due to incorrect levels of zinc and potassium in our finished product resulting from a production error by a US-based premix supplier.

Two mineral premixes were affected. One premix contained excessive levels of zinc and under-supplemented potassium. The second premix under-supplemented potassium. Both zinc and potassium are essential nutrients for cats and are added as nutritional supplements to NUTRO® dry cat food.

This issue was identified during an audit of our documentation from the supplier. An extensive review confirmed that only these two premixes were affected. This recall does not affect any NUTRO® dog food products, wet dog or cat food, or dog and cat treats.

Go to the following web sites to check out which ones were recalled and why.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Book Review: The Holistic Cat by Jennifer A. Coscia

This newly published book is a very personal account of life in the author's rescue group and how her background as a nutritionist has helped the cats that live with her.

Coscia is an internationally recognized nutritional consultant specializing in disease prevention. She has combined her background and her love of animals to form TARAA - The Animal Rescue and Adoption Agency, Inc. - a nonprofit, no kill organization for the betterment of animal welfare. Partnering with Petco, Coscia has rescued and placed hundreds of cats into loving homes.

In this book Corscia presents a complimentary approach to health care by combining conventional veterinary medicine and alternative methods to focus on disease prevention, using first hand knowledge and experience from her shelter cats.

She covers a variety of topics and illustrates each with personal experiences involving her cats with photos as well. Some topics included in her list are holistic nutrition, vaccinations, caring for feral colonies and using TNR, the dangers in the house and outdoors for cats, bringing in new pets and moving or traveling with cats. She also gives nutritional treatment suggestions for many feline illnesses - URI's, eye issues, kidney, heart and intestinal problems and allergies.

Her book is full of useful suggestions and honest opinions based on her experiences. I particularly like how she presents the vaccination dilemma, explaining very simply the way vaccines work and how they can adversely affect cats. Even if you are not a big holistic medicine follower, her her honestly written stories and anecdotes about life with her rescued cats are heartwarming and informative as well. She has dedicated her life to rescuing homeless cats and caring for them if they cannot be placed in other homes. I find her extremely admirable and enjoyed her book very much.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rescue Ink

I thought this was a great bunch of tough guys in the NYC area who formed a rescue group that is just as tough on animal abusers! Check out their web page and keep posted on what they are doing. They even have a TNR feral cat program!

Right now they are trying to raise money to send Sailor, a very abused dog, to a sanctuary where he can live out the rest of his life. he has too many issues to be placed in a home.

Great work guys!!!!

Go here to see what they do ot go over to the sidebar and click on their website.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

World's Best Cat Litter

I did an earlier post on the dangers of chemicals in cat litter and suggested using natural substances instead. This brand is my all time favorite. I discovered it many years ago and have been using it since.

The reason being that once I began bringing in in new cats and kittens to the household, I saw that sometimes they ate the litter or got a lot on their paws and would clean it off. I worried about what was in it that they were ingesting. I researched all cat litters and was horrified to learn about the chemicals in them.

Sodium bentonite is the clumping agent in scoopable litters. It acts like expandable cement when digested when cats lick themselves. It causes problems that can lead to death. Silica, a form of quartz, is believed to be a carcinogen when inhaled. Silica is what causes the dust when litter is stirred.

Looking for something more natural, I found World's Best Cat Litter at a healthy pet store and began to carry it in my gift/book store.

WBCL is made from whole kernel corn with no harmful chemicals, perfumes or additives. Their scientists found out that highly absorbent proteins and fibers found naturally in corn bind cat urine and odor molecules in the litter.

Why do we love this litter?

Great odor control - no more smelly boxes.
Compact clumping - easy to scoop.
Silica dust free - no dangers or messy dust.
100% natural - safe for cats and kittens
Long lasting freshness - use less than other litters.
Flushable, biodegradable and septic safe - safe for our planet.
And most importantly, my cats love it.

Try a bag of this litter and you will see for yourself. Petsmart carries it as well as many health food stores, grocery stores and other pet stores. For more info go to

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pet Food Warning

The FDA is investigating the company NUTRO which makes pet food - Max Cat, Natural Choice and Ultra are some of their brands. Pet owners have complained of their pets getting seriously ill and having to be euthanized after eating this food and some actually dying after ingesting NUTRO foods.

Symptoms include vomiting bile, abdominal pain, and kidney issues. It has not been recalled but be forewarned - do not buy this brand until we know more. The link below will give you more detailed information about this situation.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Go Green - For Your Pet's Sake

Happy Earth Day - this is a great day to explain how sensitive our pets are to the toxins in our environment and what to do to help them.

If your dog or cat is an indoor pet, according to EPA studies, they are exposed to 100 to 200 times the pollution than being outdoors. Clean your vents, filters and ducts often or you and they could be breathing asbestos, pollen, pesticides, tobacco, dust mites, bacteria, mold and other unhealthy agents.

If you are building or remodeling a home, look for materials that say "toxin free". Carpets, paints, and pressed wood products can be particularly problematic. Indoor pollutants are twice as toxic to pets than to people.

Pet proof you home by putting away medications, cleaning products and rat and mouse traps and baits. Even chocolate, especially the baking type, can be toxic if enough is ingested. Use natural substitutes for these products whenever possible.

In your yard, ant poisons and insecticides can be fatal to your pet. Go organic for your garden needs and it will be good for you and your pet.

Even more dangerous is antifreeze - a half a teaspoon per pound for a dog can be a toxic dose, even less for a cat. Buy the non-toxic brands to prevent accidents like this.

Dozens of household cleaning agents such as toilet bowl cleaners, bleach, detergents can cause severe harm to your cat or dog. They can destroy tissue by acid or alkaline burns, by dissolving tissue membranes, by being absorbed into the bloodstream, or by causing general illness. Look for chemical free products from brands like Seventh Generation, Earth Rite, and Harmony or make your own using baking soda, lemon juice and other inexpensive safe substitutes.

Keep batteries, lead based paints, fishing lures and other items containing lead away from pets. They can ingest them and become very ill. Even dogs swallowing pennies can develop illness from zinc poisoning.

Some products made for pets like flea control, rawhide chew toys, cat litter contain toxic chemicals. Buy natural pet products whenever possible and follow the directions for any flea product.

Lastly even our tap water can contain hazardous chemicals harmful to us and our pets. Buy a filter if your water may have chemicals in it. Use ceramic or stainless steel food and water bowls instead of plastic which can leech chemicals.

Our pets are the sentinels of our environment. Because they are smaller than humans, they can be harmed faster than us from chemicals and pollutants. The soaring cancer rate in pets attests to the harm we are doing to them and our beautiful planet. As the bumper sticker says - we only have one planet - let's not ruin it!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Using Healing Energy for Your Pet

I am a Reiki Master/Teacher who uses my abilities to help my animal companions as well as friends and family. We all have the ability to heal at an unconscious level whether we realize this or not.

I will teach you a simple way to help your pet heal using a technique from Dr. Monica Diedrich's book What Your Animals Tell Me. Dr. Diedrich is a minister with a doctorate in metaphysics. She has been a veterinary assistant and now is a pet communicator full time. She discovered her ability to communicate with animals when she was a child.

Do not use this to replace veterinary care but to enhance your dog or cat's natural ability to heal his or herself.

Turning on the Healing Energy
Sit quietly in front of your animal friend and close your eyes. Breathe in deeply three times visualizing that you are inhaling the pure healing light from the Universe though your nostrils. As you breathe, the energy accumulates in your lungs and then is transferred to your stomach. The Chinese call this spot tan t'ien, located about three inches below your naval and 2 1/2 inches inward. This is the center of your aura, the balancing area of your internal energy, your grounding point.

Continue with a slow rhythmic breathing and position your hands palms facing up fingers pointing outward. Continue breathing until you feel a tingling sensation in your fingertips or heat in the palm of your hands. Turn your palms facing down and lightly touch the affected area sending healing energy into your pet. There is no need for massage, or caress - just hands on. Feel this healing warmth radiate through your body into your pet's body. You are the channel for this energy. It is not coming from you but through you. This energy is always there - you are just harnessing it and transferring it to where it is most needed.

While you are doing this also visualize the light going through your pet's body restoring whatever part is ill to health. Visualize the light surrounding the organ that is in need of healing. You can also imagine a battalion of tiny spirits working with you to repair your pet's health - going over sutures to make the incision heal faster, pressing light filled sponges on the wound to heal better - use your imagination to see this all happening. Do whatever feels comfortable for you.

Maintain these images for at least 10 to 15 minutes or as long as you can. Once you can't visualize any longer, thank the spirits, the light and release them for the next time. Thank the Universe, God or whatever you believe in and add that you are doing this for the Highest Good of All.

I find that by doing this we give ourselves something to do rather than just sit around feeling helpless while our pet is ill. Often I see the pain subside or they will fall asleep and wake up more comfortable.

If you interested in learning more about healing energy check out Diedrich's book. If you want to know more about Reiki natural healing, I would suggest you read Essential Reiki by Diane Stein. I would be happy to teach and attune you to Reiki Level 1 - please contact me for more information.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Weekly Home Checks for Cancer

Our pets can get cancer just like people. Veterinarians suggest that we make a habit of going over our companion animals every week looking for lumps, bumps, sores that don't heal or anything unusual, especially if it pops up suddenly.

Not everything we find is cancer but the sooner we get it checked out the better for our pet. Other things we might notice are lethargy, low energy or loss in appetite. If your pet exhibits any of the ten signs below, it is a good idea to visit your vet as soon as possible.

1) Abnormal swellings, bumps or growths

2) Sores that do not heal

3) Offensive mouth odor

4) Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating

5) Bleeding or discharge from any body opening

6) Weight loss or loss of appetite

7) Coughing

8) Chronic vomiting or diarrhea

9) Persistent lameness, stiffness or difficulty exercising

10) Difficulty eating or swallowing

Dog Napping is Rising

According to the American Kennel Club dog theft is increasing.

The value of pet's in people's lives has been increasing in recent years. Because of this, thieves are stealing dogs to resell, collect ransom or breed the dogs and resell the puppies. Here are some tips to protect your dog:

Never leave your dog alone in your yard or car even if the yard is fenced or the car door is locked. And don't tie them outside a store.

Be aware of your surroundings at dog related businesses - grooming salons, veterinary clinics, doggie day care or pet friendly hotels. Thieves may be lurking nearby to scope things out.

Protect your dog with a microchip ID.

The AKC has an Companion Animals Recovery service. To enroll visit

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Nose Knows or Does It?

People think dogs and cats should normally have wet noses and if they are dry then there is a problems. Not so.

That is actually an old wives tale. Pets with high temperatures can have cold, wet noses. Conversely, warm noses don't mean that there is a temperature. The nose isn't a very reliable measure of wellness.

The only way to check your pet's temperature is the old fashioned way - using a rectal thermometer.

Taking Your Pet's Temperature

This is probably the least fun thing you will have to do for your pet but following these tips will make the process easier.

If you get all your supplies ready before you get your pet, you can make taking his temperature go much more smoothly. You will need a rectal thermometer, petroleum jelly, rubbing alcohol, cotton balls and someone who is willing to help hold your pet still while you work.

Gather all of these items in one place. Shake down the thermometer if you are using an older one. If you have a newer digital one, make sure it is turned on and set at the low setting. Lightly coat it with petroleum jelly. Soak a cotton ball in alcohol and set it aside. Now you are ready for your pet.

Have your helper hold your pet steady and lift his tail. With the older thermometer, gently twirl the thermometer into the rectum about 1 to 3 inches. For larger animals you may have to go in further to get a reading. The newer ones you only need to get the tip inside the rectum. Hold it in place for 2 minutes or for however long your thermometer directions say. Some of the newer ones can take a readying in seconds. Pull it out when the time is up, wipe it clean and take a reading.

Normal temperature for dogs and cat is between 100.5 and 102.5 F. If your pet is a degree or more over the normal range, he may have a fever and you should call the vet. Use the alcohol soaked cotton ball to clean the thermometer.

St. John's Wort

St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is an herbal tranquilizer and antidepressant. The active components include hypericin and hyperforin. This herb raises levels of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine which helps maintain normal mood and emotional stability.

In dogs and cats this herb is used for depression, separation and certain forms of aggression. Some supplements combine this herb with other sedating herbs like Valerian, passion flower and others. I have given this to my cat with seizures to help calm her. St John's Wort may also be helpful as an antibacterial and antiviral agent.

Dose 1/8 to 1/4 of the human dose recommended on the label.


Probiotics are very helpful for pets. They are various healthy beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium longum, Streptococcus thermophilus that normally live in the intestines and promote normal bowel health.

I give my pets probiotics whenever there is possibility of upsetting the normal intestinal flora - surgery, while taking antibiotics or chemotherapy and if suffering from illness or stress. Probiotics can supply nutrients, aid in digestion, reduce pathogenic bacteria and yeasts and allow for better conversion of food into nutrients.

Probiotics improve the health of the gastrointestinal system in pets as well as in people. They produce chemicals that decrease the amount of harmful bacteria. They decrease toxins produced by this bacteria. They block adhesion of harmful bacteria to the intestinal cells and compete for nutrients needed for growth by pathogenic organisms. Overall probiotics stimulate the immune systems of the intestines.

Since probiotics are live organisms it is important that you buy quality products. They come in dosages of several million to several billion live organisms. Some pet brands add strains that are acid and bile resistant to give them with food. This makes them more apt to get digested and into the intestines rather than be destroyed in the stomach via digestive juices.

I suggest to give cats and dogs 1/8 to 1/4 of the human dose of supplements. Larger animals should take more.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pet First Aid Kit

Emergencies can happen without warming. Do you have the materials in one place to give first aid to your pet? Here is a simple list of what to include:

* Your Vet's phone number
* The phone number to the closest emergency 24-hour clinic
* A first aid manual for pets
* Muzzles the correct size for your pets
* Antibacterial soap
* Antibiotic ointment
* Bandaging materials - 2-inch stretchable and non stretchable gauze rolls and gauze pads in a variety of sizes
* Blunt tipped scissors
* Cotton balls
* Disposable rubber gloves
* Hydrogen peroxide (3%)
* Masking tape
* Needle-nose pliers
* Petroleum jelly
* Plastic needles syringe or turkey baster
* Rectal thermometer
* Saline solution
* Tweezers

Book Review: 50 Games to Play with Your Cat by Jackie Strachan

All of us cat lovers know this simple fact. Cats will play with the package/box/wrapper and leave the toy alone! How many of our cats love the rings from milk bottles, cardboard boxes and crinkled paper better than the expensive toys we buy for them?

This book explains how you can make toys for cats out of simple materials we have around the house. The Box of Balls for example is just a box with holes cut out and reinforced to let the cats play with the balls inside but not pull them out. Not rocket science but most of us would not normally think to make this. Instead we go to the store and buy "Bizzy Kitty" based on the same idea.

The book is divided up into categories of play activities and lounging accommodations. They give ideas for ball games, catnip toys, hide and seek games,kitty condos you can make and stalking games to play with our cats.

The book's suggestions relate well to our tough economy. Anyone with a new cat can make toys for him/her without spending a lot of money. Just buying food and litter can be more than enough to spend plus vet bills.

Check this book out. I found mine at a thrift shop for less than a dollar. You might too! Keep a look out for it.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Colostrum to Boost Immune System

Colostrum, called mother's gold , is a thick yellow substance that is produced toward the end of a female's pregnancy, emitted by her mammary glands during the first 24 to 48 hours after giving birth. For humans the first few breast feedings produce the newborn with colostrum, one of the main reasons breastfeeding is encouraged.

This colostrum delivers some very important substances to all newborns.
Immune factors to facilitate the development of a strong immune system.
Growth factors, essential in creation and maintenance of bone, muscle, nerves and cartilage.
Antibodies (immunoglobulins) that protect from invading organisms, minimize the severity of an illness and stimulate the infant's own immune system.

Colostrum is not new as a treatment. It was used for thousands of years by Ayurvedic physicians in India. In our country doctors in the 1950's used it to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

The colostrum on the market is bovine colostrum. The molecular structure of the immune and growth factors of bovine colostrum is actually very similar to those found in humans, so cows are universal donors for colostrum. Plus bovine colustrum is actually superior than human colostrum in having more factors, is better absorbed and being able to control the environment in making colostrum.

Colostrum is used for boosting the immune system, countering the effects of aging,and mproving the mechanisms of digestion. It is used in treating allergies, asthma, arthritis, IBS, colitis, leaky gut syndrome, skin problems (making a paste to apply topically) and infections.

People and pets can benefit from colostrum since it not species specific. I give my cats with FIV, IBS and other immune issues colostrum in their food. There is very little if any real milk in it so it does not cause allergic reactions and does not interfere with other medications.

Buy only colostrum from New Zealand cows as they are raised on pesticide free grain and grass and not given any hormones or antibiotics during their life time. One company I suggest is Symbiotics for New Zealand colostrum. You can find this in any health food store or online.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Chica posed for this "stuff on my cat" photo! Not willingly though!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

National Poison Prevention Week

This third week of March marks National Poison Prevention Week. Listed below are several articles on poison, toxic plants, Pet Poison Hot line and other related articles.

It is up to you to make sure your pets and children are safe from any toxic substance in and around your home. This is a great opportunity to make sure all toxic substances are put away in a safe place.

For more info on poison prevention check out

Kitten Healed - Heartwarming Story!

This article is from Best Friends Pet Sanctuary website. It is nice to hear of a pet story with a happy and maybe miraculous ending!

January 27, 2009 : 9:17 AM ET

Not many cats can give vets the kind of jaw-dropping double-take that C.C. pulled off. But then, C.C. is no ordinary girl. When C.C. was found as a stray kitten, she was injured badly. She couldn’t use her back legs, she had a fractured pelvis, and she was incontinent.
C.C. had been living as a feral kitten and learned to be afraid of people. Still, the folks who found her knew she needed help. They wouldn’t take no for an answer! She came to Best Friends for emergency care.

At Best Friends, she received all the medical help she needed. (Along with some TLC she didn’t think she needed!) It was obvious from the beginning that she would require long-term special care. A shelter specializing in incontinent cats heard about C.C. and offered to take her once she was healthy enough to travel. Until then, C.C. had a cozy bed and all the comforts she wanted right at Best Friends.

It’s amazing, though, what a determined kitten can do. That TLC worked wonders, even though C.C. resisted affection at first. Not only did she start trusting people, she began to feel better … lots better. In fact, as her body grew and matured, it seemed to miraculously fix itself. She lost the limp and started using the litter box more often than could be considered accidental.

The vets and caregivers wondered if she was regaining continence. Nerve damage hardly ever reverses, but all signs pointed to a complete recovery for C.C. So, they monitored her closely during a trial period without expressing her bladder. Call it luck, call it a miracle, but C.C. passed with ease! After many days of observation, she was pronounced cured. The only thing left from her injuries now is a slightly crooked tail, but even that looks somehow exotic on C.C.

The shelter that had offered to take her bowed out once they learned she was no longer incontinent. After all, they need the space for harder-to-place cats. So C.C. decided to call Best Friends her home for now. But, with all the tricks she has up her sleeve, it won't be long before she woos a family of her own. Welcome, C.C. What a way to turn those medical books upside down!

Story by David Dickson
Photo by Molly Wald

Friday, March 13, 2009

Formerly Feral -- Tabitha and Lily

Tabitha is one of Lily's litters. She is a beautiful tabby, very loving and affectionate. Her mom Lily, the white kitty, had 3 litters before I could catch her..very smart little cat! Even with the Have-a-heart trap Lily would pull the food bowl towards one side and use her paw to eat from the cage, not going inside.

I finally won her confidence and she and her last litter walked into our enclosed porch themselves. Now all of the cats are spayed and have a forever home with us.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Trouble with Skunks

With the weather warming up, our pets, especially dogs will start exploring more and getting into trouble with the local wildlife.

Here are some tips to help get rid of the smell if your dog has had a run in with a skunk.

The first thing to do if it looks like your dog got sprayed in the eyes is to rinse them with a saline solution or water.

Then take him outside for a thorough bath. According to Prevention magazine's master groomer and vets, the best anti-smell approach is equal parts dish washing detergent (Dawn or Palmolive), 3% hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, making sure you avoid your dog's eyes. Use rubber gloves to do this to protect yourself from the scent.

After washing, rinse him thoroughly with equal parts red wine vinegar and water. The vinegar may tint the fur a pink color but that will wear off. Let the vinegar dry on the coat to absorb the odor. You can rinse it off in 6 to 12 hours or just let it wear off naturally.

When it rains and your dog gets wet, the skunk smell may come back. Keep a spray bottle of the vinegar and water solution to spray on when the odor returns. It could take a few months to completely get rid of all odor.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dangerous Spring Plants

With spring not long off pet owners need to be aware of the dangers of some of the plants and shrubs soon to be blooming and greening up outdoors. The list below is from the ASPCA Poisonous Plant List.

Members of the Lilium spp. are considered to be highly toxic to cats. While the poisonous component has not yet been identified, it is clear that with even ingestion of very small amounts of the plant, severe kidney damage could result.

Tulip/Narcissus bulbs
The bulb portions of Tulipa/Narcissus spp. contain toxins that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions and cardiac abnormalities.

Members of the Rhododendron spp. contain substances known as grayantoxins, which can produce vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, weakness and depression of the central nervous system in animals. Severe azalea poisoning could ultimately lead to coma and death from cardiovascular collapse.

All parts of Nerium oleander are considered to be toxic, as they contain cardiac glycosides that have the potential to cause serious effects—including gastrointestinal tract irritation, abnormal heart function, hypothermia and even death.

Common garden plants popular around Easter, Amaryllis species contain toxins that can cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, anorexia and tremors.

English IvyAlso called branching ivy, glacier ivy, needlepoint ivy, sweetheart ivy and California ivy, Hedera helix contains triterpenoid saponins that, should pets ingest, can result in vomiting, abdominal pain, hypersalivation and diarrhea.

Peace Lily (AKA Mauna Loa Peace Lily)
Spathiphyllum contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing and intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips and tongue in pets who ingest.

How to Find a Holistic Veterinarian

When I moved to a different part of my state I needed to find another vet I could trust like my old one Dr. Maggie Federhart at Whispering Waters Animal Clinic in Boone and I wanted a holistic vet like her too.

There are not as many out there as you would think. I checked with the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association ( Their web site has a section to click on to find a holistic vet near you. I also asked my vet if she knew anyone in our area. She did but they were no longer operating. I looked in the local phone book for ads about holistic vets. My new vet had an ad stating she was holistic. Finally I talked to local people who had pets, about who they went to..people at health food stores, pet stores, natural food stores etc.

The reason I prefer holistic vets to conventional ones is because they are more interested in healing pets than treating diseases. They don't just focus on the problem at hand but look at what would bring total wellness to the animal. The goal of holistic pet care is to prevent disease rather than just treat it. They use many types of alternative treatments - acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, herbs, Chinese medicine and nutrition.

By using all of the above methods, I did find a great holistic vet locally to bring my pets to for health care. I use Dr. Heather Sinclair of Haw Creek Animal Hospital in Asheville. But I keep in contact with my old vet through phone consultations. After all Maggie knows all my pets from treating them through the years. Most holistic vets will offer phone consults for those who live a distance away as long as you have a vet nearby to run tests and physically examine the pet.

I have had a holistic vet for my animals now for 10 years and would not have it any other way. I even use holistic doctors for my husband and I!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul
remains unawakened."

- Anatole France

Homeopathic Remedies for Common Ailments

I have explained about homeopathic remedies in detail in an earlier post. I want to list here some common ailments and the remedies most likely to help heal them. I always keep a good selection of remedies on hand in case I need them.

Apis mellifica
Hepar Sulphuris calcarea

Accidents and Trauma
Aconitum napellas
Arnica montana

Arsenicum album
Rhus toxicodendrun

Bryonia alba
Calcarea florica
Rhus Tox
Ruta graveolens

Spongia tosta

Uva ursi

Arsenicum album

Eye Conditons
Argentum nitricum
Natrum muriatricum
Rhus Tox

Ferrum Phosphorus

Nat mur
Rhus tox
Urtica urens

Insect Bites
Lachesis muta
Ledum palustre

Motion Sickness
Cocculus indicus


Ars album
Mercurius vivus
Nat Mur
Nux Vomica

SAMe for pets

SAMe or S-Adenosylmethionine is a human supplement that can be helpful for pets. Special SAMe is specifically made for animals. Some of the benefits of SAMe for your pets are listed below.

1) It promotes the health of the liver.

2) It may help slow the aging process in senior pets.

3) It is helpful for disorders of the joints and connective tissue, including arthritis.

4) It may lower levels of homocysteine, an amino acid associated with heart disease.

5) SAMe+ is a powerful antioxidant that can help detoxify the liver.

Special SAMe+, while labeled for pets, is great for people too. In addition, this product is not just your everyday SAMe that you can purchase at the drug store---it is third party tested for purity and potency and includes additional ingredients for maximum absorption and effectiveness. Special SAMe+ tablets are enterically coated in order to prevent its breakdown by stomach acidity and promote intact absorption in the small intestine. Vitamins B6, B12, and folate were added in order to provide cofactors for the natural conversions of SAMe to L-homocysteine and then safely to L-cysteine

SAMe+ has been scientifically shown in research studies to help relieve joint pain, elevate mood and support the liver.

For joint pain, Special SAMe+ is a great addition to use along with standard joint supplements such as glucosamine, chondroitin, etc.

As with any herbs or supplements, ask your vet before giving to your pet to make sure there aren't any conditions that might be adversely affected by taking SAMe.

Special SAMe is available through web site or other sources online.

Monday, March 2, 2009

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center

This is one phone number that should be on every pet owner's refrigerator!

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is the only 24-hour, 365-day facility of its kind staffed by 30 veterinarians, 12 of who are board-certified toxicologists/veterinary toxicologists.

Located in Urbana, Ill., the specially trained staff provides assistance to pet owners, and specific diagnostic and treatment recommendations to veterinarians pertaining to toxic chemicals and dangerous plants, products or substances. In 2006, the center handled over 116,000 cases. The APCC also provides extensive veterinary toxicology consulting on a wide array of subjects, including legal cases, formulation issues, product liability, and regulatory reporting.

For more information on potentially dangerous substances in the home or to reach the APCC, please call (888) 426-4435 or visit

Raisins and Grapes are Toxic to Pets

An email message is circulating that raisins can be toxic to pets. This one is true.

From April 2003 to April 2004, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center managed 140 cases, each involving one or more dogs that ingested varying amounts of raisins or grapes. Of these cases, over 50 animals developed clinical signs ranging from vomiting to life-threatening kidney failure, and seven dogs died.

Much is still yet to be discovered about the toxic principle associated with grape and raisin ingestions, as well as the exact mechanism leading to kidney damage in some dogs. It is also not clear if only canines are susceptible to developing a toxicosis, and additionally if only certain dogs are affected, or if chronic, long term ingestions can lead to the same effects as large, acute or single ingestions.As there are still many unknowns with the toxic potential of grapes and raisins, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center advises not giving grapes or raisins to pets in any amount.

Please call (888) 426-4435 if you have a pet that has ingested grapes or raisins, or you suspect may be experiencing problems.

Chronic Renal Failure

I noticed my oldest cat Chica, at age 16, was vomiting yellow frothy liquid. She had lost weight and seemed to be a little off. She was drinking more and urinating pale urine in large volumes.

I called my vet and made an appointment to bring Chica in. To start her off she told me to give Chica the homeopathic remedy Nux Vomica to stop the vomiting. It worked.

At the appointment, after a physical exam, Maggie told me she thought Chica had renal failure. We did blood work to be sure but all her symptoms were right on target. I was upset as I had just gone through illnesses with one of my other cats. Maggie told me she had great luck with some new natural treatments for renal failure and to not give up hope.

What we ended up using for her treatment are the products below...this is two years later and Chica is going strong.

Feline Renal Support by Standard Process of Palmyra, WI
This is a supplement made of bovine glandulars - kidney, liver, spleen. Plus other herbal ingredients. I give Chica two tablets a day.

Rehnnannie Eight Formula
This is a Chinese herbal mix for strengthening the kidneys. I give her 1/8 to 1/4 of a teaspoon twice a day.

Terrain Max - Kidney Terrain (T-12)
This is a multivitamin, mineral and cofactor supplement to boost kidneys. It is made by Apex Energetics of Irvine, CA. It contains a mix of colostrum, dandelion, nettle, flower remedies and other herbs and minerals. I giver her 6 drops daily.

And finally Renelix, a homeopathic medicine for kidney dysfunction.
it is made in Germany and distributed by BioResource, Inc. of Cotati, CA. This has various homeopathic remedies used for detoxifying the kidneys, bladder and urological tract. I give her 4-6 drops a day of this.

A very important treatment is subcutaneous hydration. Renal failure causes toxins to build in their system and this will help flush them out. Most vets tell you to start doing this weekly or more often depending on the diagnosis. I am not able to do this since Chica puts up a fight and struggles, wails. It is too stressful for her to force her to do this. I found that Renelix does the job and give this to her daily instead.

I had already changed the cat food to a better quality brand like Wellness, Pet Gaurd, Innova to start. It seems the holistic view to diet is that high quality protein with little or no additives is best. The less the kidneys have to process in terms of toxins, the better they function.

You need to work with your vet and to try to find a holistic vet near you to help add to the treatment. I found western medicine to be very inadequate as far as treatment options for renal failure.

Another avenue I recommend is (See my sidebar)I found Renelix and Terrain Max through her site. This site belongs to Susan Davis who is a nutritionist for animals. Her dog was diagnosed with renal failure. She looked for options and created this site to help others. She also does consultations to patients not living near her in California.

Good luck and keep trying new things. So much comes into the healthcare markets everyday!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Write your NC Representatives to Support Humane Euthanasia

This article is from the North Carolina Coalition for Humane Euthanasia website (

Davie's Law/ Humane Euthanasia in Shelters (House Bill #6) was filed Wednesday, January 28 in the North Carolina General Assembly by Representative Cary Allred. The bill is named for a puppy who survived a North Carolina gas chamber, later to be found in alive a plastic bag in a dumpster by a citizen taking out her trash. Many shelters still use the CO gas chamber and other cruel and inhumane methods to end the lives of lost and abandoned animals. If Davie's Law passes, it would ensure that no animal would ever again be subjected to this treatment in a North Carolina shelter.

The bill is endorsed by the American Humane Association, Animal Law Coalition, In Defense of Animals, Born Free USA, and many veterinarians and animal welfare organizations. It would require humane euthanasia by injection of sodium pentobarbital, or an alternate oral version of the drug, for all animals euthanized in the custody of shelters. Sixty-five animal shelters in North Carolina euthanize primarily by injection, and fifty-nine of those report using this method exclusively. Employees in those shelters have been trained to safely deal with wildlife and aggressive animals. Still, thirty-two county and city shelters kill animals in gas chambers made of cinderblock, metal, and even wood.

House Bill #6 can be found at this link Other primary sponsors include Representatives Rick Glazier, Ty Harrell, and Pat McElraft.

Please call and email your state legislators and ask them to support "Davie's Law," House Bill number 6. Find out who represents you in the North Carolina General Assembly at this link Personal visits, calls, written letters, and emails are best, but a form letter is also available at the NCCHE website. Please take time to let your legislators know how you feel in your own words.

Contact to join our mailing list, or to attend a hometown meeting with your legislators.

Our tax dollars are paying for this cruel form of euthanasia. Tell the government that we want this to change!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Colloidal Silver

This is relatively new in the alternative treatment spectrum but it is very effective as an antibiotic.

It is available in a gel or liquid form and can significantly reduce the length and severity of almost any type of bacterial infection. The best type of colloidal silver is produced with a highly technical electro colloidal process using electrical current. The process allows for extremely fine particles to be suspended indefinitely in a solution of steam distilled water, replacing the need for any chemical or stabilizers and making a true colloidal clotuoiton.

Colloidal silver works by destroying the enzyme responsible in the bacteria or virus, for cellular respiration- depriving the organism from breathing and preventing them from developing resistance and immunity. Colloidal silver is toxic to at least 650 pathogens including fungi, protozoa and parasite eggs.

Colloidal silver can be used topically for burns, cuts, bug bites, dermatitis, rashes and abscesses. Taken orally in small doses it fights cold, flu, eye infections, and other invading infectious agents. It is not toxic, will not suppress the immune system and does not damage the friendly bacteria in the lower gut.

Silver occurs naturally in soil as a trace mineral but because our soils are depleted of these elements, they are no longer available to us except as supplements.

Colloidal silver is tasteless, odorless and does not sting topically. It does not interfere with other drugs but if taken in large doses can cause nausea.

You get what you pay for so make sure you are buying a high quality colloidal silver. One reliable source for colloidal silver is Nannosil (

I have used this on my cats as a topical rinse for skin issues and given it to them in water for health issues. I have also taken it for myself for fungus infections. It is a product that should be in everyone's first aid kit.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Blog Award

A belated thank you to Creek Cats for this award from months ago. It took me this long to get this on my blog!!!

Here is the meaning and rules of this award:
"This blog invests and believes the PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

My insert link is not please excuse the blog addresses instead of the links!

I would like to pass on this award to,,,,,,,

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Check out our new cat blog!

I have made a new blog just for the rescued feral cats of Wildcat Woods. Check it out and say hi to them.
(Sorry that I can't seem to get this to connect to my blog!)

Natural Antibiotics Instead of Drugs

There are times when the health issue of your pet is so severe that you must use an antibiotic drug. But there are side effects to them:
Allergic reaction
Bacterial resistance
Dry eyes
Immune-mediated anemia and platelet problems
Immune-mediated joint inflammation
Yeast infections

Some of these side effect will subside or can be diminished by taking the antibiotics with food, and taking probiotics during the course of the antibiotic treatment.

Herbal Antibiotics
For illnesses that are not acute, try taking any of the following herbal antibiotic substitutes:
Echinacea (not for long time use)
Gotu Gola
Licorice (not for long time use)
Milk Thistle
Olive leaf
Red clover
St. John's Wort
Yellow Dock

For skin problems requiring topical antibiotics, try:
Aloe Vera
Antibacterial shampoos
Colloidal silver
Herbal rinses with chamomile and goldenseal
Olive leaf

Dosages: I use the rule of thumb my vet told me --- to give 1/8 or 1/4 of what a human dose is, depending on the size of your pet.

I am not a vet and have no medical training.  Please take your pet to a vet for any serious injuries and conditions.  And it goes without saying...always talk with your vet before giving herbs if your animal takes other medications. Herbs can react with other drugs.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Goodbye to Socks Clinton

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Socks, the cat who won international fame during his years in the Clinton White House, was euthanized Friday after months of treatment for cancer.

Socks was adopted by Chelsea Clinton when her father was governor of Arkansas.

Socks, who was born in 1989, was put to sleep about 10 a.m. at Three Notch Veterinary Clinic in Hollywood, Maryland, said veterinary assistant Rae Dera. Veterinarians say he was probably either 19 or 20 years old.

The cat had been losing weight since November and had been treated at the clinic, Dera said. He had been suffering from a cancer in his mouth and jaw.

Since the Clintons left the White House in 2001, Socks had lived with Betty Currie, former President Bill Clinton's secretary. The Clintons were known to have visited Socks, and Currie, when in Washington.

He had been a stray and was adopted by Chelsea Clinton, the Clintons' daughter, when Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas.

"Socks brought much happiness to Chelsea and us over the years, and enjoyment to kids and cat lovers everywhere," Bill and Hillary Clinton said in a joint statement released by the William J. Clinton Foundation. "We're grateful for those memories, and we especially want to thank our good friend, Betty Currie, for taking such loving care of Socks for so many years."

The black-and-white feline was a fixture at the White House during the Clintons' eight-year run. He was often photographed on the president's shoulder and was given free rein of the presidential residence -- showing up in photos in the Oval Office and White House press briefing room.

He had his own online fan club, appeared at animal charity events and was one of the subjects of now-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's book, "Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids' Letters to the First Pets."

National Spay Day Feb. 24, 2009

This is an annual campaign of The Humane Society of the United States to inspire people to save animal lives by spaying or neutering pets and feral cats.

This event is officially the last Tuesday of February, with events and activities taking place throughout the month of February. The 15th annual Spay Day USA is Feb. 24, 2009.

Why: Four million cats and dogs—about one every eight seconds—are put down in U.S. shelters each year. Often these animals are the offspring of cherished family pets, even purebreds. Maybe someone's cat or dog got out just that one time or maybe the litter was intentional, but efforts to find enough good homes failed. Spay/neuter is the only permanent, 100-percent effective method of birth control for dogs and cats and a proven way to reduce the vast numbers of animals who are born only to die prematurely and without a family who loves them. Learn more about why you should spay or neuter your pet.

Do something to spread the news about Spay Day USA!

The above information was from the Humane Society web site.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Choosing a Healthy Puppy

When choosing a new dog, you need to be very familiar with each breeds' temperaments, needs and potential health issues. But once you have chosen a breed that will suit your lifestyle and preferences, how do you tell if a particular animal is a healthy one?

This check list will help pinpoint any congenital defects as well as assess the possibility of chronic health problems to come.

Coat color
White animals can have extra problems like skin cancers, or deafness. Gray collies can often have a blood immune issues with increased susceptibility to infection.

The eyes should be normal size for the breed and clear of discharges.

Does the dog move normally or does it swing its hips from side to side as it walks? This could be a warning sign of hip dysplasia. Are the legs normal length and are the front and back legs in the right proportion relative to each other?

Nose pigmentation
Is the nose of normal pigmentation? Light skin noses can be subject to sunburn or skin cancer.

Avoid puppies that seem unusually aggressive, clinging, jealous, fearful, suspicious, hyperactive, noiy or unaware. These traits can be difficult to change and to live with.

Look for a puppy that responds well to you. Try this. Roll him on his back and hold him there. If he fights to get up, he may be difficult to train and be aggressive. A dog that keeps his tail low or acts submissive will be the most devoted and easiest to train.

Another way to see how compliant the puppy will be is to pick up a foot and watch how the dog reacts to that. Most will struggle a bit but not too much.

Puppies who stare back at you with intensity are going to be dominant and hard to handle. Those who avoid all eye contact will be shy and hard to establish a relationship with.

Attractive coat
The coat should smell and look healthy and clean. The skin should be pliant and firm with a healthy pink color.

Breathing sounds
The puppy should breathe quietly and easily. Any rasping sounds can be signs of problems to come.

Check inside the ears for signs of inflammation, or dark and waxy discharge. This could be a signal of chronic ear trouble.

Check the navel.
Feel around the navel for lumps. Lumps can signal a hernia.

Are the upper and lower jaws the same size? Do the teeth fit together well? Are the gums healthy?

For more information on dog breeds and choosing a puppy best suited for your family check out Puppies for sale

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hawthorn for Heart Problems

When I found out one of my cats had a heart murmur, I read up on what to give Joey for this. I found the herb hawthorn to be a great help.

Hawthorn is listed in herbal books as one of the best tonic remedies for the heart. It may be used safely and in long term treatment for heart weakness or failure, palpitations and high blood pressure.

This herb helps the heart in many ways. It dilates the arteries, improving the heart's blood supply. It increases the heart's pumping force and eliminates some types of heart rhythm disturbances.

I sprinkle a bit in Joey's can food every day. He is doing well so hopefully this is helping make his heart stronger.

Since heart issues are very serious, consult with your vet first about using hawthorn as a long term heart tonic.

Aconite for Colds

The homeopathic remedy Aconitum napellas (made from monkshood) is useful for early stages of acute illnesses such as colds, fever, cystitis or even conjunctivitis. Often the illness shows itself after exposure to cold, wind or icy temperatures.

One of the indications that Aconite is the correct remedy is suddenness. The symptoms are also intense - redness, pain, fever.

Another element of this remedy is fear - use it when a traumatic incident has happened and your animal is very fearful after. Use it for anxious animals or before a trip for those who have a fear of travel.

I usually give a low dose of 6c or 12c three or four times within one day. That should cancel out the symptoms. If not then try another remedy suitable to the symptoms.

I use this for myself and find that if I use it before an illness sets it, I clear right up.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Book Review: Pets Tell the Truth by Agnes Julia Thomas, Ph.D.

I have read many books by animal communicators and have even hired one to help me with my cat behavior problems but this book was by far the most helpful in terms of explaining the process of animal communication and giving us all a glimpse of how pets think and where they go when they die.

Dr. Agnes has a Doctorate in physiological psychology and worked as a counselor for brain damaged children and adults. She also has 25 years of experience working non invasively with lab animals to research the brain and developing a respiratory control system. She is nationally recognized for her research. All this is information on her background is for the skeptics out there who don't believe in animal telepathy. This woman is a scientist and educator.

Dr. Agnes has been communicating with animals since 1992. When she lost her own cat Missy to cancer after losing her husband a few months before, she was devastated enough to contact an animal communicator herself to have some closure concerning another cat Frosty who also had cancer and was dying. This opened a door to another world for her and this book lets us peek into it.

After using communicators several times, Dr. Agnes decided to learn to to this herself and has helped many other people with their animals and to learn animal communication themselves. I found this book to be more scientific and yet more metaphysical than any other I've read about the subject.

She explains how to learn telepathic communication, compares the human mind with the animal mind, and teaches us the mysticism and spirituality of animals, discovering the real science of metaphysics along the way. Finally she explores animals and the afterlife.

I picked up this book after I lost a dear young cat to urinary blockage. It gave me much needed comfort about where my Manny was now and how animals are connected to us still, even after death.

If you are still not sure what animal communication is about, read this book and you will have a wonderful sense of how and why we are connected to our pets and about the power of love.

Check out the web site for Dr. Agnes at

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Expert Offers Free Digital Feline Husbandry Book for Breeders

Niels Pedersen DVM, professor at UC-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine wrote a well respected book that covers all aspects of managing feline health in catteries. That book is Feline Husbandry: Diseases and Management in the Multiple-Cat Environment (1991. American Veterinary Publications).

He talks about how overcrowding and poor husbandry in catteries can lead to infectious diseases, behavioral issues and nutritional problems - all of which can be avoided by breeders learning proper ways to raise cats for their optimal health.

This out of print book is always in demand but hard to find. In response, UC-Davis' Center for Companion Animal Health, which Pedersen directs, is offering a digital version of the 447-page book for free.

New and experienced cat breeders are invited to download a complimentary copy of Feline Husbandry at

Product Review: Pill Pockets

Most dogs will take pills easily wrapped up in some meat, cheese or treat. Cats on the other hand need extra coaxing to take their medications. I tried this product and love it. Not all cats will eat them but most do.

This treat which is chicken or salmon flavored for cats, is soft pliable and molds around pills and capsules. It contains a hole in which to hide the pill.

I find it helps greatly to give your cat an empty Pill Pocket first to see if he will eat it. If the pill is tiny, I cut the Pill Pocket in half and wrap it around the pill. If the pill is large, I find it works better to cut the pill in half or quarters and halve the Pill Pockets - makes for smaller treats and less extra treat around the pill. If the treat is too big compared to the pill inside sometimes the cat will spit out the pill and just eat the Pill Pocket.

A 1.6 ounce bag for dogs or cats contains 45 pockets and costs about $7.99. Most vet clinics carry them as well as Petco, Petsmart and other pet stores. One product is online at

February is National Pet Dental Month

If you are like me you don't relish trying to brush your dog or cat's teeth, never mind on a regular basis! But it is a very important health issue.

There is a strong correlation between our pets' teeth and their overall health. By age three, all pets have some degree of dental disease. Without daily brushing, a biofilm consisting of food debris, saliva and bacteria coats the teeth, mineralizes and becomes tartar. Bacteria can build up in the mouth, enter the bloodstream and damage the dog or cat's heart, kidneys, liver and other internal organs. Poor dental health also leads to broken or loose teeth.

It is a little easier to see inside a dog's mouth than a cat for checking their teeth. Prying open a cat's mouth requires skill and timing as well as tolerance from your cat. Yet daily brushing can save you hundreds of dollars a year and prevent your pet from having anesthesia, surgery and infectious diseases.

Ask your vet to suggest a dental cleaning kit for you to use on your pet. You brush and floss daily - why not Fido and Daisy?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Only and Two Spot Cuddling on Sunday Morning

These two brothers spend all their time together. Both had little black smudges on their heads as kittens. Looked like someone with a paint brush dabbed paint on them. Hence their names - Two spot had two spots and Only had only one. The spots faded and now people wonder what is behind the names????

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Book Review: The Veterinarians' Guide to Natural Remedies for Cats by Martin Zucker

Zucker has written this same book for dogs as well -- The Veterinarians' Guide to Natural Remedies for Dogs, Safe and Effective Alternative Treatment and Healing Techniques from The Nation's Top Holistic Veterinarians.

It is a new book for me that I found at the local health food store while searching for holistic help for Ivy. Zucker has been writing about alternative health issues for many years and in this book has compiled information and opinions from vets around the country to help you determine what is best for your cat or dog.

Zucker talks about how to use alternative medicine and the importance of better diet. He goes on to explain all the different modalities - nutritional supplements, herbs, homeopathic remedies, flower essences, acupuncture, chiropractic and massage. He also discusses the vaccination debate.

The second part of the book covers the different ailments with options listed by top holistic vets around the USA.

I refer to this book now along with my other vet bibles by Pitcairn, Stein, Hamilton and Goldstein. It helps to see if one or many suggest the same treatment - then you can determine what to use. I like to try a combination of homeopathic, flower essences and herbs to achieve the right effect.

Well worth adding to your library.

Al Asleep on Garden Shoes

"Cats are rather delicate creatures

and they are subject to a good many

ailments, but I never heard of one

who suffered from insomnia."

---Joseph wood Krutch

Food Allergy Hit List

When I was taking Ivy to the vet for her seizures the vet mentioned food allergies as a main culprit in seizures. This list is compiled by Dr Alfred Plechner DMV a food allergy expert. The foods may surprise you and they are listed in order of high sensitivity to lowest. I am feeding Ivy foods from the lower end of the list or not on the list like venison, rabbit, duck etc.

Beef and beef by-products
Yeast and brewer's yeast
Corn and corn oil
Fish and fish oils
Wheat and wheat by-products

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome

After taking Ivy to her vet, it seems she has Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome also known as "rolling skin syndrome," and is in some ways very similar to a seizure disorder. It appears to be more common in Siamese cats, but other cases have been reported. FHS usually appears between the ages of 1-4. Unfortunately, there is very little known about this disorder, and information is difficult to find.

Symptoms of FHS:

Dilated pupils
Twitching of the tail
Appearing to be annoyed with the tail
Biting at the tip of the tail, sometimes to the point of mutilation
Behavior may change from loving, to scared and depressed
Sensitive to touch around the tail
Staring into space
Persistent, loud meowing
Dashing off madly and aimlessly around the house or yard
Rippling skin on the back just above the tail

These symptoms are not always triggered by unpleasant events, but can occur while you are petting your cat loving, or when touching your cat near the tail.

It is difficult to make conclusions as to why this disorder occurs, but it is believed by some that over-vaccinating, flea infestations, OCB, food allergy, low quality diets, preservatives and chemicals may be leading to this problem.

The vet took a blood test from which we will get the results this week to
rule out other health problems such as Thyroid, Diabetes, Cancer, Liver or Kidney disease. A health problem may be triggering these episodes.

We have switched her to either all chicken with some seafood diet of better canned brands like Wellness, Pet Guard, Innova etc. Sometimes it is a food allergy. Beef is a prime culprit in food allergies in this situation. My vet has seen dogs go into seizures from eating a rawhide beef bone.

Research has shown that a low quality diet -- meaning a diet loaded with chemicals, fillers, stabilizers, coloring agents, sodium nitrate (found to produce epileptic-like changes in the brain activity of rats who ate it regularly) and by-products -- can lead to allergies, nervousness, hypertension, diabetes, weight problems, dry skin, and many other common ailments.

Because of what goes into pet foods today and what does not, it is important to know how to read labels, and know the history of the company manufacturing the pet food.

Some pets suffer from hypoglycemia, which is a medical term meaning low blood sugar. The causes of hypoglycemia are overproduction of insulin, excessive exercise, heredity, or an inadequate diet. Some symptoms of hypoglycemia are very similar to Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome.

Symptoms of a hypoglycemic attack are:

Staggering, collapse or dashing around
Glassy eyes, dilated pupils

Because the symptoms of hypoglycemia and FHS tend to be similar, feeding structured meals is suggested. When you feed one meal a day, your pet's body produces insulin. High levels of insulin cause low levels of fat burning and high levels of fat storing, the reverse of what you may think. When insulin is not stable in the body, it throws the hormones and brain chemicals out of whack and the body starts storing fat to save itself.

Therefore, it is extremely important to feed 3~4 times a day. When you feed several small meals a day, the body burns fat more effectively, and speeds up the metabolism so your pet can burn more calories.

Ivy had fleas in spite of using flea control products so my vet asked me to use Capstar and Revolution on Ivy and all the cats in the house. Plus I have been vacuuming daily. This seems to be helping a great deal. Ivy has had only one seizure since the vet visit. I have two other cats who have severe skin issues due to flea allergies and they too have cleared up since using Capstar and Revolution.

I am also treating Ivy with a calming herbal extract with Skullcap, St. John's Wort, Calendula, Chamomile, California Poppy, Oat, Valerian two to three times a day in milk.

Homeopathic remedies Phosphorus and Belladonna also help the seizure activity lessen.

This illness is a trial and error process to find the right combination of things that keep the seizures and behavior in check. Some animals can live with minor episodes and have no other issues. I am hoping we can get Ivy to that point and soon.


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