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Breed Spotlight: Siamese Cat

Well known for its big, gorgeous blue eyes, the Siamese cat is a well known domestic cat. They’re easily recognizable by their short glossy coat that may be a creamy fawn, chocolate, blue, or lilac point color. Their needs for grooming are not extreme which keeps maintenance fairly easy as their short coats require only an occasional brushing. It’s possible for this breed to live up to 15 years and as full grown adults, their weight may range between 8 to 12 pounds.

Siamese are an outgoing social breed that makes them a wonderful fit for families with children as well as other pets. They are vocal kitty cats who will tell you what they think or want by meowing. In addition, they love to be by their human’s side 24/7. It’s not uncommon for the Siamese to follow their human around the house during the day, sit on their lap, or to cuddle up with their human when it’s time for bed at night.

Siamese cats prefer not to be left alone much because they are so sociable. They don’t like to be lonely. Therefore, if you travel quite frequently or are gone most of the day, this may not be the best breed for you.

The Siamese cat has an incredible passion for its human(s). It’s important to remember this if you are interested in this breed as a pet. He or she will be interested in what its human(s) are doing day and night, which may be overwhelming for some pet owners. Being alone for long amounts of time will make this breed sad and lonely. Some Siamese cats are known to let their boredom and curiosity if left alone get the best of them. Their owners may come home to a messy house, opened cabinets, and countless other surprises due to a combination of the cat’s loneliness, boredom, and curiosity.

They are highly intelligent cats that are easily trained and love any toys their human may shower them with. In fact, many Siamese cat owners successfully train their kitties to walk on a leash! Their genuine curiosity about their environment keeps them busy throughout the day. They are talented jumpers that absolutely love heights. Having a perch or cat tree is a necessity if you own a Siamese as they will spend a good chunk of their day up high.

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Ear Infections in Cats

Just like dogs, cats are susceptible to ear infections. While your cat may experience many similar symptoms that dogs do, the cause and treatment may differ. Cats primarily get ear infections due to ear mites. What are ear mites you ask?

Ear mites are itty bitty parasites that live inside your cat’s ear canal. These tiny pests feed on skin debris and cause quite a deal of irritation and itchiness for cats. If not treated, these types of ear infections may lead to secondary ear infections. This is due to the mites leaving eggs in your cats ear that take approximately 3 weeks to hatch. Once these mites’ eggs hatch they mature and reproduce. Therefore, it’s crucial to get this type of infection treated correctly and to follow up with your veterinarian to ensure the infection is cleared and mites are gone.

If You Notice Your Cat Has Any of These Symptoms It’s Possible They May Be Suffering from an Ear Infection:

-Odor coming from their ear

-Hair loss near their ear

-Loss of balance

-Scabs on outside or inside of the ear

-Hearing loss

-Dark and waxy ear discharge

-Head shaking

-Scratching or rubbing at their ear

What Should You Do if Your Cat is Demonstrating Any of Those Symptoms?

The first step is to take him see his veterinarian. They will examine your cat’s ear canal and ear drum. A sample of your cat’s ear discharge may be taken to determine whether bacteria, yeast, or parasites such as ear mites are present. 

If your cat’s veterinarian diagnoses your cat with an ear infection they will clean your cat’s ear thoroughly. While this may temporarily cause your kitty cat some discomfort, it is vital to clearing the infection up. Your cat’s treatment plan may include various types of medication or treatment products. It’s crucial to ensure your cat receives the treatment suggested by their veterinarian to clear up any infection. 

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Does Your Dog Have an Ear Infection?

Many dogs have ear infections that go undetected. A dog’s ear canal is vertical which allows moisture as well as debris to easily become backed up in the ear canal. Extra hair, moisture, wax, allergies, ear mites, or yeast can cause a dog to have an ear infection. Ear infections can become very painful to dogs, just like they can become to humans.

How Do You Know if Your Dog is Suffering From an Ear Infection?

If you notice your dog have any of these symptoms it’s possible they may be suffering from an ear infection:

-Odor coming from their ear

-Hair loss near their ear

-Loss of balance

-Scabs on outside or inside of the ear

-Hearing loss

-Walking in circles

-Swelling

-Head shaking

-Scratching or rubbing at their ear

What Should You Do if Your Dog is Demonstrating Any of Those Symptoms?

The first step is to take him see his veterinarian. They will examine your dog’s ear canal and ear drum. Sometimes a sample of your dog’s ear discharge may be taken to determine whether bacteria, yeast, or parasites are present.

If your dog’s veterinarian diagnoses your dog with an ear infection they will clean your dog’s ear thoroughly. While this may temporarily cause your dog some discomfort, it is vital to clearing the infection up. In addition, your dog’s veterinarian will prescribe your dog a topical or oral medicine. It’s crucial to ensure your dog receives the treatment suggested by their veterinarian to clear up any infection.

How Can You Prevent Your Dog From Having Ear Infections in the Future?

Many times the cause for an ear infection is due to the ear canal becoming moist after swimming, bathing, or grooming. The moisture remaining in your dog’s ear fuels the growth of bacteria. Ensuring your dog is dried off properly can make quite a difference. However, some dogs easily get ear infections due to allergies. Determining whether your dog is getting ear infections due to moisture or allergies will help greatly in lessening the chances of your dog obtaining an ear infection.

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Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs

Have you ever suffered from a urinary tract infection? If so, you know how uncomfortable it can be. You may be surprised to learn that your dog can suffer from urinary tract infections too. Many dog owners are not aware of this, so knowing the signs of an infection is beneficial.

While some dogs may never have one in their lifetime, the dogs that do suffer from them show symptoms that their owners may not even realize are indicators.

The Most Common Signs of a Urinary Tract Infection Are:

-Urine accidents inside the house

-Frequent urination

-Blood in the urine (this may be pink or red)

-Crying or whining while urinating

-Frequently licking the genital area

-Dribbling urine or the inability to urinate

If your dog shows these signs it’s important to take him to the Veterinarian for an evaluation. The Veterinarian will need a to perform a urinalysis. The urinalysis will show whether there are white blood cells present in your dogs urine or not. White blood cells in the urine indicate an infection. While the presence of white blood cells suggests an infection, it’s vital that this is confirmed by performing a culture. Culturing the urine and allowing bacteria to grow will allow the Veterinarian to be absolutely certain there is an infection and most importantly what type of bacteria is causing it.

A culture is vital because it allows the Veterinarian to know which antibiotic to treat your dog with due to the type of bacteria found. If no bacteria is present there is no need for an antibiotic. Veterinarians prefer not to prescribe antibiotics unless it’s absolutely needed due to the risk of developing antibiotic-resistant bacteria. A culture can also help determine if something else is going on in your dog’s body besides a urinary tract infection. A dog may exhibit signs of a urinary tract infection, but the type of bacteria found in the culture may indicate issues that are more serious than initially thought. For example, the culture may show that there is an issue in the kidney, prostate, or there may be kidney stones that are affecting the urinary tract.

How to Help Prevent Urinary Tract Infections

Most importantly remember the symptoms of a urinary tract infection and look out for them. The sooner your dog receives treatment, the better he will feel. Some dogs are susceptible to reoccurring urinary tract infections, so it’s advised to know the signs and follow the directions and treatment plan your dog’s Veterinarian puts into place.

Many Veterinarians suggest giving your dog a daily urinary infection preventative. It’s also extremely beneficial to ensure your dog has access to water to drink throughout the day. Not only will it help your four legged pal to stay hydrated, but drinking plenty of water results in regular urinating. This helps to flush out and reduce the chance of bacteria growing in the urinary tract.

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Pet Dental Care

Dental care for pets is just as important as it is for humans. Your pet’s dental health is critical to their overall health. Dental issues can cause health problems in other parts of your pet’s body to occur. This makes it extremely important to have your pet’s teeth and gums evaluated by their veterinarian at a minimum, once a year. Routine veterinarian visits allow veterinarians to evaluate your pet for early signs of health issues and well as maintain your pet’s dental hygiene.

If you notice your pet having dental issues before their yearly check up, it’s strongly suggested to contact your vet for a visit. Signs to look for include:

-Bad breath

-Broken or loose teeth

-Loss of appetite

-Bleeding from the mouth

-Swelling in or around the mouth

Your pet’s veterinarian may suggest a variety of treatment plans if your pet is having any type of issue. One of the best things you can do for your pet’s dental health is preventative care. Brushing your pet’s teeth and providing dental chews can make a world of a difference.

While it can be challenging to do so, brushing your pet’s teeth is very effective in preventing any dental issues. Many pets don’t like to have their owners brush their teeth, but starting this routine early on in your pet’s life will be greatly effective in avoiding dental issues for your pet.

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Why Your Dog Needs an Identification Tag

Do you keep a collar and id tag on your dog at all times? If you don’t, you really should considering doing so. Regardless of whether your dog is an inside or outside dog, there’s always a risk of your dog getting out and becoming lost. Having an id tag on them will aide in their safe return.

 

You may be reading this, thinking this a silly blog subject considering your dog is microchipped or would never run away. Dogs can become lost much easier than one might expect. There are so many potential scenarios that could happen. For example, someone doing work in your yard may forget to close the gate, allowing your dog to escape. Or a storm may frighten your dog causing them to dig under a fence or jump over a fence. For whatever reason, if your dog runs away the first step in their return is having an id tag.

Having an id tag with your dog’s name, your name, address, and phone number will allow neighbors or good samaritans who find your dog to contact you. Even if your dog is microchipped, this would require the individual who finds your dog to take them to their nearest vet or shelter. While many individuals would go out of their way to help a dog who appears to be lost, sadly some individuals may not. However, having an id tag on your dog allows whoever finds your dog to easily contact you. This greatly increases the chance of your dog returning home safely and quickly.

 

Put yourself in your dog’s paws. What if he or she were to become lost for any reason. Imagine how scared and anxious they would be. Just like we humans have identification, and keep it updated, so should our pets.

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Fish Health

 

Did you know your pet fish can get sick? Yes, they can! You may be surprised to hear this but it’s much more common than many fish owners realize. Just like any other pet, fish need to stay healthy as they can get sick and get other fish in their tank sick.

Fish are susceptible to various bacterial and viral diseases. In fact, fish transmit diseases via the water they swim in. Fish introduced to an existing tank easily contaminate the water in the tank they are introduced which can cause all fish to be exposed to disease.This makes keeping the water your fish is in clean and balanced a priority. The water must be routinely evaluated to prevent the spread of disease.

Symptoms of a Sick Fish:

-Frayed fins
-Staying/hovering at the bottom of the tank
-Inability to swim to the bottom or top of the tank
-External spots, discoloration or open wounds

What to Do If You Suspect Your Fish Is Sick:

First check the tank’s water quality. You will want to ensure the water temperature, ammonia and dissolved oxygen levels are within the desired range required to fit your fish’s needs. Make adjustments as needed and with caution. Ensure you closely monitor any adjustments you make by testing the water before, during and after any adjustments are made.

Keep the tank clean. Not only does this involve testing the water quality, but also routine water changes, routinely changing the filter and clearing any debris. Owning fish as pet is just as serious and as much as a responsibility as any other pet. For all your pet fish needs, click here.

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Flea Prevention

If you’ve noticed your cat or dog becoming itchy and pestered as the weather has warmed up, it’s because fleas are attracted to warm climates. The warmer of an area you live in, the higher the likelihood of fleas agitating your pets. As humans, we don’t like to be itchy and surely our pets don’t like to be either! This is why preventative, routine flea prevention is important. This is especially important if you live in an area that remains warm all year long.

As responsible pet owners it’s our responsibility to get a flea infestation under control and maintain it for the health of our pet. You can either treat your pet for fleas spot on (also known as topically) or treat fleas orally. No matter the method you choose, it’s extremely important to understand that flea preventatives intended for dogs can be harmful and potentially lethal to cats. Therefore, preventatives intended for dogs only and cats only should be used in their respective manner.

Spot on Treatments Compared to Oral Treatments-

Products like Frontline and Advantage are commonly used spot on treatments. They work by killing existing fleas, in addition to regulating flea growth. They are applied to your pet’s skin once a month. It’s a great option for pets who downright refuse to swallow pills.

Some pet owners feel spot on treatments can be messy, which makes oral medication a great alternative. NexGard is a great example of an oral flea preventative. Oral flea medication can provide fast relief and treatment of fleas. In addition, there is no worry if you’ve successfully placed the entire treatment on your pet, like there is with spot on treatments.

Even if your pet doesn’t currently have fleas, it’s a good idea to start them on a preventative for their safety and yours. If your pet catches fleas, the fleas easily spread to other pets in your household. A flea infestation will cause a nuisance for you and your family members. Most importantly, fleas serve as hosts for tapeworms which both pets and humans can be infected with. It’s best not to risk a flea infestation when it’s so simple to protect our pets by using a flea preventative.

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Dog Breed Spotlight: Maltese

The Maltese is a toy breed known for their sweet but brave temperament. They make wonderful companion and therapy dogs. The Maltese loves to be with their humans and can often be found sitting on their human’s lap.

 

Their long silky coat and small stature makes them as cute as a button and a favorite amongst dog breeds. Their big black eyes are full of love and adventure. While they prefer to be on their human’s lap, they enjoy their exercise that includes playtime and daily walks.

 

Shedding is infrequent but their beautiful coats do require weekly grooming. Their gorgeous hair can nearly hang to the ground if left to grow. This makes it important to comb their hair every other day to prevent tangles.

 

The Maltese is a highly intelligent breed that is easily trained. Their adorable stature and affectionate nature make them incredibly cherished amongst their owners.

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Summer Safety Reminders

Beat the Heat – The most obvious (and the most harmful) aspect about the summer is the significant increase in temperature that we experience. While it means swimming pools, iced teas, and beach days for us, for our pets it means a struggle to stay hydrated and avoid heat exhaustion. Luckily, there are many things you can do to prevent your pet from falling victim to a heatstroke or any such heat-related illness. Ensuring you keep your pet has access to water throughout the day, keeping your pet out of the heat, and not overexerting them makes a great deal of difference.

Beware of Bug Bites and Stings – In addition to the usual flea, ticks, and mites that your pet needs protection from, there are a host of other creepy crawlies that scurry around, ready to sting or bite your pet. Studies show that pets are twice as likely to be a victim of a bug bite or sting in the summer months, and about 1/4 of these “attacks” are perpetrated by bees! While stings and bites are usually just uncomfortable and relatively harmless, sometimes they can be poisonous and/or venomous, requiring an emergency trip to the vet in order to receive treatment. Even if the sting/bite isn’t inherently toxic, it could spark an allergic reaction in your pet which could possibly result in them going into anaphylactic shock, which could be fatal if not treated right away. Symptoms to look out for are nausea, difficulty breathing, disorientation, lethargy, and any other kind of unusual behavior. To avoid these kinds of dangers, make sure that you don’t take your pet into an area that is heavily populated with harmful bugs, and try to watch your pet as much as possible when it is alone in your backyard. Another thing to look out for is dead bees that are on the ground as they can still sting your pet if they step on it!

Skin Safety Is Crucial – Especially if your pet already has sensitive skin, and/or is prone to skin infections, you must make sure to keep an eye on your pets’ skin in case they are having a reaction of some kind. Around spring time, many pets begin having skin issues related to the allergens, bugs, and plants that the warmer seasons tend to bring. For many pets, the change in air pressure, temperature, and moisture also cause their skin to become inflamed, dry, itchy, and greasy. In the summer, pets are 16% more likely to have a skin-related illness, so it’s important to stay cognizant of the symptoms that accompany skin infection or issues. Look out for any abnormal scratching, biting, chewing, and/or licking of your pet’s paws, backside, stomach, or any other part of their body. If you notice an area that is irritated, or if you see that your pet’s fur is missing in a couple spots, it probably has some kind of skin issue.

Get the Grapes  and Corn Cobs Out of Sight – Grapes and their wrinkly counterparts are extremely toxic to dogs and cats. Making it vital to keep them hidden and out of reach to your fur children. If a dog or cat ingests corn cob material, it can cause serious health problems. If the piece of corn cob gets lodged in the intestine, stomach, or colon there could be a bowel obstruction that needs to be treated by a vet. Not to mention, if the cob is lodged in the pet’s esophagus, then it could possibly choke to death. Corn cobs are extremely dangerous because they are completely indigestible (kind of like the corn that comes off of them) and they are also very rough in texture.

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