Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June is Adopt A Cat Month

Each spring and summer animal shelters become over whelmed with cats and kittens looking for loving caring homes.
Isn't it time to visit a local shelter and bring a furry feline into your family?

Below is a short list of cat shelters in Massachusetts.  Remember the perfect kitty could be waiting for you.


Massachusetts Cat Shelters

I want to thank Cherie K Miller, from Pet Peeves for reminding us about this very important event.   Be sure to check out her blog, it's entertaining and educational.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Nutro Cat Food contains TOXIC amounts of Vitamin D

May 4, 2010: RED ALERT!!! Test results are back on a sample of what is believed to be Nutro Chicken Meal and Rice cat food Lot # 09 01 10 11:03. This is from the same batch of food we tested below on the March 22, 2010 results. The pet owner's cat nearly died after eating the food for 5 days and the symptoms appeared to be consistent with toxic levels of Vitamin D...read more

If you remember correctly, Nutro recalled cat food back in of 2009 because of mineral amounts being wrong. http://consumerist.com/2009/06/nutro-cat-food-recall.html  and are reported to be under the eye of the FDA since last year. http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2009/04/nutro_foia.html .  The questions in my mind is why are they still allowed to supply food for our pets?  Why haven't they been closed down until a thorough investigation can be completed?  Why are the powers that be standing by and letting our pets get poisoned?

Here is a link to what some pet owners are finding. http://www.consumeraffairs.com/pets/nutro.html   Pets are getting sick and dying and Nutro has not yet admitted to there being a problem.  This is not right.  How many or our pets have to die before we ban together and let these companies know we will not put up with this any longer.   Get mad and stand up for your pets that rely on you for their well being.

This is only regarding cat food.  Nutro has also had recalls involving dog food.  Stop feeding your pets any products from Nutro.  Save the bag, save what ever food you have left (in the event it needs to be tested), contact the FDA, and file a report, and get to your vet.  Notify them what food you are feeding and have them contact the authorities also.  Don't stand by. Take control now.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ashes Has Fur Back

It has been over a month since my last update about Ashes.  Since I last posted her fur has really begun to grow back and she has stopped ripping it back out.  Her skin has also returned to a nice healthy color and most of the bumpy rash has disappeared. 

Her daily life has not changed.  She still has access to all the areas she had when this ordeal started. She eats the same food and I even started her back on the Skin and Coat treats.  The one thing that has changed is the homeopathic remedy that she takes daily with her supper.  I mix one pinch of Allergy Itch Ease in with her Instinctive Choice and she eats everything up.  It couldn't be much easier.  No forcing pills down her throat and no liquid meds all over her.  Plus it's homeopathic.  No side affects to damage her liver or kidneys and no lethargy. 

Her personality has improved as she feels better and she has now decided that sleeping right next to my head or sitting on my lap is the place to be. 

But pictures speak much louder then words.  These were taken two weeks ago in approximately the same position as the originals.  As you can see the difference is remarkable.
I am so happy a friend referred me to PetAlive.com It has made all the difference in the world to Ashes.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pets Gone Bad

Does it feel like only your pet misbehaves? That pet professionals must have the most well behaved dogs and cats. Pet sitters and dog walkers never have over weight pets, groomers dogs never get dirty matted fur, and veterinarian's pets surely never do anything wrong because their parents know all things pet. Guess again.

My kitchen is missing a big piece of wallpaper and the woodwork is well, clawed to shreds. Keeping a tablecloth on the dining room table is impossible as nightfall means race time for the felines. They tear through the dining room, up the hall, back down the hall, then up and over the table making sure to pull the table cloth and usually everything on it with them. With morning light I just shake my head and clean up as they look on.

On Monday I went to my vet's house to walk her dog. The sweetest, goofiest, Akita around. She is such a laid back couch potato that some days getting her to go out is a task in itself. Monday was not so different from other days until we got back to the house. She grabbed her bone and laid down on her doggy bed. She only does that when she does not feel well. As I went to give her fresh water I realized a pillow had been thrown off the couch and blankets had been moved aside. Reaching to fix everything I saw it. She had chewed a hole in the couch and pulled some of the stuffing out. YIKES! I gave her a questioning look to which I received a " I don't see anything, it wasn't me" look in return. I covered the hole and replaced the pillow hoping if she couldn't see it she wouldn't do any more damage. I left a note for mom and dad.

When I made my visit today there was a note from "mom" They have adopted another rescue kitty and she is being acclimated in the Akita's room. To show her parents exactly how she felt about that she chewed a hole in their couch. Payback for giving her room to a cat.

So next time the dog decides your designer shoes are tasty or the cat sees the woodwork as an inside tree, remember even the professionals pets go down the wrong path every now and then.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Kids and Dogs

I was reminded Sunday of how important it is to teach your children safety around dogs. I have written on this subject before, but feel it is so important that it is worth repeating.

We have all seen the wonderful old TV shows, a little boy running with his pet dog, so happy and so well behaved. Think Timmy and Lassie. Lassie saves the boy from yet another disaster and receives a big neck squeezing hug in return. It all looks great on TV but in real life Timmy might just have gotten his face bit if he tries that with a dog who sees it as a threat.

I have a young grandson who loves dogs, however he has not been taught that running up to a dog can be a sign of aggression or attack. In a dog's world this approach means defensive posture and protect ones self. I watched Sunday as an old man was walking his little dog and my grandson ran straight at them. The poor dog lunged at the boy, pulling on the leash, barking and growling a warning to stay back. The old man held the dog back, but he would not have been able to if it had been a big dog. My grandson would have run arms open into the face of a dog who felt threatened. It could have turned into a disaster. He could have been bitten, scarred for life, and the poor dog would have probably had to be put down for "attacking a child"

People please remember biting is a dogs last defense. A healthy dog will usually not attack without warning or reason. Know dog body language, it is your first tell tale sign of how a dog is feeling. LOOK; the posture, the tail, the ears, and the lips. LISTEN; breathing, growling, the bark. A happy bark sounds much different then a scared bark and it certainly sounds different from a don't come any closer bark. Here are some very good drawings of what might be going on with a dog. You have most likely seen a dog do some of these things, a playful bow or relaxed is good. A dog in the dominant or defensive posture means trouble. Do not approach!

Teach your children from when they are small that dogs do not like screaming, someone running up to them too fast, and they do not like to be hugged around the neck. Explain to your child that it is like a big person holding them very tight and not letting go. They, your child, would need to kick and hit, but a dog bites instead. It is their way of protecting themselves.

If taught from a young age, children will grow to respect dogs as living creatures. Hopefully there will be fewer children bitten, less animal abuse, fewer dogs being surrendered to shelters, and no dogs being put down because they defended themselves.

Teach your children respect for dogs and teach your dogs good behavior with children. It's a win win for everyone.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Ashes Update

This is how it started.

The mystery of what was causing Ashes to lose her fur has not been solved. Last week it looked like the reverse mohawk was regrowing. I was thrilled that the mystery had been solved and she was going to be back to her furry self. Unfortunetly I was too quick to jump to an easy solution.

On Friday of last week I was checking Ashes over and found both her sides covered with little bumps. Almost like she had been bitten all over by something. I checked carefully for any sign of fleas but could not find any evidence of infestation. I decided it was time to call in the pros.

The vet came this Wednesday morning. By that time Ashes skin was now covered in crusty like scabs. She still had an appetite and was not acting ill, but something was not right. After an exam, a fur sample, and a skin scraping we sit and wait for the results or a ringworm test.

She has to put up with me toweling her every night and forcing a liquid antibiotic down her throat. Not something either one of us enjoys, but if it will keep her from getting a skin infection it must be done.

As of this morning her skin is not quite as pink and she shows no signs of getting worse. That is a good thing. If the ringworm test comes back negative and she does not show improvement we keep looking. I decided until we know more I will not put her back on Skin and Coat, the least amount of change right now is better.

So as of today the mystery that was solved is now back to an open case.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mystery Solved

A few weeks ago I noticed a bare spot in the middle of Ashes' back. Right along her spine. She had tangled with Casey the day before and my first thought was that Casey had bitten her.

After checking it out I realized this was not a bite, it was a small skin irritation. I checked her all over and there were no other signs of anything so I decided to keep an eye on it and watch the others too.

Within a day or so we noticed the fur all along her spine was thinning and the skin beneath was pink. She was still eating and drinking fine, had tons of energy, and did not seem bothered by this new fur style. I again decided to give it a day or so before making the panic call to the vet. After all no one else was having fur problems.

We had recently changed laundry soap, dish soap, and hand soap (we got them when we bought the new water softener) Even though she does not wear clothes, do the dishes, or wash her paws, I considered for a brief second, an allergic reaction. However,if it was allergies it seemed to me that all her fur should be thinning or her skin would be showing signs of irritation in other places then her spine but she wasn't. She even let me give her a good brushing.

It was a little over a week later that I saw all the cat fur caught on the insulation around the pipes in the basement. A perfect swatch right where her spine would be if she were to walk along the boxes. Sure enough yesterday I caught her sleeping up on the boxes pressed right up against the insulation. She was all snug and warm with the pellet stove right below her. A perfect place for a cat to nap. Except for the insulation that is taking her fur off.

When she got down to eat I barricaded the area. Rearranged the boxes so there is no place to lay down and moved the pellets so she has nothing to climb on. I'm sure she is not happy with me and will probably find some way of getting back at me, but she needs to let the reverse mohawk grow back in and ease the irritation. It's time to order another bottle of Skin and Coat and get her beautiful white fur back in shape.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Cat Litter

Is your cat litter causing your cat to go to the bathroom everywhere but the litter box?

Try sticking your face into an enclosed litter box, stir the litter around, and take a breath. Now multiply that by 14. That's how many times greater a cat's sense of smell is compared to a humans. Makes you wonder why they would want to use a box at all. This may be the reason they are not using the litter box in your home.

One commercial shows cats embarrassed to invite their friends over because of stinky litter box odor. Another has people naming their favorite things then promoting those scents in cat litter. Sorry people, I love the smell of maple syrup but I don't want the litter box to smell like breakfast. This really got me thinking about what we are exposing our furry feline friends to.

How do you think these companies get their products smelling "fresh"? They add chemicals. Chemicals that can irritate the linings of our airways. What is it doing to our cats? They walk through, scratch, and get the chemically treated litter on their paws. Then they ingest these chemicals every time they clean themselves. That can't be good.

Personally I like the scoopable litter vs the clay because with three cats I would constantly be changing the box. However; when my husband was having breathing problems we traced it to the scented litter. I went on the hunt for an alternative. I needed something with no perfumed scent, was easy to keep up with, and the cats would use.

Unscented was very hard to find locally, even Walmart did not carry it. They did carry Feline Pine however so I tried that. Not a huge hit, but they will pee in that litter box. It does smell nice if you like the scent of pine and it is environmentally friendly. Arm & Hammer makes an unscented scoopable which they will use. The only drawback is having to stock up when we get to a Petco or Target.

There are many kinds of litter on the market now. Recycled newspaper, corn, and wheat,just to name a few. You can find reviews at Consumersearch.com

Keep in mind your cat must like the cat litter or they may start having behavior issues with the potty. Finding a happy medium is the key. Keeping your cat safe and healthy and keeping your home odor free and clean.

If you have not changed litter but find your cat urinating outside the box, in strange places such as the bathtub or sink, or crying or straining when urinating it is time for a visit to the vet. Your cat may have an infection, crystals, or stones. Your vet will run tests and diagnose any medical problems. Always check with your veterinarian if you have any concerns or questions.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Crate Training Follow Up

Once again it has been months since my last post. Wish I could say it's because we were busy crate training and time just got away from me, but that would be a lie. At least part of it would be. Time did get away from me.

So the crate training; Casey has no problem going into the crate. She is not afraid of it, but will not go in and stay there on her own. Is that her fault? Nope. I take complete blame. I didn't keep up with it. She associates it with treats or meals, but is also smart enough to know that if mumma didn't put it in there then it isn't in there.

I have not given up on getting her used to being in a crate if we take her places. I would rather have her secure inside, happily gnawing on her Kong, when we go on the highway. Too many crazy drivers out there.

So for now it sits here. The door is open if I am here but closed when not. Moose, the cat, loves to go in and snooze. Not good if Casey sees him as a squatter on her territory and corners him inside. That could mean BIG vet bills for both.