Archive for June, 2010

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8:52 30 June 2010

Pet Hospice Care

Pet Hospice is a relatively new concept, modeled on the practice in human medicine that began in the 1960’s.  Pet Hospice is not a specific place, but rather a philosophy.  It promotes an alternative to death in an impersonal, clincial hospital environment and teaches that terminal illness and death can be experienced with dignity as an animal rests at home with its loving family.

There may come a time in your pet’s life when fighting a terminal illness or disease, when you as a pet owner need to make a decision.  Is the cost of the treatment more than the benenfit?  Does the treatment cause your pet more pain or illness without hope of a cure?  You may need to decide which is more important for your pet – the quality of life, or the quantity of life? 

The goals of Pet Hospice is to give your pet a safe, caring, intimate end-of-life experience at home, in a familiar environment.  It is not geared toward curing a disease, but rather keeping the disease from causing your pet any more discomfort.  It’s primary focus is on providing pain control and physical and emotional comfort to your pet in his/her last days.  It prevents anxiety from hospital care, and allows pets and owners more time together as the pet is cared for at home.  Pet owners are given one-on-one time  to come to grips with their pet’s disease and and can say good-bye in their own personal way.  Hospice helps make a pet’s death a more kinder, intimate experience for both pets and their owners.

Pay loving tribute to your beloved pet with a Pet Cremation Urn with the Rainbow Bridge Poem on it.  It is a beautiful reminder who will be waiting for us in the meadows of Heaven when we pass on.

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9:01 18 June 2010

Pet Pain Meds – NEW?

Are Pet Pain Killers new?  I couldn’t believe what I found.  In the past 10 years Vets have made strides in progress and prevention and treatment of pain, but the field is relatively new.
Up until the 1970s  it was believed that infants, animals and the elderly did not experience pain because they could not report it!!  HELLO?  What were they thinking?  If we can feel pain, you can be assured they can too!  The AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) has recently issued standards for pain medications to help guide veterinarians in coordinating pain care for thier patients.  As a result, more pets are receiving pain meds after surgery – up to 5 days for Spays and Neuters.  Lately, some are even prescribing neurological modifiers to change the way the body signals pain.  Pets with arthritis are also beginning to get the help they need to enhance their golden years.

Education has been the key to get Veterinarians and the public informed and to change their perception of their pets and pain.  Many people assume that old age is slowing down their pets, when in reality it is pain that is the cause.  Make sure you observe your pet carefully, and if everyday routine things aren’t so routine anymore, you may want to consult a professional about pain managment. 

When the pain becomes too severe to control, and you need to let your beloved companion animal “go home”, a personalized Pet Urn is a dignified way to say “Good-bye”.

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8:53 17 June 2010

Is Your Pet in Pain?

Is you pet in pain?  How can you tell?  Well since our furry friends can’t verbalize how they feel, just remember one tip “Actions speak louder than words”.  You must be observant and note subtle changes in your pet’s behavior that may signify pain.  Some of these may be changes in attitude, activity levels, or ability and  interest in regular activities.  If your pet has lost interest in physical activities like taking walks or climbing stairs, you can be pretty certain he/she is in pain.  Also try to keep in mind that a trip to the Vet may not be the best indicator – pet’s will often mask pain in the doctor’s office so observing them at home in a familiar environment is always the best source of information.  Some changes may include:  1. Straining to get up in the morning and after naps.  2. Limping during walks or around the house.   3. Your pet no longer jumps up on the bed or onto his/her favorite chair or sunny window seat.  You and your familly are the only people who have access to these valuable signs.  Take careful notes of  any behavioral changes then be sure to share this information with your Vet – it can help improve your pet’s quality of life.   When it comes time for your pet to pass on, Pet Urns are a compassionate way to properly memorialize your lost loved one.

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8:31 16 June 2010

Pets in Heaven?

Are there pets in heaven?  I bet this is one of the most commonly asked questions among pet owners, and those who believe we go to heaven after death.  I guess we really wouldn’t know for certain unless we had an out-of-body experience and went to heaven briefly and looked for ourselves.  But, if you asked any pet owner with a deep love and uncanny bond with an animal, the answer would be a definite “yes”.  How could you image heaven without your beloved furry companions there with you?

I’m sure there are as many opinions about what heaven is like as there are pet owners.  But there is one thing most have in common – they want to see their beloved animal again and be reunited with them in heaven.  If our pets bring us so much joy here an earth, and we build such deep relationships with them, then why would that change after death?  I love the saying: “Pet’s aren’t our whole lives, but they make our lives whole.”  I believe this is true beyond the grave as well.  They help to bring out the very best in our characters and are such a welcomed addition to our lives.   Like the Rainbow Bridge Poem so eloquently explains, we will be reunited again.

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8:47 15 June 2010

Pets VS Fur Children

Pets come is all sizes, shapes, breeds, and of course their interpretation by us of what they are supposed to do.  On one end of the spectrum, pets serve as a working animal.   They herd sheep, cows, goats etc. and are used as a work force on the farm or ranch.  The generally sleep outside with the stock and stand guard while the owner is not around or is asleep.  They can include horses used for work on the farm or ranch, and are generally regarded as some kind of means to an end – helping out the human.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are those pet owners who consider their furbabies as member of the family.   Most fur children don’t know they are an animal – we regard them as “human”.  If you are reading my posts, I presume you have the latter and you don’t consider your furry friend a pet, but rather more of a child.   When you really come to think of it, they are actually nicer “people” than most of the 2-legged kind.  Did you ever have a best human friend that was ever so devoted?  Does you spouse or significant other follow you around to every room (including the bathroom), sleep up against your  back, lay at your feet, and never leave your side when you are sick?  Have you ever known someone so excited to greet you at the door when you come home, even if you were gone for just a few minutes? 

Pets don’t care what you wear, how you look, how you smell or what you watch on TV.  They are just happy to be in your company whether you are happy, sad or even grouchy.  Their undying devotion is unmatched.  They are also easier to raise.  They don’t ask for money, they don’t borrow the car, they don’t complain, and seldom “talk” back.  My 1250 lb furbaby was the joy of my life. (Pictured above)  He never knew he was a horse.  The bond we develop with these family members cannot be broken even by death.  I look forward to the day when I can ride him through the meadows of Heaven.  If you have a special fur child, and would like to make a personal tribute that will last for generations, laser-etched Absolute Black Granite Headstones make beautiful family memorials.

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8:59 11 June 2010

Joint Care and Side Effects

Do pet arthritis supplements have any harmful side effects?  The answer is generally NO.  There have been very few side effects observed in dogs taking Glucosamine and Chondroitin products.  One name brand carrier of these supplements, Drs. Foster and Smith have literally sold tens of thousands of these products and have never seen a single, severe side effect.  Rarely a dog will vomit or get diarrhea if started on high doses.  If the supplements are given with food and in the right dosage, the symptoms usually don’t present themselves.  The safety of these supplements make them suitable for long term use.  Also, once a pet has been on a quality product for 6-8 weeks, the dose can often be reduced.

If you have any questions about your pet’s artritis and adverse effects from supplements, consult your Veterinarian.  If recommended, your dog can be given both joint supplements and an anti-inflammatory pain reliever together.  Many dogs taking a natural supplement no longer require a pain reliever.  However, some dogs may need to be on a low dose of pain relieving meds to help maintain their comfort while on supplements.  Other supplements like pet vitamins and fatty acids are often combined with Glucosamine and Chondroitin and given to pets with no side effects.

When it comes time to say “good-bye” to your beloved furry companion, you can properly memorialize his/her memory with a Personalized Pet Urn.

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8:41 11 June 2010

What is Arthritis?

Arthritis is a household term, heard and repeated frequently especially if you have an aging pet or family member.  But what is it exactly?  Arthritis is a deterioration or structural change in a joint in a body caused by age or injury to a human or animal.  It can also be caused by calcium deposits, scar tissue, cartilage tears and dissolution, or contour changes to the bones at the joint surfaces from long term abnormal forces being applied. 

As pet owners it is imparative to be aware of any changes in your pet’s behavior that he/she may be in pain.  Onces these abnormalities are present in your pet, and he/she has been diagnosed with arthritis, the structural changes will remain present and will continue to affect your loved one no matter what supplements you provide or what changes you make in the nutritional intake.  Arthritis supplements like Glucosamine and Chondroitin, Omega Fatty Acids, Vitamin E, Selenium, and MSM all assist in decreasing inflammation and the body’s ability to repair and strengthen tissues, but they cannot reverse the structural changes that have already occurred.   The best you can expect in arthritis supplements is a decrease in pain sensation and improved resistance to further joint tissue breakdown.   Some can rejuvenate or improve some soft tissues.  If you suspect your pet may be in pain, don’t wait to consult a professional – it could save a lot of further joint or structural damage.  You can help your pet to have a healthy, active, productive life.  A perfect way to memorialize your companion is to have a Personalized Pet Memorial made in his/her honor.

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7:06 10 June 2010

Pets and Acupuncture

Many people have reported great success using acupuncture as an alternative therapy or treatment for arthritis in their pets.  However, in smaller communities  it may not be very cost effective – over $100 a visit.  In larger cities, you may be able to find it at a more reasonable rate.  You may also consider gold bead implants which are a form of permanent acupuncture.   These treatments of course are just suggestions and are to be used for an arthritic pet when other treatment have not worked.  Other natural therapies you could try would be Pet Chiropractors or Iridologists.  There are natural, homeopathic options available to pet owners who are seeking althernative arthritis therapies. 

Arthritis in dog’s is the most common health problem diagnosed by veterinarians today.  As a pet owner, you need to be looking for the warning signs of pain and soreness long before arthritis has made significant changes in your pet’s joints.  It can affect even young pets, earlier than you might think.  My brother’s medium-sized dog was diagnosed as young as 4 yrs old.  He has successfully managed it and given his dog a very quality life-style for many years.  For those who have pet’s in their twilight years, enjoy every second you have together.  Memorialize your loved one with a beautiful Absolute Black Granite laser-etched headstone with a personal tribute and photo.  It will provide memories of your furry family member for generations.

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8:03 10 June 2010

What is MSM?

MSM is a popular arthritis supplement used for both humans and animals.  But what is it and what does it do for us and our 4-legged furry friends?

MSM stands for Methylsulfonylmethane and it contains sulfur in the form a body can readily use.  Sulfur is necessary for the production of collagen, glucosamine, and chondroitin which are the building blocks of cartilage.  Sulfur is also necessary in the formation of glutathione which is one of the body’s best known natural antioxidants – which can help prevent illness. 

I have personally used it on aging horses with great success, and my arthritic parents swear by it’s effectiveness in treating pain and stiffness.  Make sure you consult with your Vet to get the best brand of MSM and the proper dosage for the kind, breed and weight of your pet.  It is also sold in a combination with Glucosamine and Chondroitin to support joint health.  Before starting any arthritis supplement for your furry family member, make sure their diet includes a high quality food that is high in protein and low in grains and starchy carbohydrates.  One of the best things you can do for your aging pet is to keep him/her lean.  This includes regular exercise,  preferrably on a daily basis.  Make your daily outings more fun by with a personalized, humorous Dog Bandana.

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7:47 10 June 2010

Human Vs Pet Supplements

Many people ask if they can give their pets Human arthritis supplements.  Is there a difference?  It would be so much easier to give “Fido” what I have already in my medicine cabinet.  The answer is “NO”.

It is true that pharmaceutical grade glucosaimne and chondroitin that are used for humans are found in some arthritis supplements for dogs.  But, joint supplements for dogs also contain ascorbic acid to help in the uptake of the ingredients by the animal’s body.  In additon, canine joint products are dosed in the correct size for dogs and are often flavored to make them more palatable to pets.  Pet supplements are also available in granules that can be easily mixed with food.

Glucosamine and chondroitin products are often used in cats and horses and appear to work very well in support of joint health.  Make sure you check with a trained professional before starting any pet arthritis supplement. 

Remember too that exercise is the BEST arthritis treatment you can give your beloved pet.  Make it fun by putting a comical, personalized Pet Bandana on while you go out for your daily venture.  Make the best of life in your pet’s golden years!