Archive for August, 2010

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11:01 31 August 2010

Different Ways of Grieving

Everybody will grieve for a loss in their life in many different ways.  Grief is as unique as your are, so don’t compare yourself to others and expect to grieve the same way.  Some of your friends or family members may grieve faster, or not show as much pain or emotion, so you wonder if there is something wrong with you.  Loved ones may tell you that you are silly or even dumb for grieving over the loss of just a “pet”.  Don’t listen or pay attention, obviously they have never had a strong bond with a companion animal and cannot understand what you are feeling right now.  Find solace in the fact that grief is a necessary part of life and is very normal, even though the symptoms may vary greatly with each person.  Certain reactions to death of a loved one are quite common, and you can expect to experience some of them:

1. Shock.  You may go into shock and even find yourself denying that your loved one is gone.  2. Anger.  You may feel angry towards the Vet who could not save your pet.  You may even feel anger toward your pet for leaving you. And you may feel guilty that this anger will not go away. 3. Guilt.  We feel guilty for a number of reasons.  You may feel you could have prevented the death or should have been present to say “good-bye”.  4. Feeling of helplessness.  You may feel many additional losses – you lost your friend, your companion, your confidant.  These additional losses can leave you feeling helpless and confused.  5. Depression.  Even normal, committed, caring people may find that they don’t care about anything or anyone right now.  Other feelings you may experience are: Sad, worried, scared, unprepared, cheated, relieved, exhuasted, or just plain empty.  There are many more.   Just be aware that your emotions may be stronger and deeper than usual and may be mixed together in ways you have never experienced before.  All of these are normal and will get better with time.  The best thing to do is to share your feelings with someone who has experienced this kind of loss before so you can get some emotional support.  Don’t try to hold in your feelings, but express them in ways helpful to your circumstances right now.  Pet Headstones are a personal way to pay tribute to your lost loved one and to help with the healing process.

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10:31 31 August 2010

Grieving a loss

Grieving can be very different for everyone.  It is as individual as you are, and you will grieve differently from your friends and even your close family members.  It is also not just common among adults, but very small children can grieve as well.  Grief is an emotional, physical and spiritual response to a death or a loss in your life.  Grief hurts, but is is a necessary response to loss, change or disappointment.  It is very natural and highly individual.  Each time you grieve for someone or some loss in your life, it may be different.  Your current grief will be influenced by your age, your religious beliefs, previous experiences and your relationship to the person or pet you have just lost.  The age and circumstances of the deceased will also influence how you grieve. 

When death or a loss turns your world upside down, grief is the process necessary to help you put it all back together again. There are many symptoms to grief, and you may experience them differently with each loss in your life.  Sometimes we don’t  grieve over a loss of another person as intensely as we grieve over the loss of a beloved pet.  Some people describe grief happening in stages, but it may also feel more like “waves” or cycles that come and go depending on what you are doing at this time of your life.

The grieving process takes time and the healing process happens slowly and gradually.  Allow yourself time to heal and don’t be critical of yourself.  Create a personal tribute or a Pet Memorial to your lost loved one.  Include in it your feelings, the things you did together and the time you shared with one another.

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7:26 26 August 2010

Important Vet Lab Tests

As your pet ages, Veterinarian Lab tests become very important and should be conducted at least every 6 months for a healthy cat or dog.  Laboratory results help your vet to understand the status of your pet’s overall health, and the following 4 tests are recommended as a minimum:

1. Complete blood count.  This common test measures the number of red blood cells, white blood cells and blood platelets.  This information helps your vet to diagnose anemia, infections and leukemia.

2. Urinalysis.  The analysis of your pet’s urine is used to detect the presence of substances that usually don’t appear in urine such as protein, sugar, white blood cells or blood.  This test can help you vet diagnose urinary tract infections, diabetes, dehydration, kidney problems and many other conditions.

3. Blood-chemistry panel.  This measures electrolytes, enzymes and chemical elements such as calcium and phosphorus.  This will help your vet determine if many vital organs such as the kidneys, pancreas and liver are functioning properly. 

4. Parasite evaluation.  Microscopic examination of your pet’s feces can provide information about many diseases, difficulty with digestion, internal bleeding, and disorders of the pancreas.  Most importantly it can confirm the presence of intestinal parasites sich as roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, tapeworm and giardia.

Don’t put off a bi-annual trip to the vet for your furry friend.  It can make the difference between healthy golden years together, or ones filled with pain and illness.  If you are looking for a Dog Cremation Urn, look for a personalized one and create a special pet memorial for your lost loved one.

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12:02 25 August 2010

Senior Exams – Lab Testing

Veterinarians depend on a series of Lab tests to help them understand the complete status of your pet’s health.  When a pet is healthy, laboratory tests provide a means to determine his/her “baseline” health values.  When your pet is sick, your vet can then compare the current test results to the “baseline” values to see if they are abnormal.  Even subtle changes in lab test results, even in an outwardly healthy animal, may signal the presence of an underlying disease. 

The AAHA recommends that middle aged dogs and cats undergo laboratory testing at least once a year.  During the senior years, they are recommended every six months for healthy animals. 

When searching for the perfect Dog Urn, make sure it matches your dog’s personality and has a tribute from the heart.  There are many with poems, photos and even laser etched portrait urns available for pets.

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11:34 25 August 2010

Sensory Changes with Age

Pets also experience sensory changes as they age.  These changes may be so subtle you may not notice them unless you are paying close attention.  With the Senior Years, also comes a general “slowing down” in animals.  As their major senses (sight, taste, touch, smell and hearing) begin to dull with age, you may find that your furry friend may have a slower response to external stimuli.  This loss of sensory perception is often a slow, progressive progress, and the best remedy for gradual sensory reduction is to keep your pet active.  Playing and working training exercises are an excellent way to keep your pet’s senses sharp. 

Pets may also be affected mentally as they age – just like humans they may begin to forget things and are susceptible to mental conditions.   They may also begin to confront age-related congnitive and behavior changes.  Most of these changes in your pet are rather subtle and can be addressed in a proactive manner.  Regular senior exams by your vet can catch and treat these problems before they become a problem and control your pet’s life. 

When looking for a Dog Urn or Cat Urn or any other Pet Urn, make sure you get one that is one cubic inch for every pound your pet weighs.

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10:17 24 August 2010

Pain – The Fourth Vital Sign

Pets experience pain just like humans do, and it is our job as pet owners to manage their pain as best we can.  The AAHA recommends that veterinarians take the appropriate steps to indentify, prevent and minimize pain in all senior dogs and cats.  The AAHA guidelines also encourage vets to use pain assessment as the Fourth Vital Sign – along with Temperature, Pulse and Respiration. 

There are different types of pain:  Acute pain – it comes on suddenly as a result of injury, surgery or infection, or Chronic Pain – which is long lasting and usually develops slowly such as arthritis.  YOU as a pet owner play the key role in monitoring your pet to ensure your pet lives comfortably during the senior stage of life.  It is critical to work closely with your vet to tailor a wellness plan that is best suited to your dog or cat.  Always monitor behavior and physical changes and report them to your vet.  By working together you can help your pet move into the twilight years with ease.

Dog Urns and Cat Urns are a personally way to pay tribute to your lost loved one.

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10:01 24 August 2010

When does “Senior” Start?

So when should you consider your pet a “Senior”?  There are endless varieties of senior foods, supplements, beds, etc.  So when does your pet qualify for this new title in life?
Usually smaller breeds of animals live longer than larger ones, and cats usually live longer than dogs.  The life span of your beloved companion animal will vary with each individual, so your veterinarian will be the best source of advice.  He/she will be able to determine what stage of life your furry friend is currently in and can help you and your pet transition into each one according to size, breed and age. 

Keep in mind that some breeds of dogs are considered “Senior” between ages 10-13, but giant breeds can reach that as early as 5.  Recognizing the “golden years” as a pet owner is very important.  We need to be cognisant of our friends starting to slow down a bit, and watch for the signs of arthritis and other age-related disorders.  Scheduling regular vet exams is one of the most important things we can do to keep our pets in top condition.  Especially as our pets age, these exams become even more important than ever.  The AAHA recommends that healthy senior dogs and cats  have a check up every 6 months – which is equivalent to every 5-7 human years.  Client education and complete laboratory testing to make sure all of your pet’s body systems are functioning properly are the key to Senior health exams.

Pet Memorial Stones are a way you can pay tribute to your loved one.  You can have them laser etched with a photo, dates and personal tribute and they last for generations.

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9:23 19 August 2010

Grieving over a Pet?

Unless you have been a pet owner and have had a deep relationship with a 4-legged furchild, you may not understand the depth of grieving that can take place when this companion animal passes on.  Unfortunately, this is very common and many of our friends and family members will not understand what we are going through when we grieve for a pet.  Many who don’t understand us fully have never had this bond and do not appreciate the companionship and unconditional love a pet can provide us.

In order to grieve this pet fully, you need to learn to stand up for yourself.  That doesn’t mean arguing with others about whether or not your grief is appropriate (they’ll never understand anyway) but rather accept the fact that you may find your best emotional support for your grief from others outside your usual circle of family and friends.  You may want to seek out others who have also lost companion animals, join a Pet Loss support group, or find others who will appreciate the magnitude of your loss and can help suggest ways to help you get through the grieving process. 

Creating a Pet Memorial can help put your feelings into words and aid in the healing of a loss of a beloved pet.

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9:29 17 August 2010

Ending the Suffering

Some time in your life, you may be asked to help your pet make a transition from life to death with the help of your veterinarian.  The choice of euthanasia for your loved one will usually be made after a diagnosis of a terminal illness, a critical injury,  or an age related cause.  It usually is based on the determination that your pet is suffering and it is time to let him/her go.  Euthanasia will probably be one of the most difficult decisions you will ever make, but may also very necessary and should be made in your  pet’s best interest.  Whatever the case, your decision to put your loved one out of his/her misery should be an informed one and should be out of the love for your animal.  Sometimes we feel selfish and do not want to let our pet die, because we don’t want to be left alone.  Here  are some guidelines to consider to help you make the best decision: 1. Your pet’s activity level.  Does your pet still enjoy previously loved activities and is he/she still able to be active at all?  2. Response to care and affection.  Does you pet still respond and interact with you in the usual ways?  3. Amount of pain and suffering.  Does your pet’s pain and suffing outweigh the pleasure and enjoyment of life?  4. Terminal illness or critical injury.  Has illness or injury prohibited your pet from enjoying life?  Is your loved one facing certain death?

Euthanasia is a very personal decision and should be made with the support of your family and veterinarian.  You should consider the quality of life that is available for your pet.  Make sure you create a process that is as peaceful as possible for you and your loved one.  When considering how you will intern your loved one, you will find many
Pet Caskets on the market.  Choose one that is the appropriate size by measuring your pet from the head(near the eyes) to the top of the tail, and the width of your pet while lying down with his/her legs curled up.

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6:32 13 August 2010

Pain Management After Surgery

Pain management becomes particularly important after your pet has surgery.  When recovering from invasive proceedures, animals may be not only in pain but also weak and disoriented.  The very best thing you can do for your furry friend after he/she has come home, is follow your vet’s instructions very carefully.  If your vet prescribes a pain killer, administer it as directed.  If you have any questions or if a problem should arise, contact your vet immediately. 

Before you pick up your pet, make sure you have a clean, warm, comfortable bed to help him/her rest.  Then keep your pet quiet and relaxed so he/she has time to heal without getting stressed or causing further injury.  Also make sure you keep your furbaby from picking at the stitches.  Many vets will recommend a special collar or lamp shade looking device that will help reduce the temptation.  Always be attentive, loving and affectionate while your pet recovers.  This comfort and attention may be the best medicine you can give and just what the doctor ordered.

When looking for a Pet Memorial Headstone, select one that  makes a personal tribute to your lost loved one and will bring years of lasting memories.