Archive for the ‘Pets and Arthritis’ Category

9:17 8 September 2010

Healthy Exercise Tips

Our pet’s are a member of the family, and we want to keep them safe and healthy.  A healthy pet is fit, not fat.  Often we are tempted when we get home from a long day at work to plop down on the TV with our chips and pop and ignore our pet’s begging to go out and play.  Pet exercise involves YOU.  Pet’s generally do not  exercise by themselves, they need you to take them for a walk, direct exercise play and keep them moving.  If your pet is overweight and needs some extra exercise, here are some easy tips:

1. Keep is simple.  Over-exercising an obese animal will do more harm than good.  Excess stess and strain on an already stressed cardiac, respiratory and musculorskeletal system can be dangerous.  Be sure to watch closely for signs of fatigue and adjust your exercise regime as needed.  2. As your pet adjusts to a new exercise routine, the intensity of the exercise can be increased gradually.  Start with 2 easy 5-15 minute walks a day, then slowing increase it to 2-3 30 minute brisk walks per day. 3. Change up your exercise to make it fun and interesting.  Play games like fetch, frisby and catch.  Also don’t forget joint-friendly activities like swimming. 4.  Allow your dog to play with other dogs if appropriate.  They can have fun chasing and running with each other too.  5. Make sure  you always have fresh water available, especially when it is hot to prevent overheating.  6. Increase your household activities and invite your pet to join you.  The more you walk around, so will your pets.  7. Join a pet group like obedience or agility training.  It is a great way to get out and moving and enjoy other people with their pets.  8. Exercise your pet everyday.  If you have a cat who does not walk on a leash, play with ping pong balls, remote controlled toys, feathers on a pole or other commercially available toys.  Playtime with our pets can be fun – so be creative and get out and enjoy some exercise together. 
Dog Headstones are a fitting way to pay tribute to our lost furry family member and a personal way to say “Good-bye”.

12:05 4 September 2010

Why Overweight is Unhealthy

As pet owners sometimes we overfeed our pets  because we substitute the time we want to spend with our animals with food.  Or, we can’t resist those big loving eyes peering at us at the dinner table and we feed them table scraps.

In our busy lifestyles today, our pets are kept kenneled, crated or locked in the house for most of the day.  We feel guilty that we don’t have more time to spend with them, and in return try to shower our furry friends with “love”.  But overfeeding is not a substitute for exercise and can have many unhealthy side effects. 

Obese animals can have a number of weight related illnesses: extra stress on the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and other body organs can cause a myriad of problems now and later in their lives.  Our overweight pets are more likely to suffer from cardiac disease, respiratory problems, digestive disorders and high blood pressure.  Their joints, ligaments, tendons and bones also suffer from excess wear and tear, just like human’s do.  They are more prone to endure arthritis, joint injuries, leg problems and back injuries.  They are also at greater risk during surgery and under anesthesia.  They can also develop skin diseases, diabetes, Cushing’s disease, pancreatitis, and liver disease.  Cats can also develop feline hepatic lipidosis. 

Next time you are tempted to throw your companion animal table scraps or give them an extra helping of “love” when they beg, go outside and play instead.  They will live longer, more comfortable lives if you do.  Cat Caskets are a nice way to properly intern you lost feline.

11:41 3 September 2010

Obesity in Pets

Obesity in our companion animals has reached epic proportions in the United States.  It is now the most common nutritional problem faced by our pets. Close to 50% of all dogs are overweight, and more than 20% of cats need to lose weight.   Older companion animals, especially indoor cats top all groups with studies showing obesity in 60% of these felines.  Overweight pets are unhealthy and they face a variety of weight-related diseases.  Their lives are shorter and are more painful. 

But our pets cannot decide when, what and now much they eat.  We as there care givers must control what they eat, when they exercise, and ultimately their weight.  It is up to us to give them a higher quality of  life so they will live longer, happier and less painful lives.  By feeding them properly – at the right time and in the right amounts, and the right kind of food, we can add years to their lives.

When it comes time to say “good-bye”,  a Cat Urn is the perfect way to memorialize your lost loved one.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

9:36 28 July 2010

Treatment Choices for Pain

There are a large variety of pain medications on the market available for pets.  You and Veterinarian can determine which is best for your furry best friend.  Many drugs now come in many different, easily administers forms such as liquids, skin patches and gels.  It gives us as pet owners more options than just the pill that is almost impossible to get your pet to swallow!

Basically there are two main kinds of pet pain killers – the Anti-inflammatory or the steriods, and the Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDS).  The steroids are  used to decrease inflammation and to decrease pain, but are not generally prescribed to be used for prolonged periods.  They can have adverse side effects.  The NSAIDS or non-steriod forms of pain killers are most often used to treat orthopedic-related pain with fewer side effects.  There are also several other classes of pain medications available so it is important to consult with your Vet about which one is right for your pet.  Together you can determine the right pain medication and treatment plan to give your loved one a more comfortable life.

When searching for the perfect Pet Urn, be sure to find one that fits the personality and size of your beloved pet.  You will need one cubit inch for every pound your pet weighs.