Animal companions are very much a part of our day-to-day. It's our job as humans to ensure that our pets acclimate to family life and that they are equipped to cope with the changes that invariably occur. Over the years, it's been my mission as a writer to empower you to do that by exploring topics like animal behavior, pet health and the power of the human-animal bond.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
How To Remove Polyurethane From...
An acquaintance of mine was working with polyurethane a couple of days ago, dropped it and splashed everywhere, including on their skin. Pretty tough to remove, as you can expect!
Vegetable oil or peanut butter is effective at removing polyurethane residue from your skin - simply rub either into your skin well, and wash off with liquid dish soap and rinse well.
The same procedure can be applied to dogs and cats. Typically the polyurethane contamination occurs when curious pet wander through a freshly urethaned floor (which is usually done perfectly, right?), and their paws are just sticky with the mess. Be sure to rinse well and inspect all areas of the body, as the hydrocarbons in the poly can cause severe respiatory dysfunction and even death.
As with all chemicals, there is a serious risk of poisoning when pets have had contact. Get in touch immediately with the ASPCA's Emergency Veterinary Hotline: (888)426-4435
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Heartworm (HW) infection is caused by a filarial (worm-like) organism, Dirofilaria immiti. The carriers are nearly 70 species of mosquitoes. The mosquitoes hosts the worm in it's larval stage, where it then may transmit it to it's wild or companion animal victim. Ferrets and dogs are highly susceptible; cats are somewhat resistant (but not entirely immune).
Long story short, the larvae incubates in the mammalian host - and present themselves in the pulmonary arteries, typically. The chambers of the heart become impaired, affecting overall function. Symptoms include weight loss, shortness of breath, weakness, respiratory dysfunction (including cough) and death, possibly.
Only your vet can diagnose heartworm. An antigen test, which is the most effective way to diagnose heartworm, is administered in your vet's office via a blood sample. Test results are usually quick. (Tests are done in-office in my experience.)
Treatment options can only be determined by your vet due to the each animals level of infection.
Thankfully, heartworm is preventable! It is important that your pet be tested each year for the disease and be prescribed heartworn preventative per your veterinarians' recommendations.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Bottoms-Up Assistive Device For Canines
Many clients over the years have had dogs who have had mobility issues due to age, post-surgical recovery, illnesses like Degenerative Myleopathy or injuries. It's hard, needless to say, but pups still need to get around, right? It's sad to watch dogs struggle with trying to walk or balance, and it's physically challenging for their caregivers to assist them with traditional assistive methods like a sheet sling.
One very cool assistive device that has always made life easier in these cases is the Bottoms Up dog harness. A neoprene padded leash, it fits around and under the back legs to offer stability and safe mobility around the yard, on walks... even up and down the stairs. Additionally, this device keeps you from stooping over, saving your back!
Available in two sizes, 12-125lbs and 125-185 lbs., the Bottoms Up can be purchased online and even some vets retail them. Easy to put on and remove, this pet sitter loves this product.