March 20, 2013

Dealing With a Loss of a Pet

One of the saddest aspects of pet ownership is coming to terms with the death of a beloved pet. Our pets are part of the family and as such, it’s only natural that we mourn and grieve their loss.

What to expect emotionally

While some (mostly those who don’t own a pet themselves) scoff at the idea of mourning a pet, it’s actually a perfectly normal and natural response. The stages of grief for those who have lost a pet are in fact very similar to those who have lost a family member or loved one.

While the length of the mourning and grieving process is individual to each circumstance, the following emotions and stages are quite common:

Stage one: Denial – Typically, this stage lasts the shortest and occurs when the owner hasn’t yet accepted, or come to terms, with the loss.

Stage two: Anger – In the next stage, many pet owners channel their anger towards a third party for the loss of their pet.

Stage three: Guilt – There will always be the ‘what if’ component of any loss and it’s normal for a pet owner to feel guilt over what they could have done, even if there were no other options.

Stage four: Depression – The final stage of grieving is typically personified by a deep sadness that permeates the pet owner’s life and reduces their motivation.

Coping mechanisms

Thankfully though, there are coping mechanisms that you can put in place to help deal with the death of a pet, the first of which is to allow yourself to grieve. Whatever you are feeling, acknowledge the emotion and let it run its course. The following, lists some coping mechanisms you can try:

• Where possible, speak to friends, family and loved ones about your loss.
• Prepare a tribute to celebrate the life of your pet. This could be a scrapbook, a letter or a poem to your pet.
• Make a difference to the lives of other pets and either volunteer your time at an animal rescue organization or donate money on behalf of your pet.
• Seek the support of professionals, whether that is your own family therapist or an organization like The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement. The American Veterinary Medical Association also has pet loss support hotlines available for your use.
• If the sight of your pet’s belongings upsets you, you can put them away during your mourning period or donate them to charity.
• You can organize a memorial or funeral for your pet. This is one of the more practical aspects to consider. Whether you choose to create a burial in your backyard, or plant a tree in your pet’s honor, the final resting place of your pet is a special and important decision.
Other tips

• If you have other pets, understand that they may experience grief too, even if it’s just in response to your own.
• Do not bring a new pet into your life until you feel completely ready. You must be emotionally up to the demands of a new pet and able to dedicate yourself to their upbringing.
• If you have children in your family, be honest and open about your pet’s death and support your children through their grief.

And finally, be kind to yourself. This is a difficult and emotional event in any pet owners life. Ensure that you take care of yourself and give yourself the time and the space to move on.

We’re social! Do you have a question, comment, or concern? Let us know by leaving a comment below or by clicking the following links to our social media pages: Facebook and Twitter.

June 3, 2010

Malocclusion in Guinea Pigs

Filed under: Guinea Pigs — Dr. Amber Reed @ 5:30 pm

guinea-pig_bWhile guinea pigs make cute, gentle, and loveable pets, this particular species of animal is also prone to a variety of illnesses and diseases.  Making matters worse, many treatments for other animals including some antibiotics and medication are fatal to guinea pigs.  One such malady that commonly affects guinea pigs is malocclusion.  Malocclusion is a condition wherein the teeth of your guinea pig become overgrown causing various symptoms including pain, infection, lack of appetite, weight loss, cysts, and sometimes even death.

Malocclusion in guinea pigs can affect the front or back teeth and in most cases the condition goes unnoticed until other symptoms begin to appear.  The front teeth of a healthy guinea pig look like the teeth of a beaver; they are slightly longer than other teeth and they stick out the front of the mouth.  A guinea pig’s teeth will continue to grow for their lifetime so it is important to have the front teeth trimmed or filed by a veterinarian to prevent malocclusion.

When malocclusion in guinea pigs develops in the back teeth, many owners are unaware.  Unfortunately, when guinea pig malocclusion develops in the back teeth very serious health side effects occur.  Indeed, guinea pig malocclusion of the back teeth can even result in death as the back molars begin to grow into the gums and tongue.  Pain, cysts, jaw dislocation, and other negative symptoms of guinea pig malocclusion invariably lead to nutrition problems like anorexia.  In fact, sudden weight loss is the main sign of malocclusion of the back molars.

Unfortunately, by the time you have noticed a change in your guinea pig’s body composition, it may be too late to treat the condition.  Instead, veterinarians recommend regularly weighing your guinea pig so that you are immediately aware of any decrease in weight.  Other signs of malocclusion in guinea pigs include mouth infections, discharge from the eyes or nose, and upper respiratory illness.  If you notice any of these symptoms, visit your veterinarian immediately to learn how you can help your guinea pig.

Copyright © 2013 CritterCures. All rights reserved.

About us | How To Order | Privacy Notice | Safety
Secure Shopping | 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
FAQ | Shipping & Returns | New products | Blog
Newsletters | Testimonials | Sitemap | Contact us
Disclaimer: CritterCures is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure diseases, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet are taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.