November 2010 Pet Health News                                                                                   Can't Read This? Go Here
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Here at Critter Cures®, we promote responsible pet health treatment to help keep your critters well and happy . This issue of our Pet Health News features some helpful hints on pet care and safety.

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Rapid Weight Loss in Cats

If your cat is rapidly losing weight despite having a great appetite and cheery attitude, it could mean a number of things. The first thing you should do is make an appointment with your veterinarian. As annoying as this may be, it may save your cat’s life. Although weight loss is normally something to be desired, rapid or severe weight loss could be an indication that there is a medical issue that should be addressed ASAP.

If weight loss happens very quickly, as in a couple of days, it is probably the result of loss of body fluid. Your cat should be checked by for dehydration. Weight changes that occur over longer periods of time indicate a change in tissue mass and should be thoroughly investigated by a professional.

A cat that has a large appetite yet still loses weight should be checked for a number of diseases. Hyperthyroidism is a disease where your pet will produce larger amounts of thyroid hormone. This leads to your pet having a great metabolism! Sadly, with this disease your pet's metabolism is too great. Your cat can burn up calories very quickly; this causes him or her to be hungry all the time.

Another possible disease is diabetes mellitus. Diabetic cats are lacking in insulin causing blood sugar to be unavailable to them. As the diabetes progresses, your cat will become hungrier and hungrier due to this lack of blood sugar.

Some cats suffer a disease which doesn’t let their intestines don’t properly absorb nutrients from food. This results in pets eating non-stop, but obtaining minimal nutrition from what they eat. This disease is known as malabsorption syndrome and it causes patients to lose weight despite good eating habits. Weight loss can occur from any chronic intestinal disease in the small or large bowels.

Chronic and low-grade infections can also be a cause of significant weight loss. Feline leukemia virus and feline infectious peritonitis are often involved. Another reason for unexplained weight loss is cancer. If you have any doubts in your cat’s health, you should call your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Surfing the highway with Fido

highway dogs We have all seen it. People are easily distracted when driving. Whether it’s adjusting the GPS, texting, answering a call, playing with the radio, or paying more attention to conversation than the road, people tend to be distracted while driving on a regular basis. If there is also a pet in the car, a new possibility of mayhem arises. The practice of letting a pet sit on the driver’s lap or wander around in the car while in motion is quite common. Because pet owners are aware that leaving their dog in the back of the car can be dangerous, they instead drive with their pet on their laps. This option is much more dangerous for both you and your pet.

A survey conducted by AAA foundation of Traffic Safety Fact and the company Kurgo found that one in five pet owners drive with their pet on their lap. Thirty one percent of the participants acknowledged being distracted by their dog while driving, while fifty nine percent admitted to be distracted at least once while they were driving with their dog. These widespread practices are dangerous and have potentially fatal consequences. Looking away from the road for only a second is enough to cause a car crash, severely injuring you and your dog, especially if he was sitting on your lap.

In the case of a crash, a dog in the front seat may be thrown through the windshield. The dog could also be protected by the air bags, or the force of the air bags could injure, or even kill him. Pets should be kept away from the front seat when the car is in motion especially away from the windows where the debris and insects can blow across their face. Windows should be rolled up high enough so the dog could not squeeze through, and the controls should be locked as well so Fido cannot free himself or get stuck between the window and the car. As a result of letting dogs out the window, vets have to deal with dogs with eye injuries and infections more often than you think.

So what are you supposed to do if you are part of the eight percent of pet owners who constantly drive with your pet? A safe alternative for dog owners is to buy doggie travel harnesses. Supplied by most pet stores, the harnesses usually buckle with standard seat belts. Although riding with cats is less common, a safe option for cat owners is to use cat carriers and restrain the carrier to the seat so it cannot bounce while the car is in motion.

Your Dog Could Have Allergies and You Don’t Even Know It

Dog allergies
When we bring a dog home for the first time, we are making a lifetime agreement to take care of our best friend through everything. We are always making sure that they are healthy, happy, and have the easy dog life that every dog should live. We do our best to make sure our dog is at its best, but what if they are sick and we can't even tell? The inconvenient truth is that this happens all the time.

Lots of dogs have signs and symptoms of allergies that are missed completely. Their actions are taken for being normal. Things like consistent scratching, fidgeting, rubbing, and sneezing are signs of allergies which owners often overlook. The fact is that these symptoms are not normal; they can be a sign of allergic reactions. The symptoms can range from mild to very unpleasant for the dog and could end up being very dangerous if the symptoms are left unnoticed and not taken care of immediately.

Dogs are actually in danger of a wide range of environmental irritants. Dogs, like humans, can have a disturbed immune reaction from certain substances. The problem could be coming anywhere from their food, to airborne particles such as mold, dust, pollen and even human hair. If your dog has a problem keeping their food down, has loose stools, or any digestive problems, there is a high chance that the allergens are contained their daily food. Commercial dog food and treats include a mass of grains and meats in them. Because of the great variety of possible allergens, dogs may be suffering from mild allergic reactions to a single ingredient in their everyday food.

Resolving this problem isn’t the easiest thing to do but we have to take care of our beloved pets. When symptoms seem to be appearing, find and remove the source as soon as possible. It is best to monitor them when they eat and take note of their reaction to the food. Switching to another blend of food is the best thing to do to avoid them eating the same ingredients over again. Organic food may also be a better option for your dog.

Your dog needs the best care that he can get. Keeping them healthy and showing them as much love as you can makes all the difference. Monitoring your dog and their habits is a good habit to take on for yourself. Don’t wait for something serious to happen to your dog before you realize that they are in danger.

Keeping Pets Safe for Winter

Keeping pets safe for the winter It’s that wonderful time again where everyone is shopping for Christmas, playing in the snow, and warming up by the fire. We are able to throw on a jacket and drink a cup of hot chocolate to stay warm, but what can we do for our pets? During the winter, pets need a little extra care from us to stay warm and safe.

For dogs that spend most of their time outside, there are extra precautions to take for their living standard. Their doghouse should be higher than ground level but still easy to access, which keeps the dog safe from cold precipitation. At night, the temperature will drop rapidly; therefore it is recommended you do not leave your dog outside. It is good to remember that older dogs with short hair will be colder than younger dogs and long haired canines. For smaller dogs, it is a good idea to have an area on the yard shoveled keeping in mind that his or her body is dragging through the snow as they walk. For winter, it is best to limit your pet’s time outside and keep them warm inside.

When your pet is outside, it is best to keep a watchful eye on them to make sure they stay away from any antifreeze, windshield deicer, salt, and other toxic chemicals. To them, it may be a sweet treat, but in reality it can cause terrible damage to the pet’s digestive system causing digestive tract inflammation or worse.

Make sure your pet always has good drinking water that hasn’t been frozen over (if the water is outside) and brush your pets coat on a regular basis to keep their skin moisturized in the winter. Also check your pets feet and hair for ice when they come inside otherwise it can become a skin irritant.

Also check your pets feet and hair for ice when they come inside otherwise it can be a skin irritant.