October 2010 Pet Health News                                                                                            Can't Read This? Go Here
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In this issue we will address some key topics that will help you understand your pets' health issues.

Please feel free to forward this pet health news to your friends and colleagues who have pets and might benefit from or be interested in some of the advice provided. You can also submit any feedback you may have to info@crittercures.com
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How to Deal with Hairballs in Cats


Ever noticed a hairball on the ground or your cat just coughing away? A sign of trouble, be forewarned. Cats groom themselves and in the process end up swallowing hair. Usually this hair makes its way out of your pet’s body with other indigestible material. However, it can accumulate in the stomach and thus cause irritation. This irritation will lead to your cat expelling a hair ball.

The occasional hair ball, once or twice a month, is nothing to worry about. However, if it becomes frequent and happens more than the odd time, you should contact your pet’s veterinarian as soon as possible.The problem may be something more than just hairballs.

If your cat is suffering from trichobezoar, a fancy name for hairballs, brushing your cat on a daily basis is recommended. This will eliminate majority of the loose hair that would otherwise end up inside of your cat. Most cats actually enjoy being brushed and it also gives a chance for a pet owner and pet to bond and spend more time with each other.

Furthermore, when treating hairballs, a change in diet is absolutely necessary.Feeding an increased amount of fiber would definitely be beneficial. Examples include foods such as: catnip, wheat, oats and green beans. However, do not overdo it with too much fiber as the diet of your pet still needs to be kept balanced.

In addition, there are many remedies available that will help rid your cat of hairballs. Some cat foods even include both a lubricant and fiber. These can be tasty and most cats tend to enjoy them. On the other hand, petroleum jelly, more commonly known as Vaseline, is a product that is in most homes and can also help your cat eliminate hairballs. It is completely safe for your cat to ingest and will act as a lubricant.

Even after your cat has been treated for its initial hairball problem, it is best to keep up with preventative measures as hairballs can easily occur again. This problem is easier to prevent than having to treat it and go through a whole lot of trouble. It is recommended that pet owners brush their cats frequently and thus prevent hair balls from occurring.

To learn more about How to Deal with Hairballs in Cats, visit the CritterCures blog: http://www.crittercures.com/blog/2010/04/why-does-my-cat-have-hairballs-2.html

Oral Disease in Dogs

Oral Disease Your dog uses its mouth for much more than eating – you've witnessed their methods of cleaning, the way that they play and how they demonstrate their affection. Through a dog's regular course of daily activities, their mouth is exposed to numerous sources of bacteria from their food and subjected to cuts from the objects that they carry in their mouths, which may lead to oral health issues along the road. There are several different conditions that can affect your dog's oral health, most of which are completely preventable.

Common Canine Oral Health Conditions:

Gingivitis: This oral condition occurs when food becomes trapped between a dog's teeth and gums, allowing for bacteria to grow and form plaque along the gum line. If your dog has gingivitis, you may notice inflammation along the gum line, infection in their gums or bad breath.

Periodontal Disease: If the plaque that is characteristic of Gingivitis is not removed, a hard layer of tartar will form on the dog's teeth and underneath the gums, which allows bacteria to grow in between the gums and teeth, and ultimately cause severe oral health damage. The damage caused by Periodontal Disease is often irreversible and may lead to severe infections, loose teeth, abscesses and bone loss.

Stomatitis: This condition can affect the tongue, gums, or inside of your dog's mouth. Stomatitis usually presents itself as an infection or inflammation that has been caused by a foreign object stuck in the mouth or a cut or burn in the mouth. Dogs that have Stomatitis commonly display pain while eating, as well as bleeding or inflammation in the mouth.

Lip Fold Polyderma: This condition is specific to certain breeds with folds or wrinkles in their faces, such as bull dogs, pugs and cocker spaniels. Because these dogs are not able to properly clean the food and dirt residue from the wrinkles around their lips and mouth, an infection causing painful sores on the lips called Lip Fold Polyderma tends to develop.

Warts: Puppies under two years of age will typically develop warts in their mouths called oral papillomas. These warts often last from six to twelve weeks and do not require veterinary attention, unless they interfere with eating habits or become infected.

The best way to maintain your dog's oral health is to implement a routine of brushing their teeth at least once a week. Brushing your dog's teeth on a regular basis prevents bacterial growth and the development of plaque that is characteristic of both gingivitis and periodontal disease. During your weekly toothbrush times, you will additionally be able to examine your dog's mouth for any foreign objects, cuts or burns that may lead to stomatitis. By taking proper care of your dog's oral health, you can prevent numerous oral health conditions and additionally help your dog to live a happier and healthier life.

To learn more about Oral Disease in Dogs, visit the CritterCures blog: http://www.crittercures.com/blog/2010/05/how-can-you-tell-if-my-dog-has-gum-disease.html

Should You Buy Pet Insurance?

Dog and Cat

For pet owners, there are a number of expectations regarding pet care; you must have enough time, room and money to be able to support a living creature, and provide an environment where they will experience care, love and companionship. Upon adopting your pet, as a responsible pet owner, you commit to providing your pet with the best medical care that you can – including health care. For pets, health care can be nearly as expensive as it is for us, with costs of visits to the veterinarian and medications when needed, veterinary bills can easily exceed one thousand dollars.

For people, there are insurance options to help pay for times when money is tight and health issues are abundant. Not surprisingly, there are several insurance options for pets too. There are many different types of pet insurance plans that can cover a specific amount of medical cost per-incident, cover a maximum amount for medical expenses over the whole policy period. Purchasing a pet insurance policy is an excellent way to ensure the best care for your pet, however; it's important to know exactly what your policy entails and how it will help your pet (and your pocket) before you sign up for anything.

If you are interested in purchasing an insurance policy for your pet, there are a few important tasks you need to do in order to make an informed decision:

  1. Read the Policy – This may seem a little obvious, but reading the full insurance policy will ensure that you know what you're getting, and help you to properly decide what insurance plan is right for your pet. If your pet already has a medical condition that requires medication, make sure that the expenses of that condition will be covered under your policy. Pay attention to whether your insurance policy places a limit per injury, because treatment for a broken limb generally adds to more than two thousand dollars.
  2. Don't Be Afraid to Ask Questions – Asking questions is the easiest way to find out what you need to know. Take advantage of the fact that your insurance provider can detail all the different components of your pet insurance for you, and make sure that the plan you choose will cover any outstanding medical coverage that you might need in the future. Your veterinarian is another excellent resource, as their profession allows them to see the implements of many different medical plans.
  3. Read Reviews – Whether they are good or bad, insurance reviews will help you to figure out exactly what you are looking for.

Your pet is an important part of your life and your family, and it's entirely possible that they will live a full and healthy life without any medical conditions. However, as a responsible pet owner, it's important to be prepared to provide care for your pet in the best way possible – and in some cases, the best way to do that may be to purchase pet insurance in order to cover your pet's medical needs.

To learn more about Pet Insurance, visit the CritterCures blog: http://www.crittercures.com/blog/2010/04/should-i-get-pet-health-insurance.html

Top 5 Tips for Car Travel with Your Pet

Dog With Head Out of CarTravelling, whether it be somewhere far away or close to home, is a very enjoyable experience and especially if done with the family. A very important member of the family, your pet, is often hard to leave behind. Although, that is what ends up happening in most cases. However, you can learn to travel comfortably with your pet and thus include everyone. Here are some tips to travel hassle free with your pet:

  1. Make sure your pet is not in discomfort when traveling. Take your pet on a few short drives to determine whether your pet will be okay when traveling a longer distance.
  2. Get a crate or carrier for your pet that is appropriate to his/ her size. Your pet should be able to stand, turn, and sit without any discomfort. It is also important to secure the crate or carrier before driving. This will prevent your pet from a possible injury.
  3. Identification is extremely important when traveling with your pet. Make sure your pet is wearing his/her collar and has a microchip. If your cell phone number is not on the collar than you should also create another tag for use when traveling.
  4. Try to stop approximately every two hours so that your pet can get some exercise. Keep in mind your pet probably does not enjoy being cooped up in a crate all day!
  5. Feed your pet to the same schedule that took place at home. This will make your pet feel more comfortable. Never allow your pet to eat while the vehicle is moving.

Taking a pet on a trip involves a lot of responsibility as it is up to you, the pet owner, to keep your pet safe and secure. As a general guideline, never allow your pet to travel with his/her head out of the window. This could cause your pet injury. Also, do not leave your pet in a parked vehicle even if the windows are open and you are only gone for a short period of time. A vehicle becomes hot very quickly and your pet could suffer from heat stroke. Try to keep your pet as cool as possible.

If you use these tips you will surely have a successful trip. Try to make it easier on your pet and yourself. Plan well ahead time and make sure your destination is pet friendly. After that all you need to do is relax and enjoy the ride. There’s nothing like going on a trip with your whole family!

To learn more about Traveling with Your Pet, visit the CritterCures blog: http://www.crittercures.com/blog/2010/08/tips-for-traveling-with-your-dog.html