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April 2013 Pet Health News

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CritterCures Pet Health News
Get Rid of Fleas in Cats
Eliminate Feline Fleas

Fleas are an incessant little pests that can leave your cats scratching themselves raw, but without cat flea treatment, these critters can cause more serious problems. Flea infestations in cats may lead to other serious health concerns, like anemia, tapeworms, and sometimes event death. For this reason it's important to take fleas seriously. If you're trying to determine whether your cat has fleas, pick up a flea comb. When combing a cat with a flea infestation, you will notice small black dots appearing on the comb. These dots are flea excrement and if you press them with a towel or tissue, they will turn red because of the presence of your cat's blood.

While a flea infestation can be taken care of, it can be very difficult to get rid of all fleas and their eggs. You'll need to clean bedding, flooring, and upholstery if you have previously had a flea outbreak. You will also likely need to rely on some pet drugs to control fleas. Obviously flea collars are helpful, but there are a wide range of pet meds that can be given to cats to prevent flea outbreaks. These treatments are given monthly and include popular pet drugs like Frontline and Advantix.

If you prefer to treat your cat naturally, effective solutions include garlic. Fleas hate garlic, and administering garlic to your cat has shown exciting results in getting rid of fleas. However, you do not want feed your cat garlic directly; too much could cause health issues. Instead, opt for natural solutions like Vetisse Rhizo Garlic Extract. All you have to do is administer 0.5mL daily to your cat. You can also try diatomaceous earth (DE), a natural and non-toxic sedimentary rock that comes in a powder form. DE can be sprinkled directly onto your cat's fur and carpet. The result: fleas die from dehydration. Although non-toxic, avoid getting DE into your cat’s lungs. DE can be vaccumed from your carpet after four days.

Do you have other solutions to getting rid of fleas in cats? We want to hear from you! Post a comment about fleas on our Facebook page, or send us a tweet on Twitter.

Wagging Tails: Deciphering Canine Wag Meanings
Decipher Dog Tail Wag

When you want to communicate a feeling to others, how do you do it? You may talk using specific words, use a certain tone in your voice, make gestures with your hands, and even use body language to get your message across. Well, just as we can communicate to others how we feel, so can dogs. Our canine companions may not be able to talk (of course I mean aside from barking), but they can most certainly use their own unique kind of body language: tail wagging.

Tail wagging is equivalent to excitement in a dog …right? No, that is a common misconception. Dog tail wagging is related to energy, positive and negative. A dog wagging his tail is able to communicate emotions like excitement, happiness, anger, annoyance, agitation, and fear. For this reason it is not right to assume that because a dog is wagging his tail, that he is happy or excited to see you. The dog may very well be threatened, which could very well lead to growling or even a bite.

But how are we able to decipher dog tail wagging? Well, it is believed that the science behind this form of canine communication has to do with a dog's tail position.

Here is a general list of what a dog's tail might communicate:

  • Tail wagging to the right = happiness
  • Tail wagging to the left = frightened
  • Tail wagging low = worried or insecure
  • Tail parallel to the ground = aware, on alert
  • Tail in between hind legs = frightened or submissive
  • Tail up high = calm or confident

An interesting theme to pay attention to with tail positions is that of dominance and submissiveness. If you have two dogs and one is more dominant than the other, keep mental notes of their most common tail positions. You may find that the dominant, or alpha dog, will keep his tail high, while the more submissive dog will tend to keep his tail low. This is not because the alpha dog is happier, or more excited, nor is it because the submissive dog is more frightened or insecure. It is due to the dominant spreading his unique scent (pheromones), in his declared territory. Just as finger prints are unique to humans, pheromone scents are unique to dogs. Due to dogs having pack instincts, a submissive dog does not find the need to override his pack leader's scent.

A dog's wagging tail clearly has a lot of meaning. The next time you want to approach a dog that is not your own, be aware of how the dog is feeling. It will create a better understanding between you and the dog.

 

4 dogs peeking over the edge.
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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.