Category Archives: General Posts

Cerebellar Hypoplasia

Please watch the short video below.http://www.stumbleupon.com/demo/#url=http://gprime.net/video.php/charleyI only recently found out about Cerebellar Hypoplasia.  I had no idea this existed.  It can occur in both dogs and cats and humans from the little bit of research I have come across.I am listing a couple of the articles I ran across via Google.  You can of course research this further yourself by searches on the Internet.  I thought I would briefly share a bit of info on this subject for those of you who, like me, have never heard of this before.“Encyclopedia of Feline Veterinary Medical InformationCerebellar HypoplasiaThe cerebellum is the portion of the brain responsible for the control of motion. When a puppy or kitten is born with an underdeveloped cerebellum, the condition is known as congenital cerebellar hypoplasia. There are infectious causes of this condition in both cats (panleukopenia infection prior to birth) and dogs (herpes virus infection prior to birth). Improper development of the cerebellum may occur due to injury, poisoning or just from an accident in development in the uterus. It is generally possible to see signs of this condition almost as soon as the puppy or kitten is born. Affected animals have tremors and unusual jerky movements or may fall down when they try to move. The symptoms do not get worse as they age. As the kitten or puppy grows it will learn to compensate for its condition but there are usually lifelong signs of a decreased ability to coordinate movement. Almost all dogs and cats with congenital cerebellar hypoplasia can live happily as pets with a little special care to compensate for their disabilities. This condition can be confused with cerebellar abiotrophy, a different disorder in dogs in which the puppy has a normal cerebellum at birth but it gradually dies. Signs of disease identical to cerebellar hypoplasia occur but the timing is different. Puppies with this condition seem normal at birth but usually start to show signs of problems after they are 2 months or more of age. “http://www.vetinfo.com/cencyclopedia/cecerhypo.html“My Cerebellar Hypoplasia Cat, Andyby Cindy PowellOne of my cats, Andy, has CEREBELLAR HYPOPLASIA (CH). CH occurs when a feral, stray or unvaccinated mother has distemper while her kittens are still in her uterus. Damage to the kittens’ cerebellum, the part of the brain that is used for coordination and balance, is permanent. Though there is no treatment, CH cats have a normal life expectancy, and can lead happy lives.Like other CH cats, Andy is wobbly and uncoordinated. Andy moves forward in a zig-zag run. Andy’s head sometimes tremors when he is attempting to focus on something, and his body often goes in the opposite direction than where he intends to move. I admire Andy’s spirit and cheerful personality. Andy adapts very well, even though he is clumsy. Andy will try to get up onto furniture, falls, tries again, falls again, never becoming frustrated. After two failed attempts, I lift Andy to where he desires going. However, Andy always makes it in and out of the litter box. I think that the sides of the litter box offer Andy sitting support.Andy often leans against walls, as it is difficult for him to maintain a sitting position without support for very long. Andy becomes limp, falling to one side, as he fatigues easily. Andy lies on his side most of the time.Andy has a voracious appetite, and is a messy eater. Much of Andy’s food ends up on the floor. That’s what brooms and vacuum cleaners are for! Though Andy objects, I keep Andy’s claws trimmed, so that he doesn’t snag his claws on the carpet. Andy already has enough difficulty getting around as it is!Andy is an extremely affectionate cat. Andy loves and trusts people and other animals, even though he was attacked by other cats in the past. While petting Andy, I have found many small scabs, obviously healed puncture wounds from being clawed. That is probably why Andy fears going outdoors.Andy enjoys sitting in my lap, loves being petted, and purrs louder than any cat I have ever encountered. Andy also loves cat toys, and will play with them for a long time while lying on his side.Poor Andy had a rough start. At eight months old, Andy was a stray, all alone in this big world. A family who found Andy in their yard felt sorry for Andy, and phoned the animal welfare officers to pick Andy up, to bring him to our local animal shelter the very first day that I began working there. At the shelter, whenever I would walk by Andy‘s cage, Andy would wobble up to the front of his cage, loudly purring, and sticking one of his limp paws out. Having worked with people with disabilities for over twenty years, I was extremely touched. A woman and her young child visited Andy, and though they loved his very sweet disposition, did not adopt him. The following day (Christmas Eve), I brought my “Christmas present”, who my daughter named Andy, home. After adopting Andy, I learned that Andy also had Toxoplasmosis, which was treated with a high dose of medication over 28 days, and cryptorchid, a condition where his testicles did not descend into his scrotum. Therefore, Andy required a complicated neuter: internal surgery, rather than the quick and simple external surgery that most male cats require. Andy is a happy kitty, and I am blessed indeed to have Andy in my life. “http://vetmedicine.about.com/library/viewers/uc-cerebellar-cat.htm

Double Cheesburger Anyone?

As I was perusing the web the other day, I came across a post on dogster explaining the cost breakdown of buying a premium bag of food. I found it interesting and asked the author if I could post it here for our viewers.

The author is Sebastian-Tyler Carr

“I bought 2 bags because you save on shipping with 2 .

Orijen Adult 29.7lb. bag at $48.99 US.
coupon code ( OR8PCT ) saves 8%

$48.99 a bag x 2 = $97.98

$97.98 – (orijen coupon) $7.84 = $90.14

Shipping $ 19.11 + $90.14 = $109.25

So thats the total $ 109.25 now the break down

$109.25 / 59.4lbs. = $1.84 dollars per pound

I know my dogs eat 9.9oz. per day of grainless dog food so take $1.84 divide that by 16 because there are 16 oz. in a pound then times that by 9.9 and you get the cost of feeding 1 dog per day.

$1.84 / 16 = $.115 cents per ounce

then

$.115 x 9.9 = $ 1.1385 so it costs me $1.14 a day per dog to eat good food.

the way I look at it is here in Indiana a double cheese burger from Mc Donalds with tax costs $1.09 so I figure I can go with out three burgers a day for my kids to get good nutrition.

which in conclusion to by a bag of Bluebuffalo ( Wilderness ) at petsmart at $44.99 for a 26lb. bag + tax was costing me 1.14 per dog per day and personaly I think Orijen is a much better food.

break your own dog food down and see how much you are spending per dog per day feel free to post.”

You can find the original post and subsequent comments on Dogster.com

Dental Care: Healthy Teeth for Healthy Pets

This article is from the Humane Society.  Their website is below. 

By Nick Lansing

istock.com
Brushing your pet’s teeth is a very
important part of pet care.

Most people know they must care for their pearly whites. Plaque and tartar buildup can cause bacteria to migrate into our bloodstreams, resulting in serious health problems.

The same holds true for cats and dogs. Along with love, good food and exercise, a daily brushing of their teeth is one of the most important things we can give our animal companions.

“You can imagine if we didn’t brush for five years how bad things would get,” said John Lewis, president-elect of the American Veterinary Dental Society and assistant professor of veterinary dentistry and oral surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. “More and more evidence points to the mouth as a source of inflammation and infection that can cause adverse effects elsewhere in the body.”

Tenacious Tartar

In one study, Penn researchers found lower levels of inflammatory substances in the bloodstreams of dogs after their teeth had been cleaned. Plaque—a mix of food particles, saliva and bacteria—is easily brushed off, until it calcifies and becomes tartar, which brushing cannot remove.

“It takes about 24 hours for tartar to form, so brushing your cat’s or dog’s teeth every day can do a lot to prevent periodontal disease from beginning or advancing,” Lewis said. Another upside to brushing your pet’s teeth? No more bad breath.

Start Brushing Early

Young animals generally accept the routine more easily than their older counterparts, so start brushing when your puppy or kitten still has baby teeth. Make it fun by talking in a happy voice, and give your pet a treat at the end. With older pets, you’ll likely need more patience, but keep trying.

For pets who resist strongly, consider special foods and diets aimed at promoting dental health. The Veterinary Oral Health Council awards its seal of acceptance to such foods and treats based on studies that prove a product’s effectiveness.

How to Brush

Lewis says toothpaste isn’t necessary.

“The mechanical effect of the bristles is far more important than what you put on the brush,” he said.

Start by moistening the bristles with warm water. Don’t pull open your pet’s mouth. Simply lift the animal’s lips and insert the brush, paying special attention to the back teeth. Brush in a circular motion that allows the bristles to gently get at the gum line.

Finish up with a treat and lots of praise. If you do use toothpaste, use only products designed for dogs and cats. And as part of your pet’s regular physical exam, your veterinarian can let you know if a professional cleaning to remove tartar and restore teeth to pearly health is necessary.

Reprinted by permission of The Humane Society of the United States

Top Ten Winter Safety Tips for Pets

Here are the top 10 winter safety tips from ASPCA for your pets. 

1. Keep your cat inside. Outdoors, felines can freeze, become lost or be stolen, injured or killed. Cats who are allowed to stray are exposed to infectious diseases, including rabies, from other cats, dogs and wildlife.

2.  During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt. If there are outdoor cats in your area, bang loudly on the car hood before starting the engine to give the cat a chance to escape.

3. Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm—dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure yours always wears ID tags.

4. Thoroughly wipe off your dog’s legs and stomach when he comes in out of the sleet, snow or ice. He can ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking his paws, and his paw pads may also bleed from snow or encrusted ice.

5. Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. When you bathe your dog in the colder months, be sure to completely dry him before taking him out for a walk. Own a short-haired breed? Consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear.

6. Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.

7. Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs, and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter. If your puppy appears to be sensitive to the weather, you may opt to paper-train him inside. If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outdoors only to relieve himself.

8.  Does your dog spend a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities? Increase his supply of food, particularly protein, to keep him—and his fur—in tip-top shape.

9. Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol. Visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center more information.

10. Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.

Here is a link to their website:  http://www.aspca.org/site/PageServer?pagename=pets_coldweathertips   

Take care all!

Reduced Shipping Costs

Our economy is slowing, prices are rising, and jobs are being lost. This is what we hear continuously in the news. The dreaded “R” word keeps popping up. Recession! Whether we are currently in a recession or heading towards one, the bottom line is we still must feed our pets. Unfortunately, the premium foods we all want and need to feed our furry friends are more costly than those cheaper store brands. Just because the economy is slowing down is no reason for us to stop feeding them the best, the only thing they deserve.

As product prices rise, we here at Hearty Pet truly worry about our customers and want to assure them that we do everything we can to keep costs down. With that in mind, we are happy to announce that we are lowering our shipping costs. Yes, Fedex and UPS have had recent increases as some of you may have noticed when checking out. However, we have negotiated price breaks with Fedex and are happy to pass these on to you, the customer.

The best way to save on shipping is to order more. Try our shipping estimator to see what I am talking about. If you place one 31# bag in the cart and estimate your shipping and then change the quantity to 2, you should see a dramatic savings. For example, a 31# bag going to 22205 will be $10.31 in shipping. Now changing the quantity to 2 and estimating again will show total shipping of $14.01. You can see the savings. The reason is our negotiated price breaks increase as the weight of the package increases.

We hope you see that we truly try to keep our prices fair, while still maintaining exceptional service. As always, with any shopping, its always best to shop and compare. Everything being equal, we feel we have the best online experience of all online pet food suppliers. Don’t fall for the gimmicks or the false promises.

No matter what other sites advertise, remember nothing is free. The bottom line is there are costs associated with every aspect of online sales, how we as a retailer pass these costs on to the consumer is where the differentiation is made. We believe in fair, honest product pricing and up front fair shipping costs. We do not hide our shipping cost or any other part of the transaction. Product price + shipping cost is the bottom line. We hope that our efforts to ease the burden of economic slowness will allow us all to maintain quality feeding habits for our pets.

I would like to extend a sincere thanks to our Fedex rep for getting the deal done and saving our customers some serious cash.

Shop, compare save!

What are you doing or have you done for your pet this holiday season?

 

By “holiday season”, I am talking about from November through January.  I have already gotten my cats a new “cat nest” as I call it.  I bought it in November, actually.  I had to give it to them early as their other one was in BAD shape.  It is cat furniture they can scratch on with a place to lay on top.  They love it.  It is quite stable, too.  A lot of cat furniture is “topsy turvy.”    Plus, I have been getting them some new little toys of some sort.  They will also get special treats around the special days. 

So, what are you doing for your pets or have you done so far? 

I  hope everyone and their pets have happy and safe holidays!

Take care,
Gizzaroo

PET POISON TIP: NO CATS AND DOGS UNDER THE MISTLETOE, PLEASE!

PET POISON TIP: NO CATS & DOGS UNDER THE MISTLETOE, PLEASE!Holiday mistletoe  While it may be nice to run into your sweetie under the mistletoe, this traditional holiday plant can be potentially toxic to our animal companions.

Found throughout the United States, American mistletoe is actually a parasitic plant that lives off a variety of different tree species. If ingested in large enough quantities, mistletoe can potentially produce gastrointestinal irritation, excessive thirst and urination, a drop in blood pressure and heart rate, seizures, coma and even death in pets. According to our experts at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), however, most animal ingestions involve small quantities—not more than the amount found in a sprig or two—and typically result in mild stomach upset that resolves with little or no treatment.

Remember, if you suspect that your pet has ingested a potentially toxic substance, contact your local veterinarian or APCC at (888) 426-4435. For more pet poison prevention tips, visit ASPCA.org.

A Thanksgiving Message

                               

                                                       Be Thankful 

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.  If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

 Be thankful when you don’t know something, for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times. During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations, because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge, because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes.  They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,because it means you’ve made a difference.

It’s easy to be thankful for the good things. A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.

Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive. Find a way to be thankful for your troubles, and they can become your blessings. 

Author unknown

What have you given up for your pets?

One thing I have given up is vacation.  I still take vacation days but I do day trips, etc.  I won’t leave my cats at the vet office if at all possible.  I don’t trust “kennel” places and I don’t want strangers (certified pet sitters) in my house.  I have a friend who could handle it a few days but she lives out of town, so she would have to “house sit” as well.  It would be an inconvenience for her at this time, though.

One year someone gave me some “diffusers”  for Christmas.  At that time I had a bird so having these around in corners where it did not fly was an acceptable risk since I always watched him when he was out of the cage.  I love those things.  They smell so good and for so long!  But I cannot have those in my house now with the cats.  I thought about maybe in the bathrooms because I keep those doors shut but I am still afraid to do that…because….what if? 

I gave up some of my freedom with the cats.  Little things like being able to leave your jewelry on the dresser, etc. :-) I have to be careful what I leave out and where.  I have to think, “If I leave this out and they get hold of it, what will the damage be?” :-) I no longer have a bed to myself.  I have to arrange it so at least one or two cats can sleep with me.  I miss having the whole bed. :-)

I used to be a “no fuzz” person.  I USED TO BE.  Now, if I have at least 80% of the cat hair off of me before I go to work, I am happy.  :-)   I get the rest off when I get there.  I have those lint roller things upstairs and downstairs at home and one at work.  :-)

And, then there is the litter box.  Most of the time you don’t notice I have one.  But, sometimes, the aroma is quite potent pending on who did what and did not cover it up.  Having to constantly stay on top of the litter box situation is NOT one of my favorite “pass the time of day” things. :-)

Another thing that has changed is having to keep “throws” on some furniture.  If guests come over, I have to roll back a throw so they can sit down.  :-)  My guests don’t mind.  They understand. :-)

And of course per the “Pet Safety During the Holidays” post, there are other things to keep in mind.  You always have to think about things, little things that you never thought of before.  Just like you do with little children. :-)  One exception, the cats are always like little children.  I say cats, that goes for dogs, too.

I used to always have a “real/live” Christmas tree.  Now, I have an artificial one.  I actually like it better in many ways.  Mine is “pre-lit”.  Is that not a wonderful thing?  A pre-lit Christmas tree!  :-)  I love it! 

By the way, this post was not meant to be negative.  It just shows how much we love our animal companions.  :-)  It shows how our lives can change and why some people choose not to have animals in their home. 

Please share what you have had to give up if you would.  I know you have had to give up some habits or things due to being a good pet guardian.  :-) 

Take care!

Gizzaroo

How old is my cat or dog in human years?

I thought this would be a nice companion post to Pattys Our Beloved Seniors .  We do forget and/or dont realize how old our furry friends really are.

Age of Cat or Dog Age in Human Years
3 months 5 years
6 months 10 years
1 year 15 years
2 years 24 years
4 years 32 years
6 years 40 years
8 years 48 years
10 years 56 years
14 years 72 years
18 years 88-91 years
20 years 91-96 years
21 years 96-106 years

Data provided from U.C. Davis. This table is based upon factors in animals related to their maturity including tooth and bone growth and sexual maturity. Larger breeds of dogs have a shorter life span yet may mature more slowly in their first few years than a small dog.