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Cats and Christmas Trees – Can They Co-Exist?

Here is a timely article from PetMd.com about a problem that is common with many pet owners, cats and Christmas trees. We want your kitty to have a safe and happy holiday and one way is to keep cats and Christmas trees apart.

If you have a cat, you don’t need us to tell you how challenging it can be to keep your cat out of restricted areas of the house. Cats are slinky little creatures. So, even though you have set up a nice little perimeter around the Christmas tree to keep small creatures out, cats have a way of squeezing their bodies through anyway — or leaping over the obstacles. What can be done, short of hanging the tree from the ceiling?

We have compiled a list of suggestions based on the experiences of other cat owners for preventing injury to cat and tree, so that you don’t have to give up on the idea of having a twinkling piece of nature in your living room this holiday season.

Feline Repellants
There has been some anecdotal evidence that citrus oils are repellant to cats and that orange peels or cotton balls soaked in citronella and placed under the tree will keep them away (Ed. Note: It’s best to keep all of these items out of your cat’s reach). Other solutions you can try include a diluted vinegar solution sprayed onto the base of the tree, hot sauce, or camphor — all of which are distasteful to cats.

There are also some commercial products that are made especially for the purpose of repelling cats. Keep in mind, however, that the problem with using sprays and solutions is that the repellent scent will eventually fade and will need to be reapplied regularly, or the cat will become accustomed to the scent and overcome its aversion to the product. You may need to try several types of repellents before you find one that is effective.

Use Obstacles to Keep Cats and Christmas trees apart.
You can surround the tree with a barricade or objects that will prevent the cat from going under the tree and climbing into it, but unfortunately, this will not stop aerial attacks. Try tin foil or double-sided tape, materials cats cannot dig their claws into, around the bottom of the tree. This will work with some cats. You might also try making loud noises when you see your cat getting too close to the tree and this may deter the cat.

Read more at PetMd.com

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Flea and Tick Prevention and Protection

Don’t Lose the Battle Against Fleas and Ticks in Naples
The scourge of fleas and ticks are two of the biggest problems that Collier County pets and pet owners face. So how do you beat these parasites and provide flea and tick prevention and protection for your pets.

Fleas are perhaps the biggest nemesis your dog or cat has. A single flea in one day can bite a dog or a cat 400 times, consume twice it’s weight in your pet’s blood and cause disease and skin problems. Fleas can lay hundreds of eggs at a time and very quickly a few fleas can become a few hundred, causing great stress and irritation to your pet and your household.

Pets who constantly scratch to get rid of fleas can cause permanent hair loss or other skin irritations, some fleas can also cause flea allergy dermatitis…an allergic reaction to proteins and flea saliva. In addition, fleas can give your pet a tapeworm, cause anemia and in rare cases, even death.

Fleas can be controlled much more easily if you take prevention measures before things get out of control. In most cases, newer “spot ons”, liquid drops placed between your pet’s shoulder blades, are effective in preventing and eliminating fleas. These products kill adult fleas, and some also prevent flea eggs from hatching and kill adult larvae. Oral medications are also available. Your veterinarian can advise you on which preventive product or combination of products is best for your pet.

If you are using a preventive product and are continuing to see fleas, then your problem is much more serious. You have an infestation. Managing an established flea problem in your home is not an easy feat and requires thorough treatment of your pet, your home and your yard.

Unfortunately, fleas are not your pet’s only nemesis. Tick bites can give your pet such infections as lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and ticks can give those same infections to you.

About 200 species of ticks live in the United States. Some species are extremely difficult to eliminate once they have been introduced into your home. Although not nearly as numerous as fleas, ticks do tend to gather in clusters. If you see a tick on your pet, use fine point tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull gently. Avoid squeezing the body of the tick, clean the site of the bite, your hands and the tweezers with disinfectant.

Conveniently, many of the products recommended for flea prevention, are also effective against ticks. Work with your veterinarian to devise the most effective, preventive regimen against fleas and ticks in Tulsa for your pet.

One of the most successful ways to keep ticks off of dogs is with a Preventic collar. The collar kills ticks by interfering with the tick’s ability to feed on dogs. It contains the insecticide amitraz, which paralyzes the tick’s mouth parts. Amitraz should not be used on dogs that are sickly, pregnant, nursing or with certain drugs that may interact with the insecticide. The manufacturer Verbac Corporation, Ft. Worth, Texas sells the collar through veterinarians who can insure that a dog is healthy and can use the collar safely.

Read the Labels on Flea and Tick Prevention Products
It is very important that you read the label and follow the instructions when using any flea or tick product. Don’t use products meant for dogs on your cat and vice versa. If used correctly and regularly, preventive products can keep your dog or cat safely protected from these menacing parasites.

Quick, decisive action and a good regimen recommended by your veterinarian is the best defense against fleas and ticks in Naples.

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Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Halloween can be the spookiest nighttime of its first year, but retaining your babies safe doesn’t have to be tricky. The ASPCA recommends take such simple, common sense precautions to keep your baby joyous and healthy all the way to November 1.

Halloween Pet Safety Begins with Stashing the Treats

The candy bowl is for trick-or-treaters , not Scruffy or Fluffy. Various favourite Halloween treats are toxic to babies. Chocolate in all forms–especially nighttime or cooking chocolate–can be very dangerous for the pocket of cats and bird-dogs, and sugar-free sugars containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can cause serious problems in babies. If you suppose your baby has ingested something noxiou, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.

Watch the Decorations and Keep Wires Out of Reach

While a carved jack-o-lantern surely is gala, babies can easily knock over a light-colored pumpkin and start a fire. Curious kittens are especially at risk of get burned or singed by candle ignite. Popular Halloween blooms such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered comparatively nontoxic, but can interpret stomach nervousness in babies who nibble on them.

Be Careful with Costumes

For some babies, wearing a costume is likely to induce unwarranted stress. The ASPCA recommends that you don’t put your hound or cat in a costume unless you are familiar he or she adores it. If you do dress up your baby for Halloween, make sure the costume does not restraint his or her gesture, sight or ability to breathe, bark or meow. Check the costume carefully for small, dangling or readily chewed-off sections that could present a clog peril. Ill-fitting outfits are able to obtain twisted on external objectives or your baby, to move to injury.

Be sure to have your baby try on the costume before the big-hearted nighttime. If he or she seems disturbed or attests abnormal practice, consider letting your baby wear his or her “birthday suit” or don a gala bandana instead.

Keep Pet Calm and Easily Identifiable

Halloween raises a ruckus of activity with guests arriving at the door, and too many strangers can often be creepy and stressful for babies. All but the most social bird-dogs and felines should be kept in a separate chamber away from the front doorway during peak trick-or-treating hours. While opening the door for guests, to confirm that your hound or cat doesn’t dart outside. And always make sure your baby it wearing proper identification–if for any reasonablenes he or she does escape, a collar with ID names and/ or a microchip can be a lifesaver for a lost pet.

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Allergies and Asthma in Your Pets

As we head into spring and start thinking about summer, the conversation turns to allergies and asthma. However, this isn’t just a problem in people as it also wreaks havoc for pets every single year. Most commonly seen in cats and dogs, reactions can come from airborne allergens such as those found in weed pollens, trees, and even the grass. Over time, our pets are affected by fleas, dust mites, mold, and mildew.

As they inhale the allergens, it leads to a reaction within their immune system and often an overreaction to the danger. If your cat or dog keeps coming in contact with the allergen, they become more and more sensitive until the overreactions become more dangerous.

Just as we see with humans, the allergens cause problems such as asthma as it impacts the respiratory system. Often called allergic bronchitis, dogs can struggle to breath and it all stems from the environment surrounding them. This being said, the problem is actually quite rare in dogs and far more common in cats so we now have solutions and extensive knowledge on the topic. Since cats are smaller, on average, than dogs, they are more susceptible to the issue and this leads to the name ‘feline bronchitis’. As the lower airway inflames, cats tend to wheeze and cough to handle the reaction. As you can see, we have used the terms ‘asthma’ and ‘bronchitis’ and this is because they make up the one problem that currently exists.

Symptoms – Once again, the problem in pets is very closely related to that of humans. For example, the main symptoms are respiratory distress as well as coughing. Considering coughing in cats is very rare, the problem can be diagnosed almost immediately. If you are a cat owner, you are likely to see them squat and extend their neck as they cough.

When it comes to allergies, the most common symptom will be a scratching of the skin – sometimes this can be localized, other times it can be all over the body. In extreme cases, the eyes and nose could see some discharge and there may be distress in the digestive system. Ultimately, this could lead to sustained diarrhea and vomiting. As the owner, it can be quite stressful to witness your pet undergo these problems but treatment is available as we will see in a moment.

Cause – Sadly, there are many ways an allergic reaction and asthma can occur from smoke, open flames, household cleaner, air fresheners, perfumes, outdoor stoves or fires to even dust that rises from kitty litter when moved. Furthermore, problems can also occur with hairspray, pollution, weed pollens, mildew, mold, trees, and dust mites.

Treatment – If you witness the symptoms we saw previously, the best solution will always be to visit a vet as soon as possible. Within dogs, an x-ray will normally be taken and, if the problem is spotted, this will be followed by medication. For allergies, pets can be tested by taking samples of the blood or even just simple skin tests. If all goes well, the vet will spot the exact allergen causing the problem. If history tells us anything, it is that the environment is to blame for a huge percentage of cases. Whilst it can be a hard task preventing your pets from becoming affected, your vet will provide you with tips and advice!