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Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Doggy MRIs: Pampered pets receive state of the art health care

When a pet gets sick, many owners will pay almost anything to be sure he gets better.

Fluffy and Fido tug at an owner’s heart. So we buy the highest quality pet food or a special formula depending on if he’s young or old or too chubby. Or, for the more holistic-minded, an owner might opt for an organic, vitamin-enriched dog or cat food.

And when a pet gets sick, many owners will pay almost anything to be sure he gets better, including chemotherapy for cancer, a kidney transplant or hip replacement surgery.

Humans have ancient relations with their animal companions. Burial evidence of cats as pets dates back over 8,000 years and for dogs about half that long. These early pets provided their masters with both companionship and survival skills such as hunting assistance, according to experts.

Over the years, as domesticated cats and dogs became increasingly docile, the pet-human relationship evolved. And while an animal’s survival instincts may have been compromised along the way – how many of our pets could actually support themselves in the wild? – there are some perks.

Today, with pets considered more like four-footed people, owners are laying out big bucks for such pet-pampering services as styling salons, doggie day camps, and massage therapy.

And modern pets are also reaping the benefits of human technological advances with more animals receiving medical treatments such as chemotherapy, organ transplants, radiation, CAT scans, MRIs, laser surgery, root canals and even braces.

And in the case of MRIs, “your dog or cat can get an MRI faster than us as humans,” Randy Valpy of Petplan Insurance told the Toronto Star.

According to the report, these increasingly advanced health care options for animals come at no small expense. A dog or cat can receive state of the art imaging, for example, for about $1,000 and radiation therapy for as much as $5,000. And if you want an ultrasound, prepare to pay from $400 to $800.

The Ontario Veterinary College’s Teaching Hospital at Guelph offers radiation therapy for dogs and cats with cancer. Treatment of an animal ranges from $500 to $5,000.

Depending on the severity of the condition, an owner can pay tens of thousands of dollars for a pet’s veterinary care. And as a result, more people are considering pet insurance as a means of protecting their animals – and their wallets.

“We’ve seen invoices that run from $10,000 to $30,000 to treat a variety of conditions,” said Peter Weinstein, medical director for Veterinary Pet Insurance in California. The company sold more than 360,000 pet insurance policies in 2005, vs. 157,000 in 2000.

And about 1,100 U.S. companies offer VPI’s pet insurance as an employee benefit, he added.
Depending on the plan, pet insurance in Canada can cost from $9.95 to $90 a month, with the average cost somewhere around $30. Many insurance companies, including Petplan, Petcare, and PC Financial Pet Insurance, offer potential customers online quotes for a range of coverage plans.

Sophisticated medical treatments and surgical techniques have undoubtedly boasted the life span of pets. “Thirty years ago in the U.S. the average age of a dog was 4 years; the average age of a cat was 3 years,” Bonnie Beaver, past president of the American Veterinary Medical Association told CNN.

Today, the average lifespan of a dog is between eight and 12 years, says Beaver.

Pet owners report ‘unconditional love’ as the main reason for Fido and Fluffy-fretting— to the tune of billions of dollars in North America each year.

Article By: Cynthia Ross Cravit – 50Plus.com

Posted:  Just One More Pet

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August 2, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Natural Pet Remedies For Everyday Problems

Pet FamThink natural health is for the dogs? You’re right! But it’s for cats, too, and just about any furry friend. Keep Fido and Fluffy healthy with these natural pet tips. Plus, are you spoiling your animal? Find out with our quiz…

For many people, pets are family. So it’s no surprise that owners want the best for their four-legged companions, and that may mean sharing their natural lifestyle.

“Millions of pet owners are realizing that a more proactive approach to pet health has a lot to offer,” including preventing disease and optimizing health and wellness, says veterinarian Carol Osborne, founder of the American Pet Institute in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and author of Dr. Carol’s Naturally Healthy Dogs  (Marshall Editions) and Dr. Carol’s Naturally Healthy Cats (Marshall Editions).

Many everyday pet problems – such as skin infections and arthritis – can be eased naturally. LifeScript asked animal experts for some common holistic health solutions:

1. Herbs
Herbal remedies can heal many pet irritations and illnesses.

They help the body to eliminate and detoxify, veterinarian Richard H. Pitcairn, Ph.D., says in his book Dr. Pitcairn’s New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats  (Rodale Books).

Used properly, herbs can help get rid of fleas, relieve itching and more.

  • Fill pet beds with cedar chips – fleas don’t like the smell.Repel fleas from the surroundings by sprinkling chrysanthemum flowers, lemon grass, mint, sage, lavender and basil. 
  • Vacuum floors and wash pet beds frequently.

Itching: Is your dog or cat scratching more than a kid with chicken pox?  Try Osborne’s holistic anti-itching remedy: Mix together five drops of licorice, five drops of dandelion root (a natural diuretic) and five drops of cat’s claw (a natural form of the anti-inflammatory aspirin). Give your pet five drops of the solution by mouth once a day for 14 consecutive days. 

“You give it as needed when it’s flea season or when your pet is itching because of allergies,” Osborne says.

Licorice, a form of cortisone, also reduces the urge to itch, Osborne says. “But because cortisone is a steroid, talk to your vet” before using it.

If your pet doesn’t gobble it up, try disguising the licorice with tastier flavors such as clam juice, baby food or chicken.

Car Sickness: Love to take your dog on car rides, but hate cleaning up vomit on the backseat? Good news for dogs, cats and their owners. Liquid ginger root – a natural motion sickness remedy – works like a charm, Osborne says.

 Don’t happen to have any on hand? No problem. Give Fido a ginger snap cookie to relieve nausea.

 Indigestion: An upset stomach can be uncomfortable for your pet and turn you into a 24-hour cleaning crew.

Osborne suggests holding food and water for eight hours, instead giving your four-legged friend cool or lukewarm peppermint tea to settle its stomach.

 A word of caution: Before using herbal treatments, talk to your vet. “Some herbs and supplements can be toxic if given in large quantities or to a species that cannot tolerate it,” says veterinarian Deirdre Chiaramonte of Animal Medical Center in New York.

For example, some herbs prescribed for arthritis can cause bleeding, which could be disastrous during routine surgery or dental procedure.

“You need to find a veterinarian who is familiar with natural therapies in pets so the outcome will be successful, safe and effective,” Osborne says.

2. Nosodes

Routine vaccinations can save your pet’s life, but some experts believe they also can contribute to cancers, autoimmune illnesses and allergies.

The alternative? Nosodes – or homeopathy oral vaccines – may offer protection against distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis and parvovirus. (A nosode doesn’t exist for rabies.)

Like traditional vaccines, “they stimulate the immune system to protect the body from infection,” Osborne says.

They’re made from a dilution (one part to 90 parts alcohol) of the virus causing the illness. “Nosodes are safe, but their efficacy varies,” she says.

Even if you stick with conventional shots, your furry friend may not need them every year. An antibody titer blood test can determine if your dog’s or cat’s vaccines are still effective.

3. Nutritional Therapy

Foods can cure or prevent illnesses in animals, too. “Feeding your pet a healthy diet from the beginning will prevent many serious health issues down the road,” says Jean Hofve, a retired veterinarian in Denver, Colo.

So what should your pet be eating?

A homemade diet of organic raw meat and whole foods is ideal, Hofve says. She suggests a commercial raw diet (look for pre-made frozen or freeze-dried varieties) or canned food with a little fresh meat added a couple times a week.

Brands such as Instinctive Choice, Newman’s Own (organic), Merrick, Nature’s Variety Prairie, BG (Before Grain), Wellness, Innova, Evo, Blue Buffalo, Wellness and Avoderm are good, Hofve says.

They can be found in specialty stores, some feed stores, pet superstores, many grocery stores and online (www.onlynaturalpet.com).

If your budget doesn’t allow anything more than kibble, add fresh meat (and steamed or puréed vegetables for dogs) to give dry food a nutritional boost, she says.

 Besides a diet that’s “as close to nature as possible,” Hofve recommends four nutritional supplements for all pets:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids for healthy function of the nervous system, immune system, skin and coat
  •  Digestive enzymes to help pets digest food fully and get the most nutrients possible from food
  •  Probiotics (“friendly bacteria”) to keep the gut balanced and deter disease-causing organisms
  •  Antioxidants for a healthy immune system, normal cellular maintenance and anti-inflammatory benefits  

Skin Allergies, Ear Infections and Hot Spots: These skin-related irritations can be combated with omega-3 fatty acids in dogs.

 Healthy skin needs these anti-inflammatory oils, but nearly all dogs and most cats are fed food that’s full of inflammatory omega-6 fatty acid instead, Hofve says. 

“Omega-3s soothe inflammation, benefit the nervous system and provide the building blocks the skin needs to heal.”

 She recommends Nordic Naturals pet products for omega-3 fatty acids. Other rich sources are sardines, anchovies, herring and menhaden.

Gastritis and Vomiting: Dry food eaters are more prone to stomach issues because of additives and preservatives, Hofve says. A raw or homemade whole-food diet of cooked white rice and lightly browned ground lamb or turkey will eliminate the problem.

 Digestive enzymes and probiotics will also help support and balance the gut, she says. And blue-green algae, spirulina and chlorella contain antioxidants, trace elements and enzymes for healing.

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD): “This is almost purely a dry food problem,” Hofve says. “Diet is the primary treatment.”

 She recommends switching to a diet high in protein, high in moisture and low in carbohydrates. Canned, homemade and raw foods fill the bill.

Nutritional therapy aims to reduce inflammation and rebuild the bladder’s natural defenses, Hofve says. 

Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants provide anti-inflammatory action, while glucosamine sulfate gives the cells in the bladder lining the building blocks to maintain the protective mucus coat.

4. Acupuncture

Can’t imagine your dog or cat sitting still long enough for acupuncture?

“Most animals are much better than you would think,” says certified veterinary acupuncturist Nicole Schiff, who practices at Western Veterinary Group in Lomita, Calif., and City of Angeles Veterinary Specialty Center in Culver City, Calif.

Just like in people, acupuncture involves putting needles into specific points on your pet’s body to stimulate nerves, muscles and connective tissue to promote healing and ease pain.

“It changes pain pathways that travel through the body and helps release endorphins, which help to block pain as well,” Schiff says.

The practice – which Schiff says should complement, not replace, Western medicine – can help reduce arthritis pain, lessen inflammation and intestinal problems, ease skin and ear infections, promote healing of wounds and aid post-stroke treatment.

 An average acupuncture session lasts 15 minutes and can cost $75 to $200 for the first visit and $50 to $150 for ongoing treatme

For the safest, best results, says Schiff, visit a veterinarian trained in acupuncture. Your regular vet may refer a certified veterinary acupuncturist or check the International Association Veterinary Acupuncture Association Web site at www.ivas.org

Adverse side effects are rare. The most common problem is that an animal simply doesn’t respond to treatment. Also, it’s not uncommon for a pet to feel tired for a day or two after treatment.

Want to know more? Get your own copies of Dr. Carol’s Naturally Healthy Dogs, Dr. Carol’s Naturally Healthy Cats and Dr. Pitcairn’s New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats

By Shanna Thompson, Special to LifeScript – Published May 08, 2009

Visit the following Web sites for more about natural pet care:

Complementary, Alternative & Holistic Veterinary Medicine
www.altvetmed.org

 Academy for Veterinary Homeopathy

www.theavh.org

 American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association

www.ahvma.org  

Posted:  Just One More Pet – May 08, 2009 3:45AM

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May 8, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, pet products, Political Change, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

President Bush and His Pets


Spotty

     In my book, you can tell a lot about a person by the way they relate to animals and how they treat their pets.  Much good and bad has been said and written about former President George W. Bush but what you can definitely say is that he loves animals and has a good heart.  The Bushes had four pets with them during their years in the White House:  Spot Fetcher (Spotty), Barney, Miss Beazley and India (also known as Willie or Kitty). 

     In February 2004 the Bush family lost their 15-year-old English Springer, Spotty. Spotty was the daughter of Millie Bush, the well-known dog of President Bush’s parents, who was born in the White House during George H.W. Bush’s term on March 17, 1989.  Spot was named for former Texas Ranger baseball player Scotty Fletcher.

     Spot was always eager to please and was never far from the President’s side to the very end, but after suffering a series of strokes the President and his wife, Laura, went along with the veterinarian’s recommendation to put Spotty to sleep.  The evening before she was put down, a White House staffer saw the president sitting on the floor cradling Spotty in his arms and talking to her; a touching moment that tells a lot.

     The friendly brown-and-white spaniel was regularly seen wandering around the West Wing and the South Lawn alongside the other more energetic and younger Bush dog, Barney, a black 3-year-old Scottish terrier.  The two dogs were always brought out to greet the president upon his return to the White House from trips, no matter the hour. They also often traveled with the Bushes to Texas or Camp David. Spot was always the more obedient of the two, loyally climbing onto Air Force One or a helicopter without any prompting while Bush often had to chase Barney down and then hand him off to an aide to be carried aboard.

     Mrs. Bush has often said, – especially with the two Bush daughters off at college – “Talking about and playing with the dogs and the family’s much more withdrawn cat, Willie, makes up a significant portion of our entertainment.  Spotty will be missed.”

     After Spot went to doggie Heaven, the Bush’s acquired Miss Beazley, another Scotty, as a companion for Barney.  Both were featured on the Barney cam and had their own web page while the Bushes were in the White House and have now returned to Texas with the family.  Sadly India the family’s 18-year-old American short-haired cat passed away in January, just days before Bush left the office of the presidency.  India had been named for former Texas Rangers player Ruben Sierra.  Bush daughter Barbara, then 9, named the cat “India” after the former major league player, whose nickname was “El Indio.” President George W. Bush was a former co-owner of the Texas Rangers.

 

Harry Truman said, “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.” Plenty of presidents did, and other pets besides.
  

      Much can be learned about a person by the way they relate to animals and how they treat their pets. But, perhaps even more can be learned about them by the way they love their pets at the end.  The Bush White House pets no doubt helped the President through some of his toughest times and from all evidence the love and concern went both ways.

By:  Marion Algier/Ask Marion for Just One More Pet 

 

 

Barney and Miss Beazley follow President George W. Bush along the West Wing Colonnade Wednesday, July 23, 2008, on the way back to the Oval Office at the White House. White House photo by Joyce Boghosian  
Barney and Miss Beazley follow President George W. Bush along the West Wing Colonnade Wednesday, July 23, 2008, on the way back to the Oval Office at the White House. White House photo by Joyce Boghosian

barbara-bush-india-and-jenna-bush-hager1The Bush Girls With India
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March 9, 2009 Posted by | Just One More Pet, On The Lighter Side, Pet Events, Pet Friendship and Love, pet fun, Pets, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Dear Dogs and Cats…

Dear Dogs and Cats,

The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The
other dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note, placing a paw
print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it
becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing
in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack.
Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn’t help
because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry
about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to
ensure your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when
they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other
stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that
sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other
end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom. If by
some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut (!), it
is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get
your paw under the edge and try to pull the door open. I must exit
through the same door I entered.

Also, I have been using the bathroom for years — canine or feline
attendance is not required.

The proper order is kiss me, then go smell the other dog or cat’s
butt. I cannot stress this enough!

To pacify you, my dear pets, I have posted the following message on
our front door:

To All Non-Pet Owners Who Visit & Like to Complain About Our Pets:

1. They live here. You don’t.

2. If you don’t want their hair on your clothes, stay off the
furniture. That’s why they call it ‘fur’niture.

3. I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.

4. To you, it’s an animal. To me, he/she is an adopted son/daughter
who is short, hairy, walks on all fours and doesn’t speak clearly.

Remember: Dogs and cats are better than kids because they:

1. Eat less

2. Don’t ask for money all the time

3. Are easier to train

4. Normally come when called

5. Never ask to drive the car

6. Don’t hang out with drug-using friends

7. Don’t smoke or drink

8. Don’t have to buy the latest fashions

9. Don’t want to wear your clothes

10. Don’t need a gazillion dollars for college, and…and…and

11. If they get pregnant, you can sell their children.

12.  Are loyal to a fault.  

13.  Always love you, no matter what, the best!

 

January 30, 2009 Posted by | Just One More Pet, pet fun, Pets, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment