The Importance of Pet’s Toys

Pet’s ToysToys are fun both for our dogs and us. Lucky for us there are endless choices. But did you know how important toys are for your dogs – puppies especially.

Toys play a great role in the emotional and mental development of puppies or kitties. They also act as solutions for inappropriate chewing, boredom, and separation anxiety. In fact most dog trainers recommend that new puppy owners buy lots of toys for the newest member of the family.

Variety is the spice of life. Most pets experts recommend for pets owners to buy different kinds of toys for your pets so that you can discover which ones they really likes. Many pet trainers and behaviorists will recommend that their clients have three sets of toys for their pets.

Primary toys are your dog’s favorite. Leave these out for your dog when you’re not around. This helps reduce separation anxiety because your dog associates you leaving with his getting his favorite toy.

Secondary toys are the toys to have out when you are home. Be sure to pick up the primary toys.

And finally the third set of toys is used to rotate with the first set. Trainers recommend swapping toys every 3 days or so. This helps keep your dog interested in all his toys.

And always choose toys wisely. Try to buy toys that match your dog’s size. And always make sure there are no dangerous small pieces that your dog can chew loose and swallow or worse yet – choke on.

Treatment Options For Pets Seizures

Treatment Options For Pets SeizuresIf you can identify the cause of your pets seizure, you may be able to eliminate future seizures by eliminating the seizure’s source. For instance, if the seizure is due to chemical toxins, make sure your pet remains as free of toxins as possible.

Provide human grade food and treats that do not contain chemical preservatives, fillers, or byproducts. Clean your house and your pet’s environment with chemical-free products. Also, use more natural flea, tick, & heartworm prevention products as some of these products may lower your pet’s seizure threshold and make seizures more difficult to control. Avoid products containing organophosphate insecticides. For safer heartworm prevention, use products containing interceptor and filaribits.

What can you do if your pet’s seizure condition cannot be cured and you realize you and your pet may have to live with the seizures? In the past, the only treatment options available were strong anticonvulsants that could have serious side effects. These still may be your only option.

But, more natural approaches have been found to help some pets, either prior to stronger medications or in addition to them so that you may be able to lower the dose. There are a variety of treatment options that include a natural diet, acupuncture, nutritional supplements, homeopathy, herbs, and conventional medications.

Minimize stress in your pet’s life. Try to avoid sudden changes in his environment, loud noises, and other stressful situations. You can also try herbs that act as sedatives. These include valerian root, kava, skullcap and oatstraw. Note that when using herbs and supplements, you may need to lower the dosage of other anticonvulsants.

Several supplements appear to help in preventing seizures. Try an antioxidant combination of Vitamin C, E, B-6, and selenium. Your vet can recommend the dosage for your pet. Magnesium and DMG (dimethyl glycine) are other helpful supplements.

Acupuncture is another helpful option which has helped to control seizures in many pets. Sometimes just placing an ear acupuncture tack in a dog’s ear will stop seizures, and this only requires one acupuncture visit.

If the ear tack doesn’t work, gold implants can be placed in different locations under a pet’s head. Or your pet can be treated with traditional Chinese acupuncture.

As you can see, there are many natural approaches to treating seizures in pets. These should help your beloved pet to live a normal and comfortable life.

Handling the Pets Seizures

Seizures in PetsWitnessing your precious dog or cat having a seizure can be a most frightening experience. During seizures pets often lose control, fall over, chomp their teeth, salivate or drool, whine, paddle with their feet, and begin to urinate or defecate on themselves. Their eyes become large (dilated) and unresponsive. A pet caregiver feels panicked and helpless while watching it all happen.

Hopefully, you and your pet have never, and will never, have to experience this shocking event. But, if you have, or if you experience it in the future, this article will help you to understand what causes seizures, what you can do while your pet is having a seizure. And on the next post we will discuss some treatment options that are available.

What causes seizures? Epilepsy is one cause. Certain dog breeds are more susceptible to epilepsy. These include: cocker spaniels; poodles; collies; German shepherds; Irish setters; golden retrievers; dachshunds, Labrador retrievers, Saint Bernard, miniature schnauzers, Siberian huskies, and wire-haired terriers. Veterinarians are not sure what causes this “hereditary” epilepsy.

In cats hereditary epilepsy is unusual. Vets can normally find the cause of seizures. These include chemical toxins (which includes chemical preservatives used in many pet foods), brain tumors, feline leukemia, feline infections, peritonitis, feline AIDS, head trauma, and problems with the liver and kidneys.

In dogs there are many causes of seizures besides hereditary epilepsy. Allergies to food and the chemicals, preservatives, and artificial flavors put into the foods can cause seizures. Other causes include liver and kidney disease, tumors, poisonings, and low blood sugars.

What can you do while your pet is having a seizure? Try to stay calm. This is hard to do, but using a calm, reassuring quiet voice will comfort your dog or cat. Move any furniture or other objects on which your pet could hurt itself. If you’re unable to move the object, place pillows or wrap blankets between the pet and the object. Slide something soft under your pet’s head, but be sure to keep your hands and face away from his head so that you don’t risk a possible bite. You can gently stroke his hip or side, but position yourself opposite the side of the feet and toenails as the muscle spasms make the feet curl into claws that can gouge or rake your skin. Dim the lights, and keep the environment as quiet as possible by turning off the TV and loud music.

If possible take notes about the seizure so that you can give details to your vet. Jot down the time of day it occurred, the length of each seizure, and the time in between each seizure if they are recurrent. Your vet will also want to know whether your pet urinated or defecated, if the seizure hit suddenly or progressed from mere body twitching, whether your pet regained consciousness, and how long it took before your pet appeared normal again. In addition, you’ll need to figure out whether there were any possible triggering events. These include loud noises such as fireworks, unusual items that were eaten, and excessive playing or exercise.

After the seizure, pets usually appear lost or drugged. This drugged state can last a few minutes to several hours depending on the severity of the seizure. Your pet may respond to you, but do so in a very slow manner. Since seizures are exhausting for your pet, he will probably want to sleep afterwards. It is best to allow him to sleep, but check in on him occasionally without disturbing his rest.

If this is your pet’s first seizure, call your vet as soon as possible. Some vets will want to see if another seizure occurs, while others will perform a variet of blood tests to check for anemia, liver & heart functions, calcium, glucose, & electrolyte levels. Your vet may even run a screen for possible toxins, take x-rays, or perform an electroencephalogram.

The test results may not indicate the specific reason for the seizure. In this case, your vet may wait to see if another seizure occurs or he/she may suggest medications. If the diagnosis is epilepsy, pets have an excellent chance to live a normal life as long as proper medical care and follow-up are provided.

How To Pick Up A Horse’s Hoof Safely

Pick Up A Horse's HoofSometime picking up a horse’s hooves can intimidate some horse owners since a well-placed horse kick would really hurt! Such cautions are good, but in reality if you pick up a horse’s hoof properly you provide him with no leverage or ability to kick you. This is a situation where a person’s worst fears can cause him to imagine an incident that is highly unlikely to occur with careful handling.

Here’s how to safely pick up a horse’s hoof:

Starting with the front hoof, approach your horse diagonally from its front so that he clearly knows you are there – you don’t want to surprise him. Place yourself even with its shoulder and make sure to face its rear; you will both be facing opposite directions during the hoof picking process.

Make sure that your feet aren’t too close to the horse’s hoof. Run your hand parallel to him starting from its shoulder and down along the length of its leg. finally stopping just above its ankle. Grasp the ankle portion gently, then click (or otherwise verbally cue him) to ask it to raise its leg. If it’s well trained, that small cue will be more than enough and it’ll do just what you requested. You’re now free to begin picking its hoof.

If your horse is being a bit stubborn or hasn’t learned how to pick up its legs yet try leaning into its shoulder as you run your hand down the back of its cannon bone. You can also gently squeeze/pinch the tendons to further cue him to what you would like. As you perform these physical cues make sure you provide a verbal one also (or make a clicking sound) so the horse later associates your sound with the requested response. Increase the weight you push against its shoulder until he finally lifts its leg as requested.

When picking a horse’s hoof you want to remove all debris from the hoof clefts as well as the rim and frog. Be careful around the frog because it can sometimes be a bit sensitive, particularly if the horse has thrush.

Once you have finished cleaning the front hoof carefully guide it back to the floor; you don’t want to allow the horse to slam it, potentially hitting your foot in the process. Praise your horse and pat him on the front shoulder a bit so he understands that you are pleased with its cooperation, then run your hand along its back to its rear leg. Place yourself in the same position as you did with its front leg and do the process over again.

There is a slight difference between lifting a rear foot and front foot, even though your basic positioning and actions are nearly identical. When you lift your horse’s rear foot he will probably give a little jerk that you might misinterpret as a kick. This is a common reflex reaction among horses and nothing for you to worry about.

Secondly, when you raise your horse’s rear leg you’ll want to step into him a bit so that your hip is underneath its leg. Rest its leg on your thigh, grab its hoof and gently flex it upwards. By doing this you lend him some support and more importantly the position of its leg and its flexed hoof will prevent him from being able to kick you.

Clean the hoof, lower it cautiously as you did the first and praise him. Great, you’re halfway done! The opposite side will be done exactly the same way, but try to return to its front and start the opposite side rather than move around its rear. It’s bad practice to approach or circle all but the most trusted horses via the rear in such close quarters since a horse would be within range to strike.

When lifting any hoof try to make sure your horse is properly squared (balanced evenly on all four legs) so that when you lift one hoof he can easily balance on its remaining three. At no time should the horse actually lean its weight on you! Even when you rest its rear leg on your thigh you’re not allowing him to use you as a crutch.

Once you have picked your horse’s hooves a few times it will probably become very simple and take less than 5 minutes to clear all hooves. Most trained horses will raise their hoof for you the moment they feel your leg run down their leg.

It is a very good idea to control your horse’s head while you are picking its hooves. This can be done by attaching its halter to cross ties or asking a partner hold your horse’s head. By controlling its head you ensure your horse can’t move away from you while you’re trying to pick its hooves, or worse, it could take a bite at your rear!