Regular Home Examination of Pets Can Save Lives

Too often a pet’s illness goes undetected until it gets to a critical point then you have rush vet visits and bills and treatments. If you take the time to perform weekly home examinations of your pet and learn what to look for, you may be able to detect potential problems early enough to take care of them before they get to a critical point. It’s not that difficult if you follow some basic guidelines.

There is much when it comes to your pet’s health that you can not only check, but treat at home.  Armed with the proper knowledge there are many home and natural remedies that you can employ to care for your pet.

Get comfortable in examining your pet. He should be fine with letting you put your fingers in his mouth or brushing his hair to feel for lumps. The first thing that you have to be familiar with is what is normal.

Vital Statistics: Pulse and Heart Rate

Normal resting rates:
Cats: 150-200 bpm
Small dogs: 90-120 bpm
Medium dogs: 70-110 bpm
Large dogs: 60-90 bpm

Pulse should be strong, regular and easy to locate.

Checking the pulse

The easiest place to locate a pulse is the femoral artery in the groin area. Place your fingers on the inside of the hind leg and slide your hand upward until the back of your fingers touches the abdomen. Gently move your fingers back and forth on the inside of the hind leg until you feel the pulsing blood.

Count the number of pulses in 15 seconds and multiply that number by 4. This will give you the beats per minute (bpm).


A normal dog’s temperature is 101 F (38.0 C), and a normal cat’s temperature is 102 F (38.5 C). Taking your pet’s temperature involves placing a thermometer in their rectum. If your pet has a temperature of 103.5 F (39.5 C) or more, they have a fever.

Thermometer should be almost clean when removed. Abnormalities are indicated by blood, diarrhea, or black, tarry stool.

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Diabetes in Pets

Diabetic Pets

Diabetes is a result of the Pancreas not producing Insulin any more. This means that the sugar in the blood CAN’T be used for Energy and you get the resulting signs of Increased Drinking, Urinating, Increased Appetite, Weakness, and some serious secondary metabolic changes ( Keto-Acidosis)

If you are to have your pet diagnosed with Diabetes, Chances are You will be told that there are NO ALTERNATE TREATMENTS that you can consider.

Not necessarily true, read on!

DIETARY CHANGES – This is most important for cats. Recent studies have shown that cats benefit greatly from higher protein, lower carbohydrate diets. These resemble diets that they would eat in the wild. Purina and Hills now make specific feline diabetic diets. You can also purchase canned food that fits this requirement at the grocery store.  Specifically go for the kitten food: an example is Friskies canned tuna which is very high in protein and low in carbohydrates.

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Liver Shunts in Pets

A portosystemic shunt (PSS), also known as a liver shunt, is a bypass of the liver by the body’s circulatory system. It can be either a congenital (present at birth) or acquired condition.

Congenital PSS is a hereditary condition in dogs and cats, its frequency varying depending on the breed. The shunts found mainly in small dog breeds such as Miniature Schnauzers and Yorkshire Terriers, and in cats such as Persians, Himalayans, and mix breeds are usually extrahepatic (outside the liver), while the shunts found in large dog breeds such as Irish Wolfhounds and Labrador Retrievers tend to be intrahepatic.

Acquired PSS is uncommon and is found in dogs and cats with liver disease such as cirrhosis causing portal hypertension, which is high blood pressure in the portal vein.

Congenital PSS is caused by the failure of the fetal circulatory system of the liver to change. Normally, the blood from the placenta bypasses the liver and goes into circulation via the ductus venosus, a blood vessel found in the fetus. A failure of the ductus venosus to close causes an intrahepatic shunt, while extrahepatic shunts are usually a developmental abnormality of the vitelline veins, which connect the portal vein to the caudal vena cava. Thus in the juvenile and adult animal with PSS, blood from the intestines only partly goes through the liver, and the rest mixes into general circulation. Toxins such as ammonia are not cleared by the liver. Most commonly, extrahepatic shunts are found connecting the portal vein or left gastric vein to the caudal vena cava.

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Skin Allergies in Dogs

When it comes to canine skin problems, dog allergies are by far the common cause but unfortunately are extremely hard to diagnose effectively because dog allergy symptoms bear a striking resemblance to those of other aliments and illnesses. Skin allergies can manifest themselves in dogs in a number of ways, anything from dermatitis to ear infections, but they will always tend to affect the whole body in some way.

Dog skin allergies are commonly caused by an adverse reaction to an allergen. An allergen is a substance given off by certain elements of the world around us, including vegetation pollen and food for example. When these elements come into contact with a living being and cannot be neutralized by the body, it provokes an allergic reaction.

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Destructive Chewing

The act of chewing seems to be a matter of individual preference among dogs: some have an innate desire to chew as a pleasurable activity in itself, and some seem to have no need to chew whatsoever unless they’re driven to it out of sheer boredom.

The phrase “destructive chewing” may sound redundant, because – by its very nature! – all chewing is destructive. Your dog has strong jaws full of sharp, pointy teeth: just about anything she starts to chew on is probably going to show the effects of it inside of a minute. So just to clarify, when I use the phrase “destructive chewing”, I’m referring to inappropriate chewing: the kind of chewing that’s focused on your own possessions and household items, instead of on your dog’s own designated toys and chews.

The three main reasons why dogs chew:

– Most dogs have a natural desire to chew. It’s fun, it passes the time, and it’s a self-rewarding, self-reinforcing activity (for example, if she’s chewing on something that tastes good.)

– Chewing provides a nervous, bored, or lonely dog with an outlet for her emotions. To an anxious dog, the repetitive act of chewing is soothing – it’s the doggie equivalent of comfort food.

– Underexercised dogs often use chewing as a way of burning up nervous energy and giving themselves something to do.

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Natural Health for Pets – Holistic Veterinary

Holistic Veterinary Medicine does not differ much from the human version of the approach. It is likewise concerned with the whole picture, rather than a mere part of it.

It is not just concerned with diagnosing and treatment of a particular disease. It covers every aspect of the pet’s life, and utilizes both the holistic and conventional methods in administering the treatment.

In fact, there are situations wherein surgery and other medical procedures have to be done together with the alternative methods so that an effective treatment may be achieved. Treatment of a particular disease is not the only purpose of the various holistic methods. The hidden causes of such disease have to be determined and addresses to, so that a better level of health is within reach.

Going for the holistic approach does not mean you’re supposed to be trashing the conventional means. To be holistic means being aware of the real needs of your pet. Practices that involve all facets of your pet’s existence must be followed. Ask yourself questions like, “Am I feeding him the right food in the right amount, at the right time?” or “Am I being a master or a friend?” After all, holistic veterinary does not only exist to treat diseases, rather, their greatest aim is to prevent the onset of all types of diseases and to make optimal health within reach.

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Your Dog Just Ate WHAT? Some Common Household Substances that are a Danger!

Dogs and pets are very curious animals and natural scavengers. They can get into and eat just about anything. However, there are many toxic substances found in your home that could potentially kill your pet. The following is a list of ten common household substances that you should make sure to keep out of your dog’s reach. For a more specific and complete list, please see – Poisonous or Toxic to our Dogs and Pets

1) Antifreeze: Many people do not realize it, but common antifreeze kills many pets each year. It smells and tastes very sweet to your dog and is very appealing to him. Ethylene glycol is toxic however, and each winter, many animals are killed by it. Symptoms of toxicity include seizures, vomiting, stumbling and lethargy leading to kidney failure. Make sure to keep your antifreeze out of your dog’s reach. If you suspect that your dog has ingested antifreeze, take your dog to the veterinarian immediately.

2) Chocolate: Chocolate contains a substance called the obromine which is toxic to dogs. Baking chocolate and dark chocolate is especially dangerous. While it usually takes a somewhat large amount of chocolate to kill a dog, poisoning and death does occur with smaller amounts ingested. Signs of chocolate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, increased urination, and increased activity. This can progress to seizures and unusual heart rhythms. Call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate.

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A Touching Dog Story

Mary and her husband Jim had a dog named ‘Lucky.’ Lucky was a real character. Whenever Mary and Jim had company come for a weekend visit they would warn their friends to not leave their luggage open because Lucky would help himself to whatever struck his fancy. Inevitably, someone would forget and something would come up missing.Mary or Jim would go to Lucky’s toy box in the basement and there the treasure would be, amid all of Lucky’s other favorite toys.

Lucky always stashed his finds in his toy box and he was very particular that his toys stay in the box.

It happened that Mary found out she had breast cancer. Something told her she was going to die of this disease….in fact, she was just sure it was fatal.

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Heartworm In Dogs

Heartworms in Dogs – What They Are & What to Do

Heartworms (Latin name Dirofilaria immitis) are parasitic worms that are common in bothHeartworm dogs and cats. Like their name suggests, they live in the dog’s heart, normally free-floating in the right ventricle and nearby blood vessels. The worms are transmitted from dog to dog by mosquitoes which pass the worm larvae through their saliva. The presence of heartworms can be very dangerous to the dog’s health. Although the dog will not display signs of infection until it has progressed considerably, heartworms can be life threatening and are sometimes difficult to detect and diagnose.Read more

Preventing the Number 1 Pet Killer Today, Cancer

Cancer is one of the most common causes of death in pets.

More than 50% of dogs and cats over the age of 10 will develop cancer.

It often doesn’t respond well to the more traditional medical treatments, yet there are a number of at home pet care remedies.

Signs for you to watch for include, a firm lump that grows and does not go away. Some pets have an increased appetite but continue to lose weight. Others have respiratory problems and may show overall weakness if they are becoming anemic.

The most common malignant types of cancer ( cancer that spreads) in dogs are lymphoma and mast cell tumors. The most common malignant type diagnosed in cats is lymphoma, often secondary to Feline Leukemia Virus infection.

It is usually a disease of older dogs and cats. It causes over half the deaths of pets 10 years and older.

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