The Wet Nose Press Pet Blog

November 17, 2017
by Lynn Merton
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Ticks And Fleas That Can Affect Your Pet’s Well-Being

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Fleas are the most annoying and common types of pests. They cause discomfort to our cats, dogs, and even us sometimes. To make matters even worse, there are around 2 000 different types of fleas that exist around the world. Different species prefer to feed on different types of pets. Here are the most common types of fleas that you may find feeding off of your pet.

  1. Cat Fleas
    This is the most common type of flea that can be found on both cats and dogs alike. The domestic cat flea also goes by the name Ctenocephalides felis. The cat flea selects dogs, humans, and cats as its preferred victims.
  2. Dog Fleas
    Despite its name, the god flea will not just stick to dogs as its victims, but it can also be a problem for humans, cats, and other animals. The dog flea is scientifically known as Ctenocephalides canis, and can also be found on wild animals like raccoons, opossums, and livestock. Cat and dog fleas both carry the common tapeworm parasite that can affect cats, dogs, and humans alike.
  3. Oriental Rat Flea
    The scientific name of the oriental rat flea is Zenopsylla Cheopsis. These fleas feed off of cats and dogs when their preferred meal is not available – rats. They carry the bubonic plague which can be deadly and often difficult to diagnose. They can feed off of cats, dogs, and humans when rats are not available.
  4. Tropical Hen Flea
    The tropical hen flea is also known as the sticktight flea. Its scientific name is Echidnophaga Gallinacea. The sticktight flea can make a meal of anything in its vicinity. It usually prefers poultry but can also feed on cats, dogs, and humans.
  5. Rabbit Flea
    Also known as the Spillopsylus Cuniculi, it prefers wild and domestic rabbits. If there are no rabbits for it to feed on, it jumps on to dogs and cats as a source of sustenance. They can be found feeding on the ears of cats and dogs often causing papules and crusts – especially in the area around the edges of the ears.
  6. Human Flea
    These fleas target humans as their preferred hosts. Also known as the Pulex irritans and the Pulex simulans. Although their preferred hosts are humans, they will also feed on cats, pigs, and dogs when humans are not available. They can usually be found on wild animals mainly from the canine family and also dogs and cats in particular. The Pulex irritans (human flea) and the Pulex simulans (false human flea) are technically two different species but they are usually found together as they usually prefer the same hosts.

 

November 16, 2017
by Lynn Merton
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How Toxic Is Chocolate For Cats?

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We all know that chocolate can be deadly for our canine friends. But what about our cats? Is this delicious human treat safe for cat consumption? Cats are not as curious as dogs when it comes to food. They usually just eat what they’re given and don’t really bother about the other things. But sometimes, even cats can be minimalistic foodies. So if they just happen to stumble upon some left over baking chocolate carelessly left on the counter, can ingestion be as fatal as it is for dogs?

Although the dangers of ingesting chocolate are not as dire in cats as it is in dogs, some properties in chocolate can still be toxic. The caffeine and theobromine that are found in chocolate are especially problematic when ingested by cats. When your cat eats chocolate that contains high amounts of these properties, she may experience a number of medical symptoms and complications which can sometimes even be quite serious.

Causes And Symptoms

If you’re unsure of whether your cat has indeed ingested chocolate, watch out for these symptoms to be sure.

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • An increase in body temperature
  • An increase in reflex responses
  • Rapid breathing
  • Rigid muscles
  • An increase in heart rate
  • Seizures
  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Sometimes your cat can even sow really serious signs like weakness, cardiac failure, and coma depending on how much chocolate she has had.

The symptoms can vary in accordance with the type and amount of chocolate that she was exposed to. Some chocolates are especially more poisonous to cats like milk chocolates, baking chocolates, and semi-sweet chocolates.

Diagnosis

The first thing you should do if you think your cat might be suffering from chocolate poisoning is take her to the vet immediately. You might not know the severity of her condition and only a vet will be able to properly determine and diagnose her. You vet will conduct a thorough physical examination. He will also include a chemical blood profile, urinalysis, and an electrolyte panel. The urinalysis will help the vet determine the amount of caffeine and theobromine that your cat has had and whether she has overdosed on either of these substances.

In some cases, to be sure without a doubt, your vet may even order an ECG to help determine whether your cat’s heart is functioning properly or if it is showing any abnormalities in its rhythm, or its conduction of heart beats.

Treatment

Remember that cats also need reassurance so while they’re being evaluated by the vet, try to keep them calm and cool. The symptoms will only escalate if the cat is put under too much stress. Your vet could also recommend that you induce vomiting to get rid of all the toxins before it causes any serious symptoms. Keep your pet hydrated and only feed her bland foods for the following week.

Try to keep any chocolate out of reach from your kitty. Cats are not as curious about food as dogs are but if they find it, what’s to stop them from having a taste? Take special caution not to accidentally feed her anything that might contain chocolate.

November 15, 2017
by Lynn Merton
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How Serious Is Cat Hair Fall?

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It is always a reason for concern when your favorite feline cuddly buddy a less cuddly than usual. If she’s just shedding her winter coat, then there’s no cause for concern. But if she’s losing a significant amount of hair, you might want to make that trip down to the vet to make sure it’s not because of anything serious.

Hair loss in cats can be a headache for owners. Alopecia can be either partial or complete. The patterns of hair loss can also either be varied or symmetrical. It is one unpredictable disease. Although there are treatment options available, they are really rare and limited. It might not just be the effects of Alopecia that are making your cat lose hair thou. Here are a few other reasons why she might be shedding hair:

  1. Allergies 

    Allergies are the most prominent cause of hair loss. There are a number of things that your cat might be allergic to including food, medicines, insect bites, pollen, or even dust. These things may cause her to itch excessively itch. She might then turn to licking the problematic areas in order to ease the itch. This can sometimes cause bald spots that we then mistaken for hair loss. It’s a fairly simple condition to treat.

  1. Parasites 

    Lice, mites, ticks, and fleas are also factors that can make her itch and scratch at her skin. Excessive scratching or licking causes bald spots and even sores at times. Medicines to treat bites are easy to come by. Ask your vet which medicine is the best one for this scenario.

  1. Anxiety and Stress 

    Stress is another factor that can cause her to itch, lick, and scratch at her skin causing hair loss. Psychogenic alopecia is another word for this condition. Cats who’re suffering from this condition tend to target their sides, belly areas, and legs to scratch. Alopecia is most common in purebreds with complicated, nervous personalities. A change in environment might be a good idea when your cat is stressed. Ask your vet about whether she needs antidepressants to calm her down.

  1. Ringworm Infection 

    Ringworm infection is a fungal infection and not a worm. Missing hair as well as scaly rings, are good signs that your cat might have this infection. You should take her to the vet immediately. If you follow the treatment plan that your vet gives you step by step, then treatment should be easy and quick. Your vet will give you all the necessary details and prescribe an antifungal ointment or cream. Make sure you follow directions religiously as ringworm is an infection that is contagious.

  1. Pain 

    Arthritis causes a lot of pain in cats. Cats who have this tend to lick themselves in the painful areas. This can lead to bald spots and hair loss.

Although these are the most common causes of feline hair loss, it can also indicate to other bigger problems like diabetes and cancer. So it is of utmost importance that you take her to the vet to make sure.

November 14, 2017
by Lynn Merton
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Is Catnip Really Safe For Your Cat?

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Catnip is something that all cats enjoy. No matter the age, size, or demeanor, all cats go crazy when presented with catnip. Catnip is part of the mint family. Also known as catswort, catmint, and even Nepeta Cataria. The ingredient nepetalactone that’s found in catnip can trigger some unusual behavior in your kitty. This gives rise to the question of whether it is something that is safe for our cats. It’s not usually the taste of catnip that’s so endearing to cats but rather the smell.

How does catnip work? 

There is an oil that’s trapped in catnip leaves. To get to this oil, cats will usually kick, bite, chew, rub, and even roll in the leaves. After getting that oil out, you will witness a very unusual side of your cat. She will most likely spin, jump, climb, run, growl, and even flop. The effects only last for a couple of minutes. Cats are often forgetful so they lose interest easily and wander away from the plant only to return later for more of this miraculous oil they so crave.

How does catnip affect cats? 

Different cats have different reactions to catnip. Some will go really crazy when under the influence of catnip while others are barely affected. Some will be deadly calm and kittens and elderly cats usually don’t feel any different. Some cats experience the effects for longer periods of time that others. A cat’s reaction to catnip is something that she inherits from her ancestors.

Can catnip be toxic? 

Catnip is a herb and is not toxic to cats. But if your cat is exposed to catnip excessively, she may experience diarrhea and vomiting. Limit her exposure to catnip according to her reactions from it. If she is a cat who goes overly crazy from one sniff of catnip, then it’s wise to wean her off of it altogether.

What is the best way to expose your cat to catnip? 

Catnip is something that grows freely in nature. You could find a plant close to where you stay or even snip some leaves from the plant to bring back home to your cat. There are some toys available in the market with catnip stuffed into the core to entice cats. You can easily find these at your local pet store. It will be an absolute treat for your cat. You can also buy dried catnip in cans, bags, and even jars. There are many places where you can get this delight for your cat. There is even a spray which contains catnip that you can use to spray your cat’s favorite toys to her delight. There are many major pet brands that have products that contain catnip.

If you want to make sure she’s getting the best catnip, you can grow catnip in your yard itself. Keep in mind that the fresher the catnip, the greater its potency.

November 13, 2017
by Lynn Merton
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Everything You Need To Know About Pet Penis Health

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Taking care of a pet is not always easy. It’s not always fun and games and there is a lot of responsibility involved. Knowing all there is to know about your pet can help you in taking better care of him. One thing that pet owners often don’t think about are their pet’s penis. In most cases, people just assume that it’s functioning the way it should to avoid awkward conversations and checkups at the vet. But is avoiding one awkward conversation worth your pet’s health?

All parts of a dog’s body can be affected by injuries and disease and that includes the penis. Problems that usually affect the penis can usually be really uncomfortable for your dog and could even be an indication of a serious health issue.

Here Are Some Things You Need To Know About Your Dog’s Penis:

In order to properly tell whether your dog’s penis is healthy or not, you’ll need to first know what it looks like on a normal day. On the outside of the penis, you will find the sheath or the prepuce. This is the tissues and skin that usually covers the non-erect penis. The penis appears bright pink or red in color because of the mucous membrane that surrounds it. Sometimes, a little slightly green or yellowish-white discharge can be seen around the prepuce. This is not a cause for concern. The discharge is a normal bodily fluid called smegma.

Your dog’s penis will appear rigid even while it’s not erect. This is because of a bone that he possesses called the os penis. You can also find two glands at the base of his penis called the bulbus glandis. They become more noticeable when he becomes erect as the glands swell with blood. A dog’s erection usually lasts a few minutes to an hour. During an erection, his penis could even extend outside the prepuce. A neutered dog can also achieve a full erection.

How Do I Know If My Dog’s Penis Is Infected?

Dog owners usually confuse the smegma as a sign of infection. In many cases, healthy dogs produce a lot of smegma and sometimes even lick themselves in order to remove it. If your fdog is licking excessively or listlessly, this can also be a sign of infection. Make an appointment with your vet immediately.

You can usually just ignore your dog licking his penis. This is normal behavior for a dog. You only need to be concerned if the overall appearance of your dog’s penis has somehow been compromised. That would be a sure sign of infection. If there is blood coming from your dog’s penis, call your vet immediately – even if it’s from an external wound. Get him checked out as soon as possible.

Small issues are not usually a cause to worry. If you see him being overly uncomfortable or he’s also suffering from more than one symptom, then you should call the veterinarian.