The Wet Nose Press Pet Blog

March 6, 2019
by Lynn Merton
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Finding the Sex of Your Kittens

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Determining the sex of your new kitten could be tricky. A lot of cat owners think they have a female cat only to find out later that their cat is male. It is essential to find out the sex of your kitten so that proper medicines can be given and the proper surgeries done (if any). To give an example, urinary tract problems are more observed in male cats.

Eight weeks or more

It is easier to find the sex of your cat if it is eight weeks old or older. The procedure, in this case, is a simple one. To find out, select a time when the kitten is at its most calm. A good time to do so is after a meal. You sit on a chair and lightly hold your cat in your lap. It is important to make the cat feel comfortable. When everything is calm and proper, lift the animal’s tail and take a good look at the rear end of the kitten. You should focus on two aspects: distance between genital opening and anus and the genital opening’s shape. You should know that the distance between the male penis opening and the anus is more when compared to the distance between the vulva and anus in females. The opening of the penis appears like a circle, and the vulva opening is like a line.

Do understand that the penis may not be visible in kittens. It is hard to locate, especially when they are incredibly young. The testicles are felt to be there within the scrotum. However, do note that they could be too little to identify or the kitten could be already neutered. In short, the absence of testicles does not mean that the cat is a female.

Younger kittens

It is much harder to identify younger kittens. Because the identifying structures are underdeveloped and tiny. It is a good thing that kittens at this young age stay together and you can find out the sex of the kitten by comparing sizes. You must not stress these kittens by taking them away from their mother. If you do have to take them away, you should not take them away for more than five minutes.

A few coat colors happen more in cats of a particular sex. Female cats have exclusively tortoiseshell colored coats. These appear like a blend of black and orange. The female will be calico as this takes the presence of all two X chromosomes. Only a rare male cat would have these coats. The orange tabby- a mix of white and orange- would mostly be a male cat- but a considerable number of female cats also have the same coat color.

March 4, 2019
by Lynn Merton
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Down Syndrome in Dogs

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A lot of debate continues on the subject of whether a dog could suffer from Down’s Syndrome. Many have pointed out that a lot of symptoms in dogs mimic that of humans. Although it is unlikely that a dog can be said to have a confirmed case of Down’s Syndrome, there are a few symptoms and signs which can be linked with the condition. The markers for this syndrome in dogs are stunted growth, short limbs, delayed development, and cognitive impairment.

Similar signs

Many dogs have symptoms similar to the preceding ones. The problem is that of inadequate research. It is known that canines have much more chromosomes compared to humans and it is vital that the research on genes present in dogs, yield more results before we make progress in this regard. The sad part is that dogs are much less examined and genetically tested compared to humans. It is not possible to find out whether the puppies in the womb carry this genetic abnormality. In short, there is no evidence that it is possible to diagnose Down’s Syndrome in dogs. It should be remembered that dogs can have their share of genetic mutations and abnormalities.

It is evident that although dogs cannot suffer from Down’s Syndrome,  they can do suffer from a broad sweep of different genetic abnormalities. There could also be mutations and health issues which exhibit identical signs and symptoms. As a dog owner, the only action you can take is to get the correct diagnosis from a veterinarian. If you think that cognitive behavior is stunted in your dog; do get in touch with animal behaviorists. Patience is essential if your dog fails to learn new commands. Keep the training sessions short and set your dog to succeed. Do not get angry that even after repeated tries, your puppy seems to unable to learn. If you were unsuccessful today, then there is also tomorrow- a fresh start to your ventures.

Small remedies Take your dog on a walk tied to a leash if your dog has a shorter attention span. Remember, it will find everything much more interesting compared to you. You should check his emotional state and social skills. It is a good idea to keep a close watch on his body language. You should watch out for signs like lip licking, pacing, excessive panting, and yawning. Do know that a few dogs suffering from difficult health conditions could become aggressive, If you think your dog’s behavior has taken a turn for the worse, take it to the veterinarian as swiftly as possible. It is an excellent idea to create a safe space for your dog in the home, particularly if you have small children.

March 1, 2019
by Lynn Merton
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How to Find the Right Source of Calcium for your Pet?

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Calcium is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of strong bones. Calcium plays a key role in maintaining bone density. It is a vital nutrient for your pet. Calcium also takes care of the nails, teeth and fur of your pet. It helps your pet in maintaining a regular heartbeat and is needed for digestion of food. It is also required for clotting of blood, releasing hormones in the body and for the proper functioning of the nervous system. Calcium is a mineral that cannot be produced inside the body, so it has to consumed through diet. It is important to observe the diet of your pet because an imbalance in the intake of calcium content can lead to hypercalcemia or hypocalcemia which can be very harmful to your pet.

How to monitor the calcium level of your pets?

Checking your pet’s serum levels is the most effective way to monitor your pet’s calcium level. You can consult a veterinarian or can get a blood test done for this purpose. Giving your pets homemade food does not guarantee enough calcium intake. If your pet’s body is deficient in calcium, the body starts drawing the required amount of calcium from its own bones which weakens your pet internally. After you have determined the calcium level of your pet through a blood test, you can consult a veterinarian about the right sources of calcium for your pet.

What are the sources of calcium for your pets?

Calcium supplements are one of the most common sources of calcium, but these are mostly recommended in case your pet has a calcium deficiency. If you have a dog, bone meals are an important source of calcium for your canine friend. Commercial pet foods usually contain the recommended dosage of calcium for your pet so you can go for this option. Whole foods are great sources of calcium for your pet. Other natural sources of calcium include green vegetables like spinach and broccoli. Legumes are also rich in calcium. Dairy products like cottage cheese, yogurt can serve as great sources of calcium, but you need to make sure that your pet is not lactose-intolerant.

In certain situations, like when your pet is very young or pregnant, your pet may require an extra amount of calcium than that which is provided by homemade or commercial food. In such scenarios, you can add eggshell powder to your pet’s food. Eggshells are rich in calcium, magnesium, zinc and other important minerals. Along with eggshell powder, you can add salmons, tuna or sardines in your pet’s meal. Fish is rich in calcium as well as omega-3 fatty acids which help in lowering the risk of heart diseases.

You can never be too careful when it comes to your pet’s health. Whether you give your pet homemade food or commercial food, it is important to keep a check on the calcium level of your pet.

February 28, 2019
by Lynn Merton
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Kitten sneezes

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Like you, the cause of your kitten’s sneeze could be many. The occasional sneeze is a part of its life and should be disregarded. Constant sneezing, however, could be a sign of illness. You should be concerned when the sneeze is accompanied by nasal discharge. A lack of appetite is also a warning that all may not be right.

Dust and allergies

The occasional sneeze is caused by dust or fur which tickled its nose. These furry animals are more susceptible to dust as the nose of the kitten is only a few inches away from the floor. A dusty floor thus equals more sneezing. To stop this, simply clean the floor and maintain a dust-free environment. If your cat sneezes, but there is no nasal discharge, then there is a fair chance of an object blocking its nose. Take it to the veterinarian. Do not try to bring out the object by yourself.

A few cats suffer from allergies. Sneezing for them can be caused due to a number of external factors like cleaning supplies, mold, smoke, perfumes, and pesticides. The signs of an allergy include sneezing and scratching. The animal will also have a red nose and eyes. If you believe your kitten suffers from an allergy, there is a possibility it is reacting to something present in the air. It is possible to reduce probable allergens present in your home, especially in locations where the cat spends a majority of its time. If you cannot stand to see your cat suffer, take it to the veterinarian. There are multiple medications to treat cat allergies.

Infections

Your cat could also suffer from viral, fungal, or bacterial upper respiratory infection. These show up in the constant sneezing accompanied by other symptoms like nasal discharge, lethargy, breathing difficulties, coughing, or lack of appetite. The presence of these symptoms means your kitten could suffer from illnesses like feline immunodeficiency virus or FIV. There are also chances of chlamydia or peritonitis. A majority of such diseases could be prevented by vaccinations. It is hard to treat an unvaccinated, infected cat. Another highly contagious and common disease is the calicivirus. The feline calicivirus results in breathing and sneezing issues. A majority of the vets vaccinate kittens to prevent them catching this disease. One good thing about calicivirus is that the disease goes away by itself after a week. A few strains, however, are more potent and cause serious physical damage to your cat. If you see a coughing cat other than your own, keep your kitty away from the sick cat. Do not allow the sick cat to play with yours until the former regains health. For any issue, take your cat to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

February 27, 2019
by Lynn Merton
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Dogs and lactose intolerance

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A few dogs easily digest dairy products. Others suffer from extreme intestinal distress. One lactose-containing food and these dogs begin to vomit and expel gas. Diarrhea is common when a few dogs drink milk or consume milk-based foods. All of these symptoms are linked to how a dog reacts to lactose. It is a variety of sugar, with two sugar molecules attached to each other by chemical means.

Varied problems

A dog can digest milk only if it can break the lactose into two fundamental, easily absorbable sugars. To do this, the body of the animal must produce lactase, a unique lactose-splitting enzyme. The problem is that most dogs cannot do this procedure. Sans lactase, it is not possible for a canine to eat dairy products. This leads to acute intestinal problems. This inability is termed lactose intolerance. The condition and effects are similar to humans. You can notice if your dog is lactose intolerant by basic observation. A lactose intolerant canine will pass loose stools and pass gas after drinking milk or eating milk-containing products.

Do note that in a few rare instances, a dog could actually be allergic to milk protein. It is to be mentioned that milk must not be regarded as toxic to the canine species. The problem is, for lactose intolerant dogs, the presence of dairy products could be a real problem. If your dog is lactose intolerant, do not lose hope. A number of solutions are available.

Dosages in food

The reaction of any dog to lactose is related directly to the concerned “dose” — the probability of suffering rise with an increase in the dose. The good news is that the concentration of lactose varies among different food products. This is applicable even for yogurt and cheese products too. A cup of whole milk has the highest concentration of lactose, at a massive 11 grams per standard serving. The same lactose concentration is applicable for skimmed milk too. Ice-cream has almost half quantity of lactose at six grams per serve, followed by low-fat yogurt and sour cream at six and five grams respectively. Among all the varieties of cheeses, cottage cheese has maximum lactose at three grams for a half cup serving. Swiss cheese and American cheese has one gram per ounce.  A few kinds of cheese contain minimal lactose. Among milk products, cheeses generally contain the least quantity of lactose-as little as one gram for every serve. Cheddar cheese has zero lactose.

It follows that if your dog is lactose intolerant, then you should feed it foods with zero or minimal lactose concentration. It is perfectly reasonable to provide minimal lactose dairy products to the canine. If you are in two minds about which treatment to give your pet, offer it cheese.