The Wet Nose Press Pet Blog

May 1, 2017
by Lynn Merton
0 comments

7 Items You Should Know That are Actually Toxic for Your Dog

Image credits – Pixabay

We live in an industrialized world and that puts us at constant risk from toxins. Environmental toxicity is a big problem these days and there’s very little we can do to keep a control over it, apart from making small changes in our own homes.

This means we need to keep ourselves informed about the products we use or the food we eat. Now that brings up another issue – pets. We might be able to keep a track of all the things we use at home and protect ourselves appropriately.

However, animals can’t do that and it’s our job, as pet parents, to protect them. So, how do you go about it? Well, you need to educate yourself about items at home that could be toxic for your pet.

Here is a brief list to help you out. But, we suggest you do some research of your own for more information.

Water

The one thing that your pet and you need equally is water. However, even that can pose a risk, According to the WHO (World Health Organization), water is often contaminated. But, the level of contamination can vary depending on the region. These contaminants typically include hazardous chemicals such as iron, arsenic and fluoride and even endocrine disruptors such as bisphenols and phthalates.

So, make sure the water you and your pet consume at home is filtered. There are quite a few affordable and effective home water filtration units out there from manufacturers such as PUR, Aquasana, and Brita. Make sure you buy one and have it installed ASAP.

Xylitol

Xylitol is an artificial sweetener used in products such as sugarless gum and other sorts of confectionery. It’s approved for humans in small doses, but, a complete no-no for dogs, especially smaller breeds. Even one piece of xylitol-sweetened gum is enough to cause toxicity. This can lead to symptoms such as vomiting and poor coordination.

So, keep that stick of sugarless gum away from your pet.

Coffee, Tea, and Alcohol

Coffee, alcohol and tea have been listed by the ASPCA as “…Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet”. Consuming these items can cause your pet to have issues such as limited coordination, depression, breathing problems, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Rawhide

This is something your dog is definitely going to find tempting. However, rawhide isn’t as safe as you think it is. When the hide is prepared, it is treated with a chemical concoction to remove all the hair. This process is called sodium sulphide liming. So, there is bound to be some chemical residue left at the end of it all.

In fact, studies have found leftover traces of formaldehyde and arsenic.

So, switch over to safer chew options such as raw carrots, sweet potato slices, and deer antlers etc.

April 28, 2017
by Lynn Merton
0 comments

The Blood Related Deficiencies In Cats You Should Know About

Image Source: Maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com

Cats are equally prone to blood diseases and complications as their human counterparts. Blood related deficiencies in cats can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Some common symptoms include persistent fever, lethargy, nose bleeding, increased heart rate and jaundice. Blood diseases mainly arise due to major function loss of one or more of the main blood cells. Most cat owners don’t know what these symptoms mean and how dangerous blood diseases can be. Here are two of the most common types of blood diseases in cats that you should be aware of.

  1. PancytopeniaPancytopenia is a collection of blood-related deficiencies like leucopenia, thrombocytopenia and non-regenerative anemia. Infectious diseases like hepatitis and exposure to poisonous elements can cause pancytopenia. It can also arise due to bone marrow cancer and bone marrow deficiencies. A low white blood cell (WBC) count is the major consequences of this disease but it can also lead to low red blood cell (RBC) count. Low platelet count is also a result of pancytopenia. This disease can lead to major complications including coma and must be treated immediately. Sometimes, it is hard to tell from the symptoms what kind of disease your cat might be suffering from. That is why it is important to take him/her to a vet if you see any type of physical discomfort in your cat.
  2. AnemiaAnemia is caused by a severe drop in RBCs in the body. RBCs carry hemoglobin and are responsible for delivering oxygen to different parts of the body. Anemia results in tiredness, fatigue and decreased appetite. Anemia can also to blood cancer and can cause different bacterial infections to thrive inside the cat’s body. Cats who are anemic have difficulty producing sufficient number of RBCs in their body. Anemia can be diagnosed via simple blood tests. The blood disease is highly life-threatening and often causes death in the organism. The best treatment option includes blood transfusion.

Conclusion

Blood diseases affects cats in the same way as it does to humans. Two of the most common types of blood diseases in cats are pancytopenia and anemia. While pancytopenia is a collection of different conditions, anemia is a singular disease. Both conditions result in the loss of major blood cells in the body. The deficiency of blood cells leads to contraction of diseases which causes damage to the normal functioning of the body. Signs and symptoms of blood diseases include lethargy, nose bleed, fatigue and persistent fever. There are treatment options available for blood diseases with the best one being a blood transfusion. Since it is difficult to connect the symptoms with the disease, you should take your cat to the vet if you see any physical discomfort in your cat.

April 27, 2017
by Lynn Merton
0 comments

How Do Dogs Suffer From Brain Tumors?

Image source: Maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com

Cancer is still ranked amongst the deadliest diseases in the world and any animal is prone to it; that includes your dog as well. Unfortunately, dogs, especially the older ones, are more vulnerable to brain tumors than other animals. Brain tumors can occur due to a variety of reasons and malignancies differ depending upon size, shape and breed of dogs. While meningiomas are more common in dogs with longer heads, pituitary tumors affect mostly dog breeds with short noses and flat faces.

Before we try to understand how brain tumors affect dogs, we must first learn about the symptoms of brain tumor in dogs.

Symptoms of brain tumors

If the brain tumor affects the forebrain or the part of brain involved in thought and behavior, there will be symptoms of difficulty in learning and thought processing. It is also followed by signs of decreased thirst or hunger and unnatural movement. Head pain and seizures are also common symptoms.

If the tumor occurs in the brainstem, the dog’s movement and alertness get affected. Also, cardiovascular and respiratory symptoms get affected. Loss of balance and physical weakness are the most symptoms associated with these types of tumors.

Tumors in the cerebellum affects coordination of movement and symptoms include inability to walk in a straight line, swaying and head tremors.

Causes

Causes of brain tumors in dogs is still unknown and different factors ranging from environmental to genetic are said to be the cause of brain tumors. Also, there has not been much research to identify exact causes of this type of cancer in dogs and whatever work has been done has improved the treatment methods.

Treatment options

Treatment options for brain tumors in dogs are the same as those available for humans – radiation, chemotherapy and surgery. Surgery is done when radiation and chemotherapy fail to show any signs of improvement in the animal. Other treatment options include palliative treatments but they are mostly given to alleviate the pain or slow down the symptoms.

Most brain tumors in dogs are now curable and a plethora of treatments are available. However, contact the vet who looks after your dog’s health before deciding on any type of treatment.

Conclusion

Cancer is a deadly disease especially the ones like brain tumor can cause extreme pain. In a nightmare for dog owners when their dog contracts a brain tumor. However, there are many treatment options available and most are now curable. Brain tumors in dogs affect a variety of function depending upon the area in which the tumor grows. Knowing how to read the symptoms can be beneficial as some tumors can grow very fast. In case a symptom shows, the vet should be immediately contacted for further treatment.

April 26, 2017
by Lynn Merton
0 comments

Can Your Grass Kill Your Dog? Here’s What You Should Know

Image Source: Staticflickr.com

Dogs are expected to run around the house and explore stuff. One cannot be too careful these days even with necessary protection against harmful natural elements. Harmful animals and disease causing microorganisms can be found aplenty in the yard and around the house, especially in the suburb areas. Grass is one such thing which is completely safe for humans but it can be extremely harmful for your dog. It can even be life-threatening and must be taken care of. Here’s how grasses can be harmful:

Awns

Awns are known by a variety of different names – timothy, cheat grass, foxtails, June grass or Downy Brome. Awns are bristle-like appendages growing on a variety of different grass and attach themselves to animal bodies. Awns travel from one place to the other by clinging to animal coat. However, the relationship is not a symbiotic one as the sharp appendages sometimes cut through the skin and tissue of dogs. It can cause a variety of skin disease and although they are not life-threatening, wounds can sometimes go unnoticed due to their size. Wounds can be exposed to a variety of different disease causing microorganisms.

Animals

Dogs in a city don’t have to worry about different animals invading the backyard. However, those living in suburbs are exposed to different creatures like racoons, skunks, porcupines and squirrels to name a few. These animals may not directly cause any harm but they do spread disease and infections which can be dangerous for your dog. These animals usually take shelter amidst long grasses where they get food and shelter.

Diseases

Fleas and ticks love to stay in dark places where the sunlight doesn’t reach them. It is not surprising to find a population of them near grass roots or in grasses in shady places. Fleas and ticks are a menace and must be eradicated. You wouldn’t want your dog to scratch the skin of his/her back. Keep the grasses trimmed and don’t let them grow everywhere. Additionally, spray chemicals that kill fleas but are safe for your dog.

Conclusion

Grasses might look safe and harmless but there are many dangers lurking within them. Be it lawns, animals or diseases, grasses are not as safe as you might think them to be. Some can be even life-threatening to your dog. It’s best to keep your dog away from areas of long and thick grasses. Keep your grasses trimmed and spray chemicals which are safe for you and your dog. Additionally, take your dog to the vet if you suspect any problem. Look for cuts and bruises on the body as small unnoticeable wounds are thriving grounds for many microorganisms.

April 25, 2017
by Lynn Merton
0 comments

The Truth You Should Know About Teacup Dogs

Image source: Staticflickr.com

Ever since Paris Hilton introduced everyone to Tinkerbell, her miniature Chihuahua, there has been a sudden surge in the demand for “teacup dogs”. What are teacup dogs, you ask? Well, teacup dogs are dogs, like Tinkerbell, that have been bred to be really small; small enough to actually fit into a purse. Of course, they look cute and most dog lovers would be tempted to get one of these. However, there is a dark truth behind the whole teacup dog trend.

The Harsh Reality

As mentioned earlier, teacup dogs are bred to be as small as possible. Most of these dogs weigh around 5 pounds and sometimes, much less. Some of the common breeds used for this purpose include Poodles, Pugs, Yorkies, Shih Tzus, Maltese, and Pomeranians. On the outset, it might not sound bad, but, there are actually a lot of problems associated with this practice. Teacup dogs are bred by pairing the weakest offspring from a particular litter. It so happens that, quite often, the runt of the litter is smaller in size because it has a medical condition or birth defect. Naturally, the problems are passed onto the next generation. As a result, teacup dogs are inherently weak.

According to Dr. Judy Morgan, a holistic veterinarian, teacup dogs suffer from significant health risks. These problems are primarily caused due to the unnatural breeding. Breeders are simply exploiting the dogs by indulging in this practice. Unfortunately, since people are willing to pay thousands of dollars for these dogs, there is no way to end the practice. The only way to end it is by educating people about how teacup dogs are brought into existence.

Not Built to Last

They say good things come in small packages. However, that is completely untrue with teacup dogs. Teacup dogs suffer from a range of medical conditions. For instance, their bones are tiny because they are underdeveloped. Due to their size, they are often carried around, which means they do not receive any exercise. This only complicates the matter further.

Apart from that, their organs work overtime and eventually, they die a premature death. For example, they have small hearts that aren’t capable of working for long. In fact, heart failure is one of the common causes of death among teacup dogs. Some of the other common issues include hydrocephalus (fluid collection in the brain), respiratory disorders, and liver shunts.

So, if you’re looking to get yourself a teacup dog, we suggest you think hard and long about it. Not only are you looking at expensive veterinary bills, but, also the heartbreak that is bound to come sooner than expected. If you’re still adamant about getting one, make sure you, at least, find a reliable breeder.