Taurus Tips - Archive

Pet and Animal health, safety and well-being


Remember, chocolate is one of the foods on the danger list for pets.  With Valentine's Day coming up when chocolate gifts abound, keep all the chocolate goodies away from your pets.

Keep your pet away from antifreeze.  Antifreeze is extremely poisonous and can cause severe damage if your pet ingests it. Clean up any leaks or spills with products containing ethylene glycol to keep your pet from getting sick

More dogs get lost during the winter than any other season. In the winter, a dog's sense of smell can be hindered by freezing temperatures.  Please keep your dog on a leash when you take him out for exercise, and make sure he/she is wearing an identification tag and has been microchipped. 

Don’t overlook winter pet fashion. Pet sweaters, jackets, and booties can be both adorable and essential to keeping your pet warm. Some breeds are unable to grow a long, thick coat. Warm winter vests may be necessary to keep their body heat in and the cold out.

A pet emergency kit should include pet-specific information and phone numbers for veterinary care.  It also needs basic supplies such as absorbent gauze pads, adhesive tape, antiseptic wipes, blanket, cotton balls and gauze rolls.  

An ear tip is the universal symbol that a cat has been spayed/neutered and vaccinated as part of a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program, according to Alley Cat Allies.  Feral cats may interact with a variety of caretakers, vets, and animal control people during their lives, and it was necessary to agree on one universal way to identify that the cat has been TNR’d.  Ear tipping is safe.  It is performed under anesthesia and is not harmful to the cat.

The possibility of heartworm disease in cats should not be overlooked.  Once a cat contracts the disease, there is no cure and the disease has fatal consequences. The best measures are those of prevention.  Even indoor cats can contract the disease.  All it takes is one lone mosquito carrying the disease making its way into the home and infecting your cat.

Pet owners seeking alternative care is on the rise. Nearly 21% of pet owners surveyed have tried a holistic rememdy (survey by the American Animal Hospital Association). What is the difference between a holistic practitioner and integrative veterinarian?  Holistic practitioners have been trained only in healing techniques such as acupuncture and chiropractic care.  An integrative veterinarian has completed the conventional training, earning a DVM, but has also trained in holistic healing techniques. They continue to use Western medicine when needed, such as xrays for broken bones.  (Prevention 1/12)

Cats 11 years of age and older are at risk to develop feline cognitive dysfunction (FCD). Behavior changes brought on by FCD range from missing the litter box and changes in vocalization to becoming irritable and less playful.  Not all these behaviors are the result of FCD, so it is important to discuss all behavior changes with your cat's veterinarian.  Only then can a proper diagnosis and treatment plan be determined.  Never assume that your cat is “just getting old” and nothing can be done to help him or her.

Both cats and dogs are generally considered "Senior" once they reach seven years of age.  Just like humans, the aging process can affect your pet's organs.  Be sure to keep plenty of fresh water available and monitor how often your dog or cat drinks.  A sudden increase of water consumption or urination can be a signal of kidney or liver disease, and also diabetes.

Canine Influenza was first discovered in dogs in 2005. Symptoms include fever, cough and runny nose.  A senior dog with a weak immune system could develop other complications. Canine flu can spread easily in shelters and kennels.  Please contact your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Exercise is important for Senior Cats, not only for weight control but overall health. Older cats frequently become less agile as arthritis develops and muscles begin to atrophy. Regularly engaging your cat in moderate play can promote muscle tone and suppleness, increase blood circulation, and help reduce weight in cats that are too heavy. During times of exercise, be alert to labored breathing or rapid tiring that may suggest the cat has a disease and needs an examination by a veterinarian.

Even though your Senior dog may slow down and become less active in his later years, exercise is still important and vital for his health.  Swimming is a fantastic activity for dogs of all ages, but it is particularly good for older dogs because it is low-impact and easy on their weakening joints and muscles. Swimming also builds strength, is good for their overall conditioning, and is naturally relaxing and comforting to most dogs.

Medical Disclaimer: All advice offered on this website is general, and Gemini Universal is not responsible for any problems arising from the use or misuse of the information. Since each animal and each situation is unique, we recommend that you contact your family veterinarian or animal emergency center for help with any health or behavior problems with your pet. All pets and farm animals require regular veterinary care, and there are wildlife management centers with expertise in the care of injured animals.