Weighing your cat once a month can catch early health problems. Your cat's wellness exam may not be enough to catch changes in your cat's health. Weight loss is an indicator of disease the average cat weighs ten pounds. A weight of 6% is considered a clinical sign. Gastrointestinal issues, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, and cancer all cause weight loss, a slow and gradual pace by the time the pet owner notices it may be in its advanced stages. By weighing your cat every month you will pick up on this trend long before your cat may show any other symptoms. If there is no diet change be sure you have your cat checked by your veterinarian promptly. When there is a diagnosis of an illness from the veterinarian continue to check your cat's weight and report the weight changes to your vet between appointments it allows your vet to adjust medications if needed.
Decreased or no urination in the litterbox. This is very important and requires immediate attention. If you can find no sign of urine in the litterbox or elsewhere, let your veterinarian know immediately. The cat may have a urinary blockage, which can be fatal (particularly in male cats) within hours.
Decreased or increased urination. This is a potential sign of medical issues (such as kidney function or diabetes) Take your cat to the veterinarian.
Urination outside of the litterbox. If this is a new behavior, the cat may have a urinary or bladder infection, urinary crystals, or may have pain elsewhere. This can also signal stress, insecurity, or simply not liking something about the litterbox, but medical reasons need to be ruled out first.
Defecation outside of the litterbox. There’s usually a medical component to this behavior, whether it’s just a touch of constipation or diarrhea; there are also other, more serious causes. See your Vet.
Decreased or increased thirst. This can be an indicator of changes in kidney function, diabetes, or other medical issues and should be looked at by your vet.
Aggression. Aggression can be the result of many things: fear, stress, or pain. A cat who is normally even-tempered who exhibits aggression (or aggressive body language) towards you or another animal in the home should be evaluated by a vet.
Avoidance or sensitivity to being petted or handled. This could indicate pain in a particular part of the body or generally not feeling well. As a note, most cats develop arthritis and joint pain as they get older, but they don’t need to suffer—relief can come in the form of medication or other treatments.
Restlessness, inability to settle. A cat in pain may have trouble lying down, sitting, or getting comfortable. They may relax for a few minutes then get up and pace or shift to a different position.
Change in gait, limping, or difficulty jumping. This can be indicative of injury to soft tissue or bone, arthritis, or other medical issues.
Purring or excessive vocalizations. Cats who are in severe distress will often purr; the vibrational frequency of purring has been shown to be beneficial for healing tissue and bone, but it may also be an attempt at self-soothing. Further, vocalizations can be a sign of pain, cognitive decline, or the need for medical attention. Many medical conditions, if caught early, can be treated or reversed.
Remove all the old litter and fill the litter box with very hot water and a little dish soap add the litter scoop. For deeper cleaning, you can add ½ cup of white vinegar per gallon of hot water and let it soak for 10 minutes. Rinse out thoroughly and let it dry. After it's dry add the fresh litter.
A weekly routine of cleaning pet's bowls. If the plastic bowls have too many scratches consider replacing them bacteria hides out in scratches and it is tough to get rid of. Deep cleaning, a good soak, and scrub in very hot water and soap. You can also soak the bowls in one part water to one part white distilled vinegar DO NOT mix bleach and vinegar. Rinse very well.
Replace any toys that are too gross to get clean, or beaten up too much. You can soak them in one gallon of water to no more than ½ cup bleach soak for 10 minutes. Rinse out thoroughly and let them dry before you let your pet play with them. Some soft toys can be washed check the label from the manufacturer's instructions. If you don't want to use bleach use one part distilled white vinegar to one part water. Rinse out thoroughly and let them dry before you let your pet play with them.
Vacuum the bottom of the crate and wipe the bars with a hot soapy water rinse and wipe dry. If you want deeper sanitizing soak for 10 minutes in a mixture of ½ cup bleach to one gallon of water rinse out thoroughly.
Take a look at your pet's bed if you see a lot of soiling, chewing, and roughhousing. If you throw it in the wash and it doesn't come clean or it's been torn beyond repair, it may be time to replace it. You don't want your pets to be chewing off any pieces it could choke them. Use a waterproof, washable cover. Before you wash their bedding make sure you remove the pet fur and dirt and pretreat any stains or urine with a quality enzymatic cleaner before you put it in the washer. It's always good to wash in a cold gentle cycle to remove stains. Use sensitive skin detergent best to avoid respiratory and skin irritation you can also use sanitizer. Be sure to let it dry thoroughly before you allow your pets to use it. Pet beds should be cleaned every couple of weeks.
The dog is not focusing on a behavior you want them to perform. The reason they are not listening is that it doesn't have your full attention. Sometimes they are tired, thirsty, hungry, need to go potty, needs to burn energy, don't feel well, nervous or anxious. The most important thing is to be present for your dog and not be on a phone, texting, or thinking about something else. When training your dog or giving the dog a command. You can also use a clicker to let the dog know a specific behavior. When the dog performs the behavior rewarded with a treat each time. The treat should be kept tiny. Keep the training between 2-5 minutes (6 -10 times per day).
It takes just one bite from a mosquito that’s infected with heart-worms larvae to jeopardize your pet’s health and welfare. And if your pet becomes infected, the heart-worm disease is often debilitating and can be fatal if it’s not treated. The majority of dogs who go untreated will not survive. Cats and ferrets are vulnerable to heartworm. It is best to keep them all on year-round heart-worm preventative. It's more common for heartworms in cats to die before they reach full maturity. The best way to keep the cats healthy is to keep them on heart-worm medication because there are no drugs or treatments for heart-worm. House cats are also at risk of heart-worms if not treated in case a mosquito comes in with disease-carrying.
It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito to infect a pet. Mosquitos are highly adaptable and will find other places to breed even during drought.
Areas with standing water, including ponds, lakes, and swimming pools, can provide breeding conditions for mosquitos.
Natural remedies are not recommended as alternatives not effective.
It's less expensive to prevent canine heartworm than it is to treat it.
The sugar substitute xylitol, which can be found in everything from peanut butter to CBD edibles, and highly toxic for dogs. According to Pet Poison Helpline, calls about xylitol poisoning rose 108 percent between 2015 and 2020, including a 47.2 percent jump in 2019. Xylitol is also being used in candy and other sweets, like peanut butter, nasal sprays, sleep aids, shampoo, deodorant, multivitamins, prescription sedatives and medications, antacids, stool softeners, make-up remover, smoking cessation gums and much, much more. Always have your local emergency veterinary number and 24/7 Animal Poison Control 800-213-6680 number programmed into your phone so you can call them immediately if you suspect that your pet may have consumed something toxic.
Professional Pet Sitting Services offered in the Upper to Mid-Pinellas County Area