coughing cat

Why Is My Cat Coughing So Much?

 

Your cat meows, your cat purrs, your cat….coughs.

If your cat has a cough that doesn’t go away after a couple days, it’s a sign that there’s a problem. Just like humans, animals cough because the body is trying to get rid of irritants in the throat, windpipe or lungs. They also cough to keep from inhaling fluids, food or other foreign bits into their lungs. Coughing is a powerful reflex designed to protect your cat’s airways.

So, when your cat has a persistent cough, you need to take action.

What Is A “Cat Cough”?

coughing catsSurprisingly, cats don’t cough nearly as often as other animals. But when they do, you need to distinguish between a cough and other similar sounds.

For instance, observe carefully when your cat is coughing – or… is he sneezing? wheezing? gagging (coughing up hairballs), retching or vomiting after a coughing bout that brings up mucus? Also keep a look out for shortness of breath or respiratory distress.

In cases of feline asthma, cats tend to breathe with their mouths open, and you’ll see bluish or gray tongue or gums. (If you see this, the attack may be a medical emergency and you’ll need to act quickly)

Notice if the cough is dry or moist, and/or whether it’s accompanied by a stuffed nose or fever.

You’ll need to document all of these symptoms so that you can relay this information to your veterinarian. This will be important extra information that will help him/her make a proper diagnosis since “cat coughs” can have many causes.

My Cat Is Coughing. What Could Be The Problem?

There could many causes for chronic coughing, so let’s focus on a few of the most common:

Hairballs

Cats groom themselves often and end up ingesting hair in the process (which forms a hairball). To get rid of a hairball that forms in his stomach after grooming, your cat may need to cough it up. This condition is normal and doesn’t require a veterinarian’s assistance – even if it sounds awful while he’s coughing it up! But watch out – he may have something ELSE stuck in his throat, so if he is struggling, get to the vet for assistance.

Also, reduce/stop the usage of chemical cleaners in your home (regarding indoor cats) and chemicals in your yard (regarding outdoor cats). This will help to reduce the toxins and compounds that your cat may ingest during his self-grooming process. Just consider, whatever gets on his hair will be ingested into his system when he grooms himself. Those toxins can cause a mild upset or in some cases, severe health issues for your cat. Think on this. Your cat’s nasal area is just a few inches off the ground…so whatever you put on the ground, floor, yard etc…impacts your cat immediately!

Cat Cold

It’s not that different from a cold you or I would get – coughing, sneezing, fever, watery eyes and runny nose. Cats’ noses can fluctuate between wet and dry throughout a normal day, so that is not always an indicator of an issue; however, if there is discharge from her nose, that can be a sign of an illness. Are her ears warmer than usual? As a good indicator, a cat’s ears help regulate their body temperature; however, unusually warm ears may indicate a fever. And, just like your cold, it will eventually clear up on its own.

Feline Asthma

If your cat has allergies, she may cough to rid her system of the irritation and inflammation of her airways. Other symptoms might include sneezing, watery eyes, wheezing, itchiness, and runny nose. But unlike the signs of a cat cold, allergic cats don’t have fever.

cat asthma

What is your cat allergic to? It could be cigarette smoke, pollen, mold, cat litter dust, perfume, or a number of other things. Take note of where your cat likes to nest/sleep — has that area been treated with anything? That treatment may be an irritant to your cat.

Also, laundry detergent residue or fabric softener on her bedding after you washed it may not agree with your cat’s respiratory system. It’s always a good idea to wash your cat’s bedding with just plain water after the wash cycle (that includes detergent) particularly if your cat shows any of the problems mentioned. If you notice your cat having problems breathing, get him to a vet quickly, as an asthma attack can have serious consequences.

Respiratory Tract Disease

This cause is very common in cats. Bronchopulmonary disease includes conditions like bronchitis, broncho-pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and emphysema. Constant coughing is one major sign of a respiratory infection; your cat will expectorate phlegm, have a fever and possibly have difficulty breathing. You’ll need to work with your vet on this one.

Fungal Lung Infection

Your cat could pick up a fungus from the soil, and coughing is a common symptom of a fungal lung infection. A healthy cat may recover on her own but be watchful as a trip to the vet may be indicated.

Worms

cat wormsIf your cat has heart-worms, hookworms or roundworms (ugh!), one of the symptoms will be coughing. It’s a moist cough, and your cat will also stop eating, lose weight, be lethargic, vomit and have diarrhea. That’s why you must ensure you get preventive treatment from your vet. The treatment is particularly easy and if your cat spends much time outside, it’s probably a good idea to treat for worms on a routine basis since they are easily picked up.

Obesity

Obesity may be a cause although this is less common. Keep your cat active to keep him healthy! Maintaining a healthy weight is important! There are many inexpensive cat toys available or you can make your own cat toy by sewing up a scrap piece of cotton, filling it with catnip and sewing up the opening. This will keep your cat amused and moving for hours!

Tight Collar

If you cat must wear a collar, ensure that it is loose enough that it will slip off if it gets caught on something (so it is not a choke hazard to your cat and that it will not cause your cat to die by hanging!). If your cat cannot slip out of the collar then it is too tight and can cause damage and scaring to his larynx and windpipe, it can dig into his skin and cause coughing.

Other Less Common Causes of Coughing

These would include lung cancer and heart disease. Again, your vet will be the one to determine this one.

When To See A Veterinarian

quarantine cat with ringwormIf your cat coughs occasionally and it doesn’t result in any phlegm or sputum being spit up, it’s probably nothing to worry about.

But if the cough lasts more than a day or two, recurs often, produces phlegm or sputum, is severe enough to cause discomfort, or if your cat is losing weight or acts sick, you should definitely take her to the vet. And obviously, you should high-tail it to the vet if your cat shows signs of not being able to breathe. Cats are very stoic creatures so too often she is in distress before symptoms are easy to see. Cats, just as humans, bounce back more quickly when first aid is provided before they seriously ill.

Since coughing is a symptom for so many causes, it’s difficult to make the right diagnosis without running some tests, which only a veterinarian can do. In addition, any details you can tell the vet about your cat’s symptoms, behavior and history will help pinpoint the underlying cause of the cough. How often does she cough? What time of day? Does it sound wet or dry? What was she doing before she started coughing (eating? exercising? lying on the couch? lying under the bed? lying in the laundry basket?)?

If the vet prescribes any medication(s) like cough suppressants, antibiotics, steroids or other drugs, be sure to follow the dosing directions to the letter. Cats can be very sensitive to drugs, as well as natural or homeopathic remedies – so watch for your cat’s reactions to the meds after you give them to him.

One Thing You Should NEVER Do

Do NOT give your kitty human medications to alleviate his symptoms. Even if you give her small amounts of over-the-counter cold medications or ibuprofen, aspirin or acetaminophen, these can be toxic to her!

Preventing Coughs

It’s probably not possible to protect your kitty from every possible cause of coughs, but there are a few things you can do to reduce the chances:

  • preventing cat coughsDon’t smoke inside the house.
  • Use cat litter that doesn’t create dust.
  • Avoid things that can irritate the lungs, like perfumes, certain household cleaners (see our blog on these), room fresheners, hairspray, scented laundry detergent, fabric softener etc.
  • If your cat must wear a collar, ensure it is not too tight.
  • Make sure you take measures to prevent internal parasites, especially if you live somewhere with mosquitos (which carry the heart-worm).
cbd oil for dogs

CBD Oil For Dogs

CBD products come in different delivery types (such as oils, gummies, capsules) and different compound ranges (the compounds extracted from the cannabis plant): full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolates. The article deals with the difference between the compound types.

The bottom line, for you the reader, is whether, or not you want to administer any THC to your dogs, and which type of CBD product would be best.

Full Spectrum CBD Oil

cbd oil dog dosageFull-Spectrum includes all compounds naturally found in the cannabis plant, including CBD, terpenes, essential oils, and other cannabinoids, including THC. (Under the 2018 Farm Bill, which made CBD purchase legal at a federal level, full-spectrum products are legal if they contain less than 0.3% THC.)

Broad Spectrum CBD Oil

Broad-Spectrum, which are created by extracting cannabinoids from the plant and refining the product until it contains only the specific compounds desired) includes a similarly wide range of cannabinoids, but WITHOUT THC.

CBD Isolates

CBD Isolates takes the refinement process even further – distilling the product to the purest form of CBD by removing all non-CBD compounds naturally found in the plant, including THC, terpenes, flavonoids, plant parts and other cannabinoids.

Which CBD Oil Product Is Best?

The answer to which product is better depends on your dog’s needs and your preferences.

Although it was once thought that isolates represented the most potent form of CBD treatment, that theory was refuted by a 2015 study that found full-spectrum CBD provided higher relief effects within the body.

Entourage Effect CBD Oil

Another important consideration is the “Entourage Effect,” which is a beneficial effect found with both full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD products, in which studies found that the blend of multiple cannabinoids magnify the effect of one another when combined.

Can CBD Oil Get Your Dog High?

happy dog on cbd oilAnother point of consideration in choosing which product to use is the fear of overdosing or giving your dog a psychoactive “high” effect from too much THC. Products that contain less than 0.3% THC should not produce the unwanted effect within dogs.

However, it remains a question as to whether the production process used by some CBD suppliers is precise enough to ensure that the THC concentrations remain consistently below the legal threshold.

Until there is more consistent quality control in this area, sticking with broad-spectrum products is the best way to assure yourself that a CBD product might not inadvertently get your dog high.

For best results, consult the retailer about your dog’s individual needs and your preferences/concerns before purchasing any CBD product for your dog.

can you get ringworm from a cat

Can You Get Ringworm From A Cat?

If you’re new to cats, you might think this condition involves worms, but actually, nothing could be farther from the truth – it’s a common skin infection caused by a fungus that lives on the dead tissues of skin and hair.  This dead tissue is completely normal and happens all the time in animals as well as humans.

cat and ringwormRingworm is highly contagious and can be passed from animals to humans. You can catch it by touching an infected person or animal. You can also catch it by touching objects or surfaces that had contact with the infected animal such as towels, blankets, carpets and grooming supplies. So the answer to the question, “Can I get ringworm from my cat?” is a resounding “YES!

Ringworm in cats is usually seen on the skin around the face, ears, chest, forelegs and along the ridge of the back. It results in itchy, scaly and reddened skin, as well as bald spots, and often looks like a red, hairless patch in the form of a ring (hence the name).

Cat Ringworm Facts

  • Ringworm can affect all kind of animals, including dogs, cats, cows, goats, pigs, rabbits, birds, guinea pigs and horses. But cats tend to get ringworm more often than dogs do, possibly because cats carry the spores for a longer time than dogs do and that enables the infection to take hold.
  • Studies have shown that up to 13% of human ringworm infections are triggered by an organism that commonly causes ringworm in cats. And in as many as 70% of households, where a cat has ringworm, at least one person will probably catch the infection. Children and elderly people tend to be most susceptible due to weaker or compromised immune systems.
  • Itchy skin is a first symptom. Once you get infected it often takes from 4-14 days to start itching.
  • Ringworm spores can survive in the environment for up to 18 months – so you’ll need to clean everything thoroughly if you get a case in your home.

How To Identify Cat Ringworm

ringworm on cat headWhile ringworm usually causes raised, circular areas that are crusted over and hairless, or simply, round hairless areas, quite often infected cats (especially long-haired cats) don’t reveal any such symptoms. That makes it harder to detect.

But look for scaly dandruff, darkened or red, irritated skin, poor hair coat or hair loss, and itchiness. You may also see raised or rounded lesions or boils that can ooze. And there may also be inflammation of the folds of skin around the nail, or a whitish, opaque appearance of the claw.

Cat Ringworm Treatment Options

ringworm on cat ear

The fungus infection sometimes goes away on its own – but, who wants to take the chance of spreading it?

If you suspect your cat or ANYONE in your household has ringworm, get it properly diagnosed by a vet (for your animals) or a doctor (for your family members). The medical professional will provide recommendations for treatment, which is normally done with anti-fungal cream or pills.

How To Deal With Ringworm

  • Clean up the environment as thoroughly as you can. Wash all surfaces, linens, cat toys; disinfect grooming brushes/combs and bedding, etc. Use bleach as much as possible but for areas such as carpet or furniture, a solution of apple cider vinegar does a fine job.
  • Keep her isolated in a room if possible until the infection is gone.

Banixx Pet Care has tremendous anti-fungal properties and has been used successfully in treating ringworm in cats and kittens. It creates an environment that kills the ringworm fungus, while providing soothing relief for any itchiness or secondary infections caused by excessive scratching, and it does not stain or discolor fur, fabric or skin.

How To Use Banixx To Treat Cat Ringworm

  • Use disposable gloves while you’re applying Banixx so that you don’t get infected.
  • Using very light pressure, gently pat Banixx on the affected area of your kitten or cat’s ringworm. A cotton ball soaked (but not dripping) in Banixx is generally a good approach. This may be done two to three times daily for the duration of the infection.
  • To prevent the spread of this infection, immediately dispose of the gloves.

ringworm on a cat

dogs eat grass

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

Every dog owner has, at some point, wondered: “Why does my dog eat grass?” Dogs do it all the time (and so do some cats). Additional questions might be: “Why does my dog vomit after eating grass? Is he sick?”

In fact, eating grass is relatively common among dogs, and some do it regularly as part of their daily routine. Most veterinarians consider it to be normal dog behavior. It is considered a minor disorder known as “pica,” or the desire to eat things that aren’t food, such as grass.

grass for dogs

The majority of dogs who eat grass aren’t sick beforehand and don’t vomit afterwards. In fact, dogs vomit in less than 25% of cases.

So: is this normal or not? Is something wrong with your dog that he eats so much grass? And, what should you do about it?

 Top 7 Reasons Why Dogs Eat Grass

  1. Your dog’s tummy is upset. If your dog’s stomach is bothering him, he may eat grass to induce vomiting and get relief. The grass blades tickle his throat and stomach lining and cause him to gag and throw up. If he eats grass to vomit occasionally, there’s probably no reason to worry. But if it happens often or if he eats an excessive amount of grass in a frenzy, it could be a sign of that he has a more serious medical problem such as gastric reflux, inflammatory bowel disease, or pancreatitis that should be looked at by a vet.
  2. dog allergies of the skinYour dog’s diet is deficient. When a dog starts eating grass, vets believe she could instinctively be trying to get key nutrients and/or fiber that are missing in her diet. Dogs need vitamins, minerals and roughage just like we do. Dogs are highly instinctive and may seek out what their body needs (just like not eating when their body should not have an additional load on her system – but that is another topic). Even though dogs are carnivores their bodies still require roughage which vegetation can provide. In the wild carnivores often eat berries and other vegetation to supplement their diet. Double-check the ingredients / type of food you feed her – it may be time for a switch to a higher quality diet.
  3. She likes the taste of grass. To her, it’s as good as a doggie treat! If this is the case, there’s no need to worry. New grass growth, the little sprouts coming up, may be flavorful to your dog. However, where is she eating the grass? Is it at the park or the neighbor’s yard? Those areas may be treated with chemicals (mosquito treatment, weed treatment, chemical greening, etc.) and those chemicals can be harmful to your dog. In your own yard make sure you stay away from chemical-based pesticides and fertilizers, which you don’t want her ingesting along with the delectable green stuff. If you need to treat your yard select products that are more naturally based and, leave the area where you allow your dog to be, untreated, especially if you are not able to monitor her all the time in that space.
  4. Your dog is bored. It’s a little like what we do when weare bored – we raid the refrigerator. If your dog is outside most of the day with nothing to do, he may resort to grazing as a way to pass the time. Puppies and young dogs get bored more easily and need to find some way to expend all that energy – so they turn to eating grass (or other items). More exercise, more play, more grooming, more toys, more doggie playgrounds may be part of your solution.
  5. He might be trying to get your attention. Your dog may feel lonely and crave your attention – and may resort to eating grass and vomiting just to get you to spend more time with him. Do more with your dog – take him for walks, play a little, brush/groom him, and pet a lot. Teaching him a new trick may stimulate him enough to leave the grass or reduce his grass eating. If you are unable to take your dog for a long walk, then go for a few short walks.
  6. How to clean a dogs eyesShe might be anxious. If your dog shows signs of anxiety or nervousness, eating grass could be a form of comfort mechanism (the same way we eat chocolate when we’re feeling those emotions). You can try giving her an old tee-shirt with your scent on it, or a new toy to distract her attention. To prepare the tee-shirt sleep in it one or two nights, that will really get your scent on the shirt, and your scent can be a very comforting item for your dog. Also, dogs like routine so be consistent with walks and time together, and your dog is likely to be less anxious.
  7. He’s following his instincts. In the wild, dogs are scavengers – they eat the meat they kill, including any grass and plants that may have been in the prey’s stomach. They instinctively eat anything that provides their basic dietary requirements. Your dog, of course, probably gets all those things through commercially-available dog food – but the instinct to eat grass and plants is still there.

Should I Stop My Dog From Eating Grass?

Most veterinarians agree that eating grass is a behavior issue that really isn’t too serious. Watch out for sudden, frenzied and excessive grass eating – that could be a sign of a more serious issue that should be checked by a vet. But if it’s a casual grazing session, you don’t need to stop your dog from doing it.

However, whether you feel you need to stop her from making a habit of this or not, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • dog diarrheaMake sure you maintain consistent parasite prevention – both intestinal and external. Your dog can pick up parasites from the ground when grazing. This is especially common in areas where there is fecal residue from other animals, like at the dog park, common ‘potty’ areas for other pets and barn yards. You cannot see the parasites
  • Feed her higher quality food, and try adding vegetables (cooked or raw, depending on what she likes) to her diet. Vegetables can also be fed as treats, like a piece of carrot, for example.
  • Give him plenty of exercise and provide some mental exercise with new toys and attention.
  • Be aware of toxins in your yard and get rid of them to keep your dog from accidentally ingesting them with the grass. That includes fertilizers, weed killers, insecticides, dumped liquids and items that might secrete toxins.
horse cribbing

Horse Cribbing: Causes and Treatment Options

Cribbing, also known as crib biting, aerophagia and wind sucking, is a behavioral situation in which the horse is most likely relieving stress. Historically we thought was that horses cribbed to receive a high or euphoria but, new studies (which vary) suggest that horses crib for stress relief.

What Is Cribbing In Horses?

Cribbing is when a horse puts its front incisors over an edge (such as a board) and pulls back, arching his neck, and sometimes ‘taking in’ air.

A long time ago cribbing was considered an unsoundness. In 1889, a colt that cribbed was returned from Scotland to Belgium (no small journey) because it was deemed unsound as a ‘crib-biter’.

Interestingly, wild horses observed in the wild do not crib. Yep, we ‘caused’ it!

Horse Cribbing Causes

  • Horse management/maintenance – Long stretches of time with no forage and little to no interactions (boredom and stress).
  • Possibly genetic predisposition – Some horses may inherit their cribbing behavior; these horses start cribbing at a young age. Thoroughbreds, more than warmbloods and Quarter Horses, and possibly following certain bloodlines (per a Japanese study of 1,500 Thoroughbreds with a 1 percent rate of cribbing, but 7 or 8 percent within certain bloodlines).
  • Diet – High grain diet/low forage. Especially when this is started at a young age, this seems to increase the frequency of a young horse starting to crib.
  • Pain – Likely related to confinement after an injury.

Is Cribbing Contagious?

Apparently not since many companions of cribbers do not take up the habit. Companionship can help reduce cribbing and is a suggested management step.

Best Ways To Manage Horse Cribbing

Cribbing has been called a behavioral disorder, and a harmful addiction; however, thoughts on this are changing. Rather than attempting to stop or curb the behavior, letting the horse crib is growing. The following are steps recommended to limit cribbing.

  • cribbing horsesKeeping forage available all the time, which is, after all, what nature intended
  • Having companionship for the horse – can be a goat, chicken etc.
  • Reducing surfaces that the horse can ‘latch’ onto are becoming more accepted practices.
  • Cribbing collars are an option and have been widely used. There are several types, but they do not eliminate the urge, they just make the action of cribbing painful or uncomfortable. Some consider this option tormenting, due to the thought that a horse cribs for stress relief, as opposed to an addiction that they might become ‘weaned from’.

Is Cribbing Damaging to Your Horse?

Cribbing may result in increased colic, gastric ulcers, weight loss, wearing down of the upper incisors (this is a quick way to check to see if a horse cribs), under development of some neck muscles and over development of others, weight loss/eating challenges, damage to fences, barn, etc., and flatulence.

horses cribbingThe above problems all fall in the category of damage; however, the degree must be weighed against the value of the horse. For example:

  • Is this horse a fantastic babysitter for your other horses or for his/her rider?
  • Is this horse a great performance horse?
  • Is this horse a great producer?
  • Is this horse your unicorn?
  • Does this horse show great promise?

If you look hard enough and you will find a blemish in any horse. Okay, so with cribbing we do not have to look hard, but is it really a reason to turn away?

In the past, multiple horses that led in their sport were cribbers… many major competitions, including the Olympics, would very likely have been different if those horses were discarded for their cribbing.

cat diarrhea

Cat Diarrhea: Why Does My Cat Have Diarrhea?

No one likes to talk about diarrhea, but … there it is. Sitting in the litter box, or maybe not in the litter box, or somewhere between the two. It can’t be ignored. Messy and disgusting – but a sign of something gone wrong in your cat’s digestive tract.

diarrhea cat

Your cat has diarrhea when he passes watery, strange looking (gray or yellow), foul-smelling bowel movements more frequently than normal. It happens when fecal material moves through the intestine quickly – too quickly to absorb water, nutrients and electrolytes. Your cat, who is usually very finicky about using the litter box, may have uncontrollable accidents around the house or just outside the box, due to the urgency of releasing the bowel movement. Not a pretty situation, and certainly tough on your home and everyone else involved.

Most of the time, diarrhea will either resolve itself or be cured just by changing your cat’s diet (covered later in this article) But sometimes, diarrhea can be a sign of a more serious condition.

Cat Diarrhea Symptoms

Typically, your cat will exhibit some (if not all) of these symptoms:

  • Soft, watery, frequent bowel movements
  • Straining with small amounts of soft/sometimes bloody/mucoid stool
  • Accidents
  • Blood or mucus in the feces
  • Straining to poop
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of energy and/or appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Staining and soiling of her fur, particularly noticeable on long hair cats, around the back end

Cat Diarrhea Causes

The list of possible causes is long – and some causes are worse than others:

  • Abrupt change in diet
  • Eating garbage or food that’s gone bad – or eating non-food material
  • Stress
  • Inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Food allergies
  • Neurologic abnormality
  • Viral, bacterial or fungal infection
  • Parasites
  • Kidney, pancreatic or liver disease
  • Immune system abnormality
  • Hyperactive thyroid gland
  • Feline distemper
  • Drugs and toxins
  • Possible anorexia

When is it serious enough to call the vet?

If your cat has diarrhea for a day or two and is eating and behaving normally otherwise, you probably don’t need to worry about it – it will go away on its own.
But if you see any of the following symptoms, they are signs you need to take your cat to the vet immediately:

  • Your cat is vomiting, or is lethargic, appears to be in pain, has a fever or exhibits any other disturbing symptoms.
  • The diarrhea contains blood – either bright red or tarry and dark, or is explosive, and watery or is very frequent.
  • A sign that is not readily visible is that your cat is in danger of dehydration. This is especially important if she’s a kitten, or, very old, has a medical issue that you are aware of, or she has a health problem that would impact her immune system. If the diarrhea has gone on for a few days (2 or 3) then it is likely your cat is indeed dehydrated and should have veterinarian attention.

cat quarantineAny of these symptoms listed above may indicate that you could be looking at a medical emergency, so don’t hesitate to hurry your cat off to your veterinarian. Try to recap the sequence of events in your mind, or, better, on paper, so that you can report the facts to your vet for a quicker, more accurate diagnosis.

And STOP YOURSELF if you’re tempted to give your cat human medications to stem the tide of diarrhea. Over-the-counter medications for humans are much stronger than anything you’d want to give your cat and can be harmful to your kitty. For example, aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen are extremely toxic to cats. The human formulation of Imodium was not meant for cats, even in smaller doses!

Your vet will perform a complete physical exam on your cat, including diagnostic blood tests, electrolyte panels and urinalysis. If he/she thinks your cat swallowed something to cause the problem, an X-ray may be in order. And you’ll most likely need to bring in a sample of the feces to check for various infections and parasites (an easy way to accomplish this is to take a plastic bag, put your hand around the outside to push it inside out, then grab the feces with the bag and ‘pull’ the edges of the bag back over the feces (like starting with the bag inside out and pull it back to outside out

One of the biggest concerns for your cat will be loss of fluid, resulting in dehydration, especially if your cat has also been vomiting. If it’s really serious, the vet may administer intravenous or subcutaneous fluids (fluids that are administered under the skin).

How can I stop or prevent cat diarrhea from happening?

my cat has diarrheaIt’s always a good idea to “follow the doctor’s orders” when it comes to treating your cat. After diagnosing the cause of the diarrhea, the vet may prescribe medications, de-wormers and other therapies to relieve the problem, so be sure to read the dosing instructions carefully.

Some other things the vet may recommend:

For adult cats who are otherwise healthy, simplify your cat’s diet. Don’t give him treats or scraps from the dinner table, but stick with nutritional cat food that feeds the good bacteria found in your cat’s intestine.

Veterinarians have changed from saying “withhold food for 24 hours” to “don’t withhold food” – cat anorexia can lead to other major problems. Instead, in some cases, you might want to switch to a bland diet such as boiled rice or pasta with boiled skinless chicken, potatoes, turkey, low fat cottage cheese or yoghurt, and even meat-based baby foods. Also, making meals smaller is a great option to provide nutrients without ‘overloading’ your cat’s system. Feed smaller amounts more frequently but monitor her physical acceptance of the food. So if she can tolerate her usual feedings of twice a day broken down to four times a day, for example, that may help her system settle and heal while still consuming appropriate nutrients.

If you recently changed your cat’s diet before she started with the diarrhea, go back to what you were previously feeding her to see if that helps. It’s possible something in the new food disagreed with her.

Make sure your cat has plenty of fresh water available, at all times. Adding another bowl of water with diluted chicken or beef broth may encourage your cat to drink more. Hydration is so important to overall health! Warm water added to canned cat food is another tip. Water and electrolytes are vital to your cat’s health, so you might need to get creative in providing sources.

If you have household guests coming you may want to put an additional litter box and fresh water options in the area where she is most comfortable, in addition to the usual locations. Additional household activity can upset your cat’s normal routine which can upset her system. Don’t let the only litter-box options be in an area where your cat has to face the increased activity since this may cause too much stress for her.

Probiotics may be helpful, but you should make sure the vet is okay with this. If you’re given the go-ahead, pick a probiotic made by a reputable company that’s specifically formulated for use in cats.

Monitor your cat. If you don’t see improvement after two or three days, or if your cat isn’t drinking water or still acts sick, take her back to the vet.

cat eating

Sources

  • https://www.pethealthnetwork.com/cat-health/cat-diseases-conditions-a-z/cat-diarrhea-when-it-serious-and-how-do-i-stop-it
  • https://www.petmd.com/cat/care/cat-diarrhea-5-treatment-options-you-should-try
  • https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/diarrhea-in-cats
  • https://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/digestive/c_ct_diarrhea_acute
  • https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/diarrhea
cracked dog paw

Cracked Dog Paws: Prevention and Treatment

Your dog’s paws are truly amazing. Like a great pair of running shoes, they can take your dog through all kinds of conditions, from the blistering heat of summer sidewalks to the icy roads of winter. The paw pads provide support, enhance traction and act as shock absorbers for your dog’s bones and joints. They also contain scent and sweat glands that enable him to mark his territory.

But, unlike running shoes, your dog’s paws need some TLC to ensure they don’t get dry, cracked, blistered or infected. And it’s not just cold or hot weather that can affect your dog’s paws.

Causes of Cracked Dog Paws

Injuries

Your dog may end up limping because he stepped on a thorn or sharp object, ran around for a long time on a rough surface, or otherwise cut or scraped his paws. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may need to make a quick trip to your vet.

injured dog paw

Allergies

Dogs who have chronically irritated feet may be suffering from allergies to pollen, yeast, food ingredients, mold or mites. This makes the feet itchy, and your dog will lick and chew her paws until the skin becomes red and infected. To arrest this issue, you will need to get to the source of the allergy and find a way to eliminate or reduce your dog’s exposure to it.

Health Issues

Dogs with hormonal imbalances or autoimmune disease may have a predisposition to get cracked, bleeding or swollen paws because their bodies don’t fight off foreign cells as well, and they have a limited ability to generate repair and replacement of cells in the paws. (Paw cells must have a good blood supply and be able to replace cells at a high rate in order to be healthy). Either of these conditions require veterinary care to diagnose and treat.

How can I treat cracked, dry or bleeding paws?

bleeding dog pawIf your dog’s paw pads have minor cracks (small fissures or cracks in the paw pads) or they seem dry, but she’s not limping or bleeding, you can treat these at home yourself. First, make sure they’re clean. Then use a gentle but potent anti-bacterial product like Banixx Pet Care spray – just spray it on and let it dry. This is an especially good solution, as it sets up a hostile environment for any bacteria that loves to set up house in your dog’s cracked paws.

This may be followed by an application of Banixx Wound Care Cream that serves not only as another gentle antimicrobial layer but contains moisturizing marine collagen and aloe to rejuvenate and replenish the paw tissue. This may be re-applied on a regular basis until the cracks are gone.

If things have gone to the next level and the cracks in the paw pads are bleeding or you see open wounds, then it’s definitely time to get them looked at by a veterinarian. Don’t let things deteriorate to the point where you see that your dog’s paw pads are bleeding more heavily, there are missing sections, or you notice a terrible smell. If this happens, infection may have set in, and the vet may need to prescribe an expensive medication and even provide a (dreaded) cone to ensure your dog doesn’t lick her paws.

Banixx Pet Care spray and Banixx Wound Care Cream can be part of the package that helps restore the pads to good health, and rest assured, these can be applied in conjunction with any medication that your Vet prescribes.

How can I prevent dry cracked dog paws?

Be aware

If your dog is licking or chewing his paws, that’s one sign that there may be an injury or irritant. Check the paws, make sure there’s no foreign body in there, and then use Banixx Pet Care to soothe irritation and aid in the recovery process. The sooner you notice an issue and start working to alleviate it, the less chance of infection – so daily monitoring of your dog’s feet is a great habit to get into.

Practice good grooming

Groom your dog’s paws on a regular basis by keeping the nails clipped and hair trimmed between the paw pads to prevent matting (which can be another source of irritation to the paw pads). Check regularly (even after every walk) for debris like pebbles and grass/grass seeds that can get caught in your dog’s paw pads. Clean out anything you find by putting your dog’s paw in a bowl of warm water to dislodge it, or using tweezers.

Take note of seasonal weather changes

dog playing in the snowBeing too cold or too hot can cause the paw pads to crack, blister, chap and bleed. You can use boots in both summer and winter, though not all dogs will accept wearing them. In winter, check her paws after walks out in the snow and ice, and wipe them down afterward with a moisturizing product like Banixx.

Road salt can get into any paw cracks and cause intense pain and/or infection, something you definitely want to avoid. Then again, during summer months, try not to walk her during the hottest part of the day, and try to find grass to walk on, rather hot pavement, rocky ground or hot sand. It’s important to note that when the outside air temperature is only 77 degrees, hot asphalt, in the sun, has been measured as high as 125 degrees.

Moreover, you can fry and egg at 131 degrees!! So, in summer, just imagine how your dog feels as you drag him along to the farmers market or outdoor festival being held on asphalt. During these more intense months, whether it’s a cold intensity or hot, when you come in from your walk, check the paws and wipe them down.

Moisturize

Just like with humans, moisturizing can prevent painful cracks and bleeding. Using Banixx Wound Care Cream on a regular basis will keep those pads soft and healthy. Just apply it to the paw pads and massage it gently between the paw pads, up in between each toe and the back of the paw. It’s important your dog not lick off the Banixx, as the longer it stays in contact with the dog’s paw, the more effective it is – so after applying, try distracting her with a treat, a game or a toy.

Remember, most problems with cracked or dry dog paws can be handled by you at home – but make sure you consult with your veterinarian if you notice deep cracks with excessive bleeding or oozing, crusting, or an obvious injury like a bleeding cut or missing pad. And if you suspect that allergies or health issues are the cause of your dog’s sore paws, you’ll need to visit the vet to get to the bottom of it.

Healthy dogs need healthy feet. Take care of them as you would your own.

Sources

  • https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/how-care-your-dogs-cracked-and-dry-paws
  • https://animalwellnessmagazine.com/treat-cracked-paw-pads/
  • https://www.dog-care-knowledge.com/dog-paw-problems.html
Dogs Do Get Acne

Dog Acne: Causes and Treatments of Dog Zits

Yes! Just like a teenager, a dog can get canine acne, an inflammatory condition that affects her lips and the skin of her muzzle. In a mild case, it’s a benign disorder that comes on from 5-8 months of age and is usually gone by the time a dog reaches 1 year old. You’ll see red bumps, blackheads or pimples. In bad cases, your dog will suffer from scabs, bleeding wounds and swelling. And just like with a teenager, if the acne is left untreated, permanent scarring can result.

The acne occurs when hair follicles become irritated. It can cause pain and itching. If your dog scratches the acne, it can lead to a bacterial or fungal infection.

Acne is seen more often in dogs with short coats; the most commonly affected breeds include Boxers, Doberman Pinschers, Bulldogs, Mastiffs, Weimaraners, German Shorthaired Pointers, and Rottweilers, though other breeds can also get canine acne.

What Causes Dog Acne?

canine acne picture

Dog skin pimples can be caused by several things:

  • Allergy to parasites like fleas and mites
  • Food or environmental allergies (pollen, mold, dust)
  • Bacterial and fungal infections
  • Genetics (see breeds above)
  • Trauma to the skin of the chin or muzzle
  • Some dogs have issues with plastic bowls.  Switch to stainless steel.

What Should I Do About My Dog’s Pimples?

First, get it diagnosed by a vet. You want to make sure that it really is canine acne rather than fatty tumors, benign cysts, ringworm or more serious conditions like mange or skin cancer. Your vet will also be able to give you more insight into the cause of the pimples – whether it’s an allergy or other skin disorder. A bacterial culture can identify the right type of antibiotic for treatment if appropriate.

In most cases, dog acne is treated simply with topical benzoyl peroxide, which helps flush out the hair follicles and reduce bacterial contamination.  However, be careful to use the benzoyl peroxide recommended by your veterinarian – do not substitute the benzoyl peroxide found over-the-counter for humans, which is much stronger than what you should use on your dog.

In more severe cases, or if an infection has resulted because of the trauma caused by scratching, your vet may recommend steroids or antibiotics.

The One Thing You Should NOT Do To Canine Acne

Is “pop” the pimples! Resist the temptation! It will just increase the likelihood that the hair follicles will rupture and increase the inflammation and infection.

Dog Acne Treatment Options

  • Find ways to limit the allergies that could be causing the acne. If it’s a food or environmental allergy, managing the situation can help decrease the acne. This is more simply said than done.  Talk with your vet and…do your own research.
  • banixx spray remedyTreat the “itch” by using Banixx Pet Care. When your dog scratches at those pimples, he causes trauma to the sensitive skin and increases the chances a bacterial infection will make things worse. Banixx soothes the itch and, because of its anti-bacterial properties, makes it almost impossible for a bacterial infection to live and grow. And, because it has no scent, does not sting and is okay to use around the eyes, applying Banixx is easy and safe.

Sources

  • https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/acne-in-dogs
  • https://www.dog-health-guide.org/dogskinpimples.html
  • https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/dog-lumps-bumps-skin#1
  • https://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/skin/c_dg_acne
quarantine cat with ringworm

How Long Should You Quarantine A Cat With Ringworm?

Ringworm is highly infectious – so if your cat has contracted ringworm, you’ll need to take steps immediately to quarantine her to stop it from spreading throughout your household.

Yes, the skin fungus known as ringworm can be transmitted between animals and humans – so your family members and other animals are at risk of catching it. For information on the condition – what it is, what it looks like, and how to treat it, click here.

How Serious Is Ringworm?

Kitten with ringwormMost healthy cats will be able to self-cure after a period of time (typically 3-5 months). But they can be cured much faster with proper care and medication.

AND – you don’t want the infection to spread to humans and your other pets, so taking aggressive action to stop the spread of ringworm is very important.

Ringworm is more common in kittens and sometimes older cats, both of whom have weaker immune systems and have trouble fighting off this infection. Less healthy, feral cats are also susceptible for the same reasons.

How Long Is A Cat Contagious?

If you aggressively treat the infection and take steps to prevent re-infection, your cat will be contagious for about 3 weeks. Length of time depends on the overall health of your cat at the outset. The healthier your cat, the quicker will be his response time to treatment. Veterinarians recommend that you consider your cat contagious until there have been two consecutive negative fungal cultures (done by your vet) that demonstrate that the infection is gone.

Why Is A Quarantine Necessary?

Ringworm is spread via invisible fungal spores. These abound once your cat has fully-fledged ringworm, and the spores need to be eliminated to prevent re-infection and to protect your other animals and YOU.

So while cat ringworm can be treated on an out-patient basis with anti-fungal medications, isolating your cat is a key part of the treatment in order to decrease the likelihood of spreading the infection.

How Long Should Your Cat Be Quarantined?

cat quarantineThat depends on the individual cat’s response to treatment and his overall health. Treatment usually lasts about 5-6 weeks, although this time period can be longer for some cats. In terms of quarantine, most cats that are being treated aggressively only need to be isolated from 2-4 weeks. You will be the best judge of your cat’s progress (by visually seeing, or not seeing, ringworm outbreaks). But you’ll need to continue getting ringworm cultures periodically to make sure your cat is no longer infected.

Tips For Getting Rid of Ringworm

Those ringworm spores are pesky and persistent. While they need to be on skin to live, they can lie dormant in the environment and can be viable for years if they’re not killed or removed. That’s why it’s so important to de-contaminate the environment once you’ve detected the ringworm infection. Following are some tips:

  • Use a disinfectant cleaner to wipe down all surfaces. Spray the cleaner and let it sit for 10 minutes, then wipe the area clean. Apple cider vinegar or bleach, depending on what surface you are treating, are excellent for this. Note: Lysol is NOT pet friendly.
  • If you can afford it, hire professional steam-cleaners to come in and clean carpets, etc. Otherwise, use carpet shampoo, let it sit, and then vacuum.
  • Wash all food and water bowls with disinfectant soap, and don’t let your animals share them.
  • Vacuum and clean all surfaces every few days. Dispose of the vacuum bags after use because they may harbor fungal spores.
  • Get rid of all the cleaning cloths after use or immediately wash in a bleach solution.
  • If appropriate, throw away all items you think may be infected and cannot be cleaned.
  • Wash all towels, bedding and clothing twice with bleach.
  • Wash your hands immediately (and tell everyone in your family, especially children, to do the same) after touching or petting your animals or handling their toys or grooming equipment. It’s a good idea to wear disposable gloves when cleaning the kitty litter or picking up the cat’s waste if outside.
  • Wear separate clothing when coming into contact with infected animals, and wash the clothing immediately in hot water, using the highest setting on your dryer to dry them. Wear rubber footwear so you don’t pick up the ringworm spores and spread them to other surfaces.
  • Don’t use the same brush to groom several cats. Buy plastic ones and wash them in hot water and disinfectant soap after each use.
  • As a key to preventing the spread of ringworm in your household, bathe all your cats, kittens and other pets (even if they don’t show any symptoms of ringworm) using medicated shampoo.

How to Treat Ringworm

cat ear infectionAs a potent anti-fungal treatment, Banixx Pet Care is a powerful way to help cats, kittens and other animal get rid of the dreaded ringworm fungus. To use it, simply soak a cotton ball with Banixx and apply it to affected area (wear disposable gloves). This may be done two to three times daily during the ringworm infection.

Banixx Medicated Shampoo can be used for all your animals to control and prevent the spread of ringworm. It’s gentle yet highly effective. Banixx will not dry out the skin, and it doesn’t burn or have an offensive odor to frighten your cat.

Not only do the anti-fungal properties in Banixx products ensure that the ringworm cannot survive, but Banixx also provides soothing relief from itching and pain, is safe to use around the eyes, and contains no toxins or steroids.

Sources

  • https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/ringworm-in-cats
  • https://www.makelifenatural.net/long-isolate-cat-ringworm/
  • https://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/skin/c_ct_dermatophytosis%20
  • https://novacatclinic.com/my-cat-has-ringworm-will-i-get-it/
  • https://www.petmd.com/dog/general-health/how-quarantine-your-pet
  • https://wingsbirdpro.com/2019/02/how-long-to-quarantine-cat-ringworm-remedy/
household cleaners cat

Dogs, Cats and Household Cleaners

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says that household chemicals are the 6th leading cause of poisoning (toxicosis) in pets. These chemicals include many traditional household cleaning products that you most likely have in your home.

So, whether you like your house to be spotless (good luck with that when you have cats, dogs or other indoor pets!), or if you only do a good cleaning once a month, you need to be aware that there are risks associated with your household cleaners.

Poisoning is one potential result from household cleaners. Another important factor is allergies. Dogs and cats, as well as other pets, can have allergic reactions to environmental factors – and their lives can be made miserable until you find what those specific factors are.

How to tell if your dog or cat has been poisoned

Many household cleaners are corrosive or caustic if they spill on or otherwise come in contact with a dog or cat’s fur or skin – and also internally, if those chemicals are ingested. These are some signs to look for:

  • Dog Wound NeosporinRaw, red skin
  • Rash or blistering of the skin
  • Pawing at the mouth or eyes
  • Tearing of the eyes, nasal discharge
  • Pain
  • Sneezing, coughing
  • Itching
  • Severe drooling
  • Breathing problems for asthmatic animals from strong fumes
  • Fever
  • Lack of appetite, lethargy
  • Seizures, vomiting, diarrhea

Of course, many of these symptoms can also arise from other causes, so a vet visit will be in order no matter what. But if you KNOW that your pet has come in contact with a household cleaner, call the ASPCA hotline (see below) or your local small animal emergency clinic (if there is one) for advice, and then get to the vet as soon as possible before the toxins can have a permanent (or even fatal) impact.

Which cleaners to watch out for

While most cleaning products can be used safely in your home as long as you follow the label recommendations, the best rule of thumb is: If it can adversely affect your family members, it can also affect your pets, so take the same precautions to protect them.

All traditional cleaning products contain chemicals like bleach, ammonia, chlorine, formaldehyde, phenol and isopropyl alcohol. These can ALL be harmful to your cats and dogs.

Beware of these products

  • Floor cleaners (dogs may lick the floor, especially if there’s a treat lying there or food drops; cats may lie on the floor and then groom themselves thereby ingesting some of the floor cleaner, dogs definitely lie on the floor so they will inadvertently pick up toxic particles, etc.).
  • Laundry detergents leave a residue behind on clothes and bedding (even if you do an “extra rinse.”)
  • toilet bowl dogToilet bowl cleaners and fresheners (does your dog drink out of the toilet?). Watch out for cleaners and freshners that clip to the edge of the toilet or are put in the back of the tank. Definitely a risk to your dog or cat with this one.
  • Counter cleaners and all-purpose cleaners for use in the kitchen, bathroom and other places can be harmful, especially if your cat or dog likes to “counter surf.”
  • Carpet fresheners may not be as harmful as other cleaners, but if your cat or dog gets the cleaner on his paws (before you vacuum it up), clean it off immediately. You don’t want them licking it off, or developing a skin irritation on their paws.
  • Air fresheners aren’t really cleaning products, but they add to the clean smell in your home. Sprays, candles and plug-ins can cause problems for animals with allergies.
  • Bleach can affect your pets in many ways – via ingestion, touching the skin, even breathing the fumes.
  • Other cleaners include oven cleaners, furniture polish, window cleaners, drain uncloggers, etc. Any of these, when sprayed, licked, spilled or otherwise coming in contact with your dog or cat, can have toxic and serious effects.

Safe cleaning alternatives

Most cleaning products can be used in your home as long as you follow the directions on the package and keep them out of reach of your animals. But if you’re looking for more pet-friendly alternatives (or if you must switch to greener solutions because of allergies), you can try:

  • vinegarMany people use apple cider vinegar to clean their homes, using a 1 cup to 1 gallon ratio of vinegar to water. There are also a number of commercially-produced, environmentally-safe cleaners that use vinegar as their base.
  • For windows and mirrors, try a mixture of lemon juice and water, plus a lint-free cloth.
  • Baking soda can be mixed with water and is good for areas where you need to scrub, like the kitchen sink or the toilet.
  • Plant-based products don’t leave the toxic residue that can be found in traditional cleaners.
  • Enzymatic cleaners can be non-toxic but still effective in removing pet stains.
  • If you have a clogged sink or tub, try pouring a half cup of baking soda in the drain, followed by two cups of boiling water. If you still need more cleaning power, follow the baking soda with a half cup of vinegar, and close or cover the drain while the mixture works on the clog. Flush with a gallon of boiling water.

If your pet is allergic

If you’re trying to eliminate toxins from your home because your dog or cat is suffering from environmental allergies, one key is to limit her exposure to all environmental pollutants in your home. It seems like a huge and daunting task, but here are a few tips to make it manageable:

  • Where does your dog or cat spend most of her time? Focus first on eliminating toxins in those areas.
  • Use green, non-toxic cleaners on bedding (and no fabric softeners, which contain detergents that can cause reactions).
  • If your pets spend a lot of time on the floor (and which pets don’t?), change to a non-toxic floor cleaner.
  • To find out which product(s) trigger your cat or dog’s allergies, change out your household cleaners one at a time.

What to do if you think your pet has been exposed to poisonous substances

dog poison controlIf you suspect your pet has been exposed to any poisonous substances, contact your veterinarian or call the Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) hotline at (888) 426-4435 immediately. These experts are available 24/7/365 and will give you the advice you need in your emergency situation.

To prevent accidental poisoning, do these two things:

  1. When you’re in the process of cleaning, keep your pets away from the area just as you would keep small children out of the area.
  2. ALWAYS lock your dangerous cleaning chemicals away in a place where your pets (and your children) cannot get into them.

Sources

  • http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/dog-health/dog-toxins-poisons/household-cleaning-products-and-your-pet-what-you-should-know-about
  • https://www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/5-cleaning-products-could-harm-your-dog
  • https://www.petmd.com/dog/pet-lover/green-cleaning-products-are-safe-pets
  • https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/06/11/household-cleaners-affects-pets-allergies.aspx
  • https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/poisonous-household-products
  • https://www.aspca.org/news/announcing-top-pet-toxins-2017